Bhopal: The Capital of Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal: The Capital of Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh and location of the Neelkanteshwara Temple, is an excellent starting point for discovering the state's deep cultural roots. Near the city, and easily accessible by car and train, are some of the finest examples of stone-preserved Indian art and architecture, representing the state's unique legacy of stunning antiques. There are also several great dynasty sites, forts, monuments, and cave paintings in the area.

Things to Do in Bhopal

Bhopal is a beautiful city located in the heart of India. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful architecture. There are many things to do in Bhopal, such as visiting the ancient temples, exploring the city’s markets, and taking a boat ride on the lake. Here are some of the best things to do in Bhopal.

Vidisha

Once the capital of the western Sungas Dominions, Vidisha, or Besnagar in the Pali scriptures, has some wonderful antiquities that show the architectural progress of the time.

Vidisha lies 10 km from Sanchi and near the junction of the Betwa and Bes rivers. Under the Sungas, Nagas, Satvahanas, and Guptas, the city flourished in the sixth and fifth century BC. Kalidasa's Meghdoot mentions Vidisha under Ashoka.

After being abandoned in the sixth century AD, Bhilsa came to prominence in the Middle Ages (9th to 12th centuries AD). Malwa Sultans, Mughals, and Scindias took it.

Vidisha's Vishnu-centered Brahmanical shrine was built with lime mortar, India's oldest cement use. The ruins date to 2 BC and may be the first known Brahmanical stone structure.

 

Vidisha Museum

 preserves early artefacts from Besnagar's Sunga era, as well as 9th-century sculptures and clay pieces that illustrate Parmara-era art. Besnagar's collection includes Surya and Chamundi statues and Yakshi and Ramagupta inscriptions.

Bijamandal Mosque, Gumbaz-ka-Maqbara, and Lohangi Rock are also worth visiting.

Heliodorus Pillar, or Khambha Baba, is the only votive pillar with a palm-leaf capital still standing. An inscription on the monolithic, freestanding column says, "This was a Garuda Pillar, erected in honour of Vasudeva by Heliodorus, a Taxila local brought to the court of Bhagabhadra by the Indo-Bactrian king, Antialcidas."

Taxila-based Heliodorus. This inscription details the area's ties to the Greek Kingdoms of Punjab and how a Greek became a devotee of Vishnu. Antialcidas dates the Pillar to 140 BC.

The pillar's bell capital supports a figured superstructure, like the Ashoka Pillar, but it's smaller and slenderer. The shaft's upper half is 16-sided with 32 facets, and the lower half is octagonal. The sculptures have Hellenic and Buddhist motifs, including geese and honeysuckle.

 

The Udaygiri Caves

13 miles from Sanchi and 4 km from Vidisha are a group of rock-cut cave sanctuaries. An inscription in one of these caves dates it to 4-5 AD, during Chandragupta II's rule (382–402 AD).

The cave contains every feature of Gupta art, including superbly moulded capitals, intercolumniation, the entranceway design, and stretching the architrave like a string course around the edifice.

Starting with Cave 1, which has a façade modified from a natural ledge of rock, they have been numbered, likely in order of discovery.

Percy Brown said, "The Gupta capital epitomises a renewal of faith, the water nurturing the plant trailing from its brim, a metaphor that produced the vase and flower motif, one of the most elegant forms in Indian architecture." Four pillars are patterned with "vases and flora." Shrine façade and doorways are increasingly extravagant.

Ornate. Cave No. 9's large cella, 8-foot-tall pillars, porch, and pillared hall are notable. Four hundred years later, during the Guptas, Besnagar's master artisans continued to be creative and skilled. One awe-inspiring sculpture at Cave No. 5 shows Vishnu in his Varaha (Boar) form carrying the earth goddess Prithvi on one tusk.

The recumbent Vishnu sculpture is stunning. This collection shows the brilliance and power of Gupta art and architecture.

Gyaraspur

 Gyaraspur, located 41 kilometres to the northeast of Sanchi, was a significant location during the Medieval era. The columned halls of two temples dating to the ninth and tenth centuries AD are what is left, and they are located here in ruins known as Athakhambe (Eight Pillars) and Chaukhambe (Four Pillars). The intricately carved, faceted shafts of Athakhambe attest to the high level of artistry used at the time.

The Bajra Math and the Mala Devi Temple are unique structures from Gyaraspur's early 10th century. The latter is characterised by its carved pillars with foliated designs, which are examples of the most opulent post-Gupta architecture.

Udaypur

Through Vidisha and Ganj Basoda, Bhopal to Udaypur is 90 km. Neelkantheshwara temple is an 11th-century Parmara art and architecture masterpiece. This temple's well-proportioned Shikhar tower and finely carved medallions are its most remarkable features.

The spire's beauty is unsurpassed among Indian temples. The red sandstone temple sits on a platform. Three pravesha mandaps, a sabha mandap, and a garbha-griha (entrance porches).

Bijamandal, Shahi Masjid and Mahal, Sher Khan-ki-Masjid, Pisannari-ka-Mandir, and Ravantol are other Udaypur structures.

On the way to Udaipur are Manalidevi and Kherapati Temples at Kakpur. The octagonal pillars of Nripa Varman's Bija Mandal mosque are inlaid with Ramayana and Geeta motifs. The temple's inscription worships Charchika Devi. In 1682, Aurangzeb made it a mosque.

 

How to Reach Bhopal

By Air: The closest airport is Bhopal, 60 kilometres from Vidisha.

 

By Rail: Bhopal, on the Delhi-Chennai main line, is the closest significant railhead, while Vidisha, 10 km from Sanchi, and Sanchi, on the Jhansi-Itarsi branch of the Central Railway, are handier.

 

By Road: Vidisha, Udaypur, Gyaraspur, and Sanchi are all connected to Bhopal by regular bus services. Tongas and tempos for Khamba Baba and Udaygiri.

Bandhavgarh National Park

The road distance between Bhopal and Bandhavgarh is 502 kilometres. A well-known place for tourists in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Bandhavgarh National Park has India's best-known wildlife. White Tigers live here.

These were found in Rewa. Maharaja Martand Singh took over in 195.

The Maharajas of Rewa's palace displays stuffed white tiger Mohun. Bandhavgarh National Park has several species. Sambar and barking deer are common, and Nilgai can be found in open areas.

Great rocky slopes rise from marshy, forested valley bottoms. Bandhavgarh, surrounded by cliffs and eroded rocks, is the most magnificent hill. Bandhavgarh Fort's tallest peak is 2,000 years old. Bandhavgarh, a 448 sq. km. area in Umaria, is in the park, especially around the caverns with temples and Sanskrit inscriptions.

Lord Vishnu: Shesh Shaiyya, the jungle-covered Vindhya mountains. Bandhavgarh Hill, 811m high, is the park's centrepiece. It's bordered by rolling hills and valleys.