Bhopal: A City Mapped In My Heart

Bhopal: The City Of Lakes

Bhopal is a beautiful city in the heart of India. This capital city of Madhya Pradesh is rich in history and heritage. It is an amalgam of tradition and modernity with Old Bhopal showcasing the Mughal infrastructure, mosques and monuments and New Bhopal highlighting the planned modern city life. Likewise, it is also a mix of Hindu and Muslim population, which coexists peacefully with all its religious and cultural differences.

I had spent the most beautiful two years of my life in Bhopal. When my husband first broke the news that his next assignment is based in Bhopal, I was very disappointed. For someone who has been born and brought up in a metro, the idea of living in a tier-2 city isn’t very exciting. But my two years long stay in the city totally changed my view. So much so that I can now spend my entire life there.

This city is peaceful, with no din and shimmer of the metros. One of the biggest differences in metro and city life is that a lot of time goes waste commuting in metros. But it’s not the same in Bhopal, given to its wide roads and zero traffic. Me and my husband used to love the fact that our workplace was just fifteen minutes apart from our home and we could invest more time resting, than travelling on the roads. Bhopal gave us a chance to enjoy an easy going and slow-paced life. We used to live in New Bhopal and our house was nothing less than a mansion with a lawn and an overlooking garden. It was a house of my dreams, an ideal place to live.

 Bhopal

What’s also impressive about Bhopal is that the city offers a lot of greenery, which not just makes for a pollution-free environment but also adds to the beauty of the entire place. There are a lot of interesting places and tourist attractions too. Some of our favourite places to visit were- 

1.Upper Lake– This is the biggest lake in Bhopal and allows for some boating and water sport activities. We used to visit this place quite often, just to enjoy the chilly wind and beautiful view.

2. Rainbow Treat- We never missed visiting this lively open-air restaurant every weekend. With live music, tasty food and wonderful ambience, it used to make for a perfect family evening.

3. New Market– This market was our shopping hub. From big brands to local shops, it offered all varieties, at all prices.

4. D.B Mall– Another place where we would love spending our weekends. In fact, one can find the entire Bhopal visiting this mall over the weekend. Every time we used to visit, we used to bump into some or the other acquaintance.

5. Bhimbetka Caves– This is a World Heritage site and has some of the oldest cave paintings of the world. It is one beautiful site with a lot of greenery around.

6. Bhojpur Temple– Constructed in 11th century, it boasts of the largest Shiva-linga in India and is another heritage site to look for.

7. Manav Sangralay– This museum of man is worth visiting. It is created by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and showcases the urban tribal culture and state. Sprawled on a small hill, it is well maintained and gives a breath-taking view of the city.

Bhopal is well-connected by rail and air ways. It also has a lot of nearby tourist places to visit too. During our two years long stay in the city, we had also visited Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Pachmari (a beautiful hill-station), Indore and Agra. All these places are not too far from Bhopal and can easily be reached through rail or road travel.

Apart from the beautiful city life, what also makes this place special for us is its people. They are friendly, receptive and always ready to help. Simplicity reflects through their lifestyle and manners. Their language is humble and polite. Me and my husband did not have known-relatives or friends when we were staying there. But we never felt alone, thanks to the friendships we made.

I happened to pick my first job in Bhopal. I worked in an educational institution for two years. My life as a teacher in Bhopal added to the best of my memories. One thing I understood working there was the entire belief that people, especially students from small cities lack exposure or confidence is all false. I got to teach some super talented students who would be enthusiastic and confident. I also got to make some amazing life-long friends amongst my colleagues, who would now be my reason to visit the city again.

After staying in this city, I could easily come out of the false notion that life in a small city is dull and boring. In fact, I have spent the most vibrant, colourful and meaningful two years of my life there. 

 

 I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. This is the third post based on the prompt- ‘Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual’.

Also read my post on Day 2’s prompt- BabyChakra Parenting App: The Best Resource I Have Used

#writetribe #writingbravely #festivalofwords #writebravely #writingchallenge