On a pleasant summer morning, I set out to celebrate Bhopal’s most-prized statue established in the city’s Upper Lake. In 2011, to commemorate Raja Bhoj’s anniversary of a thousand years, Madhya Pradesh government paid a grand tribute to the Parmar dynasty’s wisdom master by installing his statue at the edge of the Upper Lake. The retina began to process images from long shot to close-ups as I drove nearer to this magnanimous 32 feet statue. Upon approaching the site, my driver uttered in Hindi, “This statue is purely-built from gun and bell metal.” I had researched this site before arriving here. In the 10th-century, Raja Bhoj reigned this terrain and Central India’s Malwa region. Word has it that he fought many wars to expand his kingdom.
What’s interesting is that the idea of placing this statue in Upper Lake comes with a lot of contemplation. Back in the time, when King Bhoj suffered an epidermis decay, none of the Vaidyas (Doctors at the time) could cure it. After much hassle and suffering, an unknown Hindu saint advised King Bhoj to bathe in the waters of a lake where 365 streams merged. The saint proclaimed that bathing in such a lake shall cure the King of all the sickness. To get to grips with the task of discovering such a lake, Raja Bhoj’s engineers wandered from one village to another. Until, they stumbled upon Betwa, a small-village near Bhopal that gratified the accurate classification.
Soon after Raja Bhoj took a bath in the miraculous lakewater, healed and the rest was history. Following good health, King Bhoj dedicated a large part of his life to foster scholarly-augmentations for his kingdom. In the process, he gained much respect and many accolades. Thus, in 2011 Upper Lake was renamed to Bhojtal, in the memory of Raja Bhoj. Irrespective of its name, whether Upper Lake, Bhojtal or Bada Talab, this extensive beautiful lake (along with Chota Talab) is a primary source of drinking water, subserving 40% of the Bhopal residents with approximately 30 mn imperial gallons of water every day. And Bhopalis love their lakes! Bhojtal, in particular, as the city has pretty much grown around it. Residents have made this thousand years old lake a mainstay of their pursuits.
I stayed here for an hour to watch the Sun fully-ascend from behind the intense magnitude of this turquoise blue lake. As the sunrise was in motion, the other side of the lake began to show up. “That’s the lower lake,” said my driver, pointing towards the other end of the lake. He continued to talk, “You can access both the lakes via the Pul-Pukhta bridge or by a boat.” An activity I saved for the time when I would revisit Bhojtal in the evening. Boating while cherishing a lake view sunset is always a spectacular sight worth embracing. But today, I was here capturing the magnificence of this stunning lake draped in a beguiling sunlight cravat. Mornings are beautiful and what a delight it was, to watch sunrays projecting a quirky spotlight on the beloved copper statue. I left overwhelmed! When here, also visit the Shahpura Lake, Motia Talab, Sarangaria, Nawab Siddique Talab, Jawahar Baal Udhyaan Lake and the Mullah Sarovar.