Stories of Bhopal, Part 2: Lakes

Well-known for its lakes and in-fact christened as the “City of Lakes”, Bhopal quietly makes its’ charm felt among the tourists because of the immaculate beauty of the lakes. These charming lakes provide a chance for tourists to indulge in water sports and have unlimited fun and frolic. While some of the lakes are a gift of nature to Bhopal, others have been artificially made.
The Lakes in Bhopal are one of the major tourist attractions here. One just can’t afford to miss the beauty and tranquillity that Bhopals’ lakes have to offer.

1. Upper Lake (Bhojtal): Bhojtal (Upper Lake) is said to have been built by the Paramara Raja Bhoj during his tenure as a king of Malwa. According to legend, once Raja Bhoj suffered from a skin disease and all Vaidyas or Doctors had failed to cure him. One day a saint told the king to build a tank to combine 365 tributaries and then bathe in it to wipe out the skin disease. Bhoj called upon his engineers to build up a huge tank. They spotted a place near river Betwa, which was 32 km away from Bhopal. It was found that it has only 359 tributaries. In order to fulfil this shortage, A Gond Commander Kalia gave the address of an invisible river and merged the tributaries of this river. Thus the number 365 was completed. The lake was known as the Upper Lake or Bada Talab (“Big Pond”), until March 2011 it was renamed to Bhojtaal in honour of the Great King Raja Bhoj who built it. A huge statue of Raja Bhoj, standing with sword, was also installed on a pillar on one corner of the lake to cement the name of Bhopal as the city of lakes.

Upper Lake or Bhojtaal
Upper Lake or Bhojtaal, Photo Courtesy: http://www.mptourism.com/

2. Lower Lake (Chhota Talaab):  The Lower Lake (Chhota Talaab) is a lake in Bhopal which along with the Upper Lake forms the Bhoj Wetland. The lake was built in 1794 by Chhote Khan, a minister of Nawab Hayat Muhammad Khan Bahadur to beautify the city. The catchment area is 9.6 square km and this lake receives subsurface seepage from the Upper Lake. The two lakes are separated by an over bridge called Pul Pukhta.

Lower Lake or Chhota Talaab
Lower Lake or Chhota Talaab, Photo Courtesy: https://bhopaltourism.in

 

3. Shahpura Lake: Shahpura Lake is a man made water body constructed during 1974-1975. With an area of 8.29 square km, the source and main use of the lake water is to rain sewage water of residential colony, irrigation recreation purposes.

 

4. Motia Talaab:  Motia Talaab is situated near the largest Mosque in India, that is the Taj-Ul-Masajid and this talab enhances the beauty of the mosque during the evening/ night time. The most famous Motia Talab in Shahjehanbad was constructed by Nawab Shahjah Begam in 1899 as a place before offering of prayers in the Taj-Ul-Masajid. It is flanked on one side by the Taj-Ul-Masjid and another by the Taj Mahal.

Taj-Ul-Masajid overlooking the Motia Talab
Taj-Ul-Masajid overlooking the Motia Talab (R), Photo Courtesy: http://www.mptourism.com/

 

5. Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan Talaab: Nawab Siddique Hasan Khan Talaab was named after Shahjahan Begum’s husband Nawab Siddique Hasan and is part of the three talab of Motia Talab.

 

6. Munshi Hussain Khan Talaab:  Munshi Hussain Khan Talab is also a part of three talab of Motia Talab & is named after a Jagirdar & Administration Officer during the time of Bhopal Nawab Era. The three lakes were placed at different levels so the axis water could always flow in the lake at lower level.

 

7. Lendiya Talaab:  Lendiya Talaab was for the local use of Teela Jamalpura and Sultania Infantry during the Nawab Era. It still is of heritage value for of the Bhopal Nawab.

 

8. Jawahar Baal Udhyaan Lake: Jawahar Baal Udhyaan Lake is also famous for its’ historic value. It is situated below the hill top of Char Imali and has a few important temples like Hanuman Mandir, Radha Krishna Mandir etc. Cultural activities still take place here during the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and other religious festivals.

 

9. Sarangpani Lake: Sarangpani Lake is situated in the heart of BHEL area. This lake is more than 100 years old. Due to its antiquity the residents of the old village reside in this area and use this water for the agricultural purposes. Fishing in this lake is still occurs and also other religious festivals.

 

10. Manit Lake:  Manit Lake is known as Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) Lake located behind the Madhya Pradesh Science and Technology Institute. It was the centre for agricultural use in this area and during the Monsoons, the water of the Kaliasot Dam enters here.

 

 

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