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Madhya Pradesh - Indore
Located at an altitude of 567 meters, on the lingering plateau of Vindhya Hilly range, on the astonishing banks of Saraswati and Khan Rivers, was the capital of Holkar dynasty. A flyover acts as a barrier between the bus stand and railway station of Indore. Drive from the Indore bus stand to the railway station. It would take approximately 5 minutes. The old and new towns of Indore are separated by the railway track.
The second largest business hub of Madhya Pradesh, Indore, Produces loom attires, industrial products and opium. Innumerable industries are spread across the prolonged territory of Indore. The business hub of the state of Madhya Pradesh is hence popularly known as ‘chota’ (small) Mumbai.
The founder, Victoria Ahilya Bai, had founded the city of Indore. Slowly the reconstruction of the city started. Temples, Palaces and Dharmasalas were built in and around the city gradually. The city of Indore had derived its name from the divine deity, Indreshwar. The picturesque Indore is a homeland of more than 10 lakhs inhabitants.
The city has not yet recognized as a prominent tourists’ destination. However, the nearby places like, Mandu (known as the fort city), Omkareshwar (the Hindu pilgrimage) and Maheshwar are significant and appealing allurements. Indore is primarily serving as a junction station. Plenty of tourists and hordes of holiday makers flock to Indore and visit the adjoining renowned places.
Ujjain, one of the enchanting pilgrimage destinations of India, about 55 km towards the northern side of Indore, can be accessed effortlessly from Indore. Indore definitely doesn’t deserve admiration as a sought after travel destination but tourists visit Indore mainly during Ganesha Puja in September, Holi in March and Rang Panchami Utsav.
Seth Hukumchand temple or the glass temple, on the Jawahar road, is the chief attraction of Indore. Spiritual people in numbers regularly throng to the holy Seth Hukumchand temple. The idol of Digambara Jain is the divine power, residing in the temple. Surrounding walls, floor and ceiling of the temple are adorned staggeringly with books, pearls, colorful stones, ceramic tiles and shimmering glasses. A thorough analysis of 50 Mural pictures of the temple would assist you to understand and know a lot about the Jain mythological tales. These beautiful pictures illustrate the tough and painful life of hell. Three sacred Jain deities, namely Chandra Prabhu, Shantinath and Adinath, are residing in Padmasana (Lotus-shaped) on the silver throne. The 1st floor of the momentous temple houses the idols of three Jain Tirthankars as well. You would be able to see the reflections of 21 adjoining images due to the presence of mirrors around. It seems that the temple houses thousands of idols. People who don’t belong to Jain communities can watch the splendor of the holy temple during 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If you watch the exterior walls of the temple, you won’t be able to get any impression of the excellent panache and elegance of the walls inside the temple. This majestic temple, which definitely deserves a visit, was constructed by Hukumchand Seth in 1988.
Another spectacular glass temple is also located adjacent to the Seth Hukumchand temple.
Gita Bhawan in Kailash Park is pulling huge crowds as well. Unity in diversified religions is the principal image which has been portrayed and illustrated by the existing idols and images of the temple. The concept of the “one deity” is notably displayed on the architectures of the temple. This is the prime and most important aspect of any religion.
Agricultural Research Center and Nehru Park are the other coveted tourists’ destinations of Indore. The zoo, however, amidst the Kamala Nehru Park has lost its own charm.
The adjoining Central museum is suffering immensely due to the lack of maintenance. It’s a very rich museum which showcases archeological coins, weapons and collection of armors in Gallery-1. Besides mythological items, a number of other ancient items are also maintained in the Gallery-2 of the striking museum. The astounding museum is closed on Mondays.
On the astonishing River banks of Khan River, the premise with multiple shrines is one of the prime enticements for the tourists who love to watch the ancient architectural touches. 7 tombstones of Holkar kings would enthrall visitors due to the excellent Maratha architectural flairs. The Chattis of Malhar Rao-1 is praiseworthy. Another notable chattis of Rani Ahilyabai in the propinquity allures tourists as well.
The Goddess, Annapurna, is residing along with the deities, such as, Kalbhairav, Hanuman and Shiva, in the holy Annapurna temple, on the premise of Dasara ground. This consecrated temple resembles the structure of the world famous Meenakshi temple of Madurai. The well bedecked walls of the Annapurna temple portray a magical example of the ancient Indian architectures. Various mythological tales are imprinted on these fine-looking walls. The temple was accessible to all the people belonging to Harijan community due to the initiative taken by the great Indian patriot Mahatma Gandhi.
Rajwada, surrounded by shops and buildings in Khajuri Market, still is a centre of attraction in the proximity. The history of this marvelous palace dates back to 350 years. The hanging pictures on the walls of the palace display the faces and lifestyles of the family members of Kolkar dynasty. The well maintained water clock is also pulling huge crowds to the palace. First three stories are constructed with stones where as rest of the four stories of the 7 storied entrance display Daru architectures. The time-honored edifice of Rajwada had been destructed thrice previously. A wonderful commingling of Maratha- Mughal- French architectures of the palace had received a beating many times. The magnificence of the age-old palace had been taken a severe pounding when most parts of the palace were demolished and burnt by the fire during 1984. The main palace compound and the hallowed temple on the premise were saved though. The palace still looks astounding in the evening as it wears a number of garlands of colorful lights.
The new palace was built at the northern side of the Rajwada. The ancient Gopal temple and art gallery, constructed by Krishna Bai Holkar in 1832, are situated on the same premise of Rajwada Chawk.
Located at a distance of 1 km towards the western side of the Rajwada, the Bada Ganapati temple is one of the prime temples of Madhya Pradesh. Soil and water of 7 pilgrimages (Ayodhya, Mathura, Puri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwarka), soil of the stables of horse, cows and elephants and dusts of 5 types of precious stones (Diamond, Beryl, Ruby, Topaz and Pearl) were brought in from various corners of the nation. The mixture of fenugreek and molasses were used to construct the tallest (8 meters) idol of Ganapati of the world in 1875 on the throne of the holy Bada Ganapati temple. The frame is also built creatively with five precious stones (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Iron and Zinc).
The famous Edward hall sets a high standard for itself as the beautiful Indian- Gothic architectural flair and panache decorate it innovatively. Even though the name of this hall was changed to the “Mahatma Gandhi Hall” in 1984 but the hall is prevalently known as the “Town Hall”. Besides a good Library, Children’s Park and Temple, an exhibition takes place here as well. The quadrilateral clock tower, placed at the opposite side of the Edward Hall, is another appealing destination of Indore. The tower is also known as bell room in the vicinity.
Lalbagh Palace, covering a sprawling 28 hectors, located at the south- west side of the city, is one of the crowd pullers of Indore. The construction of the temple was started in 1886 and 35 long years were taken to complete the astounding palace. The construction of this impressive monument was started by the emperor Tukoji Rao 1 and was finished during the time of the ruler, Tukoji Rao 3. The praiseworthy and admirable Georgian architectures are the charm of this palace. The gateway of the palace is a replica of Buckingham palace. Aureate walls, Doric pillars, Crystal Jhara Lantern, innumerable portraits and Rococo attires and utensils are still showcase the primeval cultures and traditions of the Holkar kings. The aesthetic sensibility is quite prominent on the Darbar Hall of the palace. A museum was built by the Indian Government in 1987 in the rooms of the palace. The name of the museum had been changed to the “Nehru Museum” later on.
Manik Baug palace, located in the proximity, resembles the structure of the Italian cottages. The fine arts, showcased on the walls of the edifice, are compared with the architectures of the Italian cottages.
Hire a car or taxi to move around the city comfortably.
Kasturba Village, about 8 km away from Indore towards Khandwa, is famous as the village houses the Kasturba Gandhi National Trust. The location of the trust, established by Mahatma Gandhi, was transferred to the village from Wardha in 1950. A number of activities are going on in the village regularly. Stroll in and around the village to witness this huge action plans.
The Border Security Arms Museum, atop the tiny tila, about 9 km away from the city, adjacent to the airport, is built in the rooms of the Guest House, built by the Holkar emperors.
The ancient Bijasen Mata temple, built way back in 1920, is there atop the tekri or tila. Climb up the tila and stand quietly on the holy temple premise to watch the spectacle of the astonishing sunrise.
Drive your car down for 10 minutes from Airport to Gomatgiri to visit the blessed premise of 24 Jain temples of 24 different Jain Tirthankars. 21 feet tall idol of Bahubali is an amazing replica of the idol of divine Shravanabelagola.
Pilgrims who want to enjoy the divine atmosphere of Gomatgiri for some more time should stay at the Dharamsala of the temple authority and Guest House.
Dewas, another nearby tourists’ destination, about 35 km towards the north- eastern side of Indore, at the roadside of NH- 3, is a noteworthy destination for caves of the primeval saints. These caves, naturally built at the top of the hill, are creatively designed by the almighty. The hill resembles the structure of volcanic hill. The author, E M Forster had stayed in the cave during 1920. The names of these caves are mentioned in the books, such as, Hill of Devi and A Passage to India
Dewas has not come up with any hotels yet. It’s better to return back to Bhopal or Ujjain or Indore on the same day availing a bus.
The pilgrimage, Bawan Gajaji, about 170 km away from Indore, on the rambling River banks of Narmada, atop the tallest Satpura hill namely Chalageri, is a prominent Jain pilgrimage. The tallest idol of Rishabdev (84 feet with 52 hands) is residing in the holy temple, about 10 km away from Barwani, the tehsil head quarter of Khargone district. The marvelous idol was carved out of stones but is not a monolithic idol. Besides 3 feet long eyes and 4 feet tall nose, the diameter of the head of the idol is 26 feet. The local architect, called Arko Kirti, had built the idol of Bawan Gajaji 1000 years ago.
Frequent bus services are available to Barwan from Indore. Pilgrims can throng to Barwan hiring a jeep. Hotels are also there in Barwani.
The next destination would be Oon, about 18 km away from Khargone. Countless numbers of Jain and Hindu temples are located in and around the small town of Oon. Before thousands years, the emperors of Molar Paramara dynasty had constructed these consecrated temples. The awe-inspiring architectures, displayed on the walls of these divine temples, recall the excellent artistic creations of Khajuraho temples.
Omkareshwar: Visit Omkareshwar from Indore, a one day trip, at a distance of 77 kilometers. Click here for details on Omkareshwar. Hire a car for the best experience.
Bagh Caves : Touted as the second Ajanta, it is best covered from Indore. Click here to know about Bagh Caves.
How to reach: Indore is well connected by Railway Networks to Allahabad, Satna, Ujjain, Bhopal, Bhopal, Patna, Varanasi, Agra, Gwalior, New Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvanantapuram, Chennai, Nagpur, Ahmadabad, Kolkata and many more Indian cities. Indore can be accessed from Nagpur, Mumbai, Bhopal, Gwalior, Agra, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Baroda, Pune and other destinations by bus as well.
Where to stay: Hotel Ashoka, Hotel Mayur, Standard Lodge, Hotel Basanta Bahar, Hotel Neelmahal, Hotel Siddhartha, Amaltus International, Hotel Baba, Hotel Shrimaya, Hotel Golden Palace, Lantern Hotel and Hotel Princess Palace. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.