...a fascinating combination of a traditional city, rich in history , and a modern one, with a strong emphasis on urban planning and industrialization. Bhopal is informally divided into two parts – the Old City and the New Bhopal. The Old City (often referred to in Bhopal as just the 'City') is the one built and developed by the Begums of Bhopal.
Tradition assigns to him [Raja Bhoj] the construction of the great lake in Bhopal that once covered the district of Tal. A village near the ancient embankment is called Bhojpur, and the word Bhopal, indeed it is said to be derived from Bhoj pal – pal signifying embankment . After a long reign it is probable that Bhoj died, near the close of the eleventh century.
South of the two lakes, Bhopal is more modern, with wide roads, shopping complexes and upmarket hotels and restaurants nestled comfortably in the Arera and Shamla Hills, which overlook the lakes and the old city beyond. The central district here is known as New Market.
The gas leakage from Union Carbide's plant (UC) in Bhopal, in 1984 is the largest industrial hazard ever experienced in the world . Over 500, 000 were exposed to the gases; between 3000 and 10,000 people died within the first weeks; and between 100,000 and 200,000 may have permanent injuries.
The city of Bhopal that stands today was established by Afghan chief Dost Mohammed Khan during Aurangzeb ’s reign. Dost Mohammed carved out his own small kingdom. Muslim control over the city was sustained until independence, through collaboration with the British .
Bhopal is known as the “city of lakes”; its name is a derivation of Bhoj Tal (“Bhoj’s Lake”), a lake constructed by Bhoj, a Hindu raja , in the 11th century. Today, that lake is the Upper Bhopal Lake (Bada Talab), which is connected to the Lower Bhopal Lake (Chhota Talab) by an aqueduct. The lakes supply drinking water and are used for recreation.
Bhopal is an old town with Moghul past...situated at the centre of India , surrounded by hills, forest and fields...has two large lakes, the Upper Lake and the Lower Lake built 1000 years ago.
...the communalization of Bhopal politics and society remained limited. First the Hindu and Muslim intelligentsia shared one common grievance vis-à-vis the Nawab.
Bhopal grew quickly after independence , especially after the city was made the capital of Madhya Pradesh in 1956
Subsequently, the first democratic Government of Bhopal State headed by Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then youngest Chief Minister of India, became the President of the Republic .
The relative communal harmony reflected forms of tolerance and syncretism symbolized by a practice that is today recalled with nostalgia by the elderly people in Bhopal…Certainly Hindu merchants were interested in communal peace also because their shops were often located in the vicinity of the three mosques of Bhopal, including Taj-ul-Masjid, which became the largest in India at the turn of the twentieth century.
An integral part of old Bhopal culture are the eunuchs , who are intrinsic to the city’s public spaces and can still be seen roaming the streets and joining every major celebration.
The Old Nawabi Jewel [Bhopal], today capital of Madhya Pradesh, brought to mind the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Nizami Hyderabad was the only Muslim state that outsized Bhopal. Both offer a rich built and culinary Nawabi heritage, and both offer glimpses of varieties of food eaten in all the corners of their respective states.
Old Bhopal, like Old Delhi, is a Muslim city and takes its time waking up. Sensibly, its streets are widest awake by 7PM.
Bhopal is a calamity without end...Today, fully a quarter of a century later, victims of this, the world's worst industrial disaster, are still being born.
Neither Union Carbide nor its officials are subject to the jurisdiction of the Indian court since they did not have any involvement in the operation of the plant... The government of India needs to address any ongoing medical and health concerns of the Bhopal people.
Today, Bhopal is synonymous with that disaster - nothing else. All the publicity that's come out of this has been negative against multinationals .
Bhopal was formerly a part of the Bhopal princely state, which was founded in 1723 by D?st Mo?ammad Khan, an Afghan adventurer, and was the second largest Muslim principality of the British Empire. In its struggles with the Marathas , Bhopal was friendly to the British and concluded a treaty with them at the outbreak of the Pindari War in 1817. The Bhopal Agency, created in 1818, was a subdivision of the British Central India Agency and comprised the former princely states of Bhopal, Rajgarh, Narsinghgarh, and several others.
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