Indore City Survival Guide

English: Rajwada is landmark of Indore, India ...

English: Rajwada is landmark of Indore, India हिन्दी: राजवाडा पहचान है इंदौर शहर, भारत की (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you have married an Indori, or you have been transferred to Indore. You better have a survival guide with you. When in Indore… that’s right! Do just as the Indoris  do.



  • I can’t stress more. Sev pohe is the basic necessity in Indore which comes before roti, kapda, aur makaan.
  • Jalebi on an empty stomach is one of the tenets of Indori living.
  • When you go out on the streets and see food carts selling Fariyali Sabudana Khichadi… don’t scoff. It is actually one of the best khichadis you will ever have, and no matter what you do, you will never be able to replicate that taste elsewhere.
  • Michchar is the right way to pronounce ‘mixture’, which is a savory and sweet chivda.
  • Whether you visit the Khajrana Ganesh or not, you must visit Ganesh namkeen bhandaar in Bada Sarafa. They have butterscotch sev, whether you believe it or not! But don’t be in a hurry. He will let you taste as many namkeens as you want to taste, and  he will tell you the story behind how each was invented. He will also tell you, “Bhiya apne yhaa’n sev ki bhot verayati (variety) he, par chaalis din mein badal dete hein bhiya!”
  • There are some things which you can’t miss eating in Indore.
  1. Vijay Chaatwale ka khobra patties (they also have a mean shikanji!),
  2. Garaadu with jeeravan
  3. bhutte ka kees,                                                                                                                            bhuttekakiss
  4. chhole tikki and gulab jamun in the street shops of Saraafa,                                                  sarafa 1 sarafa 5 sarafa2 sarafa3 SARAFA4
  5. Joshi ka dahiwada,
  6. benjo,                                                                                                                                              


  7. bake samosa, and if you ask them to “bana ke do” they will break it open, add chopped onions, sev (of course!) jeeravan and tomato sauce. Some combination that!


  8. laal baalti ki kachori,
  9. Parshwanath ka paan,
  10. Ram babu ke paraanthe,
  11. Aalu ki kachori from Anand Bazar… I am going on and on, aren’t I? There is more…
  12. You must have the best kulfi ever at Mhow wale ki kulfi
  13. Ghamandi ki Lassi
  14. and coffee at Buddy’s cafe on MG Road.

  15. And something that everyone has forgotten, Shahi Samosa that you can find at Rajwada.
  • When you go to Joshi’s dukaan at Saraafa, be sure to tell him that you are not originally from Indore. Then sit back and enjoy the show. It will be like nothing you’ve ever seen, “Mere Maharaaj!”
  • Never forget to eat Daal-baati/daal-baafle or your stay in Indore will be questioned.
  • Gajak, a sweet made from jaggery and sesame seeds. I usually have to scare my husband with my killer eyes in order to ration our gajak import from Indore to 2 kgs.
  • Ice-cream at Monica Galaxy. I didn’t find anything extraordinary here, but you are not allowed to say that in Indore.

Learn to listen without commenting

  • That Lata Mangeshkar is originally from Indore.
  • That Salman Khan was born in Indore
  • That Salim Khan is originally from Indore (and as an afterthought, that Javed Akhtar is from Bhopal, and hence the character in Sholay of Soorma Bhopali!) I know… don’t ask! Just listen 😉
  • That Kishore Kumar was from Khandwa
  • Pooja Batra, Johnny Walker and Vijayendra Ghatge are all from Indore (You might be shown Vijayendra Ghatge’s house too if you are anywhere near Palasia)

    Pooja Batra

    Pooja Batra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rahul Dravid was born in Indore! Yeah, whaddya know!
  • That 98.3 Radio Mirchi Indore was supposed to be the first private FM radio station in India, but by 2 days it missed the title and (that is why) it is the best FM radio station!
  • That the gates of the revered Lalbaug palace are the exact replica of those of Buckingham palace! Each and every Indori will tell you that.

Some words…

  • O Bhiyao!
  • Aa riyaau’n!
  • Kya kantaap maal he bawa!
  • Chamka diya usko mene to!
  • Chankat kha ek sankat mein ana he kya?
    Gurdwara LIG Circle, AB Road-Indore

    Gurdwara LIG Circle, AB Road-Indore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  • Farjiwada/sustiwada macha rakha hai. maddhiwada chal riya he.
  • batti deraa tha be wo! me bhi lapet riya tha.
  • ka-jan kya ke riya tha wo ebla.
  • bhera gaya hai kya?
  • ek jago tikatai ni
  • thiye pe mil.
  • bhiya ko pratham nagaragaman par hardik-hardik-haaaaarrrrdik swagat (saying ‘hardik’ just once or twice is not allowed)
  • masti ni sama ri he unme to.
  • Hau! (meaning yes!)
  • Abbe iski baara ki dher!
  • kai dare kya apan kisi se?
  • or pelwan, kesa chal riya he?
  • Don’t be surprised if a friend calls you ‘Aur Maalik!’
  • Bhaai ko!
  • Ootteri!
  • Orre!!!
  • Bhiya Raaooom!
  • Bhiya zara pachas pachas giraam saraklo! (in a tempo which runs in Ujjain now)

    Logo of Indore station

    Logo of Indore station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Lo kallo baat!
  • Joote, chappal,  Sendil nikaaldo bhiya
  • gyan toh mati ba’nto yha’n.

Weird sounding names of places

    • Labriya Bheru
    • Mangliya
    • Sukhliya
    • Khajrana
    • Musakhedi
    • Jamniya
    • Betma

      English: Daly College, Indore, in the Indo-Sar...

      English: Daly College, Indore, in the Indo-Saracenic Revival style of British colonial architecture – by Samuel Swinton Jacob. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    • Chhipa Bakhal
    • Koyla Bakhal
    • Pipliya
    • Magarkheda
    • Gram Baroli
    • Jabran Colony
    • Katkatpura
    • Tejpur Gadbadi
    • Gadbadi pul
    • Palia
    • Semaliya Chau (O Taau, jaariyaoo’n Semaliya Chau!)
    • Matana Bujurg (Old people, don’t come?)
    • Bicholi Mardana
    • Bicholi Hapsi
    • Jamania
    • Jhalaria
    • Hingoria
    • Lasoodiya
    • Dhakkanwala Kuaa’n (This is where Hans travels buses to Indore stop)


  • For clothes – Cloth Market, Rajwada, Kothari Market
  • For Expensive sarees, handloom – Mrignayani emporium
  • Books – Sunday Market at Khajoori Bajar
  • Sabzi mandi – Itwaria bajar
  • For knick knacks, artificial jewelery, craft items,  bindis, handbags, etc. visit Aada Bazaar.
  • For shopping branded clothes, you have the Treasure Island Mall, and C21 Mall

For recreation

Ask any Indori where to go and he will give you a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig list of places to see in and around Indore.

  • Lalbaug Palace (Must see!)
  • Rajwada (Although I love shopping around Rajwada more than going within the palace itself)
  • Bada Ganpati


  • Khajrana Ganpati


  • Annapoorna temple
  • Gomatgiri
  • Kaanch Mandir


  • Bijasen Mata temple
  • Navgraha Mandir
  • Town hall (Town Haal!)
  • Krishnapura ki Chhatri


  • Meghdoot Garden
  • Central Museum
  • Vaishnodevi temple (made like a replica of the original temple, it’s beautiful!)
  • Shell city, Mayank blue water parks

And around Indore

  • MHOW
  • Omkareshwar. Totally raw and unpretentious. I didn’t dip in the Narmada though. Sorry.
  • Mahankaleshwar (in Ujjain) All commercialized. Yet, beautiful.

    Saee - somewhere near Badnagar

    Saee – somewhere near Badnagar

  • Fort Amla near Badnagar

    My capture

    My capture

  • Pachmarhi (I have yet to go here! Seven years married to an Indori and never been to Pachmarhi. Sad life, I know 😦

  • Teencha Falls (Teencha Faal!) Too bad the last time I went there, there was no water to fall 😦
  • Pataal Paani
  • Maheshwar (Yup, where you get Maheshwari Sarees. The temple and the river are really beautiful and have been featured in a recent Nike ad)
  • Choral Dam
    We went looking for Choral Dam, and landed somewhere else... equally beautiful

    We went looking for Choral Dam, and landed somewhere else… equally beautiful


  • Nemawar
  • Mandu
    Mandu - can you spot my husband's head peeking out?

    Mandu – can you spot my husband’s head peeking out?

    Rani Roopmati Mahal seen from Mandavgarh

    Rani Roopmati Mahal seen from Mandavgarh

    Left to right - Neha Naik, Hubby dearest, Ashish Naik - Hero-giri at Mandavgarh

    Left to right – Neha Naik, Hubby dearest, Ashish Naik – Hero-giri at Mandavgarh


  • Nakhrali Dhaani
  • Tafreeh Garden (I had good fun hanging like a monkey on some of the games here. I looked like a monkey too :P)
    Me and hubbs at Tafreeh Garden

    Me and hubbs at Tafreeh Garden

    Monkey, monkey, monkey!!!

    Monkey, monkey, monkey!!!


Oh and festivals!

What a way Holi is celebrated in Indore. I remember being pregnant with my first child, we had been to Indore in the month of March so we could attend the Holi festival and have my godbharai as well. My husband and my brother went out to play holi and had bhaang. The works, Thandaai, kulfi, mithai… Then they had sweet chai and walked around in the March sun for a good hour or so. By the time they came back home, they were gone… solid, gone! My brother couldn’t find things that were right there in front of him. And my husband, he couldn’t stop laughing. Even when I was pissed angry, he laughed harder!

On the day of Rangpanchami, Gair is celebrated in Indore. It’s almost as if the whole city gets drenched in Holi ka Nasha. A huge procession comes out on the road and tonnes of litres of water is splashed about everywhere. You can’t be in Indore around Holi and miss this.

Anant Chaudas is the tenth day of Ganesh chaturthi. Ganpati ki Jhaa’nki is a procession of Ganeshji which used to be a forte of mill workers. It is worth watching.

Ravan dahan during dassehra is celebrated amidst a pomp and festivities. You should see the zeal of the people as they celebrate this among fireworks.

Navratri. The best garba was played earlier in Khatipura and Saket. Now a lot of places and gardens host beautiful garba nights.

Ahilya Utsav. Celebrates the death anniversary of Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. I love her statue at Rajwada. Proud to have a statue here in Thane as well! Little things that give us joy, like the feeling of having a little bit of Indore in Thane 🙂

I could go on and on. My post, though long, still doesn’t say anything about the travel system in Indore. Indore City bus is new and swank, but you can’t forget the Nagar Seva (Yamdoot seva) that is now obsolete. The snout-nosed tempos that you don’t find in Indore anymore. You can find them in Ujjain though. And the rickshaws, never forget to bargain with a rickshaw driver, or they will fleece you.

Despite my best efforts, I am sure I must have missed many things. It was unintentional.

There might be things I don’t even know. Please feel free to enlighten me. I would love to hear your ‘Indore stories’ too!

Jai Indore!

English: Indore City Bus in Indore, India

English: Indore City Bus in Indore, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


14 thoughts on “Indore City Survival Guide

  1. OMG!! This is like reading a page out of Lonely Planet for Indore! 😀 Awesome stuff as always! And I can see the love for the man here, who is no doubt a kadak Indori! The only bit of Indori I have come in contact is with Sukanya Mone’s character in ‘Eka lagnachi goshta”. Thanks for the introduction and the vicarious trip! 😉Though I can’t say the same about me salivating reading about the chat items!

  2. When next time you visit sarafa do try garam garam mal pua with rabdi…..bhatti ki kachori near kaanch mandir…..moonwada on lig tiraha……chicken at madni restaurant……chana fry in Simrol, sangam dhaba……paneer pattice from celebrity….

  3. Well adding to the list of weird sounding places

    – Jamburi Hapsi
    – Lasudiya Mori
    – Vyas Fala (I stayed here for the best part of my life)
    – Chota Bangad-da
    – Bada Bangad-da
    – Pancham ki phel
    – Limbodi

    And I am sure people can add more to it.

    Also, every Indori will tell you (including me 😉 ) about the CAT which has asia’s largest and world’s second largest ‘Cylotron’ – Indus 2. Although, they might not know exactly what it does. One of my non-Indori friend was given a brief overview of the CAT by a Rickshaw wala. Saying the CAT has huge powers 😛

    Well, Nice work. Keep writing. 🙂

  4. I expected Chappan Dukan and Lotus hut in the list!
    Also, how can you forget the first mall in Indore- TI?
    This is definitely written by someone who has never stayed in Indore but I would encourage the attempt to know and love Indore…
    -An Indori born.. staying in US.. Missing Indore

    • TI is mentioned in shopping list and chhappan was present in my first blog. I am sorry if i have offended you in any way, but I love Indore as much as any Indori does. I am proud to be an Indori.

      • Dude you don’t have to apologize for anything. Being an Indori myself, I couldn’t have written this better. Oh and two more weird names
        Tillore Khurd
        Tillore Bujurg

  5. Good read. I guess some of these things in next few years will only be available in some blogs. So, I am lucky to have enjoyed these first hand. Living away from city for almost 7 years now makes blogs like these really interesting.

    Few things you might want to add (I guess I do not need to categorize it)
    tiri bhinnat
    half plate barik sev
    kidik chaap
    The epic Indori swear word. If you know what I mean.
    24-hour open shops in front of Rajwada (can’t recall the name)
    mangode (Mmm…yummy)
    Guru Kripa
    Gandhi Hall: There used be “saawan ka mela” there years back.
    Bapat Chauraha: Some shops exist there these days
    Velocity: Naah, Sapna Sangeeta. Legen-ruko bhiya-dary.
    Prashant ke usal pohe
    Udipi (or is Udupi): Idli sambhar at Palasia
    Chinese food at old palasia
    and many many more

    • Sadly those 24 hour shops in front of Rajwada are no longer open for 24 hours. And the name is “Anna bhiya ki paan ki gumti “

  6. i m in baroda right now ..n i found a lori of sev usal ..when i heard sev i think lets try it because sev is our indori dish.. so when i taste it was like only besan in sev n in the name of usal there was a “tari”(u 9 tarimeans if ur indori) of dry peas and water …i was like oh my god …..
    i should bring sev from indore and let taste dem and say THIS IS SEV IDIOT…:p

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