Enriched with historical elements, Bhopal never seems to disappoint me.
For years I have heard stories of a secret city hidden in the upper lake, the magnificence of castles and inscription of heritage in caves. The curious bug inside me always dreamt of diving deep into the lake and seeing the hidden city.
I have spent 17 years in Bhopal and never really realised the beauty of this place until I dipped my feet in the cold water of Sheetal Das Ki Bagiya, waves hitting my skin and in that silence, I saw beauty all around me. It’s strange how we live our lives wandering around the bustling spaces and never really sit down and actually admire the beauty of quiet places.
Bhopal is painted in shades of green and blue, perfectly justifying its name “The City Of Lakes”.
Vedic City Underwater
Bhopal welcomes its guests with the charm of a long, magnificent lake called the “Upper Lake” or “Bhojtal”. As a child, the upper lake was the center of my curiosity. Some say there is a city underneath the lake, and some say that there is a big castle with hidden treasure.
My aunt used to say that in her times, when the water was clear, people could see stony structures underneath the water. Hills surround the lake in the form of an arc.
Sitting in Sheetal Das Ki Bagiya, seeing the water reflect each colour of the dipping sun, I have seen the most beautiful sunsets.
And when the sky darkens, sparkling city lights reflecting from the water make a breathtaking view, hard to miss.
Life always thrives in Gohar Mahal. When I drive past this confluence of Hindu and Mughal art, I see life in this 200 years old artwork.
Numerous events are organised here to embrace handicrafts, but Gohar Mahal is more to me than what meets the eye of a visitor.
The stories of Kudsia Begam, also known as Gohar Begam, and her Mahal fills my mind every time I enter this place.
My mother told me how a room in this Mahal was made with some strange material (asbestos), which makes the whole room glow in the dark when a candle is lit. There are stories of a secret cave that leads from this Mahal to Raisen Fort, which is 45 km away from Bhopal.
Begam also built herself a room of mirrors, with different shapes of mirrors on the roof, walls and doors. Some also say the Begam could see the whole city from her Mahal.
Being a Bhopali, my childhood was filled with these mysterious and enchanting stories. Over the years, many researchers have confirmed that the stories are indeed true.
My curiosity bug has now perceived the truth of these stories, which makes Bhopal more lively and interesting to me.
Image Sources: Google Images
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