Bhopal also know as the city of Lakes due to both its natural and artificial lakes. Bhopal is one of the greenest cities in India and is the 17th largest city in the country. The city is divided into 2 areas New Bhopal and Old Bhopal.
We were staying in the middle between both Old and New Bhopal the city was so sprawling and we decided to use the different methods of transport available to us. The first day we were there we beckoned one of the tuk tuk walas from ourside the hotel bartered with him and then off we went. The second day we had been speaking to the hotel manager who had excellent English he advised us to download a taxi app called OLA. Ola allowed you to book a taxi using your gps location, it would let you type in Your destination and then give you an estimate price which 9 times out of 10 has been spot on, it stops us getting ripped off as tourists and paying way over the odds it’s amazing!
On our first day in Bhopal the city of lakes it felt right we should go and visit one of the lakes. We chose to go to upper lake, the tuk tuk man dropped us off here and thinking it might help us later we took his telephone number, his English was quite poor so he would only be useful if we stayed in the same place. We strolled round the lake and stopped for ice cream 45 minutes later he was still there I think he thought he should wait, I did the international signal for phone and shouted later. As we walked up the river later we didn’t see him so my international sign language had worked and he had either had enough or understood.
It’s traditional when we go away that despite anything I put in place I always get eaten to death by mozzies and India is no exception.
Because of this we decided to find a chemist which didn’t look too far on the map but a stroll uphill in the heat of the day was tough going. When we arrived at the chemist they tried to sell me mosquito repellent and in order for me to explain it was too late I had to pull my trouser leg up. He summoned me to see the Dr who was based next door. I went in and sat down with the locals who appeared to be waiting; after sitting there for 10 minutes a lady came in and ushered me to the desk the Dr was sat at with the surrounding crowd, in turn everyone stepped forward, the Dr wrote prescriptions and then sent you on your way. When it got to my turn I pulled my trouser leg up and the crowd gasped I was given 3 prescriptions on googling them I discovered one was an anti infection cream, antihistamine tablet and an anti inflammatory tablet to help with the swelling. All this and a consultation for 112INR £1.12 wonderful service!
I was feeling quite thirsty following my visit with the Dr and prior to coming to India I had found a 5 star hotel in Bhopal, we hadn’t booked it in time and unfortunately sold out so we had to find somewhere else. Luckily it was in the area and I thought it would be a great place to visit for an afternoon beer. We actually visited it daily whilst in Bhopal I’m sure the staff thought we were residents.
Whilst in the hotel bar we met a couple of lovely gents who were locals, eager to continue with our local food theme we asked them for a recommendation of a good local food place serving vegetarian Indian, the hotel summoned us a tuk tuk as we were still blissfully unaware of Ola at this point and were taken to the restaurant I had written on my prescriptions along with a couple of dishes they recommended for us to try. We reached the restaurant and were shocked to find it a takeaway fast food type place, the tuk tuk was insisting I pay hotel rates of 300INR which is massively inflated so I gave him 200INR and politely got out. The restaurant was called Manohar we had the most amazing Cholle Bhature which was channa curry served with blown up chapattis, we also ordered Poa Baji which was a paneer based curry served with some kind of soft roll that was really sweet and delicious. I finished with a slice of the lightest creamiest butterscotch cake what an excellent recommendation.
By the time we had done in the restaurant the sun had started to set its fairly early here to say these are the summer months. We decided to take a walk up the street and then find a tuk tuk to take us home. The street were filled with people and there were stall after stall of fruit, every fruit you can imagine and some I’ve never seen before too!