Indore, The Mini Mumbai of Central India
The strategic location of Indore attained it a great importance. It was on the route of the most auspicious pilgrimage centers like the Ujjain and Omkareshwar and also on the route of the Marathas of Deccan on their way to North India who were in constant battle with the Mughals. Their army would transit at this place either going down south or in the North. These attracted the traders who in turn were supported by the Holkars. Thus at the confluence of the two Rivers, the Saraswati and the Khan a foundation for town was laid in the early 18th century. A temple of Indreshwar was erected here from whom the town gets its name.
Malharrao Holkar was gifted the Indore area by the Peshwas for his valour and courage, thereby making him the ruler of a vast area stretching from the Deccan to the Malwa plateau. Malharrao utilized the opportunity to develop the city and provide all possible facilities for his subjects. Therefore the city is still known as the city of the Holkars. Although the city is known as the city of Holkars, it was Ahilyabai Holkar, the daughter in law of Malharrao who made Indore and important city. Ahilyabai took over the reigns of her kingdom after the death of her father in law. Her husband had died long before and she was trained by her father in law in all the aspects of administration and power. She proved to be one of the best rulers of her time and had the most stable government of the 18th century. Ahilyabai ruled continuously for 27 years and looked in to each matter of her subjects. A religious lady and an able administrator she built and renovated many Hindu religious sites all over India. Although she loved and strived for the betterment of Indore, she herself riled from the fort of Maheshwar on the banks of Narmada near Indore.
The power stayed wit the Holkars for quite some years after her but eventually was passed on to the British and Indore went and remained under British rule till 1947. Today true to the vision of the great queen, Indore has come up a long way to become the commercial capital of the state and one of the most developed cities of Madhya Pradesh.
Apart from the history of the Holkars, Indore is famous as the birth place of the living legend and singer, Lata Mangeshkar. Another thing Indore is famous for is its snacks. The Bada Sarafa is a culinary delight and is open till late in the night serving all kinds of foods, sweets and snacks. The sarees of Indore are also famous and are bought world around.
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