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Places Near Bhopal

Bhopal is a good base for several excursions into the neighbouring area as there are many interesting places near Bhopal.

Islamnagar, the hilltop Palace complex of Dost Mohammed lies just 11 km away, where visitors can see the Chaman Mahal and the two-storied Rani Mahal.

Bhojpur, 28 km southeast of Bhopal is an 11th century Shiva temple built during the reign of Raja Bhoja. Though the temple is incomplete, it is well worth a visit for its enormous size, unusual design features and the massive 2.3 m high lingam.

Bhimbetka is situated 40 km south of Bhopal and here visitors can explore one of the world’s largest collections of painted pre-historic Stone Age rock shelters and cave paintings dating back to 10,000 BC.

Neori, just 6 km is a perfect spot if you are looking for a few hours of R&R, then picnic at away from the city or go fishing at Hathaikheda (10 km).

Sanchi, just two odd driving hours distance from Bhopal (46 km) holds the pride of place as far as getaways from Bhopal are concerned. The roads are reasonably well maintained making the drive pretty pleasant. Sanchi is venerated as the site of the oldest Buddhist Stupa in the world and it also has Buddhist temples, monasteries and pillars dating from the 3rd century BC to 12 the century AD.

Sanchi preserves some fine examples of early Buddhist art and architecture. Even before you reach the actual site, from the road itself the stupas can be glimpsed silhouetted against a pale blue sky. Located on a secluded hill, the site is crowded with a number of stupas, ringed by low walls with entry through four ornate carved gateways. Most of the stupas, chaityas, temples, monasteries and gateways are embellished with frescoes and carvings that depict various incidents in the Buddha’s life as well as his teachings.

Sanchi requires just half a day to see it all but the peace and quiet of this serene place makes visitors stay on and on. To really understand and savour Sanchi, a guide or a good guidebook are imperatives, fortunately, both are available in Sanchi at the Archaeology Departments Museum. The museum, a small three-roomed place has relics and artefacts excavated from in and around Sanchi. Sanchi also has a MPTDC run small hotel for overnight guests and Buddhist scholars.

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