Indore is the pride of the west-central state of India, Madhya Pradesh. From historical sites like Rajwada and Lal Baag to the delicious smelling food streets of Chhappan Dukkan and Saraffa Bazar, Indore has an excitingly unique blend of rich food and culture to offer.
Indore is a city for foodies and people who believe in the philosophy of living life king size. This city is one of the oldest settlements of the state Madhya Pradesh. In a recent report by the Government of India, they declared Indore the Cleanest City of India for the fourth consecutive year.
In the mid-1700s, Indore served as the headquarter of the Holkar family- the Subadar of the Malwa region and a loyal servant of the Maratha ruler Peshwa Baji Rao I.
Given its historic importance, the city’s architecture is heavily influenced by the Maratha, the Mughlai, and the classic British style. Today, this metropolis is well connected with all the other parts of India via different routes.
Indore has an international airport and a well-maintained railway route. Two national highways, NH-47 & NH-3, pass by Indore, making this city easily accessible by road.
Here is a list of places one must definitely visit while they are in Indore for a holiday or a quick getaway:
1. Chhatris Palace and Mandir
The rulers of the Holkar Dynasty built this palace as their burial ground. It is on the banks of Khan River, which has fountains now. These fountains run in the evening and are a beautiful sight to watch.
The word ‘Chhatris’ means an umbrella. It was named so because of the umbrella-like structure of the top of this palace. You can visit this place between 7 am-6 pm throughout the week.
2. Chhappan Dukaan
If you are a foodie, then you should definitely visit Chhappan Dukaan. This place is a food street where one can find 56 shops, all of them selling fresh delights including Indian dishes, typical Italian style pasta, and Chinese food cooked in Indian style.
You will find everything from breakfast dishes to dinner delights in Chhappan Dukaan. This place is always bustling with local people and tourists.
The open hours of this place are 9 am-11 pm. So, you can come here anytime you want and try out the yummy treats this place has to offer.
3. Kanch Mandir and Shish Mahal
Seth Hukumchand Jain built this place in the early 1900s. He was a trader and a rich entrepreneur of Indore. He built his palace, the Shish Mahal, along with a Jain temple, Kanch Mandir.
The words ‘Shish’ and ‘Kanch’ mean a mirror. These places got their respective names because of their exquisite mirror work.
Both the structures signify the true craftmanship of mirror work in Iran and Jaipur, which makes them a perfect blend of national and international architecture and interior design.
4. Annapurna Temple
Annapurna Temple is one of the most beautifully made temple structures one can find in Indore. This temple is dedicated to the goddess of food, i.e. Maa Annapurna. It is also one of the most visited temples in Indore.
The reason behind it is that it also houses the temple of Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, and Lord Kalabhairava. The major architectural attraction of this place is the four giant lifelike structures of elephants at the entrance of the temple.
5. Lotus Valley
This place is a perfect picnic spot for the people of Indore. This is on the bank of the Narmada river and has a beautiful view of thousands of lotus flowers floating the river. This place is about 30 km away from the major city, but you can reach it via cab or a taxi easily.
6. Patalpani Waterfall
This is yet another great picnic spot in Indre, popular amongst the locals and the tourists. It is about 36 km away from the major city. This makes it a perfect escape from the bustling city life.
It gets its name Patalpani because of the local belief that the water that falls from a height of 150 feet into the Kund, goes directly to Patal Lok i.e. the netherworld.
7. Sarafa Bazaar
This is one of the most famous markets in India. During the day, is a jewelry market with hundreds of jewelers and gem dealers. This is specifically famous for its gold jewelry.
But as the sun sets and the jewelry shops shut down, a new vibrant market opens up in its place. It is a late-night food street that starts around 10 pm and lasts till 4 am. Despite the odd timing of this market, almost half of the city visits this place every day to try out the delicious food it offers.
This is a heaven for any food lover and a budget traveler as one can always have a satisfying meal at an affordable price here. You will not find any dish that’ll cost over 400 rupees.
8. The White Church
This place attracts tourists because of its colonial British architecture. As the name suggests, this Church is completely white in color. It was built in 1858 by the British governor of Indore.
It was inspired by European design and has a calming ambiance. There are two church buildings here- one is old while the other was constructed recently. So, if you want some peace of mind, you can come here and relax.
It is one of the most visited places in Indore. This is a Jain temple located just a 10-minute drive away from Indore airport. This place has 24 separate temples made of pure marble, which signifies the 24 Tirthankaras mentioned in Jainism.
The Madhya Pradesh government had donated the land for this temple to the Jain community in the year of 1981. The chief attraction of this place is a humongous 21-feet tall statue of Gomateshwar.
10. Lal Baag Palace
Lal Baag Palace is the city museum in Indore. Originally, this place was built by Maratha ruler Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar in the late 1800s. It is located on the bank of Khan River on the outskirts of Indore.
This place is spread over 30 acres of land and houses one of the best rose gardens of India. The palace has an eye-catching range of paintings originating from India, Italy, and Britain.
The interior of the magnificent banquet hall was inspired by the famous Versailles Palace of Italy. This place opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm. There are entry charges and additional photography, and videography charges, which need to be paid if you wish to record the beauty of this place.
11. Rajwada Palace and Rajwada Mandir
Last but not least, the famous Rajwada Palace and Rajwada Mandir. This was also another architecture marvel constructed by the Holkar royal family.
This palace was built in the late 1700s near the Chhatris, the resting place of the royals of the Holkar Dynasty. This place is situated in the busy streets of Kajuri Bazar and gives a perfect view of the markets square from the inside.
The palace houses 3 major portions that one can explore- a beautiful garden with a life-like statue of Queen Ahilya Bai along with the sparkling water fountains.
The main place was built to suit all the needs of a royal family. The Rajawada Mandir dedicated to Lord Shiva has a calming and soothing vibe. The palace is under Khasgi Ahilyabai Holkar Charities Trust.
So, if you are an architecture geek or a historian, definitely visit Indore once in your life to explore the beautiful amalgamation of British, European, Mughlai, and Maratha style of construction design.