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Location : Madhya Pradesh
Languages : Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati
Area : 3898 square kilometers
Altitude : 553 meters from sea level
Climate : Pleasant
Temperature : Ranges between 2 and 45 degree Celsius
Major Attractions : Lalbagh Palace, Rajwada
Best Visiting Time : Months between October and March
Indore, the business capital of the state, is also the largest city and is a testimonial to the regal grandeur that can be seen in its architectural splendors. The popularity of this vocational retreat is attributed to its myriad monuments, religious shrines, and charmingly beautiful palaces. A leader in industries like automobiles and textiles, the city of Holkars is situated on the banks of River Narmada and has rivers like Saraswati and Kham flowing through its geographical area.
Down the Lane :
The foundation of the city was laid down by the zamindars that used to inhabit over land around River Narmada. The 18th century saw the control passed to Peshwa rulers and the zamindars were awarded with title "Mandloi". It was Baji Rao Peshwa who usurped the entire Malwa region in 1733 AD and Malhar Rao of Holkar dynasty was made Subedar; this was the beginning of Holkar rule over Indore. Malhar Rao controlled Maratha armies and by the time became Maratha Governor, Holkar became an independent state. Under their rule, a number of monuments and palaces were built; later the city became a part of colonial rule.
Lalbagh Palace :
One of the larger than life monuments that adore the land of Indore and showcase the grandeur of the bygone era is Lalbagh Palace. In fact, the building exemplifies regal life and taste of Holkar rulers. Under the rule of Tukoji Rao, the foundation stone was laid down. Looking upon its architecture, we come to know that it is a beautiful amalgamation of Renaissance and Baroque styles. The interiors are decorated lavishly, a typical of any palace of that time. The rooms are well furnished; the moldings are gilded and to add to the beauty, ceilings are ornamented with frescoes. The proportions of the palace are immaculate; aesthetics presented by the interiors are eye-catchy and have an imprint of westernized outlook on them. The Italian marble is used to build columns; expensive chandeliers, Persian carpets, Belgian glass in windows, a decorative ballroom appear enticing. The stuffed leopards over walls appear to be looking right into your eyes. A visit to this extravagant palace can be a treat for the visitors.
Also referred to as Holkar Palace, Rajwada is the gateway to Indore city. There are seven storeys that frame the entire structure and are finest example of the architectural magnanimity of its time. There are two parts of Rajwada; while one is located within the city itself, the other one is present in the older part. Once a center of trade related activities, the palace is known for its splendid design and style. Comprising of French, Maratha, and Mughal styles, it is going to catch your fancy once you are here. There are many galleried rooms and a Ganesha Hall where all sorts of religious activities were carried out. The gardens are laced with fountains; an artificial waterfall is present within the premises.
Bada Ganapti :
A colossal sculpture of Lord Ganesh that carries a height of 25 feet is the largest such statue of Ganapai in the entire world. The use of several metals as well as non metals such as gold, silver, brass, copper etc. has made this statue even more special. Placed inside a temple, the sculpture is highly venerated and is thronged by thousands of devotees who arrive here to seek the blessings of their revered deity. The raw material used to construct the idol was carried from seven scared puris of India. Diamonds and other precious stones like ruby, pearl, panna, topaz etc. have also been used.
Central Museum :
Within this storehouse of antiquities, you will see a gamut of sculptures that belong to Parmara Dynasty. The use of right proportion and dexterous style in creation of these idols catch your attention. Numerous coins and weapons have also find in the interiors.
Kanch Mandir :
Another exclusive attraction that you must not miss while touring Indore is Kanch Mandir. As is clear from name, glasswork is used in its construction. Also refereed to as Seth Hukumchand temple, this Jain shrine is embellished entirely with glass. You can see glass ornamentation over all the parts of the temple viz pillars, ceiling, doors as well as ceiling. As your eyes fell over this magnificent piece of architecture for the first time, you are bound to get awe-struck by its beauty. There are thousands of mirrors that make up this temple. The beauty of the temple gets multiplied under Chinese lanterns and perfectly chiseled chandeliers. There are about 50 murals that have been painted over its walls. Some of the paintings have stories of Jainism as their themes. The lavish use of class beads and the figures placed on raided platform impart a 3D beauty to the place.
These fantastic architectural beauties are characteristics of Indore city. Constructed in the memory of Holkar rulers, these Chhatris are lovely cenotaphs. Most of them have been preserved beautifully and remained untouched from human interference of any kind. Most of Holkar rulers were cremated at thus place. Each of the Chhatri carries a dome shaped structure and has pyramidal spires at the top. These are, in fact, the reminiscent of the glorious past of Holkars. One such structure built in remembrance of Bolia Sahib is worth mentioning here. If you want to make most from your visit, arrive here at night when these get illuminated and make the beholders go spell bound. In the nearby area, you will see an artificial lake that adds to the charm. Boating facilities have been provided to the visitors.
Chokhi Dhani :
This , along with Nakhrali Dhani, form one of the best resorts that are present in Indore. Built to provide a look of Rajasthani village, these heritage resorts are equipped with modern facilities. A visit to these villages will let you breathe in traditional environment of peace and tranquility. Rajasthani cuisines can be relished by you; villagers welcome with hospitality and warmth. The meals are served over a leaf and you have to sit on ground while eating. Punjabi delicacies are also served here to the guests. Apart from these, there is an array of entertainment activities that you can pursue here: camel &horse rides, puppet shows, monkey shows, and magic shows can be enjoyed. Theme parks, discotheques, car racing add to the charm. There are many village huts that are scattered all over these two villages. So be ready to get a glimpse of Rajasthan at this exclusive destination.
Annapurna Mandir :
The temple welcomes you by four elephants that have been placed at its entrance to the shrine. As you enter the complex, you will see several temples dedicated to deities like Hanuman, Shiva, Kal Bhirav. Before gaining an entry inside, notice the relief features that have been painted on the outside wall.
Nehru Park :
The park is the oldest one in Indore; this visitor's attraction was constructed by British colonists who named it as Boscow Park. You can take a ride in a mini train that will take you around park premises. Alternately, you can also choose to ride over cars running on battery.
Meghdoot Upavan :
Known for its sprawling parks, lovely fountains, and a backdrop of lively landscapes, Meghdoot Upavan is among the largest gardens and present themselves as a fascinating hotspot. As you look inside, you will see an amusement park named Mangal Merry. The place is a fun to spend a day with family and friends. Your penchant for snacks and ice cream can be fulfilled at ice cream parlors and chaat gali that are present within the complex.
Gopal Mandir :
A dedication to Lord Krishna, this temple is present near Rajwada. Krishna Bai Holkar was responsible for laying down the foundation of this temple. There are stupendous pillars that support the ceiling. The exclusively chandeliers that decorate the roof are enough to cajole the visitors.
Bijasen Tekri :
Resting atop a hill, Bijasen Tekri is a small temple that was constricted in early twenties. From the top of the mountain, you can have the panoramic view of the entire city of Indore. Tekri was used as a guest house by the rulers of Holkar dynasty. The view at night is even more spectacular. The premises have now been converted into a museum of BSF (Border Security Force). The enchanting backdrop formed by well-laid gardens makes the place more pleasurable.
Geeta Bhawan :
This relatively new attraction has sculptures of many Hindu deities. Everyone can gain an entry here and no distinction on the basis of caste, creed and community is done here. In the vicinity, a tomb of a saint named Nahar Sayed is present. The place is particularly visited by Naita Muslims.
Other Attractions :
This lovely village is located at about 8 kilometers from the destination; her you can see a monolithic temple that belongs to 7th century. Refurbished in 18th century, the place is often referred to as "Garuda Tirath". A submerged temple that houses a Shiva lingam is present below the current structure and is considered highly revered by the devotees.
This memorial trust is located at 8 kilometers from Indore; the foundation stone was laid by Mahatma Gandhi. The museum depicts the way improvement can be carried out in village life. The interior also aims at the welfare of rural women as well as children. A number of other subjects that are touched here include water management, social forestation, fruit orchards experimentation, gobar gas utilization, sanitation programs, and use of renewable resources.
On the lines of Bahubali statue at Shravangobela, A colossal statue has been erected at Gomatgiri. The sculpture has a height of 21 feet. In the nearby area, there are temples built for each of the 24 Tirthankars.
Bijasen Tekri :
The place was a retreat for Holkar kings. Now, it has been converted into a museum of BSF (Border Security Force). From here, you can have fantastic vies of sunsets. Spend a day here picnicking and relaxing while watching the splendid view of the backdrop.
The architecture of the temple resembles to that of Meenakshi Temple of South. The eye catchy scene is presented by four elephants that are highly embellished and placed beautifully at the entrance. The interiors have shrines of deities like Shiva, Hanuman, Kal Bhiarava and Many others. On the exterior wall, motifs taken from legendary stories have been depicted.
Indore excels in art; is famous for its fascinating art and craft, a skill that has been passed from generation to generation of skilled artists. You can see an influence of the neighboring states upon the design and styles of handcraft items and antique pieces.
Block Printing :
The city is famous for its hand block printing art. Natural colors and dyes like turmeric powder, vegetable extracts, indigo, lac, fruit skins etc. are widely used in it. The overall look of the fabric to which these colors glue permanently is quiet vibrant.
Tie & Dye :
Another important art that is quiet prevalent in the city is tie & dye. In local language, it is called "Bandhani". Employing the earliest techniques, this art has flourished here very well. The process involves tying small beads that are knotted; the entire fabric is immersed in colored water. When the knots are untied, a beautiful pattern is formed.
Jute/Zari Work :
Several art works are prepared from jute; it being nature friendly and cheap. It is used in packaging and creation of lovely antique pieces like hanging lamps, purses, and flower vases. Like jute, zari works are into prominence at Indore. Zari is a dexterous art that involves perseverance, skill, and craftsmanship on artist's part. You must have seen zari works on saris, bags, and purses.
It involves applying molten wax onto fabric and then coloring it with dyes. This art is one of rarest kinds and the city has successfully carried it from centuries.
There are many accommodations that you can choose from. Luxurious options are available that offer all modern facilities to the guests. Amaltas International, Crown Palace, Kanchan Hotel, Balwas' International, President Hotel are a few nice accommodation options here.
Indore's magnificence lies in its larger-than-life monuments, grandeur, and excellence.