bp1.JPG (43720 bytes)Bhopal: Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, old historic city, and modern urban planning. It is situated on the 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja (king) Bhoja but the present city was established by an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed (1707-1740) who was fleeing from Delhi in the chaotic period that followed Aurangzeb's death.  Dost Mohammed encountered the beautiful queen Kamalapati, who sought his aid after the murder of her consort.

bp2.JPG (30234 bytes)We will see the largest mosque in the country, (and the second largest in Asia) the building of Taj-ul-Masajid was begun by Shah Jehan Begum (1868-1901) and completed in 1971. The most impressive features of the mosque are its main hall with inter-arched roof, broad facade, spacious courtyard, and smooth marble flooring. A three day Ijtima congregation held here annually draws people from all over the country.

bp3.JPG (37432 bytes)Jama Masjid was built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum and has gold spikes in the minarets of this beautiful mosque. It is believed that centuries earlier, a queen of the grandson of Raja Bhoja (1059-1080) founded a temple here known as Sabha Mandala. An open-air exhibition of tribal house types located on Shamla Hills, the Tribal Habitat is a presentation of actual size dwellings typical of contemporary tribal cultures in various states of India. The exhibition highlights the architectural features and has elaborately displayed interiors. The surroundings have been reconstructed to match some of the interesting environmental features of tribal villages. A fine collection of sculptures from various parts of Madhya Pradesh are displayed in the Archaeological Museum. Some of the highlights of the collection are paintings of various schools, copies of paintings from Bagh Caves near Mandu, and the statues of Lakshmi and Buddha.