Bhopal is a city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. IT IS the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal district and Bhopal division.
Bhopal is known as the City of Lakes
It's one of India’s greenest cities. There are two main lakes, the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake. On the banks of the Upper Lake is Van Vihar National Park, home to tigers, lions and leopards. The State Museum has fossils, paintings and rare Jain sculptures. Taj-ul-Masjid is one of Asia’s largest mosques, with white domes, minarets and a huge courtyard.
A Y-class city, Bhopal houses various institutions and installations of national importance, including ISRO's Master Control Facility and BHEL. Bhopal is home to the largest number of Institutes of National Importance in India, namely IISER, MANIT, SPA, and AIIMS.
Bhopal has been selected as one of the first twenty Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi's flagship Smart Cities Mission  and will be the first smart city of India in coming years. The city has been adjudged as the 21st cleanest city in India.
Acording to folklore, Bhopal was founded in 11th century by the Paramara king Bhoja, who ruled from his capital at Dhar. This theory states that Bhopal was originally known as Bhojpal after a dam (pal) constructed by the king's minister. No archaeological evidence, inscriptions or historical texts support the claim about an earlier settlement founded by Bhoja at the same place, although the Bhojeshwar Temple ascribed to him exists at Bhojpur, which is 28 km from Bhopal. An alternative theory says that the city is named after another king called Bhupala (or Bhupal).
In the early 18th century, Bhopal was a small village in the Gond kingdom. The modern Bhopal city was established by Dost Mohammad Khan (1672–1728), an Afghan soldier in the Mughal army. After the death of the emperor Aurangzeb, Khan started providing mercenary services to local chieftains in the politically unstable Malwa region. In 1709, he took on the lease of Berasia estate and later annexed several territories in the region to establish the Bhopal State. Khan received the territory of Bhopal from the Gond queen Kamlapati in lieu of payment for mercenary services and usurped her kingdom after her death. In the 1720s, he built the Fatehgarh fort in the village, which developed into the city of Bhopal over the next few decades.
Bhopal has an average elevation of 500 metres (1401 ft). Bhopal is located in the central part of India, and is just north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on the Malwa plateau, it is higher than the north Indian plains and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. The city has uneven elevation and has small hills within its boundaries. The prominent hills in Bhopal are Idgah hills and Shyamala hills in the northern region, Katara hills in southern region. City's geography has in it two lakes namely upper lake and lower lake.
Bhopal has a humid subtropical climate, with cool, dry winters, a hot summer and a humid monsoon season. Summers start in late March and go on till mid-June, the average temperature being around 30 °C (86 °F), with the peak of summer in May, when the highs regularly exceed 40 °C (104 °F). The monsoon starts in late June and ends in late September. These months see about 40 inches (1020 mm) of precipitation, frequent thunderstorms and flooding. The average temperature is around 25 °C (77 °F) and the humidity is quite high. Temperatures rise again up to late October when winter starts, which lasts up to early March. Winters in Bhopal are cool, and not very much comfortable like summers, with average daily temperatures around 16 °C (61 °F) and little or no rain. The winter peaks in January when temperatures may drop close to freezing on some nights. Lowest temperature ever recorded was 0.3C. Total annual rainfall is about 1146 mm (46 inches).
Bharat Bhavan is the main cultural centre of the city. It has an art gallery, an open-air amphitheater facing the Upper Lake, two other theatres and a tribal museum.
Diwali and Eid are major festivals in Bhopal. Gifts and sweets are exchanged and donation are made to the poor. Diwali is celebrated by worshiping the wealth goddess Lakshmi. Eid is special to the city as all the Hindus take time out to visit their Muslim friends and greet them and get treated with delicacies, the specialty of the day being sweet sewaiya. Bhopali culture is such that both Hindus and Muslims visit each other on their respective festivals to greet and exchange sweets. During Ganesh puja and Durga Puja (Navratras), idols of Ganesh and Durga are established in jhankis throughout the city. People throng to offer prayers to their deities. At the end of Navratras, on the day of Vijayadashami (or Dussehra), huge effigies of Ravan are burnt in different parts of the city. Some of them are organised by the local administration and stand as tall as 60 feet (18 m).
BHOPAL: When Bhopal was writhing in pain in 1984 owing to the gas tragedy and there was dance of death all over, Odia community sprang into action and joined the rescue operation with full gusto to provide a healing touch to the suffering humanity. The residents of Odia basti, located near Dussehra Maidan, not only provided a timely succour, but also caught the attention of Bhopal residents with their benevolent nature
"The people of the Odia basti did their best to help the victims. Their aid in the rescue operation was commendable," said Dr DK Satpathy. Over time, the community has made the city its home, and have become part and parcel of Bhopal's rich composite culture.
Former director of medico-legal institute Dr DK Satpathy was one of the first Odia community members to come to the city. Turning nostalgic, he said, "I came here way back in 1968. There were just 20 to 22 of us here then."
Now, the city of lakes has become the second home to 1000-odd Odia families. The unmatched weather and beauty of the city was one of the main reasons for the community to come calling to Bhopal. Many of them say that the local climate here keeps them reminding of the pleasant weather in their original homeland -- land of Lord Jagannat
Another major attraction for the community was BHEL which provided a great job opportunity to the educated community that was in search of greener pastures. "Between 2006 and 2008, there was a buzz about recruitment in BHEL. Hence, many people from Sambalpur and Kalahandi and other parts of Odisha came to Bhopal. Today, we are in thousands," said Sanjeeb Nanda.
The community also brought with it the rich traditions of their state and integrated them seamlessly with the local culture. Being a vibrant and dynamic community, it has helped in enriching the society immensely. "In order to help our community members integrated, we organise frequent meetings which traditional Odia sweets and home-made rice vadas," said Arun Kumar Hota, one of the active members of the society. "I have been here for 14 years. Bhopal is now my home. I love the climate of Bhopal. It reminds me of my childhood days in Odisha," he added.
The Odia community has a rich range of cuisines which have also become popular among the local populace. Delicacies like 'chhenapod', 'ambil', 'monda', 'pitha' and 'kheer' continue to titillate the taste buds of Bhopal residents with their unique aroma and flavour. "Odias and Rathyatra are inseparable. I came to Bhopal 15 years back. Every year during sukla paksha, we hold Rathyatra. We prepare anna, dalma, laal bhaji and kheer for Lord Jagannath's bhog," said Arun Ponda, priest of the Jagannath temple near Jawahar Chowk.
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