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|Indore is known as the city of the Holkars. The city was built by a Holkar Rani Ahilya Bai, one of the famous queens of India. Located in the Narmada River valley in the western part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, Indore is an important industrial city of India. It is also the centre of trade and textile industry and home to many historical monuments and temples. A must visit, Indore is also affectionately called /’Mini Mumbai/’.
Visiting Indore means a visit to some of the famous historical monuments and religious centres inside the town. Famous for its glass bangles and jewellery, Indore has some of the best architectural marvels that belong to the Holkar dynasty. The Rajwada or the Old Palace (a major centre of attraction), Lalbagh palace, (another architectural wonder), Kanch Mandir (a marvellous Jain temple), Chattri Bagh (the memorial with some canopies) and the Bada Ganapati (the largest Ganapati statue in the world) are some of the attractions you must visit in Indore. Moreover, Indore is famous as a shopper/’s paradise. The Khajuri Bazaar offers you unique shopping options of gold and silver work, cloth, leather work and traditional garments. Moreover, there are the Sarafa Market that specialises in snacks and jewellery and the Kasera Bazaar that specialises in metalwork where you can indulge in the variety displayed for selling. The Chanderi and Maheshwari silks of Indore are the other famous attractions of this city.
Indore is an important base to visit some of the interesting sites nearby. Hence an excursion is highly recommended. Your excursion from Indore would include sites like the Omkareshwar temple and island at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers; Maheshwar, a famous spot for monuments, forts and Maheshwari saris; Ujjain one of the holiest cities of India, Military Headquarters Of War (MHOW), Mandu, the former monsoon retreat of the Mughal emperors and Patal Pani, a waterfall with a height of 150 feet.
RAJWADA (OLD PALACE)
The Rajwada or the Old Palace is one of the most important sites to visit in Indore. Located in the old city, the building is a blend of French, Mughal and Maratha architecture. This 200 year old palace belonged to the Holkar dynasty. The palace is characterised by three stone made lower stories, wooden upper stories, well-laid garden with fountains and an artificial waterfall.
One of the few important monuments built by the Holkar rulers is the Lalbagh palace. The palace, construction of which was carried out in three stages, is a must visit in Indore. This palace was used for holding important functions and celebrations. The gardens all around and the overall make of the palace reflects the taste, grandeur and lifestyle of the Holkars. The palace is open for public from 10 am to 6 pm (Monday Closed).
The Kanch Mandir, as the name suggests in the local language, is a temple made of mirrors. Also known as Seth Hukamchand Temple, it is a must visit in Indore. Built by Sir Hukamchand Seth in the early 20th century, it is a wonderful Jain temple with plain exteriors and intricate mirror work done on interiors. The walls, ceilings, floor, pillars and doors are all inlaid with glass. Paintings done in coloured glass are the characteristics of the temple. The paintings of the temple also depicts some of the stories from Jain scriptures. The statue of Lord Mahavir kept here is said to be visible up to 21 times on glass, corresponding to the twenty one tirthankars. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Located near the Khan River, the Chattri Bagh is another important place to visit. The place is characterised by a number of chhatris or memorial canopies dedicated to the Holkar rulers and their family members. The Chattris or the canopies are quite attractive especially the Chattri of Malhar Rao Holkar I, the founder of the Holkar dynasty.
Built in the year 1875, this temple as the name suggests is famous for housing the largest Ganapati statue in the world. The statue measures 8 m from crown to foot. The statue is made of metallic frames of gold, silver, copper, brass, and iron. This is a must see of Indore.
Located a few kilometres away from Indore town is a small island at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers in the state. The island is shaped like the holy Hindu symbol /’Om/’ and the Omkareshwar temple here is one of the many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is made from local soft stone. The temple also holds importance as one of the 12 jyotirlingams of India, attracting a good number of religious tourists every year. The island also has some other temples near the Omkareshwar temple.
Excursions for Indore
||Located 91 kilometres from Indore, a four hour journey by bus, is the small town of Maheshwar. The small town is famous for its fort and temples and also for the saris produced by the local weavers. Known as Maheshwari saris, the silk saris are intricately patterned and quite comfortable to wear. You can get some of the fine locally made saris from the local shops where the prices of these saris are comparatively cheaper.
|The word Mandu literally means the city of joy in the local language here. Located at a distance of 99 kilometres from Indore, it is a must visit excursion point from Indore. Mandu has a number of sites to visit like the palaces, tombs, temples, and a fort that was the monsoon retreat of the Mughal emperors here. Moreover, Mandu has over 40 monuments which are divided into three broad groups: the Central Village Group, the Royal Enclave Group, and the Rewa Kund Group. Champa Baoli, the huge 15th-century Jama Masjid, the beautiful Jahaz Mahal (ship palace), the Hindola Mahal or swing palace, the romantic Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Roopmati/’s Pavilion and the Hoshang Shah’s Tomb are some of the unique and must see tourist spots of Mandu.
Another important site to visit during your excursion is Mhow. The word Mhow is the abbreviated form of Military Headquarters Of War (MHOW) which was supposedly the British war management centre. Located at a distance of 23 kilometres from Indore, Mhow today is functioning as one of India/’s most prestigious military training establishments for senior officers. The campus of the training establishment is worth having a look.
||Located a few kilometres away from Indore town is a small island at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers in the state. The island is shaped like the holy Hindu symbol /’Om/’ and the Omkareshwar temple here is one of the many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is made from local soft stone. The temple also holds importance as one of the 12 jyotirlingams of India, attracting a good number of religious tourists every year. The island also has some other temples near the Omkareshwar temple.
Located at a distance of 36 kilometres from Indore, Patal Pani is an exotic excursion destination from Indore. This site is especially famous for the 150 feet high waterfall. Water falls from that height into a kund. The kund is supposed to be dangerous as the depth of it is still unknown. It is believed that the bottom of this kund touches Patal (nether world).
|Located at a distance of 56 kilometres from Indore, Ujjain also called as Ujjayini, is one of the holiest cities of India. Situated on the banks of the sacred river Shipra, Ujjain is also known for being one of the four centres of Kumbha Mela. The Mahakaleshwar Temple, the Gopal Mandir or the Ganesh Temple, the temple of Har Siddhi Mata (the family goddess of king Vikramaditya) and the Vedha Shala (Veda School) are some of the must visit destinations of this place.
• Area 165.17 sq. km
• Population 1,109,056
• Altitude 567 metres
• Languages Hindi, Marathi and English
• Best Time to Visit October-March
• STD Code 0731