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Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India, and the second largest city of the state, after Indore. Bhopal is also called the City of Lakes. It is the headquarters of Bhopal District. It is in the central part of India.
The city is believed to have first been called Bhojpal, named after the King of Bhoj. According to this theory, it was later changed to Bhopal.
Bhopal has an average elevation of 499 metres (1637 ft).
Bhopal State was an independent state of 18th century India, a princely state in a subsidiary alliance with British India from 1818 to 1947, and an independent country from 1947 to 1949. Islamnagar served as the State's first capital, which was later moved to the city of Bhopal.
Rule of the Begums[change]
Bhopal was the second largest Muslim state in pre-independence India, after Hyderabad. Between 1819 and 1926, it was ruled by four women – Begums – unique in the royalty of those days. Qudsia Begum was the first woman ruler, who was succeeded by her only daughter Sikandar Begum, who in turn was succeeded by her only daughter, Shahjehan Begum. Jahan Begum was the last woman ruler, who after 25 years of rule, abdicated in favour of her son, Hamidullah Khan. The rule of Begums gave the city its waterworks, railways, a postal system and a municipality constituted in 1907. The peaceful rule of Begums led to the rise of a unique mixed culture in Bhopal. The Hindus were given important administrative positions in the state. This led to communal peace and a cosmopolitan culture took its roots.
In 1984 a poisoned gas was leaked from a private chemical factory at night when a worker was cleaning out a clogged pipe with water from a tank. The tank had 42 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC). Over 20,000 people died, and many people became sick. Many animals were also killed. This has been called the "world's worst industrial disaster".