04 Dec 2023
A trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi in the 16th century, the city of Indore was discovered by Rao Nandlal Chaudhary. Later, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, with her keen interest in education and planning, built this city in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The city is ranked as "the cleanest city in India" for the sixth consecutive year and has reserved its place among the first 20 cities to be developed as smart cities in India. The big city image yet mixed culture vibe of Indore makes it a fabulous place to visit that offers fantastic food to taste.
Indore offers a perfect blend of heritage modern culture. The city offers a variety of famous places to visit including majestic palaces co-existing with lip-smacking food options. It is also the birthland of the Indore Gharana of Hindustani Classical Music. Here are the top five places to visit in Indore:
The pride of Holkars, Rajwada palace, is located near Khajuri Bazar and holds the position of one of the most important monuments in Indore. The Rajwada is located beside the busy road and is the first thing that grabs everyone's attention. The main entrance of the Rajwada is separated from the bustling road outside by an exterior wall, a garden, and a sidewalk. The first impression of this Holkar palace is always overwhelming. The Rajwada's seven-story facade is astounding in its opulence.
The spectacular Kanch Mandir made entirely of glass and mirrors is one of the prime tourist attractions in Indore. Early in the 20th century, wealthy businessman Seth Hukumchand constructed this Jain temple. Everything in the room, including the doors, floors, ceiling, and even the paintings and murals are made using glass. The ceiling is embellished with glass lamps and cut-glass chandeliers, while patterned ceramic tiles can be seen through the floor. The murals reflect tales from the Mahabharata and Jain literature. The three Tirthankara statues - Adinath, Shantinath, and Chandraprabha - made of dazzling black onyx are multiplied to an infinite number in the Mandir's distinctive glass room on the top floor.
The Bada Ganapati Temple is located in a busy neighbourhood west of the Kanch Mandir and is true to its name. The 8-m-tall Ganesha idol was placed in this modest temple in 1875 by a resident of Ujjain. In addition to bricks and lime, the idol is supposedly made of fenugreek seed, soil gathered from the seven Mokshapuris, or holy Hindu pilgrimages, (Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayapuri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, and Dwarka), as well as the powder of five gems, or Pancha Ratna, (diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby, and topaz).
Lalbagh Palace is one of the most impressive structures of the Holkar dynasty. Spread over 71.63 acres, the Palace was built between 1886 and 1921, during the reigns of Tukoji Rao II, Shivaji Rao and Tukoji Rao III. The architecture of Lal Bagh Palace reflects the European style and the imposing gate of the palace is built as a replica of the main gate of Buckingham palace; only it is twice as large.
The Meenakshi Temple in Madurai served as the inspiration for Annapurna Mandir. The temple is situated near Lalbagh Palace and its complex boasts an impressive entryway with four life-size elephants supporting an intricate Gopuram ( a structure of tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of a temple) which is typical of Dravidian temples in south India. Hindu gods and goddesses are depicted in minute plaster carvings that cover the entire Gopuram. The complex's focal point is the main temple, which is devoted to Annapurna Devi. It has a pink dome and colourful reliefs from Hindu mythology decorating its walls.
Rani Ahilyabai Holkar built the Khajrana Ganesha Temple of Indore. Huge crowds of people typically visit this temple on Wednesday and Sunday to offer prayers. According to the legend, the idol was hidden from Aurangzeb in a well. In 1735, Ahilyabai Holkar of the Holkar dynasty of the Maratha Empire retrieved the idol from the well and had a temple built in its place. It is a local saying that once a devotee bow down to Ganesha, all their desires are granted by the lord. Vinayak Chathurthi, the primary festival is celebrated in the temple in a magnificent way in the months of August and September.
While every spot at the Gulawat Lotus Valley in Indore is breathtaking, however, you should not miss the opportunity to see the charming 100-meter bridge that spans the lake. One of the most beautiful sites to see in Indore, Gulawat Valey is the place where you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the lake and surfaced lotuses. Also, if you want to see the magnificent sunrise, you should set out early and witness the first sunbeam touching the flowers that are floating over the lake before striking the sparkling lake.
Street Foods of Indore: Apart from its rich heritage, the city is also very popular for its mouth-watering culinary experience. Indore is no less than a paradise for foodies. Signature dishes like Poha Jalebi, Mawa Bati, and Bhutte ka kees are popular across the nation. A visit to Indore is never complete without having scrumptious food at the city's Sarafa bazaar Chappan Dukan. You may find a wide range of snacks, chaat, candies, meals, hotdogs (banjos), momos, and hot cold drinks including coffees, teas, milkshakes, juices, etc. at these markets, brimming with people.
A visit to the Central Museum: One of the best collections of ancient and mediaeval Hindu and Jain sculptures from Madhya Pradesh extending from the Gupta to the Parmara eras is housed in the Central Museum of Indore. It was established in Nar-Ratan Mandir in 1929 and moved to its current location in 1965. The Inscriptions Gallery, Coins Gallery, and Antiquities Gallery are all located on the ground floor. There are antiques dating between 5000 and 4000 BC from western Malwa, including stone tools, quartz sickles, ornaments, and domestic items. Additionally, there are a handful of Chalcolithic-era items from the Azad Nagar excavation site on the banks of the Khan (2100-1800 BC).
Safari at Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary:In addition to its fascinating history, Indore is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The renowned Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary is a visual delight for nature lovers and trekkers, and visiting the sanctuary is one of the top things to do in Indore. Eucalyptus, bamboo, teak, babul, and Chandan trees decorate its thriving kingdom, which is also home to deer, rabbits, leopards, blue bulls, sambhars, and unique bird species.
Shopping at Sarafa Bazar: The Rajwada serves as the hub for the old bazaars in the centre of this old town. Sarafa Bazaar (jewellery market), which is close to Rajwada, is one bazaar you must visit. Because of the curvy, narrow roads, cars rarely enter there, but there is a parking lot nearby. The namkeen and silver jewellery stores in Sarafa Bazaar are well known to all. Sarafa Bazar is a hotspot for foodies at night, serving mouthwatering chaats and savoury desserts. Saree shops can be found nearby as well, where you may find great deals on Maheshwari, Chanderi, and Bagh-printed sarees.
Gair Festival: The Holi procession, also known as the "Faag Yatra" or "Gair," is an event that sheds insight on how the festival of colours is observed in Indore which exhilarates and amuses everyone.
"Gair" communicates societal peace and cuts across all barriers of class. If you plan a trip to Indore around Holi, do not forget to carry beautiful traditional clothes to match the vibes of the festival.
Patalpani waterfall: The Patalpani Waterfall, which lies in the Mhow Tehsil of the Indore district, is a well-liked picnic location for locals. Patalpani is ideal for anyone searching for a break from their routine schedules because they are surrounded by extensive forest covers, beautiful hills, clear skies, and rich green landscapes. When the water flows at its maximum, the 300- foot-tall falls unleash thundering jets of white water. During the monsoon, there is a generous water flow, and slopes may become slippery. It is advised to trek carefully.
Mandu: You can also visit the temples of Mandu which is approximately 100 km away from Indore. The city houses some grand monuments like Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, Hoshang Shah's Tomb, Jami Masjid, Hathi Mahal and Ashrafi Mahal. Dhar District is also 100 km away from Indore and can be visited to explore Bagh Cave, a rock-cut Buddhist shrine situated in the Narmada valley on the banks of the Baghini river.
You can also visit spiritual cities like the Ancient city of Ujjain for Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling darshan, Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and Maheshwar to revive your soul and experience spirituality in and around the city.
Although the city can be toured anytime in the year, the best time to visit is between October and March when the weather is conducive enough for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The temperature during this period ranges between 12 degrees C and 30 degrees C.
By Air: The airport in Indore is located 10 kilometres west of the city. Flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Pune, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Jaipur, and Kolkata are available every day.
By Road: Two national highways, NH-3, which connects Agra to Mumbai, and NH- 59, which connects Ahmedabad to Indore, meet in Indore. Most locations in Madhya Pradesh are accessible by road. The Sarwate bus stop is close to the train station, and the Gangwal bus stop is three kilometres to the west of Chhatri Bagh. Regular buses to Ujjain, Gwalior, Bhopal, Omkareshwar, and Maheshwar depart from the Sarwate Bus Station.
By Train: Indore railway station is well connected to all Major cities of the country and several trains are running up and down to Delhi and Mumbai.
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Sarafa Bazaar in Indore is a must-visit place if you relish street food. The streets turn into a food paradise at night.
It's a popular street in Indore which is always thronged by foodies. From hotdog, chaat to sweets, you will find a variety of street food options here.
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Located just a few minutes from Indore's central marketplace Rajwada, Sarafa Market is a trading point for jewellery, artefacts and ornaments.
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The temple has one of the biggest statues of Lord Ganpati in the world, measuring 25 feet from crown to foot.
Packed with quietness and tranquility, Choral Dam, 40 KMs from Indore in Mhow is an ideal place for weekend getaway and a nice place to hangout with family and friends.
Built by Sir Hukamchand Seth in early 20th century, this temple is made entirely of glass and mirrors.
Famed as one of the grandest monuments built by the Holkar dynasty, the Lal Bagh Palace is an opulent multi-storey structure. Its main gates are said to be a replica of the gates used in London's Buckingham Palace and were exclusively shipped from England.
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