Bhopal (Hindi:भोपाल (Bhopaal)) is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is a good mix of the old and the new with a lot of old portions of Bhopal reminiscent of the Mughal influence and the new showcasing the planned development of a modern Indian city. Bhopal is the seat of the Madhya Pradesh Government and is a beautiful mid-sized city in the heart of India. It is said that Bhopal was originally called "Bhoj-pal" after Raja Bhoj, who is attributed with founding the city. It was an important part of the "Bhoj" kingdom with Ujjaini (a city close to Bhopal) being the seat of the kingdom.
It is the 16th largest city in India and 131st in the world. Founded in 1707, the city was the capital of the former Bhopal State, a princely state of the British ruled by the Nawabs of Bhopal. Numerous heritage structures from this period include the Taj-ul-Masajid and Taj Mahal palace. In 1984, the city was struck by the Bhopal disaster, one of the worst industrial disasters in history. A Y-class city, Bhopal houses various educational and research institutions and installations of national importance, including ISRO's Master Control Facility, BHEL, and AMPRI. Bhopal is home to the largest number of institutes of National Importance in India, namely IISER, MANIT, SPA, AIIMS, NLIU and IIIT (currently functioning from a temporary campus inside MANIT) . The city attracted international attention in December 1984 after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant (now owned by Dow Chemical Company) leaked a mixture of deadly gases composed mainly of methyl isocyanate, leading to one of the worst industrial disasters in the world's history.