Planning to Visit Indore? Here Are a Few Things to Keep in Mind
Indore - Introduction
Located around 190 km west of the state capital Bhopal, Indore is the most populous city of Madhya Pradesh. The city of Indore is located on the banks of two small rivers, the Saraswati and the Khan. Where they unite at the centre of the city, a small temple of Indreshwar exists, thus the city named Indore.
Indore is a perfect blend of Historical Glory and Modernisation. One of the greatest women rulers of India, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, ruled Indore and also played a pivotal role in building this city.
Keeping the historical glory in its heart, the city along with its satellite townships of Pithampur and Dewas, has now established itself as a robust industrial base and is now the most developed city of Madhya Pradesh. However, it has never let go of its heritage and the traditional industries for which the city is famous, such as cotton cloth and bangles, are very much alive until now.
Being located on the Malwa Plateau at an altitude of 553 m above sea level, Indore makes an excellent tourist destination. Thanks to the cool breezes during evening time, the evenings of Indore are quite pleasant, poets have all praise for the evening of Indore as they call Shab-e-Malwa (the night of Malwa) exquisite beyond compare. The city also has many excellent places nearby, which can keep the tourists enchanted for weeks.
What Indore Is Famous for?
In spite of exponential growth and development, Indore still manages to combine heritage and modern lifestyle in a pleasant blend. 'Indories' as we call the residents of Indore, are well known for their warm and friendly attitude.
The city is also famous for being the only city in India which has both an IIT as well as an IIM. The town has many good places of tourist attraction in and around, which include historical buildings, natural scenery, religious sites, parks, museums etc.
Historically, Indore has remained famous and prosperous trading city, thanks to its cotton textile industry. It is also renowned for its beautiful bangles.
In other things, Indore has excellent variety and taste in food. You can find some spicy chats, Punjabi food and tasty Indian sweets, such as jalebis, malpas, kaju katli, and more.
How to Reach Indore
Indore is well connected with all major cities, by road, rail and air, with the Agra-Mumbai highway passing through the city. It is relatively close to Mumbai (593 km) and Delhi (807 km).
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar National Airport of Indore offers functional connectivity from all the major cities of India. This airport is situated just 8 km away from the central city. Indore is also connected through rail to all the major Indian cities.
The national highway NH3 (Mumbai-Agra Road) and NH59 (Indore-Ahmedabad Road) passes through Indore, and there are daily bus services from Indore to Mumbai, Jaipur, Gwalior, Bhopal etc.
10 Best Places to Visit in Indore
1. Lal Bagh Palace
Once the residence of the lineage of Great Maratha Empire, the Lal Bagh Palace, is now a museum, that keeps some exquisite artefacts of the Maratha Empire and the Holkar dynasty. Apart from that, a rare coin collection, which dates back to the Mughal period is also a tourist attraction in the palace.
The Lal Bagh Palace is located on the banks of river Khan, 3 km away from the main city. The palace is sprawled over 28 acres area. The main palace is a three storey structure, on the first floor of the palace a display of coin collection, which dates back to the Mughal period is available. This palace also houses exhibits of contemporary Indian and Italian paintings. The interiors of the palace are similar to that of Versailles Palace and feature Italian marble columns, chandeliers, flying nymphs on the ceiling and Belgium stained glass windows.
2. Rajwada Palace
Rajwada Palace is an iconic structure of Indore. Popularly known as Holkar Palace, this seven storeyed structure was once the palace of the rulers of the city. It lies close to the centre of town and is easily accessible. The palace comprises two structures, one of which is located in the centre of the city, while the other lies in the old part of the city.
Among the major attractions in the palace, most spectacular is the wooden entrance, which is covered with iron studs. The entrance leads to the courtyard, which is surrounded by galleried rooms and features an arched Ganesha hall, windows and balconies. Out of the seven floors of this palace, lower three levels are built of stone while the rest four are made of wood. The palace also faces a well-maintained garden that houses a statue of Queen Ahilya Bai, an artificial waterfall and some beautiful fountains. The light and sound show here is a major attraction amongst tourists.
3. Kanch Mandir
Kanch Mandir is a Jain temple built during the early 20th Century by Seth Hukumchand Jain. This beautiful temple is a sacred place among people of Jain community and a beautiful idol of Lord Mahavira, made with black onyx is placed in this temple. It is also a very famous tourist place in Indore.
The main attraction in this temple is, it's interiors which are made entirely of colourful glass and mirrors. Along with mirrors, patterned ceramic tiles are also used for decorating the temple. People visiting the temple can also see 50 murals in the temple, each of which depicts one of the Jain stories. The calm and clean environment of this temple leaves a soothing effect in the mind of visitors.
4. Bada Ganpati Temple
Bada Ganpati temple is within the central city area and easily accessible. This temple earned its name due to the size of the idol of Lord Ganesha, who is the presiding deity of this temple. With the total height of about 25 feet, locals believe it to be one of the largest idols of God in the world.
Though the Bada Ganpati may be a simple looking temple, it draws lots of tourist attraction just because of the enormous size of the Ganesha's statue. The temple is believed to be built up during 1875 by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, the then queen of Holkar dynasty. There is also a legend about Shri Dadhich, a resident of the nearby city of Avantika or Ujjain, who had a vision of the Lord Ganesha in his dream. Taking it as a spiritual blessing, he decided to pay tribute to the Lord by building a gigantic idol of him.
Devotees of Ganpati should visit this temple to get a blessing from Lord Ganpati, the one who brings happiness and prosperity.
5. Annapurna Temple
Annapurna Mandir as the name suggests is the temple of 'Maa Annapurna', the goddess of food. It is one of the famous pilgrimage sites of Hindu community in Indore, The temple premises also house three small temples of Siva, Hanuman and Kalabhairava. The entrance of the temple is remarkable, it is adorned with four-life size statues of elephants plus the architectural splendour of the temple makes it a must-visit place in Indore.
You may also see a various interesting depiction of mythological characters. There is also a Pravachan Hall and Veda Mandir inside the temple premises.
6. Chhappan Dukan
Chhappan Dukaan is one of Indore's choicest street food hubs that serve specials, chaat, idli and dosa with equal gusto. It is one of the best places in Indore to feel the buzz and vibrant atmosphere of this beautiful city.
A group of 56 shops offering the most fantastic variety of local delicacies makes this place a great hit with tourists and locals alike. From trying out chaat to unique Indore Shikanji and appetising panipuri, there is so much to taste and relish at Chappan Dukan. This is one place you mustn’t miss out on during Indore sightseeing. Especially during the evenings, this place is light up like nothing else with the whole bunch of people roaming around with great enthusiasm.
7. Chhatri Bagh
Chhatri Bagh is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indore, which is known for its intricately carved cenotaphs. They stand imposingly at the banks of the river Khan for all to marvel at their architectural style and splendour. These structures have been built on the cremation grounds of the Holkar rulers in their memory.
Among the structures, the most popular Chhatris are dedicated to Maharani Krishnabai (queen of Malwa), Tukoji Rao II, and Shivaji Rao. Each samadhi has a life-size statue of the ruler it is dedicated to, and all the monuments are all linked together by a prayer hall which showcases beautifully carved pillars and arches.
During the night, this park draws the attention of numerous tourists, as the chhatris are illuminated and the fountain at artificial lake starts operating.
8. Indore Museum
Indore Museum, which is popularly known as Central Museum, is one among the most sought-after visiting places in Indore. The artefacts exhibited in the museum range from the prehistoric to the modern era. Museum has two galleries, out of which Gallery I houses all the artefacts from the ancient period of Madhya Pradesh ranging from 5,000 to 4,000 BC. This gallery also holds exhibits from western Malwa, which includes stone tools, quartz sickles, ornaments and items of domestic use.
The Gallery II of this museum contains the exhibit of Hindu mythological carvings. The main highlight of the museum is the collection of coins, arms and armour. Exhibition in the museum also includes sculptures, which date back to the 11th and 12th century. The Central Museum of Indore is a history buff's paradise.
9. Kamla Nehru Park
Kamala Nehru Park, known as Chidiya Ghar or Indore zoo, offers hours of fun for tourists. The park is home to numerous species of birds and animals. It is especially noted for housing endangered species like the white tiger, Himalayan bear and white peacock. The zoo has been dedicated to the reproduction, protection, and exhibition of animals and plants in their natural habitats.
What makes Indore zoo a major attraction amongst tourists and children is various rides on ponies, buggies, elephants and even camels that make the visit to the zoo a fun fair.
Situated some 36 km away from the city, the Patalpani waterfalls are certainly a place worth visiting. The waterfalls descend from an incredible height of around 150 to 300 feet and are covered by dense, lush forests. This stunning waterfall is one of the top picks amongst Indore picnic spots for its natural beauty and picturesque setting.
You can witness the splendour of Patalpani waterfalls in the monsoon months when the forest is covered in fresh greenery, and the stream is uproaring. The pond at the end of the waterfall is also quite stunning with a legend saying that the pond is so deep it touches the underworld. A railway line passing along the area adds to the charm of the place.
Few Tips for Travelling Around, Shopping and Eating while in Indore
For the people who are used to Metro cities or small towns for that matter, it is hard to imagine what surprises a second-tier city such as Indore has to offer until they don't visit the city personally.
The city of Indore is spread over 20-25 km. You can visit most of the tourist places in Indore within a day. Some of the very famous markets of Indore include 'Sarafa Bazaar' which is well known for its gorgeous jewellery, 'Kothari Market' and 'MT Cloth Market' is known for its branded clothes where clothes of high quality are available at nominal rates. If you are a book lover, you should not miss 'Khajuri Bazaar' where you can find any kind of books. If you are good at bargaining, this market is all yours. Few good malls such as C21 and Treasure Island mall are also worth visiting for shoppers.
When you are in Indore, you can find excellent and delicious vegetarian street food at every hundred meters. You can't miss delightful Chaat, Sev Tamatar, Butter Khichdi, Maggi Pasta, Garadu, Poha etc., served at Chappan Dukaan market.
Explore Indore's Local Markets
Often, while looking around at favourite tourism spots at a location, the true essence of a place is missed. To experience the true Indore, visit all the local markets, talk to people and experience an entirely different culture this beautiful city has to offer.