Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja.
Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifice.
The founder of the existing city was Afghan
soldier Dost Mohammad (1708-1740). Fleeing from
Delhi in the chaotic period that followed Aurangzeb's
death, Dost Mohammad met the Gond queen Kamlapati,
who sought his aid after the murder of her consort.
A charming legend relates how the queen would
recline in a lotus barge that, on moonlit nights,
would drift across the lake. The two lakes of
Bhopal still dominate the city, and are indeed
its nucleus. Bordered along their shores stand
silent sentinels that testify to the growth
of a city.