The tale of Bhopal flows through time just like a bike would cruise along the streets of this city – like a rollercoaster ride that goes uphill and downhill, along hairpin bends and breath-taking turns. From the era when cave dwellers dominated the forest covered lands in the region to the years when Begums ruled the place to the years when tragedy struck the city owing to Union Carbide’s Gas Leak – the land of Bhopal has witnessed the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And the city and its people have emerged stronger and more resilient every time, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its former glory and taking flight to attain new horizons. After every event that occurred along this tumultuous journey through time, the city has become stronger and stronger – taking on new colour from its story past and mixing them up to create an even richer culture cocktail for its residents to enjoy. And THAT is what we can learn from the history of Bhopal – the art of taking something from every experience and using it to add a surprising new colour to your story.
In historical terms, Bhopal isn’t too old a chapter in the story of our country. The rise of Bhopal as a prominent name in the fabric of modern India began in the 1700s when Dost Mohammad Khan began expanding his Berasia estate to create what later came to be known as The Bhopal State. Before this time, Bhopal used to be a simple and unremarkable small village in the Gond Kingdom – located on the banks of a manmade lake and covered with reeds, recognised as barru by the locals. These humble beginnings later gave way to the creation of one of the most progressive Muslim states of the country, a kingdom boldly ruled by women who refused to cover their face or take second place behind a man. Their rule lead the city into it golden years when culture, art and economy flourished and the residents enjoyed peaceful coexistence with each other, despite their religion, beliefs or lineage. The glorious remnants of this era can be easily witnessed to this day as you explore the old city area on a heritage walk of Bhopal.
Today, the city stands as a land with two faces, split by the beautiful lakes that are part of the identity of a modern-day Bhopali. The Northern shores of the lake makes up the Muslim-dominated old Bhopal with its labyrinthine alleys, bustling bazaars and immortal relics from the eras gone by. The southern shores however, present a starkly contrasting sight – new Bhopal with its wide streets, up-market restaurants, shopping malls and plush houses. And the thread weaving through these two contrasts is the history of Bhopal – an eye-opener that will leave you spell bound and begging for more. Don’t miss this chance of an up-close-and-personal encounter with the city of Begums, the city of lakes, the city that you will fall in love with.
Junoon Adventure presents a snapshot of the history of Bhopal – everything that makes this awesome city what it is: our home and heaven on earth!