Sunday 7 January 2018

Indore - Not just a paradise for food lovers but more!

Darbar Hall, Rajwada, Indore

How many times does it happen that when you go on a trip to a certain place and want to write about it at the earliest, but then end up getting lost in the mist of procrastination! If you think it happens often in your case, then 'High five!' because we're on the same page. I went on this road trip in December,2016 with my parents and I could only manage to share my travel experiences of Dhar, Mandu, Maheshwar and Omkareshwar on the blog, so far. However, the trip didn't end there. We also spent some time in Indore. Now, almost after a year I'm finally working on the post which was long due. Yes, I'm going to re-live and share the memories of my trip to Indore thru a picture story. Indore, a place that's well known for the mouth watering cuisine, the royal family of Holkars and a place that has given us greats like Lata Mangeshkar, Rahul Dravid, Johny Walker, Rahat Indori and many others (all were born in Indore).

To start the proceedings, one must always start with sweets and when the post is about Indore then there is no hiding from foodie stuff on the blog. So, Beware in Advance!

Kuch meetha ho jaaye!!

Since, I had spent 4 years of my childhood in Indore; some faint memories of Rajwada, Lalbagh Palace, Khajrana Temple, Sarafa and Chappan lingered in my mind. Out of curiosity, I asked my father to take a trip down memory lane and explore those places. He agreed and first place on our agenda was the Lalbagh Palace.

Lalbagh Palace

Lalbagh Palace, as the name suggests it looks like a royal mansion. The Palace was constructed as a small garden house in 1890 under the reign of Shivaji Rao Holkar. However, it took the shape of a Palace in the early 1900's under the reign of Tukoji Rao III. Tukoji Rao III spent the second half of his life at the Lalbagh Palace and extended the palace, decorated and furnished it in Western style architecture. The palace stands on the bank of a tributary of river Khan. The kitchen and outhouse are located on the opposite side of the river. There is an interesting fact about the connectivity of the kitchen to the basement of the palace. The pantry in the basement of the palace was connected by the tunnel with the kitchen on the opposite bank of the river and that's how the food used to be supplied to the pantry and then to the banquet hall by a Dumbwaiter.

Lalbagh Palace

Lalbagh Palace

The Palace was designed with great detail and considering even the minute factors. On the ground floor of the palace, one can see the Library, State office, Lounge, Billiards room, Crown hall, Council and Dining hall, Banquet hall and the Wooden dancing hall. On the first floor, one can see the Study room, King's Bedroom, Queen's Bedroom with attached bathroom. Apart from the architecture, the palace has a wonderful garden as well which used to be the highlight for the variety of flowers and trees planted in Tukoji Rao's period. The design of the palace has the influence of European Architecture. I always enjoy exploring the historical places and Lalbagh Palace is one such place that's wonderfully maintained by the State Archaeology of Madhya Pradesh. However, the worst part is that people mostly come here for a picnic and they hardly spend time and effort in getting to know about this majestic palace.

Rajwada, Indore

Next place on our agenda was Rajwada, a place that reflects the history of Holkars. It's one of the oldest monuments in Indore and worn many stories under its sleeve that are to be told.

Rajwada, Indore

Rajwada, the seven-storey structure was first built by Subedar Malhar Rao Holkar I, about two centuries ago for residential purpose. Later in 1801 it was destroyed by the Commander-in-chief of Scindias and then again was rebuilt by the Holkars in 1818. If we go by history, Rajwada was burnt down thrice in 1801, 1834 and recently in 1984. The palace is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by the main street market. It has a magnificent 7-storey gateway in front and a park ahead of the structure with Devi Ahiliyabai's statue installed in the middle of it. As we make way through the entrance, the pigeons welcome us with the chirpy sound and to the courtyard that comprises of Ganesha hall on ground floor and Darbar hall (a perfect example of French style architecture) above it on the first floor. The architecture of the monument is of Maratha style. Rajwada is a State Archaeology protected site and the history of Holkars and Indore can be seen through the pictures exhibited in one of the halls located on the first floor of the 7-storey structure.

Ganesh Hall and Darbar Hall, Rajwada

Window (Mughal style architecture)

Rajwada showcases the life of the city that it once was in the era of Holkars. It's for sure a place that is a must-visit when in Indore. Also, on the rear side of the monument, one can also visit the temple and garden located around the Tulsi Kund.

Temple, Tulsi Kund.

Now, my favorite section of the post. I'm going to talk or rather just share pictures of/about food, food and loads of food.When it comes to street food, Indore is a heaven! Though I'm not from Indore but the taste that touched my heart when I was only 4 years old is still intact. I still remember the Shahi samosa, Khopra pattis, Shikanji, Dhokla, Dahi vada, Sweets and what not. So, this time around, I had in my mind from the very first day that I'm not going to miss out on having a street food tour.

Staple food of Malwa region
Poha-Jalebi (a deadly combo)

As there was time crunch and I had to make a decision to choose either Sarafa or Chappan. I contemplated and chose Chappan over Sarafa. Chappan, especially for Khopra pattis, Shikanji, Sweets and Johny Hot Dog.

Khopra Pattis esp. with chutni (World famous hai ji)

And the tour started with Khopra pattis, Samosa chaat, Kachori chaat, Rabri, Ras malai to name a few...

Dahi Samosa Chaat
Dahi Kachori Chaat
Ras malai
Garma garam aloo tikiya

I've several other food pictures as well but I really don't want to torture my readers just by giving them a virtual experience. Though I'd admit that the experience of tasting all these things was far more consuming than posting pictures to re-create the same.

How to reach Indore from Bhopal....

Bhopal → Sehore → Ashta → Dewas → Indore

Previous Posts from this trip:

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar

Mandu - A place that resonates with history..

Walk the talk with city of Maheshwar...

Omkareshwar- A sacred land of Shiva..

Note: Few details have been taken as a reference from State Archaeology's monuments guide.