Bhopal: Beyond the Headlines - Unveiling a City of Lakes and Legends

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by stunning scenery. Additionally, two jyotirlingas and numerous holy shrines may be found close to Bhopal. Near Bhopal, about 100 attractions are waiting to be discovered. People frequently travel here to enjoy exploring these locations because they are well-known not just in India but across the world.

Near Bhopal, most locations make for excellent weekend getaways. Some of them, like Khajuraho Temple and Sanchi Stupa, are listed below and designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Several nearby cities, including Ujjain, Gwalior, Indore, and Mandu, still have outstanding old monuments. In this post we will acknwoedlge everything regarding all popular places near bhopal.

Sanchi Stupa

One of the oldest stone buildings in India is the Buddhist complex known as Sanchi Stupa, which Emperor Ashoka built in the third century BCE. A central hemispherical chamber housing Buddha relics dominates the structure. Sanchi Stupa joined the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1989 and is renowned as one of the best preserved ancient stupas of central India, the most picturesque road trip to take near Bhopal. On top of a hill in Sanchi Town, Raisen District, State of Madhya Pradesh, India, sits Sanchi, a Buddhist complex noted for its Great Stupa. It is located around 46 kilometers (29 miles) northeast of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, and about 23 kilometers from Raisen town, the district’s administrative center.

One of the earliest stone buildings in India and a significant piece of Indian architectural history is the Great Stupa at Sanchi. In the third century BCE, Ashoka the Great, the Mauryan monarch, ordered its construction. The basic hemispherical brick building that served as its foundation was placed over the Buddha’s relics. The “chhatra,” a parasol-like structure that stood at the top and represented high rank, was meant to honor and protect the artifacts.

Ashoka oversaw the initial construction of this stupa; his wife Devi was a merchant’s daughter from the nearby Vidisha. She was born in Sanchi, and it was also the location of her wedding to Ashoka. Four ornately carved toranas (ornamental gateways) and a railing that encircled the entire construction were constructed in the first century BCE. Bricks were used to build the Sanchi Stupa during the Mauryan era. The composite was in vogue up to the eleventh century.

Distance From Bhopal: 48.7 km

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

As a symbol of social and cultural development, one of the most intriguing tourist destinations near Bhopal demands your attention. You can find the evidence of paintings and artwork from the Paleolithic & Mesolithic periods at the well-known archaeological site of Bhimbetka Rock Shelter, which fascinates visitors. The 750 rock shelters that make up this historical monument are spread over seven hills over 10 kilometers. It is regarded as one of the best caves in Madhya Pradesh because it contains drawings of hunter-gatherers, agricultural methods, and expressions of spirituality that provide a rare view into the prehistoric ages.

Over 750 rock shelters spread over seven hills make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site (6.2 mi). Over 100,000 years ago, at least a few shelters were occupied. The rock shelters and caves offer evidence of a “unique peek” into human settlement and culture development from hunter-gatherers to farmers and prehistoric spiritual manifestations. Several of the Bhimbetka rock shelters have ancient cave paintings, the earliest of which date to the Indian Mesolithic and are thought to be 10,000 years old (about 8,000 BCE). These prehistoric paintings depict various subjects, including animals, early dance and hunting scenes, and later depictions of soldiers on horses.

Distance From Bhopal: 46.3 km

Satpura National Park

Central India is one of the must-see tourist destinations close to Bhopal for those traveling to see the wildlife. Satpura National Park has 524 square kilometers of land. Satpura National Park is a great spot to discover the distinctive central Indian highland ecology. The entire biosphere, including the wildlife refuges at Bori and Pachmarhi, spans 2,200 square kilometers in Madhya Pradesh. The rough landscape of this national park, which is strewn with sandstone peaks and narrow gorges and ravines, is home to animals like the Tiger, Indian Bison, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Peafowls, Crocodiles, and Four Horn Antelope.

The Satpura range inspired the name of the region. It was established in 1981. It encompasses 524 km2 (202 sq mi). Together with the neighboring Bori and Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuaries, Satpura National Park offers 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi) of a rare central Indian highland habitat. The national park’s landscape comprises sandstone peaks, deep ravines, little gorges, and exceptionally rough terrain. There are 300 and 1,352 meters of elevation (984 to 4,436 ft). It has the nearly level plains of Churna and the 1,350-meter-high Dhoopgarh hill (4,430 ft).

Distance From Bhopal: 140 Kms


Around 9 kilometers from Sanchi, in the middle of India, between the Betwa and Bes rivers, is a city called Vidisha. Vidisha was a prominent trading hub between the fifth and sixth centuries BCE, as noted in the Pali literature. This old town is full of historical landmarks, including sculptures, inscriptions, archaeological sites, and ruins, many of which showcase superb Gupta-era art. It is believed to be one of the best weekend trips from Bhopal because it is only an hour from the state capital.

The neighboring river “Bais,” referenced in the Puranas, is whence the name “Vidisha” originates. During the Middle Ages, Vidish served as Bhelsa’s or Bhilsa’s administrative center. In 1904, the tehsils of Vidisha (also known as Bhilsa) and Basoda (though not Basoda State), which were then a part of Gwalior state, were combined to form Bhilsa District. The erstwhile princely state of Gwalior joined Madhya Bharat state, which was established in 1948, following India’s independence in 1947. In 1956, it was renamed Vidisha. As part of the Aspirational District Program, which NITI Aayog introduced in 2018, Vidisha is one of the 112 Aspirational Districts.

Distance From Bhopal: 57.2 km

Best time to visit

October – February

The best time to visit Bhopal is from October to February during the winter. Traveling all across plains would be a great experience because of the temperate weather. From April 9 – June 13 there is a hot season lasting 2.1 months including an average daily temperature of over 98°F. May is indeed the hottest time of the year in Bhopal, with average high temperatures of 104°F and low temperatures of 81°F.
Nearby Hotels To Stay

Nearby hotels to stay

1. The Hubstreet Hotel, Bhopal

2. Hotel Amogh, Madhya Pradesh

3. Hotel Rajlaxmi

4. Hotel TGI Insignia

List of Things to carry

  • Some Skin Care Products
  • A Travel Adapter
  • Travel Underwear
  • Slippers
  • Compression Socks or Tights
  • Disinfecting Wipes

Unique Food Options

  • Sulaimani Chai
  • Poha Jalebi
  • Dal Pakwan
  • Shahi Tukda

Final Words

Forget what you think you know about Bhopal! This captivating city in central India offers a unique blend of historical wonders, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant local culture.

Dive into Bhopal’s Past: Explore magnificent Mughal architecture like the Bhopal Mosque, a smaller cousin of the Taj Mahal. Delve into the mysteries of the ancient Bhoj Shala observatory, an 11th-century marvel of scientific ingenuity.

Embrace Bhopal’s Tranquility: Glide across the serene Upper Lake, one of India’s largest, and soak in the stunning scenery. Explore Van Vihar National Park, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, offering boat rides and lush greenery.

Discover Bhopal’s Soul: Immerse yourself in the bustling bazaars, bargaining for local treasures and indulging in delicious street food. Explore the rich tapestry of tribal art, a unique expression of the region’s cultural heritage.

Bhopal Beyond the Headlines: Unwind in modern cafes and discover Bhopal’s thriving contemporary art scene. Visit the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, a treasure trove of Indian anthropology, or catch a captivating performance at the renowned Bharat Bhavan cultural center.

Bhopal is a city that defies expectations. Come experience its resilience, historical charm, and the breathtaking natural beauty that awaits you in the “City of Lakes.


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