Planned and built by Rani Ahilyabai, the brave Holkar queen, Indore lies to the extreme west of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the rivers Saraswati and Khan which unite at the centre of the city. The bustling and vibrant city, 186 km from Bhopal, derives its name from the 18th century Indreshwar temple.
The history of Indore is inseparable from the history of the Holkar State. The founder of the House of Holkars was Malhar Rao Holkar, born in 1693 AD. His soldierly qualities brought him to the forefront under the Peshwa and he was rewarded with the gift of territories comprising the Indore region. Malhar Rao was succeeded by his grandson, on whose death, without issue, his mother, Maharani Devi Ahilya Bai ascended the throne.
Ahilya Bai was one of the foremost Maratha personalities and an extraordinary woman ruler of India. Her cherished desire was to promote the prosperity of the region and its people. She was the rare Indian royalty who was deified in her lifetime.
Though Ahilya Bai loved Indore immensly, it was only after her death that the State capital was shifted from Maheshwar to Indore in 1811 AD. Today, her statue adorns the centre of the city, Rajwada. Indore continued to be the State capital until the formation of Madhya Bharat State in 1948.
Air : Indore is connected with Bhopal, Delhi and Mumbai.
Rail : Indore is on the Western railway and is connected with major Indian cities.
Road : Indore is connected by bus with Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Gwalior, Mandu, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Sanchi and Vidisha.
Lal Baag Palace
Lal Baag Palace is one of the grandest monuments the Holkar dynasty left Indore. A reflection of their taste, grandeur and lifestyle, its construction began in 1886 under Tukoji Rao Holkar II, and was carried out in three phases. The final phase was completed in 1921 under Tukoji Rao Holkar III. Many royal receptions were held here. It has a total area of 28 hectares, and at one time it had the reputation of having one of the best rose gardens in the country.
Better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world measuring 25 feet from crown to foot. Created as a result of the dream of an Avantika (Ujjain) resident, Shri Dadhich, it was built in 1875.
Kanch Mandi r
This Jain temple is an architectural marvel in glass. The walls, ceilings, floors, pillars and door knobs are entirely inlaid with glass. Even paintings are done in glass. Atop is a special glass chamber which multiplies the three statues of Lord Mahavira installed there into an indefinite number (said to be visible upto 21 times, corresponding to the 21 tirthankaras).
Made in 1904 and originally named King Edwards Hall, it was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Hall in 1948. Its architectural style is Indo-Gothic. Made in Seoni stone, its domes and staples are a landmark of Indore today. It has a four-faced clock tower in front, because of which it is locally known as Ghanta Ghar.
It is frequently the venue for the various book and painting exhibitions, fairs and festivals held throughout the year. The building also has a library, a children's park and a temple.
The Indore Museum houses the finest collection of Parmar sculptures from Hinglajgarh. The Parmar style originated here, and is characterized by proportioned figures, carefully and ornately depicted in stone. The museum is also known for its collection of coins, arms and armour.
Adorned with many statues of gods of various religions, its construction is inspired by the religious motto "many names to a God is after all of one God."
Chhatris are the tombs or cenotaphs erected in memory of dead Holkar rulers and their family members. The Chhatris picturesquely poised on the Khan river banks near Rajawada are incomparable in terms of Maratha architecture and sculpture of their period. At Chhatri Baag is the main collection of tombs housed in two compounds. Close by is the beautiful Bolia Sarkar's Chhatri constructed in 1858 AD in memory of Sardar Chimnaji Appa Sahib Bolia.
This temple was inspired by the Meenakshi temple of Madurai. Four life-sized elephants hold an ornately decorated gate in plaster. Inside the temple of Annapurna Devi are also temples of Shiva, Kal Bhairava, Hanuman and a Pravachan Hall. The outer wall of the main temple is decorated with colourful motifs from mythological stories.
The citizens of Indore have great faith in this Ganesh temple, built during the reign of Ahilyabai Holkar. It is believed that all wishes are fulfilled by praying here. Nearby is the dargah of Nahar Sayed. This is an important pilgrimage place for Maita Muslims.
8 km from Indore, the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust was founded by Mahatma Gandhi. Its headquarter were shifted from Wardha to Indore in 1915. The main objective of this trust is showing ways of improvement in the quality of village life and the welfare of rural women and children. Some of its many commendable activities are : agricultural production, research, training, experiments in fruit orchards, social forestry, new renewable sources of energy, gobar gas, better water management, rural institute for girls, village sanitation programmes etc.
A 2 minutes drive from the airport leads you to a hillock on which was perched a guest house of the Holkars, now converted into Border Security Arms Museum, as well as a small temple of Bijasen Mata, built in 1920, which has a magnificent view of the sunset. A mela (fair) is held during the Navratri. A good picnic spot, with a breathtaking view of Indore city by night.
The Jain Samaj has constructed a 21 feet statue of Lord Gomateshwar, a replica of the Bahubali statue of Shravanbelagola. Also built here are 24 marble temples with shilars for each tirthankar.
23 km from Indore is the Military Headquarters Of War (MHOW) which was supposedly the war management centre of the British during the World War. Presently one of India's most prestigious military training establishments for senior and higher commands, the whole cantonment is beautifully landscaped.
36 km from Indore, famous for its waterfall. Water falls from a height of 150 feet into a kund, the depth of which is still unknown. It is believed that the bottom of this unfathomable kund reaches Patal (netherworld), hence the name Patal Pani. It is a popular picnic spot.
A high dam on Narmada and main source of water supply for Indore. A popular picnic spot.
64 km from Indore on the Indore-Ahmedabad road is Dhar, the capital of Parmar Kings, among whom Bhoj was the most prominent. During the Muslim rule, Dhar was under the Sultans of Delhi. In the monuments one can see the combination of Hindu, Afghan and Mughal architecture. Bhoj Shala, Laat Masjid, the Fort and the lakes are the main tourist attractions.
151 km from Indore on the Indore-Ahmedabad highway, it is the home of the tribal Bhils and Bhilalas.
128 km from Indore, this is situated on the other side of the bank of the Narmada, and was the place where Jamdagni, the father of Parasuram, meditated. The temple of Renukaji is situated near the village, as also the ancient temple of Siddhanath. At Suryakund, is a statue of Lord Vishnu.
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