From Sanchi we reached Bhopal in the evening, the aim was to enjoy the sunset on a boat ride in Bada Talab. Don’t go by the name, it’s a beautiful man-made lake built in the 11th century. There are two roads from Sanchi towards Bhopal. Each has one important landmark in between worth your visit and time. On one you will find yourself standing right on top of “The Tropic of Cancer” and on another, you can test your courage by dropping yourself at the haunted Raisen fort. I will leave the choice to you. But for us, we decided to choose the first one and planned the next day’s trip to the latter. You see, we are not that bold enough to visit a haunted fort after sunset.
Spots in Bhopal
If you are in Bhopal, you have multiple options to explore as a tourist in the city. I am not going to add up to the already existing long list of articles about tourist spots in Bhopal. But will give out a few names just for your ease. Starting with Badatalab/Bhojtal/ Upper lake and Vanvihar to spend some quality time with nature. Or you can visit Moti masjid or Jama masjid Taj-ul- masjid, Gohar Mahal – constructed in 1820 by the first women ruler of Bhopal, or Shaukat mahal to satisfy your architectural admiration.
Or simply visit the Birla Museum, MP Tribal Museum, or Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya – one of its kind in India to improve your level of general knowledge about the evolution of mankind, the country, and its men. It’s one of the best place to visit with kids. But even as an adult, it will be a great learning experience. And if you want to enjoy a city view visit Manubhan Tekri at Lalghati. The bonus is that to reach up there you can choose a ropeway or simple drive.
Zardozi in Bhopal
Bhopal is again a place for shopping, especially for Zari and Zardozi work handicrafts. Now a day we generally get everything everywhere and the craze for handicrafts is increasing. but I believe shopping is more fun if you could not only just buy stuff but also be able to see the hard work and history which goes behind it. If you want to know how zardozi work is done and visit some craftsman let me know in the comment box. Will give out the details of the lady who not only runs a small-scale industry but also organizes tour for it. You can try your own hand and then realize how easy or difficult that work is.
Traveling and stay
Being the capital of Madhya Pradesh, this is well connected via road, rail, and air routes. For-stay options are in abundance, suiting all types of budgets and requirements. so basically you can simply pack your bag and move to this city for a great experience. To explore this city completely you need a minimum of one week.
Bhopal being part of central India was highly important for rulers. This led to a number of forts, religious places, and important dots of history being present around Bhopal. North it has Sanchi, towards East is Raisen fort. Down south, it has Bhojpur, Bhimbetka, and Hoshangabad. Sanchi we had already visited. Today’s plan was to visit the Bhimbetka. Next, we will take you to Raisen fort.
Bhimbetka: Man lived here forever
Around 45Kms from Bhopal lies Bhimbetka. It will definitely enthrall you with its group of rock shelter paintings. This place has witnessed the evolution of humankind, which very few heritage sites around the world can take pride in. Bhimbetka is cited by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2003. There are almost 500 rock caves but only around 20 are open to the public. It was discovered by Dr. V. S. Wakankar accidentally in the late 1950s. These paintings were mainly created by ancient men, as a means to communicate with each other and have served as a record of their lives for generations to come.
The paintings in the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are divided into different groups. There is one group that majorly represents hunters and food gatherers, and the other group has paintings of fighters, riding horses, and elephants carrying weapons. The first group is said to be a representation of pre-historic times, whereas the latter represents historic times. Made in different periods of history, some paintings are around 30,000 years old and some are as recent as 5000 years.
Bhimbetka: Experience Awaits
To reach this place you have to drive on NH46 on which you will find the MP tourism board to give you further directions. We reached the top after passing through the almost barren land. Right at the entrance is a board depicting the entire route you need to follow to visit the caves and their importance. Guides are readily available.
My thoughts while traveling to this place, where ancestors of mankind lived and developed skills, were varied. Starting with how they have decided to live in such places. How did those people decide to draw? What would have they used to draw these paintings, and create those marks, as they are still intact after 30,000 years? With all these thoughts we started our journey back to City.
How are these ancient paintings and carvings preserved from wearing out due to climatic conditions?
Isn’t it located in the Vindhyan Mountains?
When was it declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
The rock shelters are estimated to be over 12,000 years old and made up of more than 750 rock shelters.