Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal District and Bhopal Division. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal state. Bhopal is also known as the Lake City (or City of Lakes) for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is one of the greenest cities in India.
The city attracted international attention after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases including methyl isocyanate on the night of 2/3 December 1984, leading to the worst industrial disaster in history and a loss of thousands of lives. Many more were rendered sick and have been facing chronic health problems such as psychological and neurological disabilities, blindness, skin, vision and breathing disorders and the children, whose parents or even grandparents (i.e. second generation) were exposed to the gas, still suffer of serious birth defects. The soil and ground water near the factory site, has been contaminated by the toxic wastes and other chemicals still leaking from the factory. The Indian government, however, maintains that no such pollution has taken place or that any such toxins are even present at the site. Since then, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by millions from across the globe.
A B-1 class city, Bhopal is an important economic, industrial, educational and political center of the State as well as Central India and houses various institutions and installations of state as well as some of national importance. Some of them include ISRO's Master Control Facility which is the second installation of its kind in the country (the first being at Hassan), an youngest Laboratory of CSIR i.e. the Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI), MANIT, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER Bhopal), School of Planning and Architecture, Indian Institute of Forest Management and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is expected to get completed soon.
Places of interest
A few of the places of interest in Bhopal include
Upper Lake : The largest artificial lake in Asia.
Lake View : A stretch of road on the shore of the great or Upper Lake. It is a popular joint for people of all age groups, especially young. The road continues into Van Vihar National Park. The Boat Club is also located here and national level water sporting events are organized by the club.
Van Vihar National Park : A zoological park with the status of a national park, it is situated south of the Upper Lake.
New Market : A shopping and commercial zone in the city housing a number of eateries, restaurants, cloth shops and showrooms, bakeries, mobile stores etc
Taj-ul-Masajid : It is one of the largest mosque in Asia and is also used as a madrasah
Lal Parade Ground: The independence day and republic day parade are held in this ground. It is also the venue of large gatherings.
Museum of Natural History
Manuabhan ki tekri: A hindu and jain temple, situated on a hill cliff, this place is popular for the scenic views it offers of the city below. A rope-way has been installed and people also have the option to reach the spot on foot.
Libraries: A number of libraries are operational including the regional library and Swami Vivekanand Library (formerly British Library)