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16 Stunning Places to See in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Explore the City of Royals…

Steeped in rich history and an intriguing past, Bhopal, the capital city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, is a true paradise for historians, archaeologists, art & architecture patrons and off-course, curious travelers.

Dotted with ancient monuments, historical palaces, religious shrines and numerous museums that speak out the tales of bygone times, the place tops the list of tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh.

While needless to say, the city is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites, there are many recreational activities and things to do for even casual holiday seekers. Read on for our exclusive travel guide to Bhopal, listing down its 16 top tourist attractions and things to see & visit.

Top Tourist Places & Attractions in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

  • Upper Lake and Lower Lake
  • Van Vihar National Park
  • Bhojpur Temple
  • National Museum of Mankind
  • State Archaeological Museum
  • Birla Museum
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • Taj-ul- Masjid
  • Gohar Mahal
  • Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil
  • Moti Masjid
  • Rani Kamlapati Palace
  • Bhimbetka Caves
  • Sanchi Stupa
  • Raisen Fort
  • Udayagiri Caves

Recommended Tour Packages

Upper Lake and Lower Lake

Upper Lake and Lower Lake

Also known as ‘Bhojtal’, the ‘Upper Lake’ is one of the top places to visit in Bhopal and definitely a great site to enjoy a wonderful picnic with your friends and family. Nearby the ‘Upper Lake’ is the ‘Chhota Talab’ or the ‘Lower Lake’ and both the upper and lower lakes constitute the ‘Bhoj Wetlands’.

Besides being a popular tourist attraction, these lakes also have great religious, social and cultural sentiments of the locals attached to them; the lakes are an important source of water, catering to the daily needs of almost 40% of the residents of the city. On various festivals, the local people gather on the shores of these lakes to pray and worship.

Let’s go back in time

According to local legends, the history of the lake dates back to the times of the great king of Malwa, Parmara Raja Bhoj who is also known to have established this royal city between 1005 and 1055 AD. It is known that Raja Bhoj once suffered from a severe skin disease and even after lots of medications, he could not be cured.

It is then, when a saint asked him to build a tank combining the waters of 365 tributaries and take a bath in it to cure his ailment. That is how the ‘Upper Lake’ came into existence. Originally called ‘Bada Talab’, it was renamed to ‘Bhojtal’ in 2011 to honor this great king. The lake also holds the status of being the oldest man-made lake of India.


Flanked with picturesque beauty of majestic hills and lush forests, one can enjoy a relaxing time here indulging in various recreational activities such as boating, canoeing and kayaking. The beautiful ‘Kamla Park’ adjoining the lakes is a favorite haunt for locals to spend lovely evenings, soaking themselves in the tranquil settings of the place. When you are in Bhopal, do spend some time here, take in the stunning beauty of the place and feel yourselves greatly rejuvenated and invigorated.

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Van Vihar National Park

Van Vihar National Park Bhopal

Spread over an area of approximately 445 hectares, the Van Vihar National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Central India, established in the year 1979. Considered as one of the best places to visit in Bhopal, the park is located just adjacent to the ‘Upper Lake’ and attracts loads of nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and nature photographers throughout the year.


  • Though the park is actually a national park, on visiting it, you will get more of a zoological feel to it, rather it would be more appropriate to call it as a unique mix of a zoo and a wildlife sanctuary.
  • On one side, you would spot the carnivores such as tigers, leopards, panthers, lions, bears and gharials enclosed in their natural habitats, bounded by trenches and walls, on the other end, this park would give you a completely different experience of spotting the herbivores like chital, blackbucks and sambars roaming about freely in their natural environs.
  • Operating under the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority the best part of this park is that unlike other zoos, animals here are not brought in forcefully from forest areas, rather the animals which are left orphaned in other zoos of the country are given shelter here and are properly taken care of for their daily food and medical requirements.
  • Besides spotting animals, the ‘Van Vihar National Park’ also provides you with ample opportunities to see and admire the stunning birdlife of the park.
  • The presence of adjoining ‘Upper Lake’ wetlands in the park helps draw numerous colorful birds including but not limited to pied kingfishers, spoonbills, pintails, spot bills, herons and teals.
  • In winters, many beautiful feathered creatures also migrate here from Siberia, Japan and parts of Europe to enjoy the warmer weather of India. If you are a birder or a professional ornithologist, do visit this park during your trip to Bhopal and I am sure, you will leave with countless memories of a wonderful bird watching experience here.

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Bhojpur Temple

Bhojpur Temple Bhopal

Yet another of the most popular places to see and visit during your holidays in Bhopal is the ancient ‘Bhojpur Temple’, also known as ‘Bhojeshwar Temple’ built in 11th century AD during the reign of Raja Bhoj. Dedicated to lord Shiva, the temple is located in the heart of the archeologically important site of Bhojpur, just 28 km. from the city of Bhopal.

Legends and Stories

The religious significance of this ancient temple is so high that it is often referred to as ‘Somnath of the East’ and pilgrims from different corners of the country travel here in huge numbers to pay their homage to the God. The Shivlinga at this temple is the largest stone structure in the world and is carved from a single rock, measuring 7.5 ft. in height and 18 ft. in circumference.


  • Standing on a 21 ft. tall platform, devotees are only able to access the Shivling by climbing an iron staircase.
  • Talking about the architecture of this exquisite temple, it was built in accordance with the principles of Vastu Shastra and is decorated with an intricately carved arch at the entrance.
  • The design is in a square shape, complete with four pillars and a huge stone dome supported on them. The walls, façade and dome, all adorn several beautifully carved stone sculptures of various Hindu deities and pantheons.
  • A full architectural plan of the temple, complete with architectural drawings can still be seen engraved on few of the rocks surrounding the shrine.
  • These drawings have been studied in detail by expert scholars revealing the fact that some parts of the temple have been left incomplete, and the reason for the same still remains a mystery. If completed, the temple would have really been a masterpiece of its kind, with no comparison to any similar structures in the world.

Not only considered as a famous religious place in Bhopal, the temple also makes it a vital heritage tourist attraction in the city luring all those having even the smallest of inclination towards history and archaeology.

Also Read: Pilgrimage Tourism in Madhya Pradesh

National Museum of Mankind

National Museum of Mankind Bhopal

Also famous as the ‘Tribal Habitat Museum’, the ‘National Museum of Mankind’ was established in 1977. In 1993, this museum was renamed as Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, at the instance of the Ex- Prime Minister, Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Spread over an area of 200 acres of land, close to the ‘Upper Lake’ amidst Shamla Hills in Bhopal, the museum is the only one of its kind in India and is world-famous to house an excellent collection of prehistoric rock shelters dating back to the early stone-age era that prevailed on the Indian subcontinent in bygone times. It is one of the top tourist attractions to visit in Bhopal.


  • Elaborately detailed dioramas here, provide you with a deep insight into human evolution from prehistoric times until today’s modern age.
  • Another interesting highlight of this beautiful museum is its open-air exhibit of life-size dwellings of various ethnic tribes of India, complete with their signature styled interiors, building materials and other related objects.
  • Most note-worthy and admirable of all the dioramas exhibited at the open-air section is the representation of an Indian coastal village with its typical traditional wooden cottage and famous snake-boat.
  • A display of a classic Rajasthani desert village and a Himalayan village also captures the attention of many.
  • Yet another eye-opening attraction of the tribal museum is its ‘Mythological Trail’ section where one can see an exquisite collection of traditional crafts and paintings related to myths and religious beliefs of different Indian tribes; and each tribe exhibits its own specialty in terms of artistry and craftsmanship.

Many tourists would tend to skip this unique museum thinking it to be a typical and boring kind, but I must tell you, that’s definitely not the case. Interesting, fascinating, intriguing and educative – words fall short for this distinctive institution, which is needless to say, a perfect site for all age groups. And if you are a history and culture aficionado, you are surely going to fall in love with this place that takes one of the highest positions on the list of best tourist attractions in Bhopal.

Also Read: Heritage Tourism in MP

State Archaeological Museum

State Archaeological Museum Bhopal

If history, culture and ancient art is what interests you, the ‘State Archaeological Museum’, located in close proximity to the ‘National Museum of Mankind’ is a place just for your kind in Bhopal. Inaugurated in November 2005, this museum is one of the most significant museums in the city showcasing the rich cultural heritage and legacy of Madhya Pradesh in the form of rare ancient paintings, sculptures and other objects of historical and archaeological significance.

Interesting Highlights

  • As you enter the museum, walk into the age of prehistoric men and get to see some of the most well-preserved fossils from their times.
  • Marvel on an excellent collection of paintings copied and brought from the famous ‘Bagh Caves’ near Mandu.
  • Get awe-struck with a colossal statue of Lord Buddha on display or admire the art and craftsmanship of sculptors of olden times who brought to life the sensual romance of ‘Khajuraho’.
  • A collection of magnificently carved sculptures of Goddess Lakshmi and Hindu Trinity Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, are sure to spellbind you with their magical charm.
  • Numerous bronze statues of Jain Tirthankaras excavated from the site of ‘Dhar’ in Madhya Pradesh are also exhibited at the museum and attract lots of admiration from the onlookers.
  • Other artefacts of much historical significance displayed at the museum include collection of ancient coins, musical instruments, handicrafts from various tribal villages of Madhya Pradesh (most noteworthy are those from the ancient tribes of Bastar) and costumes, jewellery & miniatures belonging to erstwhile kings of the Malwa region.

Truly a paradise for art lovers and archaeology buffs, the ‘State Archaeological Museum’ definitely needs to be on your itineraries while travelling to Bhopal. And needless to say, it’s a great place for kids too, giving them an insight into the rich past of Central India.

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Birla Museum

Birla Museum Bhopal

Bhopal is dotted with an endless number of museums and galleries showcasing the enriching history and past glory of this princely state of Madhya Pradesh. While ‘Museum of Mankind’ and ‘State Archaeological Museum’ are the top two of such tourist attractions in Bhopal, there is yet another museum that is sure to leave you spellbound with its antique collection of objects and artefacts dating back to Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.

One of its kind museums in Bhopal, set amidst serene environs of Arera Hills, the ‘Birla Museum’ preserves a huge collection of rare tools and equipment used by the primitive men during the stone-age. A scale model of Bhimbetka rock shelters is also an interesting highlight of the museum that gives you a deep insight into the excellent artistic abilities of the prehistoric humans.

Interesting Highlights

  • Set up in 1971, the museum also has on its display, ancient coins, manuscripts and terracotta objects dating to periods between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD.
  • Several interesting stone sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses, dating to periods between 7th and 13th century AD is also exhibited in the gallery.
  • Most striking of all these sculptures are the representation of Goddess Durga in her trinity avatar.
  • An 11th century sculpture of dancing Ganesha – a symbol of the Paramara Kings and a stone figurine of Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati (Uma-Maheshwari), excavated from the site of Ashapuri near Bhopal.

There are several other sculptures in the museum that will amaze you with their antique charisma. If you are an archaeology freak, you just cannot leave Bhopal without visiting this fascinating museum.

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Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan Temple Bhopal

A trip to Bhopal remains incomplete without visiting the famous and architecturally stunning temple of Lakshmi Narayan, also known as ‘Birla Mandir’. One of the 18 temples built across India by the renowned Birla family, the ‘Birla Mandir’ at Bhopal adorns the sandy-yellowish outlook and sits atop the Arera Hills, in close proximity to the ‘Birla Museum’, providing breath-taking views of the surroundings and the lakes.

The sprawling lawns dotted with beautiful fountains and beds of colorful flowers surround the grandiose structure, further lending it a picturesque appeal and tranquil atmosphere; one can sit in these expansive lawns for hours gazing at the hypnotic architecture of the temple and soaking his souls in spiritual aura of the place.

Interesting Highlights

  • The architecture of this holy site resembles a typical Nagara style, complete with a magnificent archway and wooden cenotaphs.
  • The presiding deity of the temple is of Goddess Lakshmi who sits with her consort, Lord Vishnu in the main sanctum sanctorum.
  • Another sacred shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati has also been consecrated inside the temple premises.
  • Besides pilgrims and devotees, the casual tourists coming to the city, will make it a point to visit this exquisite temple, which is also one of the top tourist places in Bhopal.

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Taj-ul- Masjid

Taj-ul-Masjid Bhopal

Located on the shores of pristine ‘Motia Talaab’, the ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’ is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Bhopal and needless to say, a significant site of religious tourism for Muslims who travel here from far off corners of the country and the world. Often referred to as ‘The Crown of the Mosques’, ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’ is one of the largest mosques in India with a capacity to house 175,000 people at a time.

Its generous size and splendid design also make it one of the most distinguished mosques in the world. The construction of this magnificent mosque started during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar between the period 1844 and 1860.

The work further continued in 1868-1901 under the supervision of Nawab Shah Jehan Begum of Bhopal. Thereafter, due to lack of funds, the construction work came to a halt and could only be resumed again in 1971, eventually getting completed in 1985.

The architecture of this mosque resembles quite a similarity with the famous ‘Jama Masjid’ situated in Delhi; its pink façade, complete with two 18-storeyed octagonal minarets on each side and three white-marbled bulbous domes loom over the skyline of the city, looking completely magnificent.

Interesting Highlights

  • An absolutely stunning highlight of this mosque is its main entrance gateway that is decorated with ancient motifs dating back to mid-13th century from Syrian mosques, a contribution by the Emir of Kuwait in loving memory of his deceased begum.
  • The interiors of ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’ are as exquisite as its exteriors and are adorned with ornately carved pillars, intricately engraved archways and delicate jali work reminiscent of the Mughal era.
  • The Qibla wall in the main prayer hall is also beautifully sculpted with elaborate trellis work and 11 deeply set arches.

Not only an important religious site but a popular tourist spot too; you definitely have to see ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’ during your vacations in Bhopal. Having said so, be informed that if you are a non-Muslim, you would not be allowed an entry inside on Fridays so, do make sure to plan a visit here on other days of the week. If time permits, combine your trip with a visit to ‘Dhai Seedi ki Masjid’, the smallest mosque in Asia, located just across ‘Taj-ul-Masjid’.

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Gohar Mahal

Gohar Mahal Bhopal

Located on the bank of ‘Upper Lake’, ‘Gohar Mahal’ is yet another of the best places to see in Bhopal. Standing tall as a testimony to the cultural legacy of this city of Nawabs, it is actually a beautiful mansion built in the form of a palace, representing an excellent blend of Mughal and Hindu styles of architecture. This magnificent palace is named after the first woman ruler of Bhopal, Qudisiya Begum, also popularly known as Gohar Begum who was not only an efficient and unbiased head of the state but also a great patron of art and architecture.

It is under her supervision that this impressive palace was built in the year 1820. The exteriors and interiors were constructed with great attention to detail and were adorned with stunning designs, motifs and religious patterns. Soon after the construction of ‘Gohar Mahal’, it became the center of administrative and political power of the city and it is at this very site where many of the important decisions for a peaceful and prosperous Bhopal were taken. One of the most prominent tourist destinations in the city and a paradise for historians, the palace is a must-visit if you are interested in getting a glimpse of the glorious era of Bhopal.

Interesting Highlights

  • A witness to Bhopal’s magnificent past, the ‘Gohar Mahal’ is today run by the state’s tourism and handicraft departments.
  • Cultural fairs, tribal art exhibitions, handicraft workshops and other interesting events are regular affairs here, which needless to say, are a great draw for both locals and tourists who throng here in great numbers to spend an eventful day.
  • The annual ‘Bhopal Mahotsav ‘held in January-February every year at the ‘Gohar Mahal’ is also a huge crowd puller, attracting not only tourists and art lovers but, also many artisans, craftsmen and folk performers from all over the state of Madhya Pradesh to showcase their art and talents to the public.
  • The fair is also a one stop destination to pack your shopping bags with some amazing and exclusive regional stuff such as jute bags, hand-crafted pottery, chanderi and Maheshwari silk and famous Bagh print fabrics– a specialty of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Best time to visit the place is after sunset, when it is beautifully lit and provides a rustic feel to all the visitors, complete with folk dances and regional musical performances by local artists.

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Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil

Shaukat Mahal & Sadar Manzil Bhopal

Located in the vicinity of the ‘Gohar Mahal’ is the 180 years old architectural marvel of Bhopal, ‘Shaukat Mahal’. Built in the 19th century during the reign of Sikander Begum, daughter of Gohar Begum, the mahal is famous for its distinctive design that showcases a unique blend of Indo-Islamic and European styles of architecture.

In a city that was primarily dominated by Mughal styled monuments and buildings, the ‘Shaukat Mahal’ at that time came as a fresh breeze of air, breaking the monotony of the typical architecture and design concepts. Conceived and designed by a French architect who perfectly combined post-Renaissance and medieval Gothic styles with an effortless ease in its construction, no wonder, the palace in those times, became a cynosure for art & architecture patrons.

The aesthetic appeal of the palace, complete with heavy use of white alabaster and featuring a series of intricate triangular shaped arches on its ceiling, was further enhanced by exquisite exteriors adorned with delicate floral patterns providing it an eco-friendly appearance.

Even after two centuries, the grandeur and splendor of this historical monument remains unmatched in the city. Tourists visiting the site are sure to be left completely awe-struck with its enchanting beauty and artistic appeal. When visiting ‘Shaukat Mahal’, do take a trip to the flamboyant red brick building ‘Sadar Manzil’ that surrounds the palace.

Interesting Highlights

  • The bright red of ‘Sadar Manzil’ perfectly complements the milky white construction of ‘Shaukat Mahal’ and the lush gardens here further add that touch of greenery to the postcard perfect setting of these two beautiful buildings.
  • Many times, special qawwali programs are also organized in the gardens during evenings. The backdrop of beautifully lit ‘Shaukat Mahal’ provides that magical feel to the whole atmosphere. If you get a chance, do attend this musical performance and soak your souls in the Nawabi spirits of Bhopal.

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Moti Masjid

Moti Masjid Bhopal

Also known as the ‘Pearl Mosque’ because of its sparkling white marbled floor, ‘Moti Masjid’ is yet another famous and interesting site to visit in Bhopal. Built in 1860, under the rule of Sikander Jehan Begum, one of the most liberated women in the history of Bhopal who worked towards progression of the city by building several monuments, roads and bridges, this mosque stands as a testament to her incredible efforts and off-course to the glorious chapter of Bhopal’s history when it was led by women rulers.

Interesting Highlights

  • Remarkably resembling the architectural style of Jama Masjid in Delhi, though relatively small, ‘Moti Masjid’ is still considered an important pilgrimage destination for Muslims and people travel here from far and wide to offer their prayers.
  • The 19th century old mosque stands impressively tall in bright brick red color flanking the white marbled edifice that is crowned by two small cupolas. On each side of the mosque, stands the two dark red minarets adorned with golden spikes on top.
  • Every day, the call to the faithful followers of Islam is given from the top of these minarets, which are considered as gateway to heaven on earth. Located just in the heart of the old city, one can easily get to this mosque by hiring an auto-rickshaw or a taxi.
  • The sacred shrine is surrounded with the bustling markets lined up with street vendors selling the local and chatpata flavors of Bhopal so, if you are a foodie combine your visit here with some stroll along the effervescent streets, feasting your taste buds with authentic street flavors of Central India.

Also Read: Popular Muslim Pilgrimage Destinations in India

Rani Kamlapati Palace

Rani Kamlapati Palace Bhopal

‘Rani Kamlapati Palace’ was the official residence of this beautiful queen in Bhopal, who once ruled in the hearts of her subjects owing to her irresistible poise & grace and extraordinary talents. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit in Bhopal.

Built around 1680 on the banks of the ‘Lower Lake’, the palace was a gift to the queen by her husband, Nizam Shah and it is said that she spent full moon nights floating on the lake adjoining the palace in a lotus shaped vessel.

Today, the beautiful palace is flanked by a lush park called the ‘Kamla Park’ and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Inside the palace, an interpretation center has been established by ASI where one can see detailed documentation regarding historical background and architecture of the Kamlapati Palace.

Since a part of the palace is submerged under the lake, to provide a clear idea of the entire structure, digitized images of the palace have also been put on display for those interested in archaeological research and studies. So, if you are in Bhopal, do not give this place a miss which is truly a treasure trove of intriguing stories related to one of the most beautiful queens India have had.

Interesting History

The wife of Gond tribal ruler, Nizam Shah, Rani Kamlapati was known for her luminous beauty and unmatched charm. Local legends describe her as a queen who was more beautiful than a fairy, more delicate than a rose and more graceful than a doe. During olden times, Bhopal used to be a small village that was part of the Gond Kingdom. Obsessed by the beauty of Kamlapati, one of the rivals of Nizam Shah poisoned him thereby, leaving the queen alone and insecure.

To protect herself from the ghastly eyes of the rival ruler and to avenge the death of her husband, she asked for help from the then ruler of Malwa province, Dost Mohammad Khan in lieu of Bhopal. Dost Mohammad readily helped the beautiful lady and in reward got the territory of Bhopal which was later converted into the capital of the Malwa Kingdom.

The queen continued to reign over the Gond Kingdom thereafter for over a decade with the support of Dost Mohammad. Some local legends also state that Dost Mohammad deceived the queen and in order to save her honor, she jumped into the lake, thereby killing herself.

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Bhimbetka Caves

Bhimbetka Caves Bhopal

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Bhimbetka Caves’ is one of the ‘must-visit’ sightseeing places in Bhopal. Located just at a distance of about 45 km. from the main city, on the foothills of the Vindhya Mountains, the place was accidentally discovered by a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Vishnu Wakankar in 1957-58 when he ventured on a leisurely stroll in the area.

Stocked with prehistoric rock paintings dating back to the periods between Paleolithic and Medieval ages, these caves are no less than a splendid art-gallery providing a deep insight into development of the human race with time.

Even after more than 30000 years of their existence, the conditions of these exquisite paintings remain intact, inviting hundreds of historians and archaeologists every year to carry out their research on the lifestyle and social practices of early humans during the bygone times; one can easily infer the scenes of communal dances, hunting, soldier & animal fights and drinking & partying men from these paintings that adorn walls and ceilings of the caves.

An interesting feature of these paintings is that they all are executed in vibrant colors of whites, reds, yellows and greens, making you wonder about the intelligence and creative abilities of the prehistoric men to combine various natural elements such as leaves, vegetables, red sandstone and manganese to produce different colors out of them.

Interesting Highlights

While there are almost over 600 natural rock shelters in the area, scattered amidst thick forests of Sal and teak, only about 12 are open to the public and are properly marked with numbers to enable visitors not to get lost in the confusing maze. Just a little up from the caves is a small temple that people often visit during their trip to Bhimbetka. Needless to say, one of the most archeological and important historical sites in India, you just cannot miss a visit here during your trip to Bhopal.

Also Read: Must Visit Caves in India

Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa Madhya Pradesh

Nestled in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, Sanchi is an important historical and archaeological site, located at a distance of around 46 Km. from Bhopal. Known for its ancient Stupas and other incredible Buddhist structures dating back to the Mauryan era between 3rd century BC and 12th century AD, the place also holds a great religious significance for Buddhists, who swarm here in huge numbers from different corners of the globe.

Most significant of all the archaeological recoveries in this small town is the ‘Sanchi Stupa’, the oldest stone structure in India built during 3rd century BC on the orders of then Mauryan Emperor, Asoka. Carved out from a single semi-circular rock, the sacred stupa is known to enshrine the old Buddha relics.

Interesting Highlights

  • The eye-catching design and splendid architecture of this stupa displays an austere grandeur of its times, no wonder, it has been ranked amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Originally built as a simple plain structure with half the diameter of the present hemispherical edifice, it was during the reign of Sunga dynasty that the stupa was enlarged in its size and was adorned with ornately carved railings, stairways and harmika on the top.
  • Again, in the 1st century BC, the Satavahana kings presented the stupa with four beautifully carved gateways that added to the magnificence and grandeur of the structure.
  • The carvings on these gateways, depicting scenes from the early life of Buddha, his seven incarnations and Jataka tales today, stand as a testimony to the classical Buddhist art that prevailed in the region during bygone times.
  • Near the stupa, you will find many more interesting and awe-inspiring ancient shrines and monuments that are sure to leave you captivated with their enticing charisma.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India has also established a museum here, showcasing the ancient artefacts found during the excavations of the region between 1912 and 1919. Whether you are a historian, an archaeologist, a curious traveler or just an ordinary explorer, you will love an excursion to this historical city when in Bhopal.

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Raisen Fort

Raisen Fort Bhopal

Located 23 Km. from the city center of Bhopal, ‘Raisen Fort’ sits on a hilltop in Raisen town near Sanchi. Built around 1200 AD, the fort served as the seat of power to many dynasties in the region, ranging from Rajputs to Mughals to Nawabs of Bhopal. It is said that this resplendent fort was attacked 14 times by different rulers and despite it, they could not harm the original splendor of the magnificent structure.

One of the historically rich tourist spots in Bhopal, a visit here will leave you intrigued with the tales of ferocious battles, jauhars and bravery. Inside the fort, you would come across ruins of many buildings including temples, palaces and wells. Few 15th century old cannons also adorn the inner fort walls.

Interesting Highlights 

A 12th century old Shiva Temple in the fort opens its gates for devotees only once in a year on the occasion of Maha Shivratri and pilgrims in great numbers swarm here to tie a piece of cloth on the temple’s gate to get their wishes fulfilled.

The shrine of Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba who was a famous Muslim Saint is also a great attraction in the fort and is visited by people from all religions. The hills surrounding the fort also abound in historic rock shelters adorned with centuries-old paintings. So, if you are an adventure lover, a trekking enthusiast and a history buff at heart, all at the same time, the fort and its surroundings are a perfect site for you near Bhopal where you can freely venture on an exploration spree.

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Udayagiri Caves

Udayagiri Caves Bhopal

Situated North-East of Bhopal, in the town of Vidisha, ‘Udayagiri Caves’ are one of India’s most significant archaeological sites dating to the Gupta rule between 4th and 5th century AD. It comes in the list of top tourist attractions to visit in Bhopal.

These caves are a treasure trove of rock-cut sculptures of numerous Hindu deities and Jain pantheons, illustrating a classical Gupta art. In all, the region is abounded in around twenty caves out of which one is dedicated to Jainism and remaining nineteen to Hinduism.

Interesting Highlights

  • The most notable of all relief sculptures found in these historic caves, is the sculpture of Hindu God Vishnu depicted in the form of Varaha (boar) rescuing the Mother Goddess (Bhu Devi) from being drowned in an ocean.
  • The site is also full of Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to the reigns of Chandragupta II and Kumaragupta I. On top of the hills dotted by these caves, one can also see some fine archaeological remains of Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples. If you are planning a trip to Sanchi from Bhopal, you can easily combine it with an excursion to this historically important, yet a little unknown site.

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Hope the above list of sites and attractions give you a sneak peek into Bhopal’s rich cultural and architectural heritage and help you in planning a wonderful trip to the beautiful city of Bhopal. If you have any suggestions or queries, please do write to us in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.How to reach Bhopal in MP?

  • By Air - Bhopal Airport is the major airport in Bhopal which is located 15km away in Bairagarh Suburban Area. It is well connected to the other major cities.
  • By Road- Within the region and interstate you will easily get the private and government owned buses.
  • By Train- Bhopal Junction is the major Railway Station which is well connected to all the other major cities. Bhopal Junction is a terminus of Shatabdi Express, which daily commutes between Delhi and Bhopal.

Q.What are the best things to do in Bhopal for couples?

The best things to do in Bhopal for couples are -

  • Romantic boat ride in Upper Lake
  • Picnic near Kerwa Dam
  • Amazing city views on Bhopal Ropeway
  • Photography at Rani Mahal
  • Love in the nature at Van Vihar National Park
  • Sair Sapata for romantic walk

Q.What are the top places in Bhopal to enjoy with family and friends?

The top places in Bhopal to enjoy with family and friends are –

  • DB Mall
  • Rani Mahal
  • Upper lake
  • Sanchi Stupa
  • Van Vihar National Park
  • Crescent Water Park
  • Sair Sapata
  • Kerwa Lake
  • Kanha Fun City
  • State Archaeological Museum

Q.What are the top religious places to visit in Bhopal?

The top religious places to visit in Bhopal are -

  • Bhojeshwar Temple
  • Cave Temple
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple
  • Manua Bhan ki Tekri
  • Khatla Pura Temple
  • Shri Madhya Swami Malai temple
  • ISKCON Temple in Bhopal

Published: 26 Oct, 2021 | Last Updated: 09 Nov, 2021

About the author

Pallavi Roy

She is a candle who burns and melts in the chaos of infinity, from where her visceral whistles and leaves an imprint of desire in her heart to know the map of an Island where there are different sunrises and sunsets. Her curiosity brightens to conquer the hearts unrelieved and sometimes mysterious. Her name is - Pallavi Roy - A traveller by soul and a writer by Profession.