Known as the City of Lakes, Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Founded by Raja Bhoj, the city has many natural and artificial lakes and it is one of the greenest cities in the country. Bhopal has retained its old world charm despite industrialization, with the old part of the city being full of narrow alleyways and crammed markets, while the new part of the city is better planned and is full of parks and gardens.
The main cultural center of Bhopal is the Bharat Bhavan which has an art gallery, amphitheater, two other theaters and a tribal museum. Van Vihar National Park, which stands proudly right in the middle of the city, has many species of animals living in their natural habitat. The city was also the site of India’s worst industrial disaster. The Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984 claimed 2,259 lives and left several thousand permanently or partially disabled.
The major industries in the old city are electrical goods, medicinal, cotton, chemicals and jewellery. Other industries include cotton and flour milling, cloth weaving and painting, as well as making matches, sealing wax, and sporting equipment. The residents of Bhopal also engage in large retail businesses and handicrafts. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the largest engineering and manufacturing enterprise in India, has a unit in Bhopal.
The Raja Bhoj International Airport (15 kms away from the city) is located near the suburb of Bairagad and is the primary airport serving the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.
Bhopal lies in the West Central Railway Zone. Considering both North-South and East-West train routes, it is one of the most rail connected cities in India which halts more than 200 daily trains, with a total of more than 380 trains within a week. The main stations of Bhopal are the Bhopal Junction station located in old Bhopal as well as Bhopal Habibganj station located in new Bhopal. The Bhopal Junction station as well as Bhopal Habibganj station are selected along with 47 other railway stations to emerge as “The World Class Railway Station”.