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Bhopāl is a city in central India. It is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal District and Bhopal Division. Historically, Bhopal was also the name of a Muslim princely state in central India.

moti masjid, bhopal

 
Tourism

It is one of the largest mosques in Asia, built by Shahjehan Begum around a courtyard with a large tank in the centre and with an imposing double storeyed gate-way with 4 recessed archways and 9 imposing cusped multifoiled openings in the main prayer hall.

While Taj-ul-Masaajid boasts of being the largest mosque in Asia (spread areawise), this mosque Dhai-seedi-ki-masjid is known as Asia's smallest.
Kheoni Sanctuary

Situated in the Kamala Nehru Park, it is a part of the 300-year old fort of Queen Kamalapati.

A strange mixture of Indo-Islamic and European styles of architecture. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be a descendant of an offshoot of the Bourbon Kings of France. Post Renaissance and Gothic styles are combined to charming effect here.

It is situated behind Shaukat Mahal on the banks of the Upper Lake was built by Qudsia Begum. It is magnificent expression of the fusion of Hindu and Mughal architecture.

Reaching Bhopal

Bhopal Airtport is 12 Km from the old city

Bhopal is an important railway station . The station is near Hamidia Road.

Bhopal is accessible through motorable roads from all the neighbouring cities.

 

The gateway to Bundelkhand, Jhansi is a city that is linked still with the legend of its fiery queen, Rani Laxmibai. In the 1857 war against British, she led her troops into battle, striking a blow for Indian independence and laying down her life for the cause.

Jhansi is ideally located for various rewarding excursions in the area. Within easy reach are fascinating destinations like Orchha, Shivpuri, Deogarh and Khajuraho. Now adding another dimension to this splendid destination is the Jhansi festival, an annual event scheduled in February/ March each year that displays the arts, crafts and culture of the region.

 

Jhansi

Tourism

The Jhansi Fort, located upon a rocky hill was built originally by Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo, in 1613. Today, it houses a collection of sculpture and provides an excellent insight into the eventful history of Bundelkhand.

This was the palace of Rani Laxmibai. A fine collection of sculptures belonging to the period between 9th and 12th centuries A.D. has been housed here by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The museum has collections of terracotta, bronzes, sculptures, arms, manuscripts, paintings and coins of gold, silver and copper.

Reaching Jhansi

Nearest airports are Gwalior (103 km) and Khajuraho (175 km).

A junction along the Mumbai - Delhi route, Jhansi is well linked by rail.

Jhansi is situated on National Highway Nos. 25 and 26 and is well connected with the entire country.

 

Chitrakoot, 'the hill of many wonders', nestles peacefully in the northern spurs of the Vindhyas, a place of tranquil forest glades and quiet rivers, and streams where calm and repose are all pervading. This loveliest of Nature's gifts is also hallowed ground, blessed by the gods and sanctified by the faith of pilgrims. For Chitrakoot's spiritual legacy stretches back to legendary ages: it was in these deep forests that Rama and Sita spent eleven of their fourteen years of exile; here that the great sage Atri and Sati Anusuya meditated; and here where the principal trinity of the Hindu pantheon, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, took their incarnations.

Sufferers and seekers, poets and visionaries, princes and noblemen have, through the ages, sought and found solace in Chitrakoot, drawn inspiration from its sublime natural beauty, gained spiritual strength from its serene temples and in turn, become part of the hallowed legend that is Chitrakoot.

 

hanuman- dhara, chitrakoot

 

Ujjain is situated on the right bank of River bank or River Shipra. It is a very holy city for the Hindus a site for the triennial Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu scriptures, it was originally called Avantika. There is an interesting tale behind the sanctity of the city. It's origin is ascribed to the mythological legend of Sagar Manbthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). The story goes that after the nectar was discovered, there was a chase between the gods and the demons to have the nectar first and thus attain immortality. During this chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred.

Apart from mythological legends, the city has a long and distinguished history. It was governed by the likes of Vikramaditya and Ashoka. Kalidas wrote his soul stirring poetry here.

Today, Ujjain represents an interesting blend of an age old legacy and the modern day lifestyle.

 

Ujjain

Tourism

This temple of Lord Shiva with its lingam is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is also known as the shrine of Mahakaleshwara. The temple has an idol of Omkareshwara Shiva consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal Shrine. The temple also mages of Ganesh, Parvati, Kartikeya and Shiva's Bull, Nandi.

Mahakaleshwar Temple, UjjainBade Ganeshji Ka Mandir : There is a sculpted image of Lord Ganesh, ion this temple, close to the tank near Mahakaleshwar.

A temple of considerable antiquity and a popular place of pilgrimage, the idol here is believed to be self formed.

According to legend, the caves on the banks of the river Shipra near Gadkalika Temple are where the great scholar-poet Bhartrihari lived and meditated.

The specialty of this temple is its intricate paintings in the Malwa style.

The stars and the skies seemed fascinating in the 17th century too. That would perhaps explain the number of observatories that we have in India. Even this 17th century observatory has a planetarium and a telescope.

Jantar Mantar, UjjainGopal Mandir : A sanctum inlaid with marble and silver plated doors constitute the main attraction of this temple.

The ruling planets have always had an important place in the Indian rituals and tradition. This temple is dedicated to the nine ruling planets (Navagraha means nine planets) It is located on the Triveni Ghat of the Shipra river.

Reaching Ujjain

The nearest airport, Indore (55 Kms.), is connected by air with Bhopal, Bombay, Delhi and Gwalior.

Ujjain is a railway station on the Western Railway line and connected with major cities in India.

Good motorable roads connect Ujjain with Ahmedabad (402 Kms.), Bhopal (183 Kms.), Bombay (655 Kms.), Delhi (774 Kms.), Gwalior (451 Kms.), Indore (53 Kms.), Khajuraho (570 Kms.), Mandu (158 Kms.)

 

Located on the foot of a hill Sanchi is just 46 kms Bhopal. It is more of a village than a town. Sanchi StupaSanchi is a religious place with historical and Archaeological significance. Sanchi is a site for the numerous stupas which were built on a hill top. The place is related to Buddhism but not directly to the life of Buddha. It is more related to Ashoka than to Buddha. Ashoka built the first stupa and put up many pillars here. The crown of famous Ashoka pillars, with four lions standing back to back, has been adopted as the national emblem of India.

Sanchi adopted Buddhism which replaced the prominent Hinduism. But time took its toll and slowly both the stupas and the place were forgotten. In 1818 Sanchi was rediscovered and it was found that the marvelous pieces of structure were not in good shape. Gradually historical and the religious significance of the place was recognise d. Restoration work of the stupas started in 1881 and finally between 1912 and 1919 these were carefully repaired and restored. It was accepted that the structure at Sanchi are the most organised construction which went into the engineering of temples in the medieval period. The carvings here are done with the precision of Jewellers.

Despite the damage and restoration work done Sanchi is the most evocative and attractive Buddhist site in India. Sanchi is primarily a place of Stupas and pillars but the gorgeous gateways add grace to the place. These gateways are beautifully carved and carry scenes from the life of Buddha or Ashoka. These gateways are the finest specimens of early classical art, which formed the seed bed of entire vocabulary of later Indian art. The images carved on the pillars and the stupas tell moving story of the incidents form the life of Buddha.

 

sanchi

Tourism

Sanchi has been famous for the Stupas which were built on the top of a hill. The Snachipurpose of these stupas was mostly religious. The most likely use of the stupas has been said to keep the relics. Some of these stupas have been found containing relics of disciples of Buddha. The stupas date as early as the 3rd century and are built in brick made of stone. Though most of the stupas are in ruins now three remain intact and are of great archaeological value. The designs and the carvings on the walls and gates of these stupas spell a heavenly grace and are very tastefully done.

The Four gateways constructed in 35 BC are the best from of Buddhist expression one can find any where in the world. Gateways or Torans as they are called are covered with explicit carving which depict scenes from the life Buddha and Jatakas, the stories relating to Buddha and his earlier births. At this stage Buddha was not represented directly but symbols were used to portray him-- The lotus represents his birth, the tree his enlightenment, the wheel, derived from the title of his first sermon, the footprints and throw symbolising his presence. The carvings on the Torans are done with inspired imagery which in harmony with the surrounding figures balance the solidity of massive stupas.

The Ashoka pillars is one many pillars which are scattered in the area some of these are in broken and some in shape. The Ashoka pillar is on the southern entrance. Today here only the shaft stands and the crown is kept in the museum. The crown is the famous four lions which stand back to back. This figure was adopted as the national Emblem of India. The Ashoka pillars are an excellent example of he Greco-Buddhist style and is known for the aesthetic proportions and the exquisite structural balance.

The earlier monasteries were made from wood which was exquisitely carved and tastefully decorated. The present monasteries are not even the shadow of what they were in the past. A few kms from Sanchi are the relics of the Satdhara Stupa. The relics are kept in glass casket which is placed on the inner sanctum of the modern monastery.

Sanchi had a huge bowl carved out of single rock. Grain was stored in this bowl and it was distributed among the monks in Sanchi.

This temple is now in ruins. But what ever is left tells a saga of greatness and a temple which had no match during its times. The temple was built in 5 the century and is an excellent example of ancient temple architecture in India.

The archaeological survey of India maintains a museum which house many items which were discovered during the excavation of Sanchi area. Most prized possession of the museum is the lion crown from Ashoka pillar. The museum has a sizeable collection of utensils and other items used by the monks who lived here.

Reaching sanchi

Bhopal, 46 kms away, is the closest airport. It is linked directly to Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

Sanchi has a railway station but it is more convenient to take a train to Bhopal which is connected to all the major cities.

Sanchi is a day trip from Bhopal, and is well serviced by buses and taxis.

 

Pleasure resort and capital of the Gond kings during the 12th century, Jabalpur was later the seat of the Kalchuri dynasty. The Marathas held sway over Jabalpur until 1817, when the British wrested it from them and left their impression on the spacious cantonment with its colonial residences and barracks. Today Jabalpur is an important administrative centre, abustle with commercial activity.

jabalpur
Tourism

Madan Mahal Fort, JabalpurBuilt by the Gond ruler, Raja Madan Shah, in 1116 atop a rocky hill, the fort dominates the skyline and provides a panoramic view of the town and the country-side around it.

These medieval constructions were built by the famous Good king, Sangram Shah, between 1480-1540.

Dedicated to the memory of the great Queen Durgawati is her memorial and a museum which houses a fine collection of sculptures, and inscriptions and prehistoric relics.

Tilwara Ghat, from where mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in the Narmada, and venue of the open session of the Tripuri Congress in 1939; the 12th century Mala Devi Mandir; Pisan Hari Jain Temples, and Roopnath are some of the other places in and around Jabalpur which merit a visit.

Jabalpur is the most convenient base for visits to the famous Kanha (165 km) and Bandhavgarh (164 km) National Parks.

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