IT IS THE LARGEST CITY IN THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
ITS SIGNATURE CUISINE, FOUND AT SARAFA BAZAAR, IS POPULAR ACROSS THE NATION
NUMEROUS MARATHA ERA ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS ARE SPRINKLED IN THE CITY
HOME TO THE KANCH MANDIR, WHICH IS MADE ENTIRELY OF GLASS AND MIRRORS
BIRTH-LAND OF THE INDORE GHARANA OF THE HINDUSTANI CLASSICAL MUSIC
The woman behind
How Ahilya Bai accidentally entered history and made it eventful
The city of Indore owes much of its success to the Holkar regime, to be specific, the Queen of Holkar, Rani Ahilya Bai.
Born in 1725, Ahilya Bai accidentally walked on to the stage of history. When she was eight, Malhar Rao Holkar, army commander to Peshwa Bajirao, spotted her at a temple service in Chondi. So impressed was he by her character that he decided to get his son, Khande Rao, married to her.
Ahilya Bai took control of Malwa after her husband's death in the battle of Kumbher in 1754. She excelled at administrative and military strategies under the guidance of her father-in-law. She then laid the foundation of the indomitable Holkar army in 1792 and become one of the most feared archers of her time.
With keen interest in religion and charity, she built numerous temples like 2 of the 12 Jyotirlingas to name a few. Her charity extended beyond her territory to the rest of India. Respected historians have sung her praises in their books.
She is the powerful, influential woman who successfully transformed Indore village to the magnificent city that it is today.
flamboyance of Indore
How the Holkars lost their prosperity
How the Holkars lost their prosperity
The rulers of Indore, the Holkars, were known for their lavish lifestyle. From jewellery by French jewellers to a collection of cars, they had it all.
So where did it all disappear?
The rise of Holkars to royalty is akin to a rags-to-riches cinema. Originally goatherds or Dhangar, the Holkars, later, came to rule Indore and parts of Central India. The dynasty began with Malhar Rao Holkar, a commander in Peshwa Bajirao's kingdom. With time, he and his successors made Holkar one of the richest empires.
Their flamboyant lifestyle included jewellery from world-renowned French jewellers like Van Clef, Arpels, Chaumet and Moubassin. Along with this, they possessed a collection of popular luxury cars, raising their status higher than other kingdoms.
Then their rags-to-riches extravaganza took a U-turn. They had to sell several of their exquisite jewellery pieces to Harry Winston to pay taxes that ran into crores. In addition to this unfortunate event, lot of their prized possessions were stolen in a jewellery heist in 1900s.
Yet, the Holkar dynasty deserves the credit for making Indore what it is today with their administration, leaving behind a valuable legacy.
A trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi in the 16th century, the city of Indore was discovered by Rao Nandlal Chaudhary in mid-1710. Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, with her keen interest in education and planning, built this city.
Today, Indore, the state’s largest city, offers a spectacle of majestic palaces co-existing with commercial centres. Apart from being considered as the state's commercial capital, it is also known for mouth-watering culinary experience. It is in the first 20 cities to be developed as smart cities.
Indore, with its abundance, will make you ask for more, like you did as a child for your favourite dish.
Points of interest
Life-like leather toys made out of leather has a been a practice in Indore for ages. Animals and birds of all kinds come alive in their leather miniature versions.
Bada Ganpati temple
The temple has one of the biggest statues of Lord Ganpati in the world, measuring 25 feet from crown to foot.
Unique to Maratha architecture, these are cenotaphs built in the memory of Holkar rulers.
Built by Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar, this 3 storeyed majestic palace is situated on the banks of River Khan.
Built by Sir Hukamchand Seth in early 20th century, this temple is made entirely of glass and mirrors.
Popularly known as the Holkar Palace, it is a magnificent 7 storeyed structure built by the Holkars.
A glistening jewellery market during the day and a buzzing-with-foodies chat food bazaar by night.
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Plan your Travel
Reaching by Air
Indore is well connected by flight to major cities like Bhopal, Gwalior, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Nagpur, Jaipur, Raipur Delhi and Mumbai. The airport is just 8 kms away from the city.
Reaching by Rail
Indore is connected to most major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Vadodra to name a few. The station is divided into metre gauge and broad gauge. Khandwa and Ratlam are the two major junctions on the metre gauge.
Reaching by Road
Indore is well connected to other cities of the state through state and national highways. Other than that there is a bus/cab service to cities like Bhopal, Gwalior, Ujjain and Sanchiamong others.
A handy digital map of the location and facilities for easy reference.
LOCAL GUIDE DIRECTORY
List and contact information of accredited local guides. Please call and book in advance.
A guide to the sights, facilities, timings and more.
BEST SEASON TO VISIT
This destination can be visited throughout the year, but it’s best to visit in the months of July to April.