I found myself in a beautiful plateau as my train maneuvered through the tunnels and bends negotiating the hills and forests. Soon, I reached Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh at the heart of the subcontinent.I was there for a photo workshop and our theme was harvesting the Architectural Splendour of Bhopal.Our motto was to learn myriad tricks to shoot architectures.
Our first subject was Taj-ul-Masajid, literally means “Crown Among Mosques”, one of largest mosques in India.The construction of the Mosque was initiated during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar by Nawab Shah Jahan Begum (1844–1860 and 1868–1901) of Bhopal (Wife of Baqi Mohammad Khan) and continued to be built by her daughter Sultan Jahan Begum, till her lifetime.It was completed inas late as 1985. The Mosque has a pink facade topped by two 18-storey high octagonal minarets with marble domes. The Mosque has three huge bulbous domes, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring.
One gets impressed with the high minaret and mammoth domes on first sight.Once inside there is a huge courtyard with a water tank inside it. Apart from taking regular snaps, we could secure permission to shoot from a vantage point usually beyond limits of a regular visitor.We shot the beautiful mosque from the archways. It offered unparalleled view of the Bhopal town and the lake adjacent to the mosque and the mosque itself.
Now, after roving through the congested, colourful bazaars, lanes of the older parts f the city which still holds the look and feel of the nineteenth century or even older, we stopped for shooting the Sadar Manjil, a small yet beautiful palace built by Sultan Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum(1858-1930). It has a fountain after entry leading to the Durbar(Hall) and other inner quarters of the palace. The Durbar holds beautiful frescoes on its wall and ceilings and a photographers delight.
Up next our stop was Gohar Mahal.Gohar Mahal is a marvelous piece of architecture on the banks of the upper lake.It was built by Qudisia Begum,the first woman ruler of the erstwhile Bhopal State in 1820.Now it is used for different types of cultural events, fairs and exhibitions. I witnessed, folk songs, puppet shows, colourful handicrafts fair out there.
Later, we spent a lovely evening by the lake and saw a mesmerizing sunset from the banks of the Upper Lake which will be cherished in my mind for a long time.