Considered the educational, cultural, and commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, Indore is one of the most remarkable cities to visit in India. The city was once an important trading hub between the Delhi and Deccan kingdoms and was then taken control of by the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire. This ushered in the splendid Holkar dynasty which completely transformed the city, leaving in their wake spectacular architecture, music, and food culture.
If you’re looking to visit Indore, there’s plenty to see and do. It always makes sense to plan your vacation down to the tee. Pick your hotels, places to visit, restaurants and more in advance. If you’re looking for affordable options choose public transport to travel, affordable hotels like Treebo Hotels in Indore, and travel during off seasons if you want to. There’s so much to discover in this interesting city, here are 10 great places to visit.
Lal Baag Palace
Built from in between the years of 1886 and 1921, the Lal Baag Palace is easily one of the most beautiful structures in Indore. The three-floor structure was built by Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar to host royal receptions. Today, the palace houses several prehistoric artifacts, a Mughal coin collection, and several Indian and Italian paintings. The palace also boasts a fabulous ballroom with beautiful chandeliers and Belgian stained window panes.
Another spectacular example of Indore architecture is the Kanch Mandir, a Jain Temple made entirely of pristine white marble. This name of this temple can literally be translated to Temple of Glass, thanks to the stunning glasswork inlays in the structure’s interiors. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavira and showcases 50 intricate murals depicting Jain fables.
Built-in 1875 by Queen Ahilyabai, the Khajrana Ganesh Temple or Bada Ganesha Temple is known for its massive idol of Lord Ganesha. The idol measures 25 feet from the crown to the head and is said to be the largest statues of the deity in the world.
The idol was said to be found and excavated from a well after a local Pandit Mangal Bhatt dreamt about it. The temple gets hundreds of visitors every day but sees the largest crowds on Wednesdays and Sundays. It is said that whatever you wish for in this temple will come true, so why not go give it go?
If you’re looking for more architecture from the Holkar dynasty, you must visit the Rajwada Palace. This seven-story structure was built over 200 years ago and is located quite close to the Chhatris. The three lowest levels of the palace are made of stone, while the upper levels are made of wood. The palace caught fire thrice and then was converted into a garden. The most stunning part of the palace is the wooden entrance studded with iron.
Patal Pani Waterfalls
Situated some 36 km away from the city, the Patalpani waterfalls are certainly worth a visit. The waterfalls descend from an incredible height of around 150 to 300 feet and are covered by dense, lush forests. The pond at the end of the waterfall is also quite stunning with a legend saying that the pond is so deep it touches the underworld.
The most popular time to visit is during the monsoon season when the forest is covered in a fresh carpet of vegetation. Do remember to be careful though as the waterfalls can get quite dangerous and the rock around gets slippery. It’s always advisable to go here with a guide.
Popularly known as Chidiya Ghar or Indore Zoo, Nehru Park is a zoological park that offers hours of fun for tourists. The park was laid out by the British and is said to be the oldest in the city. The park is home to numerous species of birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and insects. One of the most popular animals here is a streak of white tigers and their cubs. There are also a number of fun rides for kids, including a rock climbing area, buggy rides, camel rides, and slides.
Gomatgiri, only 10 minutes away from the Indore airport, is an excellent place to visit to get some peace and quiet in the city. This small hillock was donated to the Jain Samaj in 1981 and is home to a 21-foot statue of Gomateshwara, a replica of the enormous one in Shravanabelagola. The hillock also has 24 white-marble shrines dedicated to each Tirthankara. It also boasts a guest house, a restaurant, and a Dharamshala here.
Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, the Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary will be one of the most exciting attractions in Indore. The sanctuary was set up in 1989 and only covers an area of around 5 sq. km. Though it might seem like a small surface area, the sanctuary is rich in fauna and fauna. A few animal species here include leopards, jarak, blue bull, sambar deer, and barking deer. A few common trees in the are eucalyptus, babul bamboo, and teak. There is also a fort at the top of a hill here that was once used as a hunting camp. Today, you can trek up to the fort.
If you ever pass by the banks of the Khan River, you will most likely see elegant structures called Chhatris. These structures are monuments erected in the memory of Holkar rulers. Among the structures, the most popular Chhatris are dedicated to Maharani Krishnabai (queen of Malwa), Tukoji Rao II, and Shivaji Rao. Each tomb boasts a life-size statue of the ruler it is dedicated to and all the monuments are all linked together by a prayer hall which showcases beautifully carved pillars and arches.
One of the best places to visit to truly understand the charm of Indore is the Sarafa Bazaar. This marketplace is predominantly known as a jewelry market, but when the sun goes down it transforms into a foodie’s paradise. You can come here during the day to pick up beautiful gold and silver ornaments, artifacts and jewelry. In the evenings, stalls are set up by local vendors selling everything from chaat to sweetmeats. A few treats to try Garadu, Jalebi, Ratalu, Poha-Jalebi, Kulfi, Rabri and much more.
These are only a few places to visit in this beautiful, historic city. There are many more. Make sure you visit them too if you can take out time. But the places listed here will surely give you the taste of the culture, in the best way possible. Plan your trip to this city soon, and share your experience.
Cover Photo Credit:-“Indore Skyline” by AJ Photographic Art is licensed under CC BY