Indore: Practical tips for the first time visitors

Indore for me is LOVE. A part of it is because of city’s obsession with food. But, a larger part of that affection comes from a fact that I never expected Indore to be amazing. When you continue to stay in metro cities for a long time, you tend to underestimate second tier towns. That’s exactly what I also did, something that I’m not proud of. For a major part of my life, I have either lived in really small towns or in the metropolitan cities of the country. There has hardly been anything in between, and I can now appreciate it more than the two extreme ends.

Auto-focus 😉

I have lived here only for about five months but it already feels like the best of both worlds. So, if you’re coming this way, for work or leisure, here are a few suggestions for your 1st time in the city:

To look: Apart from Rajwada Palace, Kaanch Mandir and some more temples that any quick Google search will tell you, go to White Church and Lal Bagh Palace if you’re an old architecture fan. Imli Sahib Gurudwara if you’re fond of Sikh temples and Holkar stadium if any matches are going on. Roam around the streets of old city, sit on a bench and observe or pick up the local dialect. For a day trip, consider Sirpur Lake or a hike to Janapav Kutti. For a longer getaway, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Mandu and Ujjain are worth visiting.

Doesn’t it look like Cinque Terre?

To eat: Delicious vegetarian street food is available at every hundred steps,all day and night. Plus, it doesn’t even hurt the pocket. You can eat all you want in less than 200 rupees. I’m a non-vegetarian but have been eating less meat since I’ve moved here. It’ll be a long list if I start recommending places and so, that’s for another post. But, here are a few items that you should cherish on your plate, while in Indore – Sev Tamatar, Cheese Chutney Sandwich, Butter Khichdi, Maggi Pasta (yes, together), Garadu, Coconut Patty, Kaju Curry, Poha, Daal Baafle, Mango Lassi and Corn Kees. There are a lot of pretty cafes in hidden corners and excellent Mughlai restaurants for those Kebab cravings too.

Streets of Sarafa Bazaar

To stay: From what I have seen in the last few months, hotel industry in Indore is yet to evolve. A lot of visitors end up staying near Railway station or airport to avoid the trouble of finding a convenient stay option. Those here for business typically get the bookings done near their respective workplace, which may or may not be in close vicinity of other places to explore. When I first came to Indore, I stayed in a ‘Treebo’ which was a great mix of comfort, affordability, and central locality. You can also try Treebo hotels in Indore if you are looking for a budget accommodation.

To know:

  • Auto Rickshaws generally don’t go by meter. It’s great if they do else, book an Ola or an Uber. If you prefer Public transport, there’s nothing better than a shared Auto ride or the public buses.
  • People are usually kind. Ask for directions or bus timings, chances are you’ll be helped.
  • Shop for ‘Sev’, to acknowledge the extraordinary love people have for the snack here.
  • Take a stroll around ‘Cloth Market’ for great deals. Bargain, if required.
  • Some commonly used words –Apan (We), And-Sand(Weird), Hau (Yes), Geliya (Stupid)
Everyday Indore

Feel free to leave your questions in comments if you need more specific advice. Have suggestions for me to explore? Please let me know!

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© 2017, Swati. All rights reserved.

3 comments

  1. That pic does look like Cinque Terre, so much resemblance! I too feel there should be best of both worlds in mid-tier cities, that’s why many firms are considering them as their bases going forward!

    Glad to have read this, and saw some amazing pics too 🙂

  2. I did see White church and Lal Bagh palace, but white church was different from what we see in your photograph. Should have asked you, before going there. Totally agree that Indore is a city which offers a lot of love, specially through its food. I still crave for Bhutte ki Khees, Dahi Wada, Poha with Jeeravan and that crispy Jalebi. ***slurp slurp***

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