My first impression about Indore was, it is quite old school and there’s nothing much to see here. To my surprise, it turned out as a city that under-promises and over-delivers when it comes to heritage and culture.
The capital of Madhya Pradesh, India, Indore is a place with a variety and vibrance. I spent 6 months here and everyday has been a new beginning. There is so much to see here that cannot be finished over a weekend. The city has miraculously blended itself with the urban culture while maintaining and preserving the old. So, whether it’s the heritage buildings you seek, or to relax and rejuvenate yourself feeling back to your normal urban life, Indore will be a trip worth a lifetime.
Whether you want to visit temples or forts, traditional Indian eating joints or fast food restaurants, Rajasthani food or Mughlai delicacies, shop for modern or ethnic wear, or you want to make a quick return to your usual urban life so that you can continue exploring the next day, it’s all here. All you need is to see while the city keeps unfolding itself.
Indore is almost the centre of the country. Well, the exact centre of India is called the ‘Zero Mile’, which is in my home town, Nagpur. Notwithstanding, Indore is equally approachable from all directions by buses, trains and flights.
- 1.475 million (2001)
- 204.6 sq miles (530 km²)
Places to See:
1. Khajrana Temple: Though located a little away from the city, this temple is the city’s major attraction. A famous weekend getaway for the locals, the temple gets crowded, especially on Wednesdays and Sundays and almost the entire city pours in to seek the blessings of ‘Lord Ganesha’, the Lord of wisdom, prosperity and happiness.
Built in the year 1875, during the reign of Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, Khajrana is famous for housing the largest Ganapati statue in the world. From crown to foot the deity measures eight meters in length. It is believed that Bada Ganapati is the hinderer of all obstacles so devotees give highest regard to this idol and that all the wishes will be fulfilled after praying here.
2. Nakhrali Dhani: Located on Mhow Road, this place is a mini Rajasthan put together at one place. With folk music, dance, puppet show, the Rajwada culture and style, cuisine,and much more to see, this place is an ideal weekend getaway, especially in the evenings.
The best part about this place is that there is something going on at every corner. So your eyes do not get time to rest, and your energy levels are always high.
3. Annapurna Temple: Another famous temple of Indore, located near Rajendra Nagar, Indore. This temple attracts people not only due its spiritual significance, but also due its unique architecture.
The entrance of the temple features two massive elephant statues on either side of the gate. Within the temple premises, the outside walls of the temple are engraved with 3D idols depicting the entire story of Ramayana. One of the most crowded places in Indore, this place is also famous for its small roadside food stalls. Do not forget to try the famous Sabudana Khichdi here. I bet my life, you will not come out from the stall without buying two plates of them.
4. Rajwada: The ancestral palace of the Holkars, Rajwada palace is a major attraction of Indore. A mix of French, Moghul and Indian Architecture, this palace was built almost two centuries ago.
The entire palace is constructed with wood and iron and the structure forms the centre of Indore city. Standing a tall, the palace is a seven storey structure and its mesmerizing entrance awaits to welcome every traveler that passes by. A must see place without a doubt.
5. Palasia: Palasia is the most affluent area of Indore,the largest city in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The area buzzes with some of the best restaurants and eating joints. Looking for Mughlai cuisine? Jump into Nafees,one of the famous eating joints here.
Another 7 mins walk from Palasia, is the famous Chappan Dukan (56 Shops). This place is the abode for the foodies. So, if you are one of them, you can do away with your diet charts and exercise routines for some time (and I recommend it) and spend one of your weekends here. Sweets, namkeens, bhujias, samosas, mouth-watering jalebis, pani puri..you name it and you have it here. There can never be any other way better to know Indore than eating here
P.S. You may stop eating at home on weekends….
6. Kanch Mandir: The Kanch Mandir, or the glass temple, is primarily a Jain temple and is a wonder in glass. The walls, ceiling, floor, pillars, doors, everything here is entirely adorned with glass. The Kanch Mandir has always been an object of interest for almost all the Hindu rulers in India.
It is also known as the Seth Hukamchand Temple, as it was built by the “Cotton King” Sir Hukamchand Seth in the early 20th century.Its uniqueness arises from the fact that it is too showy and splendid to be the shrine of a religion which advocated simple living. Infact, not just simple living, rather austerity. The colorful glass beads and raised sculpted figures give a special 3D effect to the temple. The idol of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism is made from shimmering black onyx. The temple is a place of interest for both the Jain pilgrims as well as the tourists. The temple is situated on Jawahar Road near the Rajwada and opens at 10:00 am.
1. Mandu Fort: Mandu is a celebration in stone, of life and joy, A tribute to the love shared between the poet-prince Baz Bahadur and his beautiful consort, Rani Roopmati. The balladeers of Malwa still sing of their euphoric romance.
Located about 100 Kms from Indore city, Mandu fortress is located at an altitude of 2000 feet along the picturesque Vindhya Ranges.Mandu, built during the 10th Century A.D, due to its strategic position and natural defences, was an important place with a rich and varied history. It was an important military outpost and its military past can be gauged by the circuit of the battlemented wall, which is nearly 37 km (23 mi) and is punctuated by 12 gateways. The wall encloses a large number of palaces, mosques, Jain temples of 14th century and other buildings. The oldest mosque dates from 1405; the finest is the Jama Masjid or great mosque, a notable example of Pashtun architecture. The marble domed tomb of this ruler is also magnificent
2. Omkareshwar Temple: On the banks of Narmada river, Omkareshwar is one of the several Jyotirlingams of Lord Shiva.Located at a distance of 77 Kms form Indore, the temple is based on a small island named Shivpuri.
The temple premises has a North Indian touch of Architecture, however, the time it was built still remains a mystery. Three different prayers are conducted here everyday. The morning prayers is conducted by the temple trust. The prayer of the second half of the day is conducted by the priests of the Scindia state and the evening prayers are offered by the priests of the Holkar state.
3. Ujjain: Ujjain is situated at a distance of 56 km from Indore. The city of Ujjain is one of the ancient cities of the country. It is considered to be one of the seven sacred places to attain Moksha. The city attracts a great deal of pilgrims, as it is the abode of one of the Jyotirlingas. Ujjain city of India is located on the banks of River Shipra and exists from the early days of the Indian civilization.