Bhopal is the capital of Indian state of Madhya pradesh. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal state. Bhopal is known as the city of lakes for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is also one of the greenest cities in India. It is 17th largest city in the country. It is one of the important various institutions and installations in national level, and so many manufacturing industries are located.
The third Begum, Nawab Sultan Jahan, was one of the most able rulers of the state. Her son Nawab Hamidullah ascended the masnad (throne) in A.D. 1926, and was deeply involved in the political developments of his time. He had believed it imperative for the princes to remain united during Partition and advocated this strongly in his capacity as Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes.
Moti Masjid of Bhopal bears a prominent resemblance to the Jama Masjid of New Delhi. Built by Sikandar Jahan, the daughter of Kudsia Begum, in 1860, this staggering mosque brilliantly displays the heights attained by Islamic art and architecture during the Nawabi era. Fabricated with red sandstone, the highly stylized structure of the mosque is typical of Muslim architecture. It has an arresting marble façade, with two red minarets crowned by golden spikes.
These lakes highly contribute towards beautifying the landscape of Bhopal and are credited as the artwork of Raja Bhoj. The Upper Lake is 6 sq. km. in area and is divided from the Lower Lake by an over bridge.
Also known as Birla Temple, Laxmi Narayan temple was built by the Birlas and is commemorated to the Hindu deities, Laxmi & Vishnu. This sandy-yellow edifice, embellished with idols of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses, poses a magnificent sight. Birla Museum, adjoined to its precinct, is a storehouse of art and artifacts that date back to the 12th century.
One of the largest and most beautiful mosques in India, Taj-ul-Masjid literally means 'The Crown of Mosques' and is an imposing landmark of Bhopal. Its pink façade, coroneted with white-domed minarets, soars to the skyline and stands as a stunning ovation to the rule of Begums in Bhopal. Its construction began under the regime of Shah Jehan Begum, but saw completion after her death. This striking monument is also used as a religious school (madarsa) during the day.
Shaukat Mahal exhibits Gothic and post-Renaissance architectural patterns and is a beautiful amalgamation of both oriental and occidental architectural styles. Thought to be designed by a Frenchman, it is strikingly different from the other Muslim monuments in its vicinity, especially with the triangular arches that adorn its roof. The white exterior of the building, carved with exquisite floral patterns, makes it stand out amongst all the antique monuments of Bhopal.
Sadar Manzil is located near Shaukat Mahal and is an equally attractive site. Even today, the place highlights the bygone grandeur of the Nawabi era of Bhopal. It served as the hall of public audience of the erstwhile rulers of the place. Sultan Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum, daughter of Shah Jahan Begum, also used it as her private palace. Today, the building houses the headquarters of Bhopal Municipal Corporation.