Deficiency Study of Bhopal as Tourist Destination
1.10. Places of Tourist Interest :
This is the largest mosque in the country. The building of this mosque was begun by Shah Jehan Begum (1868-1901) but was incomplete on her death and was completed only after 1971. The most impressive features of the mosque are its main hall with inter-arched roof, broad facade, spacious courtyard, and smooth marble flooring.
Jama Masjid is located at the centre of chowk bazar, a busy business centre of Bhopal.This was built in 1837 by Kudsia Begum. This Masjid was completed in 24 years. To built this masjid , an amount of Rs. 60.5 lakhs was spent. This beautiful mosque has gold spikes in the minarets of this beautiful mosque.
Moti Masjid is architecturally akin to Jama Masjid in Delhi. It was built in 1860 by the Sikandar Jehan Begum daughter of Kudsia Begum (Sikandar Jehan).
Shahjahan Begum got it built on about five acres of land . This area is known as idgah hills. Muslim devotees offer their prayers on ID and other occasions.
* Upper Lake
One thousand years ago ,Bhopal lake was built by late parmar king Bhoj known as Upper lake. There is a saying that once king Bhoj suffered from skin disease. All vaidya's failed to cure him. One day a saint told king Bhoj to build a tank to combine 365 tributaries and than have a bath in it to wipe out the skin disease. As per saints version, king Bhoj called upon his engineers to build up a huge tank. They spotted a place near river Betwa, which was 32 K.M. away from Bhopal. When this was measured , it was found that it has only 359 tributaries . A Gond Commander Kalia fulfilled this shortage. He than gave the address of an invisible river. After merging the tributaries of this river the number 365 was completed. The Upper lake is divided from the Lower by an over bridge and is six sq. km. in area. There are facilities for exciting trips by sail, paddle, and motor-boats.
* Birla Mandir
Birla Mandir is situated at the highest point of Bhopal, atop area Hills. Birla Mandir not only provides a spiritual experience but also a panoramic view of the breath taking picturesque city of Bhopal. It is a place where one can have an overview of the entire Bhopal city. The temple has a museum attached to it where there is a rich collection of sculptures from Raisen, Sehore, Mandsaur, and Shahdol districts of Madhya Pradesh.
* Shaukat Mahal & Sadar Manzil
Shaukat Mahal is situated at the entrance to the Chowk area in the heart of the city. It was designed by a Frenchman, said to be descendant of the Bourbon kings of France. Shaukat Mahal is an architectural marvel and a cynosure of all eyes. Sadar Manzil is the, Hall of public audience of the former rulers of Bhopal.
* Bharat Bhawan
Bharat Bhawan is one of the most unique national institutes in India. This is a centre for the performing and visual arts. Bharat Bhawan is designed by the renowned architect Charles Currier. There are a museum of the arts, an art gallery, a workshop for fine arts, a reparatory theatre, indoor and outdoor auditoria, rehearsal room, and libraries of Indian poetry, classical and folk music.
* Manav Sangrahalaya (Museum of Man kind)
An open-air exhibition of tribal house types located on Shamla Hills. The exhibition highlights the architectural features and has elaborately displayed interiors. The surroundings have been reconstructed to match some of the interesting environmental features of tribal villages. The habitat is open every day except on Mondays and national holidays from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.
* Fish Aquarium
It is situated near Raj-Bhavan and old assembly hall. It came into existence on 31st May,1977. Covering one hectare area fish house is built in fish like structure. It attracts visitors a lot. Fish house is a double storey structure. Upper portion has forty glass aquariums, where various species of living and colorful fishes can be seen. In the Fish house you can see Golden Shark,paradise blue,Rosy Barb,King Kobra,Golden plata,Golden Gormi, Tiger Barb,Black Moor and King Zebra.
In the lower section are 26 big aquariums. Here is kept collection of fishes brought from state and national lakes,rivers and ponds,Among these can be seen Rohu, Katla, Mirgal, Sawal, Padin, Collet, Ticto, Pencil-Fira and Bam fish. Fish hose is open for visitors from 1st April to 30th Sept from 1.00 PM to 8 PM and from 1st October to 31st March from 12.00 PM to 7 PM.
* Lower Lake
The history of this lake is about two hundred years old. This was built by Chote Khan, A minister in the kingdom of Nabab Hayat Mohd. Khan in the year 1794. Before construction of this lake, there were many wells, which were used to draw water for agricultural and other purposes. But after the construction of the tank all wells merged in this lake. The smaller lake is spread over an area 7.99 square kilometer. A Century and half ago the tank was maximum 11.7 meters and minimum 6.16 meters deep.
* Regional Science Centre
This is a science museum located on the picturesque Shyamala Hills. This centre houses about 300 science exhibits in 'Invention' and 'Fun Science' galleries. 'Taramandal' and Planetarium at the centre helps the students and enthusiasts study the astral and mysterious world of stars, galaxies and the universe. Stargazing sessions are organized at the planetarium for those who want to have a real close view of these luminous bodies.
* Gufa Mandir
The famous temple is located near Lalghati. It is said that Late Baba Narayandas founded it in the year 1949. In the large campus of mandir, beautiful idols of Lord Shiva ,Ram – Laxman, Sitaji,Goddes Durga and Hanuman are built. People and devotees from different places come for darshan everyday. A sanskrit college is also located in the campus.
* Van Vihar
It is the center of attraction for local as well as foreign tourists which is located on a hill near to upper lake in natural surroundings. Wide spread lake water, turning roads,sweet murmurs of birds on the trees,cold waves, peaceful atmosphere and the natural beauty of van vihar give a lot of self enjoyment. Van Vihar is spread over an area of 445 hectares. There are many wild animals like Tiger,Leopard,Panther are a treat to watch.
* Khatlapura Mandir
Shri Ram temple is situated near lower lake and district Commandant office. It was built 150 years ago. Beautiful idols of Lord Ram , Laxman, Sitaji,Goddes Durga , Sitla Mata, Lord Ganesh, Saibaba, Lord Shankar sitting on Nandia attract lot of devotees and visitors. A fare is held every year on Dol-Gyaras.
* Capital's Park
Park's beauty attract tourists. In Bhopal, Main parks are Kamla park,Vardhman park, Kilol park, Karishma Park, Yadgare Shahjahani park, Neelum park, Naunihal park, Ekant park, Chinar park and Nandan park. During evening these parks are visited by by citizen's of the localities.
* BHEL Township
The sprawling industrial town of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) spread over 19.56 sq. kilometer and having a population of about 1.5 lack, has a quaint charm of its own. This modern township has been maintained with excellent amenities for residential quarters,shopping centres, hospitals, schools, colleges, parks, clubs etc.
1.11. History :
Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmara King Bhoj (1000–1055), who had his capital at Dhar. The city was originally known as Bhojpal named after Bhoj and the dam 'pal') that he is said to have constructed to form the lakes surrounding Bhopal. During British Raj, Bhopal was ruled by Nawabs and Begums. After independence it was one of the last princely states to sign the 'Instrument of Accession' 1947.
Though India achieved Independence in August 1947, the ruler of Bhopal acceded to the Indian government only on May 1, 1949. Sindhi refugees from Pakistan were accommodated in Bairagarh, a western suburb of Bhopal.
According to the States Reorganization Act in 1956, Bhopal state was integrated into the state of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhopal was declared as its capital. The population of the city rose rapidly.
Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is a fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, old historic city and modern urban planning. It is the 11th century city Bhojpal, founded by Raja Bhoj, but the present city was established by an Afghan soldier, Dost Mohammed (1707-1740). His descendants build Bhopal into a beautiful city.
The two lakes of Bhopal still dominate the city, and are indeed its nucleus. Bordered along their shores stand silent sentinels that testify to the growth of the city. Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its marketplaces and fine old mosques and palaces still bears the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers, among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices. It is greener and cleaner than most cities in the country.
1.12. Rail, Road & Air Connectivity :
A. Air: Bhopal is connected by regular Air flights to Mumbai, Indore, Delhi. Airport is 15 km from the city center.
B. Rail: Bhopal is on one of the two main Delhi to Mumbai railway lines and also on the main line to the southern state capitals of Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Thiruvananthpuram. There are direct trains to Amritsar and Jammu Tawi and also to major towns in Madhya Pradesh.
C. Road: There are extensive bus services (private and state) to cities within the region and interstate. National Highway 12, (Beora-Jabalpur road) passes through the city, which link the city to many large cities in north-west and south-east. The State Highway No. 18 passes through Bhopal which connects the city to Vidisha.
2.2 District Map
III URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
3.1. HOTELS :
The capital lacks sufficient number of luxury and budget hotels to suffice the increasing demand for rooms. The total number of premium, moderate and budget hotels is only 12 in Bhopal. The city encompasses a hotel association comprising of 11 members.
No. of Hotels: (Association) : 11
Approx. No. of low category hotels : 400
* Name Hotel Noor-us-sabah
Location VIP Road Koh-e-fiza, Bhopal
Category Heritage Classic
No. of rooms A/c 57 Non A/c
Tariff Rs. 3200 to Rs. 12500
* Name Hotel Jehan Numa Palace
Location 157, Shymala Hills, Bhopal
Category Heritage Grand
No. of rooms A/c 98 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 2299 to Rs. 5399
* Name Hotel Lake View Ashok
Location Near Upper Lake
Category 3 Star
No. of rooms A/c 43 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 2200 to Rs. 5000
* Name Hotel Palash Residency
Location T.T. Nagar, Bhopal
Category 3 star
No. of rooms A/c 33 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs.1790 + Tax to Rs. 2990 + Tax
* Name Hotel Residency
Location MP Nagar Zone I, Bhopal
Category 4 star
No. of rooms A/c 46 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 1965 to Rs. 5865 + Tax
* Name Hotel Amer Palace
Location MP Nagar Zone I, Bhopal
Category 3 Star
No. of rooms A/c 57 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 1695 to Rs. 3995
* Name Hotel Surendra Palace
Location MP Nagar Zone I, Bhopal
Category 3 star
No. of rooms A/c 47 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs.1795 to Rs. 3995
* Name Hotel Arch Manor
Location M.P. Nagar
Category 3 Star
No. of rooms: A/c 31 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 1488 to Rs. 3950
* Name Hotel Nisarga
Location MP Nagar Zone I, Bhopal
Category 3 star
No. of rooms A/c 38 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 1450 to Rs. 3495
* Name Hotel Ranjit Lake View
Location Near Upper Lake View
No. of rooms A/c 20 Non A/c 00
Tariff Rs. 1400 to Rs. 2200
* Name Motel Kwality Shiraz
Location Board Office Sq. Bhopal
No. of rooms A/c 11 Non A/c 07
Tariff Rs. 500 to Rs. 1050
Total no. of rooms available at premium hotels :277 Rooms
Total no. of rooms available at budget hotels : 211 Rooms
3.1.1. Deficiency Observed: Insufficient Accommodation
There are six three-star hotels, one four-star hotel, one heritage grand and one heritage classic hotel in the city. The luxury hotels of the Capital offers only 277 rooms, while budget hotels offer 211 rooms. The total number of rooms available is much less than that required. The city, being the state and administrative capital and nearby to most of the tourist destinations is the major stay & transit hub of visitors and lack of sufficient accommodation is a major set back to the tourism in the state.
3.2. RESTAURANTS /CAFETERIA :
Except for the four mentioned below, Bhopal lacks luxury restaurants/fast food centers offering good ambience, variety food and quality services. The city also does not have any branded fast food center.
a) Name Café Coffee Day
Location Bittan Market, Bhopal
b) Name Amer Bakery Hut
Location Bittan Market, Bhopal
c) Name Rice Bowl
Location Mansarovar Complex, Hoshangabad Rd, Bhopal
d) Name Amer Green
Location Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal
3.2.1. Deficiency Observed
Lack of sufficient cafeteria/restaurants/fast food centers offering variety of quality food/snacks and good ambience. The city is devoid of branded fast food outlets like 'Mc Donald' or 'Pizza Hut', etc.
3.3. PARKING FACILITY & TRAFFIC CONDITION:
Proper parking facility is essential for the smooth flow of traffic. Insufficient parking facility in the city has resulted in on-street parking of the vehicles causing haphazard traffic and traffic congestion. The situation is worse at Old Bhopal city, New Market, M.P. Nagar, Bittan market and 10 No. market.
3.3.1. Deficiency Observed
Lack of proper parking facility and proper regulations to remove encroachments is causing haphazard traffic in the capital and grave inconvenience to the visitors. It is also leading to traffic congestions, specially in the Old Bhopal area, M.P. Nagar, Bittan Market, 10 No. market, New Market, Old Bhopal, etc.
3.3.2. Projects Proposed & Under Implementation
Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has submitted proposal for construction of Developing parking facility at old Bhopal M.P. Nagar, Bittan Market, 10 No. Market.
3.4. SIGNAGES AND HOARDINGS :
Signages and hoardings, besides helping the visitors in locating and knowing the place, build the image perception of the city in the minds of visitors. Bhopal, being the capital of the state and connecting link for most of bigger cities of the country by rail, encounters huge inflow of visitors. These visitors could be attracted to Bhopal and nearby destinations. But lack of sufficient signages about location; and city map at Railway station and bus terminal and airport showing the tourist destinations of nearby locations is the reason for not attracting the attention of tourists.
3.4.1. Deficiency Observed
There are no signages and hoardings on hygiene and cleanliness as well as about the tourist destinations of the city. There is no display of the city map with tourist destinations in Bhopal and nearby places at Bus terminal, Railway Station & Airport.
3.5. PRESERVATION, CONSERVATION, MAINTENANCE & BEAUTIFICATION OF HISTORICAL MONUMENTS:
Preservation, conservation and beautification of the historical monuments is vital in tourism. Bhopal is the city of kings and emperors and has a rich history, which need to be preserved and showcased to the world. But many monuments in the city go unattended and the places are not maintained and no beautification or developmental activities are undertaken.
3.5.1. Deficiency Observed
The historical monuments are not properly beautified and maintained. One can find garbage dumps everywhere in the city. The city is also deficient in signages, information leaflets at sites, guides, etc. There is no provision for night lighting of the monuments for augmenting the night tours.
3.6. PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES :
Pedestrian facilities are one of the important components of the urban infrastructure. It not only gives the pedestrian space to walk, but also safeguard him in the high traffic.
3.6.1. Deficiency Observed
The city lacks pedestrian facilities on almost all the streets and roads except for the Link road.
3.7. ROADS :
Roads are the lifeline of the city as well as the tourism. Roads play crucial role in building the image of a place and changing the perception about it. Poor quality of roads make the journey difficult and tiresome, leaving the visitor in doldrums about the place. The condition of roads in the city is pathetic. The condition of roads connecting the capital city to other cities, specially Indore and other approach roads is even worse.
3.7.1. Deficiency Observed
The approach roads to the city and the internal roads of the city are in very bad shape. The condition of roads outside bus stand and railway station and in front of 'Parayavas Bhawan' (important government office building), etc are in pathetic condition and needs immediate attention. If nothing is done immediately to improve the condition and durability of roads, it is going to cause irreparable loss to the tourism. Absence of functional hierarchy of road network as a result there is inter-mixing of local traffic with long distance traffic. Absence of corridor development in the city has resulted in high traffic congestion. Narrow roads, insufficient road length and inability to remove encroachments from roads is hindering the growth of tourism in the city.
3.8. DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS COMPLEX/CONVENTION CENTERS/OTHERS :
One of the easy ways to highlight a city on national or international map is to conduct and host national and international level sports and business activities there. This automatically helps develop other infrastructure in the city and promote tourism. It also helps in creating many employment opportunities.
The only permanent exhibition ground in the city is 'Bhopal Haat', which do not have enough space to host conventions/exhibitions of national and international level because of its limited capacity.
3.8.1. Deficiency Observed
The city lacks any world-class sports complex or convention/exhibition center.
3.9. AVAILABILITY OF LEAFLETS/PAMPHLETS :
Attractive printed leaflets providing reliable information are not available at the tourist sites and are available only at the hotels of MP Tourism or with some hawkers.
3.9.1. Deficiency observed
Non-availability of the attractive leaflets/pamphlets about the monuments at the sites.
3.10. SOUVENIR/HANDICRAFT SHOPS :
Handicraft/souvenir shops are favorite shopping places of tourists as he wants to take home the sweet memories of the place. The city has 'Mrignayani Emporiums' (Government handicraft showrooms) at various locations in the city.
3.10.1. Deficiency Observed
Apart from the government handicraft emporiums, there are no private handicraft/souvenir shops near the monuments. Most of the government emporiums near the monuments remain closed only.
3.11. GUIDES :
Guides make the visit to historical monuments very elating by narrating the history and stories. Guides are absolutely vital as they are the ambassadors of the tradition/culture and history of the sites. But unfortunately the city is devoid of guides
3.11.1. Deficiency Observed
There is no association or office of the guides in the city. The number of registered guides in the city is also very discouraging and their availability is a bigger problem. The guides could be contacted only through the tourist Reception Centre or Tourist Office of M.P. Tourism.
3.12. ENTERTAINMENT CENTRES :
Entertainment activities, clubs, theme parks, recreation clubs, evening entertainment zones, discotheques, etc. add lust to the city and are necessary for development of any destination as tourist destination.
3.12.1. Deficiency Observed
Though the city is capital of the state, it lacks the entertainment activities/centers. There are no theme parks, fun parks, night entertainment activities. Bhopal is also the transit and stay hub of tourists as for visiting the nearby places, they place themselves in the city itself.
3.13. TRANSPORTATION :
Transportation plays a vital role in the city. It is the first component of image perception about the urban infrastructure of the city. At present 39 Bhopal city Link buses are operating in the city for urban transportation.
3.13.1. Deficiency Observed
The Urban area has many missing links, which affect the mobility of the city in terms of circulation and traffic flow. Narrow road network with restricted capacity particularly in the central area results in congestion and loss of productivity.
Many of the roads though have large right of way, their efficiency is not fully utilized due to incomplete road sections.
* Only 28% of the network has more than 8m carriage way
* It was seen that links falling on a continuous corridor do not have similar carriageway widths thus creating intermittent bottlenecks.
* 83% of the road network doesn't have medians, which affect the flow.
* Only 7% of the network has the facility of service roads to segregate through traffic and
* Local traffic.
* Only 55% of the network has facility of Street lights
* Large number of roads with large traffic flow lack in the facilities such as footpaths and signages, which is a threat to road safety. The mobility of the traffic is also retarded due to the numerous junctions with high traffic intensity, Heavy vehicle turning movements and lack of channelisation of the traffic. Parking is a major issue in the city of Bhopal because of high demand of parking due to concentrated commercial activities in the central area
* On street parking reduces the effective road width available for the movement of traffic. Regional transport network has the bus terminals in the densely developed areas causing traffic congestion. The transport terminals lack in the facilities.
* There are no proper bus stops and even if there are some, buses never stop there.
* There is no organized truck terminal facility in the Study Area. Generally within the study area trucks are parked in Bairagarh, Gandhi Nagar, Khaji Khera, Subhash Nagar, Nishatpura besides the old city areas.
3.14. TOUR OPERATORS & TRAVEL AGENTS :
The number of IATA recognized travel agents and tour operators in the city is very less. The travel agents operating in the cit are:
* Name Air Aman Travels
Address MF 16, Mezzanine Floor, Mansarovar Complex, Opp.Habibganj
* Name Air Horizon Travels
Address 104, Hamza Mansion, Opposite Old Taj Market
* Name Indus Holidays & Tours (I) Private Limited
Address 74, Kochhar Arcade, Zone II, M.P. Nagar
* Name Midland Travels Private Limited
Address Reliable House, A-6, Koh-e-Fiza, Indore Road
* Name Progressive Tours & Travels Private Limited
Address 168, Mezzanine Floor, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Zone II
* Name Garuda Travels
Address D-7, Koh-e-Fiza
* Name Travo Travels
Address Sangeet Cinema Building, New Market, T.T. Nagar
* Name Vasundhara Travel Division
Address 269-270 M.P. Nagar, Zone II, Near Sargam Cinema
* Name Frequent Travels & Cargo Pvt. Ltd.
Address F-5, 1st Floor, 10 Rangmahal Tower, New Market
3.14.1. Deficiency Observed
The quality and number of services offered by the travel agents and tour operators is a matter of concern for a place, which is capital of the state.
3.15. SHOPPING MALLS :
The city has dearth of shopping malls and there are no good shopping junctions. Only small retail outlets are available at all places. There is no chain of branded shopping outlet like big bazaar, etc in the city. Only one reasonably good shopping mall in the name of V-Mart is functioning in the city. Though the city has chain of grocery outlet in the name of 'Aaporti', and two outlet of 'Koutons' -branded men's wear. Apart from this, there is no branded shopping mall or shopping.
Name of Shopping outlet V-Mart
Location Indrapuri, Bhopal
Name of Shopping outlet DB City
Location Board Office Square, Bhopal
Name of Shopping outlet Aashima Mall
Location Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal
Name of Shopping outlet Vishal Mega Mart
Location MP Nagar Zone - I, Bhopal
3.15.1. Deficiency Observed
No big shopping malls or branded retail outlets are found in the city.
3.16. MULTIPLEXES :
At present there is not sufficient multiplex in the city. But work is in progress at three sites for the construction of multiplexes.
3.17. FLYOVERS :
There are no flyovers in the city at the moment. Anyhow, Bhopal Development Authority has proposed three flyovers in the city.
3.18. BUS TERMINUS, RAILWAY STATION & AIRPORT :
The bus terminus, railway station and airport are the first places which build/diminishes the image of the place. Tourists/visitors expect high quality infrastructure, escalators, information centers, map of the city, good shopping complexes and a clean environment.
Despite being the capital of the state, there is no international airport in the city. Also there is no connectivity to other big cities except Mumbai, Delhi and Indore by air.
3.18.1. Deficiency Observed
Bus stands and railway station in the city are full of garbage dumps. It is difficult to locate the tourist offices and get the proper information. There is no display of city map or signages at bus stand, railway station and airport. One cannot find escalators at airport or railway station.
Source: E-mail December 17, 2012
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