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How To Reach Bhopal
Bhopal, a city in the central part of India, is also the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Approximately 360 miles to the South of New Delhi, Bhopal has a population of around 1.5 million. Modern Bhopal was built on the original site of the 11th Century Bhojpal which was founded by Raja Bhoj. However, Bhopal thereafter almost disappeared in the 13th century on account of repeated plunder and pillage by the Sultanate of Delhi. The rebirth of Bhopal took place in the early 1700s when it was made the capital of Islamnagar by Dost Mohammed Khan who also constructed a fort in Bhopal. In 1818 the British made Bhopal a princely state.
Today, Bhopal is a beautiful city with its two lakes that dominate it. There are striking palaces and imposing mosques besides excellent gardens and parks. The modern buildings are graceful while the broad avenues give the city a look of modernity. There are different means to get to Bhopal. Bhopal is very well connected by rail, road and air. However, the best way to reach Bhopal is by train if one lives in India and by air from either Delhi or Mumbai if one is a visitor from abroad.
The centrality of Bhopal makes road travel convenient if one were to travel by road to Bhopal from Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata. Therefore, one can drive on the NH 52 and Mumbai-Agra National Highway to cover the 775 km distance between Mumbai and Bhopal. Similarly, NH46 is the highway to follow between Bhopal and Delhi over the 770 km distance. Kolkata is approximately 1385 km by road from Bhopal and the NH19 is the highway to follow.
Bhopal is presently connected by air with a few cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Raipur, Pune and Hyderabad. However, it has no connectivity with either South or East India. The average number of passengers is only around 700. The airport is roughly 15 km from the centre of the city. The airport can be accessed from the city bus stand by using either private cabs or pre-paid taxis. The railway station is 19 km away from the airport and normally taxis are able to cover this distance in 30 minutes.
Bhopal’s railway station is located near Hamidia Road and on account of its geographical location, is very well connected with most of the principal rail stations in the country. It is located on the Main route between Delhi and Chennai. More than two hundred trains halt at Bhopal. Among these are five pairs of Rajdhani Express and two sets of Garibrath Express besides Duronto Express, Shatabdi Express and more than 200 pairs of express trains. One of Bhopal’s stations, Habibganj, is well known for its high standard of cleanliness and is the first railway station in India to be ISO 9001 qualified.
Commuting is no longer a problem in Bhopal that it was at one time. Today there are two excellent bus services in Bhopal. The Bhopal City Link is a local bus service for going around various places in the city. The BRTS Corridor is another network that is now being used for local commutes. Bus travel is now safe, easy and cheap in Bhopal thanks to these red-coloured buses that have low floors and are easy to board. Cabs and car rental services are also available in Bhopal for exploring the city. One can hire Ola cabs for travelling both within and around the city.