Bhopal is the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the administrative headquarters of Bhopal District and Bhopal Division. The city was the capital of the former Bhopal State. Bhopal is known as the City of Lakes for its various natural as well as artificial lakes and is also one of the greenest cities in India.
The city attracted international attention after the Bhopal disaster, when a Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide manufacturing plant leaked a mixture of deadly gases including methyl isocyanate on the intervening night of 2 / 3 December 1984, leading to the worst industrial disaster in the history of industrialization and a loss of thousands of lives. Since then, Bhopal has been a center of protests and campaigns which have been joined by people from across the globe.
The major industries in the old city are electrical goods, medicinal, cotton, chemicals and jewelry. Other industries include cotton and flour milling, cloth weaving and painting, as well as making matches, sealing wax, and sporting equipment. The residents of Bhopal also engage in large retail businesses. Handicrafts, like zardozi and batua (a small string purse, usually used with Indian traditional dresses) are some of the products of the Old City. In addition, there are also a large number of garages in the Old City which specialise in automobile conversion. These garages produce custom-modified and tuned cars, SUVs and motorbikes.