Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of India  , Madhya Pradesh,
Sunday, December 14, 2008

We arrived in Bhopal by train in the middle of the day.  The trains in India are quite remarkable - efficient, well connected, run often.  The train stations on the other hand usually leave much to be desired.  Bhopal's was no exception.  In an attempt to avoid the hoard of touts (rickshaw lady? where you going? cheap hotel?), we raced out of the station and started walking to our hotel. 

There was only one good place to eat by the hotel - Manohar's, and judging by the crowds there on the weekends most people in Bhopal agree.  We ate there so often, that one of the waiters became our friend and even helped us get a table on a particularly crowded Sunday night.

There are three excellent museums in Bhopal, and Calvin and I had a great time spending the better part of a day there.  We even had an honest auto driver (unfortunately not the norm).  Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, the Museum of Man had pictures and exhibits of the tribal peoples in India.  The photos were remarkable.  We also went to the Archaeological Museum which had some of the best stone carvings we have seen in India.  There was also a very informative section on India's freedom struggle.

The next day we took a day trip to Sanchi to see Buddhist stupas from the 2nd century BC.  The bus station in Bhopal was a gong show, but we did manage to end up with seats on the Sanchi bus (that's probably where every tourist goes from Bhopal).  The roads in this part of India are not that great, so traveling the 50km took a very long time.  But the stupas, their amazingly intricate gates, and just the peacefulness of the ruins was worth the trip.  We really enjoyed our time here, and had a lot of fun talking to the local sightseers as well.

Following our friend Chris's advice, we went to the Bharat Bhavan to admire some modern art.  They had international exhibits and Indian ones as well.  Not what I would have expected in Central India, and all in all a nice change of pace!
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