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Bhopal Lakes

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Upper Lake Introduction

Bhopal is often referred as city of lakes. Here we can find many small to large lakes among which some of them are natural and some are man-made. They are counted among popular places to visit in this city. Bhopal Upper lake is made by Raja Bhoj of Parmar dynasty. He is also credited for Bhojpur temple and is it said that city name "Bhopal" is derived from "Bhojpal", name given by Raja Bhoj. As a mark of respect, Bhopal upper lake is also known by the name of "Bhojtal". It is located in western end of city. It is a popular tourist attraction in Bhopal city and also fulfills drinking water requirement of city. In an estimate, it is believed that 40% city residents were served through its water which is about 30 million gallons per day. Local people sometimes referred it as "Bada Talab". Famous Van Vihar is also adjoining to it and their is one lower lake also close to it which is sometimes referred as "Choti Jheel" or "Chota Talab". Collectively both upper and lower lakes constitutes Bhoj wetland area. Upper lake was created by making a dam on Kolans river which was formely a tributary to Halali river. It has Lower lake on south-east and Kaliasot dam on south. Lake water level is controlled through Bhadbhada dam in south whose outflow reached to Kaliasot dam where another dam is made called Kaliasot dam through which water is passed to Kaliasot river.


It is believed that Bhojtal or Upper lake is said to have been built by Raja Bhoj (1005-1055) of Parmara dynasty. Due to this fact, it is known by the name of "Bhojtal". Similarly Bhopal city is also said to have been established by same king of Malwa region and was given name "Bhojpal" and now known by the name of Bhopal. As per legend, Raja Bhoj built the lake on instruction of a saint. During those days, Raja Bhoj was suffering from skin disease and most of doctors were failed to find cure of this disease, then a saint suggested the king to build a tank where water of 365 tributaries (rivers) can be collected. King is required to take bath on that tank to cure the disease. Later accordingly a site was found and dam was constructed on Kolans river. This site is the same place where today we see the Upper Lake. In year 2011, state government has given it new name called "Bhojtaal" and established a statue in honour of this great Parmara king.


Bhojtal or Upper Lake lies in west of Bhopal city. It has famous Van Vihar national park on south, agricultural land on west and human settlements on east and north. It has an area of 31 sq.kms. area but its catchment area is 361 sq.kms. Posh locality of Shyamala hill in Bhopal is also in south of Upper lake, close to Van Vihar national park. Lake water nourishes the green area of Van Vihar national park where Van Vihar crocodile pond and Van Vihar aviary pond is also present and conserving the nature.


Upper lake in Bhopal offers a great scope for tourism activity in city. It offers great scenic view for visitors and often local people and tourists prefers to spend time in and around this lake. It is ideal picnic spot for local citizens. India's first National Sailing Club has been established at the Boat Club located in eastern side of this lake. Here you can enjoy rafting, water skiing, parasailing, kayaking, canoeing etc. Here cruise ride is also offered to visitors. Famous Van Vihar national park is also adjoining to it. Due to its scenic value, many hotels are constructed facing the Upper lake to offer its scenic view to guests. Visit to Upper lake is important part of Bhopal sightseeing during city tour.

Lower Lake

Lower lake is also known by the name of "Chota Talab". It is located on south-east of Upper lake and constitutes Bhoj wetland area. This lake was built in year 1777 AD to enhance the beauty of city. It was constructed by Chote Khan who was Diwan (minister) of Nawab Hayat Mohammad Khan Bahadur. Upper and lower lakes are separated by bridge called "Pul Pukhta". It is said that Nawab gave Chote Khan a amount to buy elephants but he spend the amount on making a bridge on Ban-gange river due to which lower lake came into existence. Upper lake is also the water source of this lake. It is spread over 2 sq.kms. area. At present Lower lake of Bhopal is heavily polluted due to pouring of sewage water in it and need immediate attention to purify it.

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