Day Trips and Excursions, Bhopal, India: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Bhimbetka boasts pre-historic rock shelters and some of the fines prehistoric cave paintings in South Asia. It is located 45 km south of Bhopal. Bhimbetka caves were discovered accidentally during 1957-1958 by Dr. Vishnu Wakankar, who was an archaeologist. The rock paintings in the caves are over 15000 years of age. Bhimbetka was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The paintings in the cave show the lifestyle of the man belonging to the historic age. The paintings represent various periods from upper Paleolithic to medieval period. The smooth rocks have led some scientists to believe that the area was once under water. Bhimbetka cave paintings have a striking resemblance to those discovered in the Kakadu National Park in Australia, cave paintings of Bushmen in Kalahari Desert and Upper Paleolitchic Lascaux cave paintings in France.
Raisen Fort is located 45 km away from Bhopal. This ancient fort was constructed duting the 6th century. The forst is located on top of a hill and it houses palaces, temples, lakes and ponds. There used to be 84 lakes and ponds; however over the years the number has reduced to 15. The most visited place in the fort is Shrine of Hazrat Peer Fatehullak Shah Baba. The forst has a rich history and has witnessed many battles.
Sanchi is a small village located in the Raisen Distrist. It is located 46 km away from Bhopal. The village is known for its stupas and other Buddhist monuments. The stupas of Sanchi were built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC. The Great Stupa is considered to be the oldest stone structure of India. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Sanchi comes from the Pali word ‘sanch’ which means ‘to measure’. Sanchi used to be a center of wealthy merchants and a busy trading point. Over the years, the merchants of Vidishara, a nearby town, donated a lot money to built the Buddhist monuments. On the other hand, during the Sunga period, Pusyamitra Sunga destroyed the main stupa which was later rebuilt by his son Agnimitra.
Indore is located 169 km away from Bhopal. It is known was the Commercial Capital of Madhya Pradesh. Indore used to be the capital of the Holkars. The city is popular for its history, monumnets, food and bazaars. Rao Nandlal Chaudhary who is the founder of the city, named it as ‘Indrapur’ after Lord Indra, the deity of Indreshwar temple. The city was renamed ‘Indur’ durint the Maratha regime. It was later changed to ‘Indore’during the British era. Indore is one of the fastest growing cities in India and houses the third oldest stock exchange. The city is also an important educational hub. Rangpanchami and Ahilya Utsav are the prime festivals of the city. The main attractions of the city are Patalpani, Kamla Nehru Park, Lal Bagh Palace and Khajrana Ganesh Temple.
Ujjain is located 168 km away from Bhopal. It is regarded as one of the seven savred cities for Hundus. The temple town is also called Ujjayini or Avanti. It is believed that two parts of the Skanda Purana were composed in the city. The main attraction of the city is the Mahakaleshway Temple, which is one of the 12 jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. Lord Krishna received education along with Balarama and Sudama from Maharishi Sandipani here.