Bhopal is said to have been founded by the Parmara King Bhoj (1000–1055), who had his capital at Dhar. The city was originally known as Bhojpal named after Bhoj and the dam ('pal') that he is said to have constructed to form the lakes surrounding Bhopal. The fortunes of Bhopal rose and fell with that of its reigning dynasty. As the Parmaras declined in power, the city was ransacked several times and finally faded away into obscurity.
An Afghan soldier of the Orakzai tribe called Dost Mohammad Khan (not to be confused with the later Afghan King carrying the same name) laid out the present city at the same site following the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707. He brought with himself the Islamic influence on the culture and architecture of Bhopal, the ruins of which can be found at Islam Nagar. Bhopal, the second largest Muslim state in pre-independence India was ruled by four Begums from 1819 to 1926. Qudisa Begum was the first female ruler of Bhopal City, who was succeeded by her only daughter Sikandari, who in turn was succeeded by her only daughter, Shahjehan. Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum was the last female ruler, and stepped down to her son. The succession of the ‘Begums’ gave the city such innovations as waterworks, railways and a postal system. Several monuments still stand in the city as reminders of this glorious period in its history. A municipality was constituted in 1907.
It was one of the last princely states to sign the 'Instrument of Accession' 1947. Though India achieved Independence in August 1947, the ruler of Bhopal acceded to India only on 1 May 1949. Sindhi refugees from Pakistan were accommodated in West Bhopal Cities, Bairagarh Sub-Area(Sant Hirdaram nagar), a western suburb of Bhopal. According to the States Reorganization Act of 1956, Bhopal state was integrated into the state of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhopal was declared as its capital. The population of the city rose rapidly thereafter.
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