Bhopal is a city in central India and the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is roughly 360 miles south of the Indian capital, New Delhi. Bhopal’s population was only 850,000 in 1984 when, as a result of the Union Carbide gas leak, half a million people were exposed to deadly chemicals.


The capital of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal was built on the site of the 11th Century City of Bhojpal, founded by the Parmara King Bhoj (1000-1055). 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.

Today, Bhopal remains a city of considerable beauty. The two lakes of Bhopal still dominate the city; bordered along their shores are the old city with its marketplaces, magnificent mosques and palaces, and the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern buildings.