By Anjali Singh Deswal:
Bhopal is known as one of the greenest cities in India, as it is abundant with forests, beautiful hills and overwhelming landscapes. From a height, you can see a green carpet comprising of trees, grass, climbers, shrubs and other plants that lend an immaculate green sight to Bhopal. Greenery of Bhopal gets a major facelift during the monsoons when the city becomes lush green and adjoining hills come alive with various shades of green engulfed in the mist. But which are the best places to witness the lush greens of Bhopal?
Green Avenues of Bhopal
Van Vihar National Park
This national park is a treat for the nature lovers. It covers an area of about 4.45 km and is rich in its flora and fauna. Many rare species of animals can be viewed in the well maintained zoo. The animals are kept in their natural habitats whereby they stay in open spaces rather than cages or closed enclosures. One has to drive along the Lower Lake to enter the national park, this drive is very scenic. Amidst the thick forest of bamboos, there is a restaurant where tourists can sip a coffee or savor some snacks while enjoying the scenic lake side view surrounded by trees.
- The park remains closed on Tuesdays, so plan your trip likewise.
- Entry fees for Indian tourists are Rs. 15 and for foreign tourists is Rs.150.
- For cameras tourists need to pay an additional Rs.40 and Rs.300 are charged for video camera.
- Taking personal vehicles inside the park will cost you Rs.200.
Upper and Lower Lakes of Bhopal
These lakes are huge and their sights can be enjoyed from various spots along the VIP and Ginnori road. The upper and lower lake of Bhopal is separated by an over bridge. The lakes are surrounded by various types of trees along its banks. Best views of the lakes can be enjoyed while sipping a cup of coffee at CCD or Winds & Waves Café situated besides the lake.
- There are boat rides available.
- There is no specific timing to visit the lakes but is advisable that you visit it during the sunrise and sunset.
Situated in the Raisen district, these rock shelters have earliest traces of human settlement in India. Bhimbetka consists of 600 rock shelters dating back to 5,500-1,000 BC. Adorned with Stone Age rock paintings and unique rock formations, the caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These amazing caves are situated within the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary. Surrounded by lush greenery and covered with dense forests, the caves present a spectacular view during the monsoons.
- It is open from 7 AM to 6 PM.
- There are several Dhabas on the way to Bhimbetka and it is advised that you carry small eats and water when you visit the caves.
Manua Bhan ki Tekri
Manua Bhan ki Tekri or Mahaveer Tekri is an important Jain Temple, which is situated on a hill-top in Lalghatti. One of the major attractions of this temple visit is the wonderful cable car ride. The ride offers panoramic views of the Bhopal city with all its greenery and lakes. The temple is very beautiful with its stone-cut architecture.
- The temple is open from 6:00 AM to 8 PM on all days and so is the cable car.
- Food is not available here so, carry yours.
Though this dam is still quite unknown to the tourists, but it is a walker’s paradise and is often thronged by students and couples taking a stroll. During the monsoons the dam gets filled with gushing water and it is a sight to behold. The adjoining areas are green with rich vegetation.
Drive through VIP Road
Every Bhopalite swears by this, especially during the monsoons. You can either drive in a car or the adventurous ones can go on two wheelers. Do not forget to enjoy ‘challi’ and ‘nariyal pani’ as you make a halt here and see the greens around. There are several chaat vendors along the road and bhelpuri thelaas offer a spicy treat.
So, visit Bhopal this monsoon and enjoy these blissful sights.