14 Places to Visit near Bhopal within 200 kms

Historical & Heritage

Famous worldwide for its Buddhist monuments, Sanchi is one of the popular places of heritage in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages. It is located about 21 km from Raisen, and 46 km from Bhopal.

The town of Sanchi is the center of a region with innumerable age-old stupas, monasteries, temples, monolithic pillars, and other remnants of the rich Buddhist culture. The monuments of Sanchi are probably the best-preserved group of Buddhist monuments in India.

A renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, the Great Stupa is one of the oldest stone structures in India and was installed by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty in the 3rd century BC. This Greco-Buddhist-style monument is believed to hold the bones and beads of some of the closest disciples of Buddha. Besides, there is also Ashoka Pillar, the Great Bowl, Sanchi Museum, Gupta Temple, and Udayagiri Caves that are worth a visit.

Distance from Bhopal: 46 Kms

Hill Station

Situated at an altitude of 1,067 m in a valley of the Satpura Range, Pachmarhi is a stunning hill station located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, India. About 194 km from Bhopal, it is one of the popular hill stations in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages.

Treasured with ancient caves of the Buddhist era, and bewitching forests of the Satpuras with the streams and waterfalls, Pachmarhi is a perfect weekend getaway from the nearby cities of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Bee Falls, Jata Shankar Caves, Pandava Caves, Dhoopgarh, Handi Khoh, Mahadeo Hill, Duchess Falls, Priyadarshini Point (Forsyth Point), Chauragarh Temple, Gupt Mahadev, etc., are some of the top and major places to visit in Pachmarhi.

Often called 'Satpura ki Rani' or the 'Queen of the Satpura Range', it is also a part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Distance from Bhopal: 194 Kms

Historical & Heritage

The archaeological site of Bhimbetka is one of the popular places of heritage in India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages. About 45 km from Bhopal, it is situated inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, embedded in sandstone rocks, in the foothills of the Vindhya Range.

The site consists of around 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 km (6.2 mi). The Bhimbetka group contains 243 of these, while the Lakha Juar group nearby has 178 shelters. The Bhimbetka site has the oldest-known rock art in India. Among all other caves, Auditorium Cave is one of the significant features of the site.

Out of the 750 rock shelters, 500 are adorned with interesting paintings and the earliest are about 30,000 years old. However, only 15 caves are opened for visitors. The paintings in the caves are completely diverse in nature as the caves have been around for millennia, and are executed with themes taken from the everyday events of the people who lived in the caves.

Distance from Bhopal: 45 Kms

Wildlife

Cradled in the Satpura Range, Satpura National Park, also known as Satpura Tiger Reserve, is one of the popular national parks in Madhya Pradesh and among the popular tiger reserves in India. It is situated about 93 km from Pachmarhi, and 140 km from Bhopal.

Covering an area of about 524 sq. km, Satpura National Park was established in 1981 and got the Tiger Reserve status in the year 1999. Divided into 4 zones, it has a large and diversified population of wildlife due to its unique ecosystem and a long history of wildlife conservation. The fauna here includes Indian Bison, Spotted Dear, Leopards, Tigers, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Blackbuck, etc.

Madhai gate is the main entry point from which all safari activities are operated. The park authorities offered two types of safaris to its visitors - Jeep Safari, and Elephant Safari. One can indulge in activities like nature walks, cycling & night Safari, canoeing & boat safaris here.

Distance from Bhopal: 140 Kms

Pilgrimage

Ujjain is an ancient city situated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. About 56 km from Indore, and 197 km from Bhopal, it is one of the holiest cities of India, and among the must include places in Madhya Pradesh Tour Packages.

Situated on the banks of the Kshipra River, the ancient city is known as the temple city for its numerous temples from different eras including one of the 12 Jyotirlingas the Mahakaleshwar Temple. Kal Bhairava Temple, Ram Ghat, Harsiddhi Temple, Kalideh Palace, Pir Matsyendranath, Jantar Mantar, Bhartrihari Caves, ISKCON Temple, Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir, etc., are some other places to visit in Ujjain.

Also, Ujjain is one of the four sacred sites in India, where the famous 'Kumbh Mela', one of the largest religious festivals in the world, is organized once in 12 years. Ujjain is considered the Greenwich of India, with the first meridian of longitude passing through it.

Distance from Bhopal: 197 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 24 km from Sanchi, and 44 km from Bhopal Junction, Raisen Fort is a historical edifice located in the town of Raisen, Madhya Pradesh. Situated atop a hill, it is one of the ancient forts in Madhya Pradesh, and among the must include places in Bhopal Tour.

Built-in 11th Century AD, Raisen Fort was an important center of administration from the period of its foundation from Hindu times. In the 15th century CE, this fort was ruled by the Sultans of Mandu, from whom it passed to the Rajputs. In 1543, Shershah Suri captured th fort from Puranmal. In Akbar's time, Raisen was the headquarter of a Sarkar in the Subah of Ujjain in Malwa. Fiaz Mohammad Khan, the third Nawab of Bhopal State occupied the fort in about 1760, later got himself recognized as Faujdar of Raisen by Emperor Alamgir II. Now, this fort is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Raisen Fort is spread over ten sq. km on a hill of more than 1500 high. The fort has a massive stone wall pierced with nine gateways. Adorned with a large courtyard and a beautiful pool in the middle, the Raisen Fort has four palaces namely Badal Mahal, Rohini Mahal, Itradaan Mahal & Hawa Mahal within its boundaries. The ancient fort also houses a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and a shrine dedicated to Muslim saint Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba. The doors of the temple open every year on the occasion of Shivratri. The fort also had well-maintained water management and conservation system with ...

Distance from Bhopal: 44 Kms

Lake & Backwater

At a distance of 39 km from Bhopal, Halali Dam is a manmade reservoir located at Khoha village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the famous picnic spots near Bhopal, and among the best places to visit in Bhopal.

Also known as Samrat Ashok Sagar Project, Halali Dam is constructed in 1973 across Halali River, a tributary of the Betwa river. The river was earlier known as the Thal River. According to local legends, Dost Muhamad Khan a Nawab ruler killed a rival force from Rajput near Jagdishpur on the bank of the tributary. In consequence, since it appeared red with the victim's blood, hence the name Halali which means the river of slaughter.

The dam is 945 m long with a maximum height of 29.57 m above the foundation level. With a catchment area of around 699 sq. km, the colossal dam is quite popular among the locals of Bhopal as an excellent spot for picnics and boat rides. Apart from this, the reservoir is home to aquatic life. Mainly used for irrigation and fishery, the reservoir attracts a large number of birds during winter. The dam has an MP tourism hotel - Halali Retreat that has about 6 - 8 rooms with nice ambiance, a restaurant, playground for children, Meeting and Party Hall.

Timings: 8 AM - 4 PM

Entry: Free

Distance from Bhopal: 39 Kms

Wildlife

At a distance of 8 km from Bhimbetka, and 51 km from Bhopal, the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected reserve located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in India, and among the major places to visit as part of Bhimbetka Tour Packages.

Situated in Vindhya Range in central India, the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary stretches across 823 sq. km in the Raisen and Sehore districts of Madhya Pradesh. The area was declared as a sanctuary in 1976 and got the status of tiger reserve under the Project Tiger by the Government of India recently. The landscape is undulating, with hills, plateaus, valleys, and plains. Many seasonal streams irrigate the site in the monsoon, and water is retained in some pools along these streams even in the summer. Two large reservoirs, namely Barna Reservoir and Ratapani Dam (Barrusot lake) are among the major water bodies adjacent to or inside the sanctuary.

The forest of Ratapani is a dry deciduous and moist deciduous type, with teak (Tectona grandis) as the main tree species. About 55% of the area is covered by teak, the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the finest teak forests in Madhya Pradesh. The regal striped cat is the apex predator here and estimates suggest that 40 tigers roam these forests. Besides, the sanctuary is also home to animals like Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Indian Fox, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Blue Bull, Chinkara, Black Buck, Chausingha, Spotted Deer, ...

Distance from Bhopal: 51 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 30 km from Bhopal Junction, and 34 km from Bhimbetka, Bhojpur Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located at Bhojpur in Madhya Pradesh. Also known as Bhojeshwar Temple, it is one of the beautiful shrines located near Bhimbetka and among the popular places to visit as part of Bhopal Tour Packages.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Bhojeshwar Temple is an incomplete Hindu temple believed to have started in the 11th century CE, during the reign of the Paramara king Bhoja. The Jain writer Merutunga, in his Prabandha-Chintamani, states that Bhoja constructed 104 temples in his capital city of Dhara alone. However, the Bhojpur temple is the only surviving shrine that can be attributed to Bhoja with some certainty. The construction was abandoned for unknown reasons, with the architectural plans engraved on the surrounding rocks. The temple has been protected and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Bhojpur Mandir is a simple square with an outside portion of 66 feet. Although the temple is incomplete, it has a magnificent soaring strength of line and is supported by four pillars. The doorway is richly carved and, has two exquisitely sculpted figures on either side. The other three sides are balconies each supported by massive brackets and four intricately carved pillars.

Also known as the 'Somnath of North India', the Bhojpur Temple houses a 7.5 feet (2.3 m) high Shivalingam, carved out of a single rock. Set upon a massive platform of ...

Distance from Bhopal: 30 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 7 km from Vidisha, and 10 km from Sanchi Railway Station, Udayagiri Caves or Udaigiri Caves are a group of rock-cut caves located at Udaigiri village in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in India, and among the must include places in Sanchi Tour Packages.

Udayagiri, literally means the 'sunrise mountain', was a Buddhist and Hindu site by the 2nd century BCE. The place is also referred to as Visnupadagiri which means the hill at 'the feet of Vishnu'. The Udayagiri Caves are a group of 20 rock-cut caves near Vidisha from the early years of the 5th century CE. They contain some of the oldest surviving Hindu temples and iconography in India. Besides, these caves have rock-cut water tanks, and some have shrines and monuments on top.

Out of 20 caves, one is dedicated to Jainism, while others to Hinduism including Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Shaivism. The Jain Cave is notable for one of the oldest known Jaina inscriptions from 425 CE, while the Hindu caves feature inscriptions from 401 CE. Cave 1 is the southernmost cave which is also considered to be a false cave since the side and the front were added later on. There are four pillars and the back wall has a deity carved onto it. Cave 2 is located north of Cave 1 but is still in the southern group and has traces of two pilasters. And there is also evidence of a structural mandapa underneath its roof.

Cave 3, also known as Skanda Temple, is the first one of the ...

Distance from Bhopal: 57 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 11 km from Sanchi, Sonari is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Positioned on a hill, it is one of the must include places in the Buddhist Circuit of Central India, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

Like Sanchi, Sonari is again a complex of Buddhist stupas comprising two large and five smaller stupas. The stupas were excavated around 1850 by Alexander Cunningham, who discovered two boxes containing relics. One of the reliquaries, which is very ornate, is visible nowadays at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The date of construction of Stupa 1 and Stupa 2 must therefore be equivalent to those of Sanchi Stupa No.2, i.e. 125-100 BCE. About 15 meters in diameter, Stupa No.1 is a solid hemisphere of dry masonry and is the largest stupa in the complex. It is made over a cylindrical plinth of about four feet high with fragments indicating traces of railings. The stupa contained a miniature soapstone reliquary.

Alexander Cunningham and FC Maisey searched Stupa No.2 in 1851. The stupa contained three miniature reliquaries, two in soapstone and one in rock crystal, as well as a certain amount of bone ash and a piece of wood. The main reliquary is shaped to resemble a lotus bud, with incised petals decorating the lower half of the reliquary. It was turned on a lathe and then carved in bas-relief. The reliquary of Stupa No.2 presents has inscriptions in Brahmi mentioning the ...

Distance from Bhopal: 40 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 14 km from Sanchi, Satdahara is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Overlooking Halali River, it is one of the must include places in the Buddhist Circuit of Central India, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

There are 8 stupas spread across 28 acres of land on the banks of Halali River. The main stupa is almost as large as the Great Stupa of Sanchi and would have also been built during Emperor Ashoka's reign. The main Stupa of the site is similar to that of Sanchi having remains of railings. It is 13.65 m high excluding the platform with a diameter of 32.80 m. Recent excavations have revealed brick pradakshinapatha & staircase of the Stupa.

There are some ruins near the stupa comprising a monastery and temple remains which are collectively called siddh ka makaan which is indicative of Satdhara's most enlightened monks once having lived there.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Entry: Free

Distance from Bhopal: 42 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 19 km from Sanchi, Murel Khurd is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. Also known as Bhojpur Stupas, it is one of the must include places in Buddhist Circuit in Madhya Pradesh, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their own stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur / Murel Khurd and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

The Bhojpur Stupas, also called Murelkhurd Stupas are a group of about 37 stupas located at Bhojpur (Pipalia) near Murelkhurd on the top of a hill. All these stupas were discovered in the 19th century by Major Cunningham. The biggest stupa at the site has a 2.3 m hemisphere. The center of the stupas was hollow to accommodate small relics, and the stupa would have been wearing an umbrella. These stupas probably date from the 1st century BCE.

The stupas have had adorned relic caskets with relics of Buddhist educators and senior disciples. One of the reliquaries is made of rock crystal and comes in the form of a Buddhist stupa. Rock crystal, a material of extreme purity, was often used to make containers for sacred relics. ...

Distance from Bhopal: 62 Kms

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 13 km from Murel Khurd, and 30 km from Sanchi, Andher is an archaeological site of an ancient monastic complex of Buddhist stupas in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the must include places in Buddhist Circuit in Madhya Pradesh, and among the top places to visit near Sanchi.

As the Buddhist community flourished around Sanchi, new settlements of worshippers appeared in the region. Although these settlements had a physical and spiritual link to Sanchi, they also built their own stupas and monasteries. There are four groups of stupas surrounding Sanchi within a radius of 20 km - Bhojpur / Murel Khurd and Andher to the southeast, Sonari to the southwest, and Satdhara in the west. Further south, about 100 km away, is Saru Maru.

The Andher Stupas are a group of three stupas perched atop a hill near Karhod village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, India. The site overlooks the magnificent Murel Khurd Stupas or Bhojpur Stupas. The Stupa No. 1 is dated to about 150 BCE and is the largest of the 3 stupas. This stupa has a railing that now has the remains of a barrier of stone surrounding it. Stupas No. 2 and No. 3 have inscriptions in the Brahmi script with the names of the same monks whose relics were found in Sanchi Stupa No. 2 and Sonari. Just like other Buddhist sites, stupas here also revealed the inscribed relic caskets but surprisingly all were empty.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Entry: Free

Distance from Bhopal: 70 Kms

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