24 hours guide to Bhopal – The city of Lakes
Friends are forever. Some friends are beyond forever. We recently happened to visit the city of lakes Bhopal to attend our beyond forever friend Asmita’s wedding in Bhopal. She is like a kid to us and we as parents have always wanted the best for her. When she broke the news of her wedding ceremony to be held in Bhopal, we started planning for the things to do in the city during our visit. Although we only had 24 hours there we tried to make the best of it and visited some prominent and beautiful places, picturesque lake and historical monuments. This 24 hours guide to Bhopal-The city of Lakes would take you around places and make the most of it in a day.
We reached Bhopal from Lucknow around 8 in the morning. We were going to stay at the Jehan Numa Palace in Bhopal. It feels good when you have a brand take good care of you and Jehan Numa Palace was exceptionally good. Our driver Suraj was 30 mins before time on the station waiting for us to arrive. On arrival, we were greeted by Vandana who also took us on a quick tour of the property. The Jehan Numa Palace is a destination in itself and it can easily be your favorite hangout spot when you are in Bhopal. We shall do a detailed property review on Jehan Numa Palace in our next post. After a quick tour of the property, we freshened up and headed to the wedding destination. This was one of the resorts near Bhopal on the outskirts of the city.
After the initial greetings and attending a few ceremonies we sneaked out post lunch for the places to visit in Bhopal. As it was almost 4 in the evening, the first stop was the famous Raju Tea Stall. Located on the Sultania Road near the Peer Gate in the Sadar Bazar area of Bhopal, Raju Tea Stall is a craze among both the localites and tourists. The shop was flooded with requests of chai-samosa and khasta kachori. The shop lives up to the name and expectations and serves amazing tea with good snack options.
Next up was the Moti Masjid, located at a walkable distance from Raju Tea Stall. The mosque looked like an architectural marvel with the white facade and red towers. Not to mention the peace offered inside a mosque is unmatched. The time skipped an hour while we enjoyed tea and visited the mosque.
We landed up at the Gauhar Mahal after Moti Masjid. Gauhar Mahal is also located in the Peer Gate area of Bhopal and was built in 1860 by Quidisiya Begum, the first queen of Bhopal. The palace got its name as the queen was popularly known as Gauhar. The palace, now in ruins, used to be one of the most beautiful architectures of its time. Even today, this place can be used as a perfect canvas for getting some amazing photoshoots done. The palace is now maintained by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism and has a guard taking care of it all the time.
The Gauhar Mahal is located right opposite the VIP road and the Upper Lake area of Bhopal. Watching the sun go down in the evening from the Gauhar Mahal is definitely a treat to the eyes. We took a walk around the lake during the evening before it became dark and it was time for us to get back to the wedding. We had an amazing time attending our friend’s wedding and we sat through enjoying the different ceremonies of Hindu marriage. The second day started on an early note when we enjoyed our breakfast at the Jehan Numa Palace. The property is so beautifully designed that you can enjoy the horse galloping on the horse track in the backyard while sipping your morning coffee.
Post the breakfast we decided to stay at the property only as they had so many options to enjoy your stay. We enjoyed swimming in the pool, munching at their in-house cafe and enjoying a drink at the bar before the lavish buffet for lunch. We had plans to visit the Van Vihar but could not make it due to the scorching heat. We were advised by the locals that it best to visit the Van Vihar either in the early morning or in the evening when there is a high probability of spotting the animals.
For the first time, we went to a historical place during the same trip, Gauhar Mahal. The palace is so beautiful that one visit wasn’t enough to soak its entire beauty We were lucky this time to get an inside tour of the palace and totally loved it. One of the most Instagrammable places and a perfect pre-wedding shoot destination, this palace tops the list of the places to visit in Bhopal.
After spending good 2 hours at the palace, we again went to the lake, this time for boating. We hired a speedboat to take us far into the lake. The MP Tourism officials have displayed the boating rates clearly at the Boat Club entrance. There are many hotels in Bhopal which are near the boat area and the restaurants in Bhopal near the lake area also offers some good food to be tried.
After a 15 mins speedboat ride at the lake, admiring the sunset, we returned to base. It was time for us to say goodbye to Bhopal and catch our flight from the newly renovated Raja Bhoj International Airport to Delhi. One thing that we noticed during our 1-day stint with Bhopal is that both the Bhopal Tourism and Madhya Pradesh Tourism are putting in a lot of efforts in making the city more tourist friendly. If in case you are visiting Bhopal for more than 1 day, you may also visit the Sanchi Stupa in Sanchi located at a distance of just 50kms from Bhopal. For shopping in the city, you can visit the New Market or the Sadar Bazar in the old city area. For branded shops, you may visit the Bittan Market in the city. We would highly recommend eating at Jehan Numa Palace’s in-house restaurant once to experience the luxury and royalty of this heritage palace.