the city

I visited Bhopal for first time with a friend and I really loved that place, especially the way Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department has organized tourism in the state. There was problem with the hotel but it was okay. We stayed at the Ranjeet Hotel near the railway station. The hotel was nice for the amount I paid but when I tried to book it over phone from Varanasi, they said that there was no room available. We arrived in Bhopal around 10.30 PM and we did not have any hotel booked but we knew the name of Ranjeet Hotel so we just decided to show up there and check our luck. Although they had already told me over phone that there was no room available, when we arrived there they gave us a room. It was strange but good.

bara lake

We had one important work in Bhopal which was to visit Chingari Trust to learn about their work which we were able to do the very next day after we arrived in Bhopal. Now we had plenty of time to see the city. We took some suggestions from the people working at Chingari Trust and went to visit the two lakes of Bhopal named Bada Talab and Chota Talab. Both of the lakes were just awesome. They looked clean and there were several options of water sports. The Chota Lake is separated from the Bada lake by an over-bridge. We did not play any sports but we just walked around and enjoyed the atmosphere.

beautiful kids at the mosque

After visiting the lake we took an auto rickshaw back to the hotel. But on the way to the hotel I asked the driver if he knew any good place to visit nearby and he told me about a mosque called Darul Uloom Tajul Masjid. I had already read about this mosque and wanted to visit it for sure so we decided to visit the mosque before going to the hotel. The visit to the mosques was one of the best things I did in Bhopal. The mosque itself was beautiful and really huge. This mosque is one of the biggest mosques of Asia. This mosque was one of very few mosques of India where they allow women, non-Islamic people and foreigners to enter in the mosque.

hyena in the naitonal park

Darul Uloom Taju Masid has an Islamic school inside the mosque and I met a really nice student studying there. He showed me his school, told me about his life, took me to his room… He said that he had already studied up to class 12th in a regular school but after completing class 12th, he decided to study Islam hence he joined the mosque. He showed me his books but when I wanted to touch his Quran, he immediately asked not to do so. He told me that since Quran is the most holy book for Muslim there is a certain procedure of cleaning the body before even touching the Quran. I was really impressed to see his respect for holy Quran.

lion was also there

I talked with him for about two hours and to be honest it was one of the best conversations I have ever had. We talked about politics and HinduMuslim tension also. He said that the reason behind tension between Hindus and Muslims are completely prohibited in Islam hence the people who create tension are not real Muslims for sure and if they say they are real Muslims they are telling a lie. I had also heard about this thing before and I was really happy to meet a young Muslim believing in this idea. I see these kind of people as the real development of India. We shared our contact information and I would love to meet him again whenever I go to Bhopal again in future.

awesome place

The next day we went to visit a small national park called Van Vihar. Van Vihar was also awesome. It was situated near to the Bara lake. They had bicycles for rent, battery-run vehicles or walking was also an option. It was really quiet and nice place. There were so many animals such as lion, tiger, leopard, deer, bear, hyena, crocodile, monkeys… All the animals seemed to kept in a good condition. It was a 7 KMs ride from one end to the other end of the park. Plastic bags were not allowed and it was a no-horn zone which means you just don’t feel like in India. At the other end of the park there was a cafeteria serving snacks. We rented a bicycle and watched the animals and enjoyed the quiet place a lot. It was a really nice experience.

look at the right side ones

There was something very interesting at the park. They had arrange different kind of urinal for Muslims. Actually Muslims have to sit when urinating hence a different kind of urinal system was arranged for them just next to usual urinals that we see elsewhere. This urinal system was setup closer to the ground level so that they squat and pee. I have traveled to so many places in India, have a lot of Muslim friends and have been to their homes also but had never ever seen anything like that before. Awesome. Actually Bhopal has a huge Muslim population and this might be the reason why they arranged such thing.

wetland for birds and crocodiles

The next day we went to Bhimbetka and on the way back to our hotel we visited an ancient Shiva Temple called Bhojpur Shiva temple. The next day we went to Sanchi. All of these places were really nice and I loved being in Madhya Pradesh. The weather was nice, it was really green and a lot quieter than where I live. The sites were clean, I never met any tout and everything looked cool for the tourists. My state has thousand times better tourism opportunities than Madhya Pradesh but only because of politics and government ignoring tourism all the time, very soon Madhya Pradesh will lead Uttar Pradesh. It was a very nice place to visit.

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Rohtang Pass

the traffic jam

After Shimla and Manali we went to Rohtang Pass which was the only place in whole journey where we could see snow. We were all so excited to be there. Our driver told us that we have to leave early in the morning otherwise there will be a huge traffic jam late in the day time and we won’t be able to reach to the snow. We woke up by 5 am and were ready to leave by 6. The driver told us that we were already late but it was only 6 and we thought that he was joking but in reality he was right. We were stuck in a huge traffic jam starting from about 15 Kms before the snow. I had never ever seen that huge traffic jam in my whole life.

people enjoying the snow

I could easily see the vehicles lined up for kilometers on the mountain, it was just a disaster. I just could not believe on my eyes. We were stuck in the traffic for hours. Before we started our trip, our driver asked us if we had brought some warm clothes for the snow. We showed him our clothes and he said that it was not warm enough for the snow and we needed to either buy or hire some special clothes for snow. Attila told me that he had already been to several places where there is regular snow and he thought that I did not need any special clothing for Rohtang but since my driver was keep insisting me to rent a special cloth, I asked him to take me to some shop where I could either buy or rent the clothes.


I was mostly worried about my baby and wife. He took me to a shop where they were renting all those custom rejected long jackets. They were renting those jackets with a pair of shoes for Rs. 1000. It was very expensive that kind of clothing. I asked my driver to take me somewhere else but he said that there are only a few shops and after we leave that place, we wont find any shop on the way to Rohtang. After bargaining they agreed on the Rs. 500. I knew that I was paying them extra but I did not have any other way. After renting the clothes we moved to Rohtang pass which was still about 40 Kms.

it was everywhere

After moving from there I realized that my driver had cheated me. There were hundreds of shops everywhere on the way to Rohtang and they had a fixed rate of Rs. 50 for the clothes I had rented for Rs. 500. There were shops even in Rohtang pass and in any case it was not that cold that we needed such clothing. We did not use those clothes at all because it was just not needed. Anyways, we arrived Rohtang and it was nice. There was snow but people had ruined it with the garbage that they brought with themselves. The snow was black, there were animals shitting and peeing everywhere and of course plastic everywhere as usual.

really sad

There were people renting snowboard, snow bikes and there was some hand pulled service also. This pulled thing was really sad and I was thinking about the people who were enjoying it. It was already kind of hard to breath there and a lot of people were hiring this service where they sit in a chair kind of thing and then two three people pull the chair up on the height and then bring them down. It was really hard work and I did not understand how people could support such service?  Anyways, the snow bike drivers were also crazy. Although the whole area was full with people but they would still drive the bike like crazy.

snow bikes

The skiboard guys were more crazy. They had only one pair of shoes to wear with the board and they wanted all feet size people to use  this same shoes. I had never skied but it looked strange to me so I asked Attila about it and he said its very important to have right size shoes when skiing otherwise it can brake your ankles. A lot of were hiring those ski boards and were struggling with it. It was so funny to watch them.  We were on the snow for almost four hours  and enjoyed it a lot. We drove back to our hotel around 5 PM. It was a nice experience except the driving cheating us for a few hundred rupees.

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