At the entrance of Chatori Galli, where half of Bhopali population arrives after 7 pm is your gateway to the gastronomical delights that this Nawali city offers for an Indian food connoisseur.
There is a unique stream of chaos and joyful chatter present there, as they savour the delicious street food. The luscious ambrosial Bade Ka Kebab stuffed in a crisp, hot oil-soaked bun and floating in spicy green chutney, is Bhopal’s version of a burger. This is regardless to say, one of those life-altering moments and the pleasure is unexpected and palatable!
The Jheel Mahotsav, is a beautifully lit-up festival on the shores of the Upper Lake, and a lot of people from across the country arrive to witness the lake festival, that includes water sports using boats, kayaks that dance on the water. On any normal day, the narrow passage is a quiet place to watch a perfect and peaceful sunset over a stroll.
Bhopal is ‘the city of lakes’, and boasts of architectural wonders such as the Taj-ul-Masjid, which is supposed to be the largest mosque in the country. The influence of Islam in Old Bhopal dates back to the early 18th century and to Sardar Dost Mohammed Khan, who has the credit of laying the foundations of the present-day city. His descendants ruled the Nawabi state for two descendants post that.
Picture Courtesy: yummraj.com
Present-day Bhopal has dodging motorcyclists with their roaring horns and the frenzied disharmony doesn’t seem to bother anyone, which is one of Bhopal’s charms- the people! The Hotel Gazala is famous for Nalli Nihari (a meat delicacy) served with deliciously fluffy and fresh tandoori rotis (bread). The slow-cooked mutton and marrow bones in a thick peppery curry is delectable, however, the cherry on top is a batter (quail) that floats in a spicy stew. One has to reach there early to taste a sample of the famous Bakarkhani roti, a spiced, layered roti that sells like hotcakes. The appetizing quest goes on with the search for that perfect Nawabi Biryani that is a speciality of this city that was ruled by the Nawabs! This Bhopali Biryani is much different when compared to it neighbouring ones of Lucknow and Hyderabad, in the sense that it is much lighter on spices, absolutely delicious and best served at Hotel Jameel. One simple bite of this fragrant rice along with melting pieces of chicken could almost ruin your love for any other biryani!
After all the savoury biryanis, there is the juicy kebabs, the stalls filled with marinated tender meat, the aroma of which is too beguiling. Hotel Afgan in Peer Darwaza is the best place to enjoy plates piled with juicy shami kebab and mutton tikka kebabs!
Even till date, Bhopal is as notable as it was in the past. This Nawabi princely state was ruled by four Begums for over a century; strong and brave as they were, they even challenged the course of History, something unheard of in the early 1800s. The city has always flouted the norm, pushing its boundaries and has always been an extraordinary city. Even the breakfast here has its own specialities, as they chose ‘poha’ (beaten rice), India’s favourite breakfast and make it tastier by sprinkling the fluffy Poha with spicy Sev (deep-fried gram flour chips) topped with crisp jalebis- though an odd mix, but it actually works, along with a glass of Sulaimani chai, a strong tea brewed with sugar syrup and a pinch of salt. This is how every morning of Bhopal begins!