THE  BUSTLING  commercial 1 centre of Madhya Pradesh, Indore was a princely state until 1947, ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty. At the heart of the city, surrounded by a lively bazaar, is the Rajwada Palace, now just an imposing facade following a fire in 1984. A short walk west of it stands the Kanch Mandir (“Glass Temple”), an opulent 19thcentury Bain temple, extravagantly decorated with mirrors, glittering chandeliers, and murals on glass On the southwestern edge of Indore is the opulent Lalbagh Palace, built by the rulers of Indore in the early 20th century. Now a museum called the Nehru Centre, its gilded Rococo interiors house galleries of miniature paintings, medieval coins and tribal artifacts. In the garden is a statue of Queen Victoria, looking distinctly unamused.

ENVIRONS: Dewas, 35 km (22 miles) northeast of Indore, was the setting for EM Forster’s book, The Hill of Devi (1953).

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