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Rajbhavan MP : History of Bhopal City

Bhopal : a city is born

  • Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, came into existence in the 11th century between 1000 and 1055.
    • The illustrious scholar king Bhoj of the Parmara dynasty constructed two beautiful lakes.
    • He then established his capital city around them and named it Bhojpal after himself.
    • This Bhojpal is now known as Bhopal.
    • Gradually the Parmaras declined in power. Consequently, the city was ransacked several times and finally faded away into obscurity.
    • Apart from the lakes, Raja Bhoj also constructed a huge rock temple of Lord Shiva at Bhojpur village, 40 kms from Bhopal.
    • This temple is popularly known as Bhojpur temple.
    • It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and has a 'shivling' over 20 feet high.
    • The temple is today managed by Archeological Survey of India, which has successfully restored some of the original glory of the temple.
    • The temple has earned the title of "Somnath of the East".
    • Close to Bhopal at Bhimbetka are pre-historic caves, discovered in 1957 by the famous archaeologist Shri V.S. Vakankar
    • There are roughly 1000 caves at this site.
    • These caves preserve fascinating paintings dating back to Paleolithic times.
    • Experts have concluded that these are as old as the ones at Pyrenees, an area in France believed to have 10,000-year-old prehistoric caves.
    • Bhimbetka is probably one of the earliest human dwellings.
    • The excavations at Bhimbetka reveal a cultural sequence which has its origin in the late Stone Age and continues upto the early historical period.
    • Today Bhimbetka is a world-famous tourist destination, declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
    • Situated about 46 kms north of Bhopal.
    • It has the unique distinction of having specimens of almost all kinds of Buddhist architectural forms - Stupas, Chaityas, Temples, Monasteries and Pillars.
    • The Sanchi Hill works up in shelves.
      • The lower shelf houses Stupa 2.
      • The middle shelf includes Stupa 1, Stupa 3, a 5th century Gupta temple No. 17 and a 7th century temple No. 18.
      • Finally, the apex of the hill is crowned by a monastery.
    • Sanchi has also been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
    • Needless to say, it is one of the most important pilgrimage centres for Buddhists the world over.

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