Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, is on the northwestern part of the state. Known as the city of lakes, it is dominated by the upper and lower lakes which make it scenically attractive. Formerly known as Bhojapal, the 11th century city was founded by Raja Bhoja, a legendary ruler. Later, the Afghan soldier Dost Mohammad Khan gave the city its present face.
This industrial city houses fine palaces and historic sites. Taj-Ul-Masjid, built by Nawab Shahjehan Begum, is the largest mosque in the city. Tourists can find many lovely destinations here; the significant ones are Government Archeological Museum, Gandhi Bhavan, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and Van Vihar.
Sanchi, about 70 km away, is a Buddhist pilgrimage center treasuring 3rd century BC stupas and monasteries.