India is a land of many religions- Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. So, it is but natural that you will find quite a number of religious places in India. There are many states, which are known for their religious significance of which Madhya Pradesh is one of them. Though the dominant practising religion of this state right now is Hinduism, it houses treasures of many religions. One of the major attractions when one visits Madhya Pradesh is definitely the religious aspect of it. If you are first timer and want to know a little about some of the places of religious interests here, then you might find the list given below, helpful:
- Bhopal’s Moti Masjid: It is interesting to note that though following Hinduism is the most popular religious practise in Bhopal, this city is also famously called “the city of mosques”. Most of these mosques were built during the Muslim era, and hence, stand today as one the finest samples of the excellence that Muslim architecture was. One of the most prominent mosques in the city is Moti Masjid. Built sometime around the year 1860, by the orders of Sikander Begum, this is definitely one of the most important landmarks of history. Have you seen the Jama Masjid in Delhi? The architecture of this mosque bears similarities to that mosque. This mosque is also a celebration of one of the finest Muslim women that India has seen- Sikander Begum. Know to be progressive in nature; this mosque stands as an example of her excellence, even today. Book one of the best resorts in bhopal and make sure you include this mosque in your sightseeing plans!
- A tour of Ujjain: Located near Bhopal, is the city of Ujjain. This is a famous religious centre of the state. The name of this city has come up and again and again in the ancient scriptures as a place, which promoted astronomy and mathematical research. The city has even been cited in the Mahabharata as Ujjaini, the then capital of the kingdom of Avanti. The most prominent religious centre here is the Mahakaleshwar temple, located right beside the famous lake- Rudra Sagar. Ancient folklore and myths say that there are twelve residences or abodes of one of the three main Gods of the Hindu pantheon- Shiva. These abodes are known as jyotirlingas. This temple is believed to be one of them. If possible then try and stay for the Bhashma Arati or the evening offering with ashes, which is unique to this temple only. Book any one the many resorts near bhopal, so that you can stay overnight and explore this place in all its glory.
- The temple of Laxmi Narayan: Revered as the gods who bring wealth, Narayan and his consort Laxmi, are worshipped in this temple in Bhopal. It is a fairly recent temple and was built under the supervision of a famous Indian industrialist. Apart from the prayers, offerings and chants, you can also witness a throng of ancient sculptures in the temple premises, which are of interest.
There are a lot of other religious places that you can cover in Madhya Pradesh, but wherever you go, do not miss out on the ones given above!