Indore is the largest and the most populous city of Madhya Pradesh. Located on the Malwa Plateau, the charm of this city lies in its rich cultural heritage which has been preserved over centuries and along with the hints of urbanisation.
Indore has been one of the fore-runners in the development of the country in the era of modernization. One of the educational hubs in the country, Indore has both an IIT and an IIM. Indore is also the cleanest city of India. Indore has over the years established itself as the hub of trading and industrial practices in the state. The city of Indore gets its name from Indreshwar Mahadev temple. It is believed that Lord Indra meditated on this land and led Swami Indrapuri to establish this temple. Try out some local delicacies like Indori Poha at Sarafa Bazaar while you are in Indore.
Places to Visit
Lal Bagh Palace
Resided by the rulers of the Holkar dynasty, the Lal Bagh Palace is class and grandeur personified. The palace is spread on a sprawling area of 28 acres and reflects the taste of the rulers of the Holkar dynasty.
An example of architectural magnificence, this palace once contained one of the best rose gardens in the country.
Although Indore has its own share of grandeur, this is one spot that you should mark on the top of your travel itinerary. The palace that once was a witness to the grandeur of the Holkar dynasty, it is situated on the banks of River Khan, 3.2 km. away from the main city. The construction had begun during the time of Tukoji Rao Holkar in 1886, and completed 35 years later, by his successor Tukoji Rao Holkar in 1921. Once the residence of the ruling Holkar dynasty till 1978, it is now more of a museum, that keeps some of the most exquisite artifacts of the Maratha Empire and the Holkar dynasty intact, apart from a rare coin collection, which dates back to the Mughal period.
The interiors of this palace will make you forget that you are in India, owing to the myriad mixture of Italian marble columns, grand chandeliers, rich Persian carpets, flying nymphs on the ceiling, Belgium stained glass windows, Greek mythological reliefs, Italian style wall paintings, stuffed leopards, and tigers etc. All in all, Lal Bagh Palace is a must visit, if you’re in Indore. Except for Monday, you can visit this palace anytime between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the evening.
Located near the famous Kajuri Market in Indore, Rajwada is a magnificent and historical palace that is located in the city of Indore and was constructed by the Holkars more than 200 years ago. It is a seven-storied structure located near the Chhatris and serves as an excellent example of royal grandeur and architectural skills.
Nestled between the crowded streets of the Kajuri Bazar and facing the main square of the city, the Rajwada palace also faces a well-maintained garden that houses a statue of Queen Ahilya Bai, an artificial waterfall and some beautiful fountains. Even after all these years, the palace continues to be one of the most famous tourist spots in Indore and is one of the oldest structures too.
Being the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, Indore witnesses many business activities on a daily basis. This city resembles Mumbai regarding its trade and commerce. Since Indore is well connected to Mumbai, the trade of both the cities resembles. One can go on a shopping spree in the city and enjoy the experience to the fullest. Shopaholics get an amazing experience at the place. The city has a range of shops ranging from street shops to branded showrooms.
The markets of Indore have a variety of items to offer to the customers. There are numerous shops to buy from in Indore. International stores and showrooms are a part of the marketplace as well. The cloth industry of Indore too is quite famous. Fabrics are beautifully decorated with hand block printing, tie, dye and zari work.
People staying here absolutely adore the Maheshwari and Chanderi sarees of the city. One can also select from the variety of local crafts present in the place. Shop till you drop is one saying which is taken very seriously in this place with so many places and commodities to choose from.
Made entirely out of glass, this Jain Temple exhibits exquisite artwork on glass panels depicting the various aspects of Jainism. The intricate detailing on the glass reflects the talent and dedication of the artists.
In Hindi, ‘Bada’ literally means big, and Ganpati is the pet name of elephant-faced god Lord Ganesha. This temple earns its name due to the size of Lord Ganesha’s idol – at the height of about 25 feet from crown to foot, it is said to be one of the largest idols of the God in the world. The statue is made of a peculiar mixture of limestone, jaggery, bricks and sacred soil and water from the major pilgrim places in the country. Located at the end of a quiet lane in the city of Indore, the Bada Ganpati may be a modest-looking temple, but it holds significance simply based on the enormity of the Lord’s statue.
There are conflicting accounts of how the sacred abode came into existence. Established in the year 1875 by Shri Dadich, the construction of Bada Ganpati Temple was brought about by the family members Holkar Dynasty, the rulers of the region then. The Queen Ahilya Bai Holkar undertook the project under her wing more than 100 years ago. Ganpati is said to be the bringer of happiness and prosperity. The Lord is worshipped at the beginning of any new event, venture, or pooja in the entire nation. Devotees from all over the world come to Indore to visit this statue which has a high religious significance.
Devotees of Ganpati should definitely have this temple on their itinerary. It is especially ideal during the festive season when there is a constant celebration through poojas and sweet offerings to the Lord Ganesha in the hope of seeking blessings for peace, prosperity, and well-being.
The Annapurna Temple, besides being a place for pilgrimages is also a tourist attraction. Dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, the deity of food the temple also houses the shrines of Sivan, Hanuman and Kalabhairava.
The entrance of the temple is adorned with four-life size statues of elephants, and the architectural splendour of the temple makes it a must-visit for all tourists.
Chhappan Dukaan is one of Indore’s choicest street food hubs that serve specials, chaat, idli and dosa with equal gusto. Chhappan Dukaan literally means fifty-six shops. At the time when it was established, 56 separate shops were started here, all selling food items. The evenings light the place up like nothing else with people consuming the delectable spread with enthusiasm.
A pilgrimage site for the Jains, Gomatgiri is located at a distance of merely 10-minutes drive from the Indore airport. A 21 ft statue of Gomateshwar which is a replica of the gigantic statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola is a major attraction. The statue of Gomateshwar is situated at a hill. Apart from this, there are also 24 temples, each representing the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism. Gomatgiri is a picnic spot that will reward you with the best views of the area.
The cremation places of the Holkars are known as the Chhatris. These are beautifully built and have intricately carved structures. There are some temples and other structures built around them as well.
The Khajrana Ganesh temple is one of the most powerful shrines of the Lord Ganesha. It was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar to safeguard the idol of Lord Ganesha from Aurangzeb. The temple has since grown from being housed in a small hut to a big temple with large inner and outer sanctums. Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated in a big way in the temple.
Must Try Food in Indore
1. Dutt Gurukripa Restaurant
2. Nafees Restaurant
3. Vidorra The Terrace Tavern
5. Shreemaya Celebrity
6. Little Italy
8. Little Monk
9. Lucknowi Zaika
How To Get Here
Indore is well connected to the rest of India by rail, road and air. Regular rail and bus services ply to and fro the city of Indore. The nearest airport here is the Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport, which is 7 km. away from the city centre, accessible in the fastest time via Airport Road.
Regular flight services ply to and fro Indore. 7 km. away from the main city is the nearest airport, Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport, which serves regular domestic flights to her customers.
Nearest Airport: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (IDR)
Regular bus services ply to and fro Indore. Buses, in a range from affordable to slightly expensive rates, are available from places like New Delhi, Bhopal, Jaipur as the list goes on. You can also take a shared taxi or cab for the same route.
Regular rail services ply to and fro Indore. Indore Junction railway station is the principal station that connects Indore to the rest of India via railways.