Indore is situated on the Malwa plateau at an altitude of 535 m (1,823 ft) above sea level, on the banks of two small rivulets - the Saraswati and the Khan. They unite at the center of the city where a small 18th century temple of Sangamnath or Indreshwar exists.
The city derives its name from the 18th century Indreshwar temple. Situated in the heart of the Malwa Plateau it was the base of the Holkars, former rulers of this erstwhile state. Indore, in fact, was planned and built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar. Today, it is a throbbing, vibrant city colored by its brave past. It is naturally endowed with a beautiful landscape and salubrious climate. Of interest here are numerous monuments associated with the Holkars. Indore is well connected by air, road and rails from all major cities of India. There are two daily flights each to and from Delhi and Mumbai.
Two hundred years ago, this seven storied historical building formed the nerve center of all trading activities. Even today it stands proud in the market place, a silent tribute to the craftsmanship of unknown artisans of centuries ago.
Many citizens of Indore have a great faith in this Ganesh temple made by Ahilya Bai. They believe that praying here fulfils one's wishes. Nearby is the dargah of Nahar Sayed. It is believed that his headless body is buried here. This is an important pilgrimage place of Naita Muslims.
Lal Baugh Palace:
Currently this is the residence of Usha Raje, direct descendent of the Holkars, whose ancestral palace it used to be. Exquisitely constructed with great detailing, it reflects the royal taste of the Holkars.
Better known for its size than antiquity, this temple houses perhaps the largest Ganesh idol in the world, measuring 25 ft. from crown to foot. Created as a result of a dream to an Avantika (Ujjain) resident Shri Dadhich, it was built in 1875. The idol has a most interesting configuration of ingredients: bricks, lime stone, masala made of Gud, methi dana, soil collected from seven moksha puris: Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika, and Dwaraka, mud from stables of horse, elephant and cow, the powder of Pancharatna: heera, panna, moti, manek and pukhraj (diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby and topaz) and the holy water from all major places of pilgrimage. The metalic frame is of gold, silver, copper, brass and iron.
The `Palace of Mirrors' is a quaint Jain Shrine, close to Rajwada. The attraction of this palace, as the name indicates, is in the myriad mirrors studded on the walls and the ceiling giving rise to multiple reflections.
The Krishnapura Chhatris: These are exquisite cenotaphs of the three later Holkar rulers. These memorials in stone are gracefully poised on the banks of the Khan river with their pyramidal spires tapering into soaring kalashas. These are memorials built on the cremation spots of the Holkar rulers of Indore. Facing west is the cenotaph built over the ashes of another woman ruler of Malwa, Maharani Krishnabai. The other two Chhatris are of Tukoji Rao II and Shivaji Rao, father and son, and are linked by a common oblong prayer hall with ornately carved arches and pillars on a high platform along the garbha grihas containing life size statues of these rulers. A breathtaking sight at night when illuminated, the Chhatris glow ethereally against the dark of the sky. An artificial lake is created in this stretch of the otherwise dry Khan river, complete with a fountain, well laid gardens on both banks and boating facility.
In 1981, the M.P. government donated a hillock to the Jain Samaj, who constructed a 21 feet statue of Gomateshwar, a replica of the Bahubali statue of Shrawanbegola. Also built are 24 marble temples with shikars, for each Tirthankar. Gomatgiri is approached by a lovely picturesque drive 10 minutes from the city airport. It also has a guest house, a dharamshala and a restaurant.