After some unforgettable moments in the Bharat Bhavan, we had to move on to our next destination which was the Regional Science Centre, Bhopal which was quite near to the hotel. Since I always carried a literature of the place I wanted to visit, this time it was more informative as I had heard a lot about the center from my friends who were into their last year of Bachelor degree of Science. My footsteps were so fast as if I was late for an appointment or an interview; it was nothing but the excitement of exploring such a renowned place.
Regional Science Centre Bhopal | Image Resource : rscbhopal.gov.in/
The centre was opened by late Shankar Dayal Sharma, the former president of India, in the year 1995 and it was spread in the landscape of 5 acres with lots of greeneries. The surroundings included 266 science exhibits related to light, sound, atmosphere, energy, mechanics, etc. They provided a whole lot of scientific and technological information to the visitors and the students of science. Being a travel person, exploring informative centers and museums have always remained listed in my agenda and so I was overwhelmed with the environment of the center and moved on to undertake this journey which was flocked with worldwide knowledge in most aspects of science. One more thing that surprised me about the centre was the way to accomplish its main objectives of popularizing the role and awareness of science in the common people of rural and urban areas. They even organized science camps, seminars, lectures, exhibitions and other training programs which is a big contribution by them to human welfare and development. While exploring the center I observed that it had collected, preserved as well as restored so many valuable historical objects related to science and fiction in a very organized way so that the visitors can grab knowledge from each and every aspect of science and technology.
Though I am a fashion designer I always have the passion for nature, science, historical and cultural places and the energy to be passionate comes from my daily routine of doing yoga and meditation which added enthusiasm to my lifestyle. After spending a whole day in such an exquisite place like Regional Science Centre, Bhopal I did not know how the clock passed six in the evening and one more remarkable day was added to my travel diary.
From the Taj-ul-Masjid, we had headed towards the Udayagiri caves, Bhopal which was ten kms away from the Vidisha town. So to complete my trip in Bhopal I had made my mind to visit this magnificent cave. It was a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Those caves were the perfect examples of classical Gupta arts. They were carved out in the 4th or 5th century under Chandragupta II of the Gupta empires. Along with Sanchi, it was always recommended to visit Udayagiri. I had hired a car as there were no other means of transportation apart from auto or private vehicles from Sanchi or Vidisha. The auto ride was not that pleasant as the roads were filled with potholes and garbages. The local caretaker took me to the intriguing caves. Udayagiri was also known as the mountain of sunrise and the caves remained open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Udayagiri Caves Bhopal | Image Resource : ravenshawihc.org.in/indian_history_congress.php
The local caretaker who was my guide had charged 100 rupees and he was very knowledgeable about the 20 caves. I had a feeling that maybe I was meeting someone who was from the Gupta era only. To my surprise all the caves were not maintained well and I felt that the higher authorities should seriously take some measure to conserve that heritage site. The vandalism that the tourists made in the caves by carving their mortal names on these immortal stones disappointed me. A few of the caves were closed for maintenance issues.
The most remarkable was the Narasimha sculpture which was gigantic but due to the railings, I couldn’t take the perfect pictures. Only the caves 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 13 were shown to the tourists. The most unique feature and the specialty of Udayagiri caves, Bhopal could be seen in the cave 8. There was a passage which consisted of a cleft in the rock or a canyon which was the eye catcher. The oldest recorded Ganesha figurine was in cave number 6. The caretaker told that it would atleast take one whole week to discover the beauty of theses caves. I was very delighted after hearing the historic tales about the Gupta dynasty and I felt that the pages of history was coming alive.
Manuabhan Ki Tekri Bhopal | Image Resource : famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.in/2011/06/bhopal-madhya-pradesh.html
Manuabhan Ki Tekri Bhopal : Culture and history is one of the first things that I wish to learn about the place I am visiting. MP being full of historic places, I was stunned upon the sight of Manuabhan ki Tekri Bhopal. Situated atop a hill, the lovely structure is a famous place of worship for Jain devotees. Apart from the spiritual quotient, I loved this monument for its exquisite architecture and panoramic views.
After spending some memorable moments in Van Vihar, we had decided to take some rest and accordingly headed towards the hotel we had booked. Sophistication accompanied by elegance this is what perfectly describes Hotel Lake View Ashok, Bhopal. I had booked the rooms online and was completely delighted after seeing that they provide all the amenities they had mentioned online. After a tiring journey when I was warmly welcomed with the delightful faces on the hotel, my body got charged up again.
Hotel Lake View Bhopal | Image Resource : indiamike.com/india/madhya-pradesh-f36/hotel-in-bhopal-t31363/
The hospitality was remarkable and they provided a stress free slumber to the visitors. I chose this particular hotel as it was situated at the heart of Shamla hills. Many of the tourist attractions were at a very close vicinity to this hotel which included Udaygiri, Museum of the Man, Bharat bhavan, Bhimbetka, Sanchi and many others. As soon as I entered, I had fallen in love with the interior of the hotel. The spiral staircase gave an antique feel and it resembled like one of the classic Hindi movie’s set. From gymnasium to spas one could just relax and pamper themselves with any of the services. I refreshed myself by diving into the crystal clear waters of the swimming pool. For the corporate people the conference hall was perfect to make any business deal successful. There were three conference halls named Conclave, Deliberations and Falaknuma to meet any corporate needs. They were very well furnished with projectors also.
Lobby in Hotel Lake View Ashok Bhopal | Image Resource : lakeviewashok.com/page.php?link=accommodation
Room in Hotel Lake View Ashok Bhopal | Image Resource : lakeviewashok.com/page.php?link=accommodation
After dining at the rooftop restaurant named Chinatown and filling my tummy with yummy delicacies I progressed to my bedroom. There was also bar stocked with spirits and wines. There were 43 rooms broadly categorized into Deluxe and Suites rooms. My suite had a private balcony which faced the beautiful Upper lake of Bhopal. The room had Wi-Fi internet connection, tea maker to meet my hourly needs of tea, LCD TV and a mini bar. The bathroom gave 24 hours hot service. There was no tension of washing the clothes as they provided laundry services also. Doctors were also available for emergency situations and the parking was completely free. They provided world class service and hospitality. Hotel Lake View Ashok, Bhopal was just the perfect place which I was looking for and it had kept all the promises.
The next spot on our schedule was the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. This was another important place that we visited. This Museum of Man, as it is also known, is located in the Shamla Hills area of Bhopal. The story of evolution of mankind over the years has been depicted very beautifully in this museum. Anyone visiting the museum will have the basic idea about how the evolution took place gradually over a long period of time. A lot of visitors were there in the museum, a lot of them being school students. They had been brought on an educational trip from their schools. This was a very good initiative and today’s children must be encouraged to know about the past.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya Main Gate | Image Resource : igrms.wordpress.com/category/tribal-art/
There were a number of exhibitions going on and we went over to the first one. It was an open air exhibition on Tribal habitat. The different kinds of habitats of the tribal people were displayed very beautifully in the exhibition. We also saw the exhibition on Traditional Technology Park where traditional methods of implementing technology to good use was displayed. Here again I took a lot of photos. The Himalayan Village exhibition was another notable one that we visited. It beautifully demonstrated the lifestyle of the people of that region. The aesthetics and cultural traditions of the people of each region were demonstrated with much finesse. The maintenance of the place was of international standard as the staffs worked really hard to keep the place clean. There were guides who were explaining the visitors about the significance of each stall.
I was very pleased to visit this place. Being a fashion designer I like to create a fusion of the different traditional costumes of each place. The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal was a very good initiative from its founders and did a lot to create awareness among the common people about the customs of different places of our country. It also demonstrated the evolution of the people over the years and how they have adapted to the changing demands of the day. The Van Vihar National park was our first destination the next day.
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Bhopal | Image Resource : famousindiantouristplaces.blogspot.in/2012_01_22_archive.html
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Bhopal : When in MP, I made sure to pay a special visit to the Buddhist monuments at Sanchi, Bhopal. This place successfully connected me with that era when the rule of Emperor Asoka was prevalent. It was commissioned in 3rd century BC and has a beautiful layout with pillars and dome-like structure. Legend has it that the monument is built over the relics of Buddha.
The next morning, we had decided to leave early as we had plenty of destinations to cover in a single day. We began with the Taj-ul-Masjid Bhopal which was one of the largest mosques in Asia. As soon as I had visited the mosque on the bus I heard from one of the shopkeepers that there was a saying that was “Masjidon main masjid, Taj-ul-Masjid.” The market gave a very typical Indian bazaar ambiance and there were a variety of colorful things sold in the shops. From the bangles to mementos everything was there.
The mosque was a peaceful, calm and serene one. Silence was strictly observed for Almighty. The mosque was a manifestation of one woman’s dreams, wishes and desires. The architecture was antique and it gave a great feeling when I touched the walls of the masjid. Sultan Shah Jahan Begum wanted to lay the foundation of this magnificent monument in Bhopal. She was reigning there in the 18th century. It was her desire to bring all the Muslim countrymen under one roof during the Fridays. She believed that the larger the number of worshippers, the more love, affection benevolence Almighty would shower on her dynasty.
Taj-ul-Masajid Bhopal | Image Resource : propertydirection.com/295bhopal/taj-ul-masajid-bhopal/337/
The serene ambiance brought inner peace to my mind and soul. Muslim women were not permitted to enter mosques so there were only Muslim men and tourists around. The guide said that around five lakhs people used to gather during religious occasions. The architecture was very well constructed and it resembled a lot like the Badshahi mosque which was in Lahore.
Before entering the mosque everyone was supposed to follow some strict dress codes. Men were supposed to cover their heads and women also. No short dresses were allowed inside the mosque. After entering the mosque everyone was supposed to perform wuzu at a very large tank which was located in the heart of the courtyard. The water felt blissful and calm in the face. This method was practiced so that every mortal soul entered with a clean body, heart and soul. The ceilings were decorated with ornate architectures. The visit to the Taj-ul-Masjid Bhopal was memorable as it was different from the temples of my religion. The visit to this mosque had brought inner peace to me.
The first spot on our schedule for the tour was Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Bhopal. This was one of the most important tourist spots in the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a testimony to the long history of mankind. As a lover of history, I was really looking forward to visiting this place. The fact that an international organization of the stature of UNESCO had given recognition to this site underlies the importance of this place. We started early from our hotel after having a quick breakfast. The hotel staffs had made the car bookings for our trip. The car had arrived on time and we set off for our destination.
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Bhopal | Image Resource : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhimbetka_rock_shelters
The place was rich with forests and natural resources. Thick vegetation was covering the entire archaeological site. It felt kind of eerie being in this place. I started taking a lot of photos with my newly bought camera. A lot of tourists were visiting the place. Among them there were a lot of foreigners as well. We saw the rock tortoise which is a famous spot in this site. The natural formation was very amazing to watch. We entered the cave. This was a memorable part of the whole journey. The beautiful rock paintings welcomed us into the cave. It was really amazing to see the artistic genius of the human beings who inhabited this place thousands of years ago.
Rock Tortoise Bhopal | Image Resource : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhimbetka_rock_shelters
The rock paintings were studied by a lot of researchers extensively. They have classified the paintings depending on which era they belong to. There were a lot of animal paintings. The paintings belonged to the Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Historic and medieval time periods. I kept taking a lot of pictures continuously. This was a lifetime experience and I had to keep it in my album.
It was a very good trip to Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Bhopal. We all enjoyed ourselves to and from the site. The historic importance of the site and the wonderful paintings on the cave made our journey totally fruitful. The next spot on our tour schedule was the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. We started our journey towards it.
Birla Mandir Bhopal | Image Resource : sikkim.windhorsetours.com/sights_view.php?country=india&placeid=1102
Birla Mandir Bhopal : It was second day of my Bhopal trip and as planned, I spent it looking around temples and worship places in the city. The Birla Mandir Bhopal was one of the first temples I made my stopover at. Built by the prestigious Birla family, this one is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. Along with spiritual attainment, the beautiful temple provides an exotic panoramic view, worth capturing in cam!
It is very important for a fashion designer to take a break every once in a while. The creative juices tend to flow better after coming back from an enjoyable trip. This is why I grabbed the opportunity to go to a trip to Bhopal with my friends. We were all very much charged up for the journey. The preparations had been completed by the previous day of the journey and we packed in all our woollen garments. It was winter and we expected the weather to be quite cold in Bhopal. We left for the station early. Our plan was to travel in 2 routes, first started our journey from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur by jsm ju express. We booked our hotel at Indana palace Jodhpur and then continued our journey from Jodhpur to Bhopal by Ju puri Express
Jsm Ju Express | Image Resource : rajasthanforyou.wordpress.com/tag/new-trains-between-howrah-and-jaisalmer/
My train travel from Jaisalmer to Bhopal via Jodhpur promised to be an enjoyable one. We boarded the Jsm Ju Express which would take us to Jodhpur. From there we had a connecting train to Bhopal. The Jsm Ju Express left Jaisalmer at 11:30 pm. We settled in our seats for the night and quickly fell asleep. The next morning we were awake early in the morning. The train reached Jodhpur early in the morning the next day. We had to stay there for some time in a hotel as the connecting train was in the afternoon. The Indiana Palace Hotel was our stop at Jodhpur to take a bit of rest and refresh ourselves. The five-star accommodation had all the facilities that a world class hotel has. The staffs were very caring and took great care of us. We had our breakfast in the cafeteria of the hotel. We booked a room for a day and refreshed ourselves.
Indiana Palace Hotel Jodhpur | Image Resource : indanahotels.com/accommodation/
After having a sumptuous lunch at the buffet set up by the hotel we started for the station. The ju puri express was scheduled in the afternoon. The train was already there at the platform when we reached. We settled down for the rest of the journey. The remaining journey was a smooth one. My train travel from Jaisalmer to Bhopal via Jodhpur came to an end. It was a very enjoyable one as we played cards and listened to music. The start to the trip paved the way for the remainder of the tour.