In 2015, we embarked on our first trip to the geographical heart of India, Madhya Pradesh (MP). Our itinerary featured three destinations in the Malwa region of MP: Mandu (Mandav), Indore, and Maheshwar.
During our brief stay at Indore, we took the foodie route and stopped by some of the city’s popular eating joints. If you ask our taste buds, it was completely worth the time!
We also escaped to a couple of green hideouts, away from the bustle of the large city. As we drove around the busy neighborhoods and passed the Rajwada area and the Chhatris on the Khan river banks, we decided to head to the parks in Indore. In the tussle between historical places of interest and green spaces, the latter won our favor (well, we did manage to check out the Lalbagh Palace).
Royal Beginning at the Lalbagh Palace:
For a brief glimpse of history, we visited the Lalbagh Palace. This former residence of the Holkar dynasty is a blend of various architectures. The lavish interiors and ornate architecture gave us glimpses into the royal life of the Holkars. For a nominal fee, one can enter the palace and view the numerous rooms, paintings, and elaborate decor.
A Sunny Morning at the Indore Zoo:
Kamla Nehru Zoo or Indore Zoo is located in the Navlakha area of the city. We were among the first visitors of the day and loved the peace and quiet in the zoo.
As we walked around, the emus huddled together while a baby hippo snuggled up against mommy hippo. Crocodiles basked in the sun and the tigers paced up and down in their enclosures. A kids’ play area with equipment made from unused tires was a big attraction for Junior. The little monkey of our family had a wonderful time swinging and climbing in the playground.
Green and Blue at Pipliyapala Regional Park:
The Pipliyapala Regional Park (Atal Bihari Vajpayee Regional Park) was a pleasant surprise. This 100 acre park in the outskirts of the city is a quick and refreshing getaway.
The urban green space on the banks of the Pipliyapala Lake has all the necessary features of a popular attraction. Landscaped gardens, pretty shades of green, various hues of blue, vast open spaces, paved walking paths, and, of course, a few food stalls and boating in the lake! 🙂
We strolled along (all) the paths, crossed (almost all) the bridges over the canal, and spotted many water birds. Red-wattled lapwings ruled the roost, while a few cormorants and egrets stood silently at the water’s edge. The “mist fountains” on the bridges added some jazz to the serene setting.
Junior had a fun time winding his way through the maze (although he found his way out very easily and grumbled a little about how simple it was… I guess he’s growing up!)
A Mughal Garden, a French Garden, and a lovely open air amphitheater (my favorite!) complete the picture.
As the sun went down, the lights in the park came on and added a special effect.
Indulging our Taste Buds:
After all that I had read about the food scene in Indore, my taste buds were yearning for those delicious treats. So, off we went on our foodie route.
We binged on khopra patties, kachori, shikanji and kesar lassi at Vijay Chaat House in Chappan (56) Dukaan. Head for the long line of eateries in this narrow lane. Locals and visitors flock to this area in the evenings. Visit 56 Dukaan to find out what the noise (and food) is all about (you will not regret it!).
Also on our agenda (umm.. menu) were parathas and malpua at Apna Sweets. Another time, there was space for grilled sandwiches and cold coffee at a local cafe. The famous Indori Poha was on our breakfast menu. And lastly, we could not leave the city without buying the popular Khatta Meetha snack from Indore.