India >> Madhya Pradesh >> Indore Travel Guide

Indore Hotels and Travel Guide

Indore is situated on the Malwa plateau at an altitude of 553 m above sea level, on the banks of two small rivulets - the Saraswati and the Khan. They unite at the centre of the city where a small 18th century temple of Sangamnath or Indreshwar exists. The name Indore is due to this diety. It is the largest city in Madhya Pradesh state in central India . It is among the million+ population cities of India with a population of 1,086,673 (1991). It is the commercial capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Indore city presents a happy blend of historical past and promises of rapid future modernization.  The higlight of any Indore visit has to be the food there. You must go to Chhappan and Sarafa and try all kinds of street food. If you are a vegetarian and you love food, you must visit Indore.


Indore is known as "The Commercial Capital" of the state. Trade & Commerce at Indore has a close resemblence with Mumbai. Being well connected to Mumbai by Rail/Road/Air every business trend be it new fashion , technology or just the business culture, comes in very fast to Indore. Hence sometimes also called "Mini-Bombay".Apart from having big shops & showrooms of all the national & international brands (Company outlets), a big cloth market industry has flourished at Indore. Indore is also known for its leather toys and Maheshwari & Chanderi are some very interesting ornate sarees and brocades to offer. There is a lot of zari work coming out of Madhya Pradesh, and the Maheshwari sarees have particularly gained in popularity of late. Besides the fabrics, there is a variety of local carving crafts to choose from. For shopping in Indore there are main places as under.

Winter During the winter season (November - February), the night-time lows are around 10 °C. During peak winter season, it can be as low as 2 °C to 3 °C. The lowest ever recorded low is +1.5 °C.
Summer During the summer season (April - June), the days are hot (35 to 40 °C) with the peak-summer-day-temperature (in May) sometimes touching 45 °C. Unlike other places in central India, the summer nights in Indore are special, i.e., cool and pleasant. Due to Indore's location on the southern edge of the Malwa Plateau, however hot it may be during the day, a gentle cool breeze (also referred to as Shab-e-malwa) in the evenings makes it quite pleasant.
Rainfall Indore gets moderate rainfall of 30 to 35 inches (760 to 890 mm) during July-September due to the southwest monsoon.

  • Rajwada. In the heart of Indore city. A must see for all visitors to Indore.
  • Lal Bagh. It is a beautiful palace spread across 200 acrs of land . Now it's a kind of Museum and contains historic belonging.
  • Krishnapura Chhatries. By the banks of the much polluted Khan river. Walking distance from Rajwada.
  • Devlalikar Art Gallery. On MG Road. Not far from Rajwada. Is open only at select times.
  • Indore Museum. A must-see for lovers of sculpture.
  • Indore Zoo. Has an impressive collection of animals and birds.
  • Gommatgiri. A pilgrimage spot for Jains.
  • Khajrana Ganesh temple. A famous temple of Indore.
  • Ralamandal. Nature park in Indore. It used to be the hunting preserve of the Holkar Maharaja.
  • Mhow Cantonment. 23 km from Indore. An old Cantonment town founded in 1818. Has a very charming market and an old world charm. Foreigners cannot enter without permission.
  • Patal Pani. A beautiful waterfall near Mhow. Patal Pani has a small railway station - the first after Mhow as one travels on the metre gauge track towards Khandwa.
  • The temple of Janapao. On the Agra Mumbai road. 16 km from Mhow. The temple is on top of a hill in the village of Kuti. According to legend it is supposed to be the place where Jamadagni the father of Parshurama had his ashram. It is famous for a mela (fair)held on Kartik Purnima - the first full moon after Diwali,
  • Sitlamata Falls. In the village of Manpur which is part of Mhow Tehsil and is 25 km from Mhow. There is a temple in a cave here. It was in this cave that the English Resident in Indore was kept safely by the Bhil tribals during the 1857 uprising by Indian troops.
  • Ujjain Ancient temple town. 65 km from Indore.
  • Dewas Industrial town 35 km from Indore. Also famous for the temple of Chamundeswari on the hill top and as the town where the legendary classical singer Kumar Gandharva had settled. It is also the town where the famous writer E.M. Forster spent some years in the service of the Maharaja. His book The Hill of Devi is about the temple of Chamunda mentioned earlier.

Rajwada of Indore - Indore
Rajwada of Indore - Indore

Kanch Mahal - Indore
Kanch Mahal - Indore

Lal Bagh Palace - Indore
Lal Bagh Palace - Indore

Attractions and Places to Visit in Indore

Juna Rajwada: The palace of the Holkars, the ruling dynasty of Indore, is nowhere as old as some of the greatest palaces of India and has very little history behind it. The most notable thing one can say about it is that the palace has been up in flames three times in its 200-year-old history. It was reduced to no more than a facade after the fire in 1984 destroyed most of it.

Built by Maharaja Malhar Rao Holkar II (1811-34) in the old part of the town, the seven-storey gateway of the Old Palace towers over the busy lanes of the Kajuri Bazaar. It is the only existing seven storied entrance of a palace.
The palace consists of a splendid range of buildings that you'll love to amble through. To the right of the gateway facing the main square is the Gopal Temple (1832), a large central hall with granite pillars supporting an elaborately carved roof. The temple enshrines the idol of the family deity Malhari Martand.

Kanch Mahal: The Kanch or Sheesh Mahal has always been a weakness of most Hindu rulers in India. It is usually a magnificent sprawling room adorned with countless mirrors. If you've been to Rajasthan, you'll probably remember the dazzling Sheesh Mahal in Amber Fort.
The Kanch Mahal of Indore, however, isn't the luxury palace of a whimsical king; it is actually a Jain temple.

Chhattri Bagh: This garden of cenotaphs dedicated to the royal family lies along the Khan river. The seven chhattris to the Holkar kings are grouped within a crenellated wall.

The one dedicated to Malhar Rao Holkar (1766) has ornamental sculpture and low relief work. Slightly smaller than this is the chhattri dedicated to Indore's most venerated ruler, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. Another, a 12-sided pavilion on a low plinth is dedicated to her son Male Rao Holkar (1766).
There is another similar enclosure beyond containing the Chhattri of Maharaja Hari Rao Holkar IV (1843). Most of these cenotaphs are now in disrepair and the inner sanctums are locked.

Lal Bagh Palace: Just outside the town, to the southwest stands the grand Lal Bagh Palace built between 1886-1921. Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar ordered this quaint three-storey building set amidst maintained, though dry and dusty, gardens. Architecturally similar to the New Palace, it was designed by Triggs of Calcutta.

The Maharaja was obviously quite taken up by everything British: the entrance gates are replicas of those at Buckingham Palace, London. They were cast in iron in England and then shipped to Indore. The palace has a wooden ballroom floor mounted on springs; marble columns, chandeliers, stained glass windows and stuffed tigers complete the effect.
The rooms have now been restored and furnished and the palace turned into a museum. Much of the furniture and ornamentation is in the late Regency, early Georgian style.

Mahatma Gandhi Hal:l Formerly known as the King Edward Hall, it was opened in 1905 by the future King George V. However, locally it is known by a third name: the Clocktower.
An excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, it was designed by Charles Frederick Stevens of Bombay. Faced in white Seoni and red Patan stone, it has a central domed clocktower and two-storey wings terminated by domed towers. Inside is a spacious hall with a seating capacity of over 2,000. Above it are a terraced roof, minarets and cupolas in Rajput style.

Central Museum: Located near the GPO, this museum has one of the best collections of medieval and pre-medieval Hindu and Jain sculpture in MP from the reign of the Guptas to the Paramanas.
Most of these have been gathered from the ruined 11 th -12 th century temples at Hinglajgarh. The finely carved panels portray Harihara, Shiva and Parvati seated on Nandi, standing Parvati and a damaged Chamunda.

Bada Ganpati Temple: At the western end of MG Road, this temple houses the largest statue of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha (son of Lord Shiva and Parvati) in the world. The idol is 8m high and painted a flaming orange.

Gita Bhawan: This is not one temple but a group of shrines, chief of which is dedicated to Annapurna Devi (the Goddess of cereal and grain). The architectural style here is definitely south Indian.

How to Reach Indore

By Air: Airport - Indore Airport (10 km from the city) Indore has an airport on the western side of the town. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate from Indore connecting Delhi and Mumbai.

By Rail: Indore is well connected to Delhi and Mumbai by rail. There is a daily Malwa Express to Delhi from Indore (807 km), via Ujjain (55 km), Bhopal (186 km), Jhansi (475 km), Gwalior (486 km), and Agra (604 km). The Avantika Express leaves everyday in the afternoon for Mumbai (16 hours and 593 km). The other broad-gauge line connects Indore to Ujjain, Bhopal, and Jabalpur (494 km). There is also an Intercity Express between Indore and Bhopal and the travel time is 5½ hours. There is also a meter-gauge track from Indore to Jaipur (647 km).

By Bus: Indore is well connected by bus with Ujjain (55 km, 1½ hours) and Bhopal (186 km, 5 hours).

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