|City : Indore
Location : Central India
Language : Hindi, English, Marwadi.
When to Visit : October to March.
Indore is called the ' Mini Mumbai ' of India, situated on the banks of the rivers Saraswati and Khan, and is the largest city in Madhya Pradesh. This bustling and vibrant city derives its name from the 18th century Indreshwar temple and was the seat of the Holkars - the former rulers of this erstwhile state. The place has long been a home of cricketers producing international legends like the celebrated C.K.Naidu.
Geography and Climate
Indore is located in the western region of Madhya Pradesh, and is close to the centre of India. Indore has an average elevation of 553 metres.The surrounding areas are part of the black cotton soil region of India.
The Malwa region has large seasonal temperature variations. During the winter season (November - February), the night-time lows are around 10°C. At the peak of winter, the temperature can drop to as low as 2°C to 3°C. The lowest temperature ever recorded is 1.5°C. During the summer, (April - June), the days are hot (35 to 40°C) with the peak-summer-day-temperature (in May) sometimes touching 45°C.
Indore has many good places to get around ranging from shopping malls, to historical and cultures spots. The city's rich heritage and culture is reflected through the beautifully built palaces and temples.
The best mall of Indore also awarded the Mall of the year award in 2007, is one of the favourite spots of the Indoreans. It is the best shopping destinations in Indore offering major brands like Nike, Adidas, Pantaloons, Pepe, Nike, ezone. It has the best food court in town with variety of restaurants and pubs like Sports Bar, Geoffery's, Little Italy, Rajdhani, Pizza Hut, McDonald's. It also boasts the best multiplex on India - PVR Cinemas. This is the only cinema in town offering luxury movie viewing through its Gold Class for indulging in true luxury and private cinema experience.
Synonymous with the heart of Indore city, it stands today as a mute witness to the bygone splendour of the Holkar rulers. This 200 year old seven-storey historic palace of the Holkars is built in a mixture of Muslim, Maratha and French styles.
The lower three floors are made of stone and the upper floors are made of wood, which made it very vulnerable to destruction by fire. Rajwada was burnt three times in its history; the last fire in 1984 took the greatest toll. Today only the front facade remains. Recent renovations have recreated some of the old glory of this beautiful palace.
Lal Baag Palace
Lal Baag Palace is one of the grandest monuments the Holkar dynasty left Indore. A reflection of their taste, grandeur and lifestyle, its construction began in 1886 under Tukoji Rao Holkar II, and was carried out in three phases. The final phase was completed in 1921 under Tukoji Rao Holkar III. Many royal receptions were held here. It has a total area of 28 hectares, and at one time it had the reputation of having one of the best rose gardens in the country.
Better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring 25 feet from crown to foot. Created as a result of the dream of an Avantika (Ujjain) resident, Shri Dadhich, it was built in 1875.
This Jain temple is an architectural marvel in glass. The walls, ceilings, floors, pillars and door knobs are entirely inlaid with glass. Even paintings are done in glass. Atop is a special glass chamber which multiplies the three statues of Lord Mahavira installed there into an indefinite number (said to be visible upto 21 times, corresponding to the 21 tirthankaras).
Made in 1904 and originally named King Edwards Hall, it was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Hall in 1948. Its architectural style is Indo-Gothic. Made in Seoni stone, its domes and staples are a landmark of Indore today. It has a four-faced clock tower in front, because of which it is locally known as Ghanta Ghar.
It is frequently the venue for the various book and painting exhibitions, fairs and festivals held throughout the year. The building also has a library, a children's park and a temple.
The Indore Museum houses the finest collection of Parmar sculptures from Hinglajgarh. The Parmar style originated here, and is characterized by proportioned figures, carefully and ornately depicted in stone. The museum is also known for its collection of coins, arms and armour.
Chhatris are the tombs or cenotaphs erected in memory of dead Holkar rulers and their family members. The Chhatris picturesquely poised on the Khan river banks near Rajawada are incomparable in terms of Maratha architecture and sculpture of their period. At Chhatri Baag is the main collection of tombs housed in two compounds. Close by is the beautiful Bolia Sarkar's Chhatri constructed in 1858 AD in memory of Sardar Chimnaji Appa Sahib Bolia.
Khajrana Ganesh Temple
The citizens of Indore have great faith in this Ganesh temple, built during the reign of Ahilyabai Holkar. It is believed that all wishes are fulfilled by praying here. Nearby is the dargah of Nahar Sayed. This is an important pilgrimage place for Maita Muslims.
Situated on the hill about 10-12 km away from the heart of the city, the Jain Samaj has constructed a 21 feet statue of Lord Gomateshwar, a replica of the Bahubali statue of Shravanbelagola. Also built here are 24 marble temples with shilars for each tirthankar. This place offers a breathtaking view of Indore city by night.
If you are a food lover this is the place to be. No visit to Indore is complete without Sarafa visit in the evening. The place bustles in the night with plethora of food stalls offering the best chats of India. You will indulge in food like you have never done before. It has Indore specialities like sabudana khichri (best in the country), aloo tikiya, and others like pav bhaji, dosas, samosas. Savuory sweets like jalebi, malpua, rabdi, gulab jamun like you have never tasted before.
All national festivals, Ganeshotsav, Deepavali, Gudi Padwa, Bhaubeej and other others like Nagpanchmi, Ahilya Utsav, are celebrated with equal enthusiasm.
Indore celebrates Rang Panchami
This festival is celebrated five days after Dhulandi. This is also celebrated like Holi, but colors are mixed with water and then either sprinkled or poured on others. The local municipal corporation arranges a special event in which they sprikle color mixed water in the main streets of old Indore.
Ganeshotsav is the main festival after Deepavali and is celebrated in a unique way in Indore city. In earlier times, when textile mills flourished in Indore, the workers of these mills contributed money and labour to arrange a carnival of floats (known as "Jhanki" in local Hindi language).
Makar Sankranti is a 'Kite Festival' when people fly kites and competitions are held to cut each other's kites in the sky on 14th January each year.
Gudi Padwa is the new year for maharashtrians.as Indore has a large maharaahtrian population gudi padwa is celebrated widely.
How to Reach Indore
Indore airport is about 9 kms. west of the city center, which is connected by regular flights to Bhopal, Gwalior, Delhi, Bombay, Ahmedabad and Calcutta.
Indore is on the Western railway and is connected with major Indian cities
well maintained roads connect Indore with all the major neighboring cities. Important highways like the NH3, NH 69, and NH 86 pass Indore and connect it with the important cities in the neighboring states.