I got a business-related opportunity to travel to Indore, and fortunately, it fell on a Monday. Which meant if I could plan the preceding weekend to be there and go around the place. The trip started with me reading the lonely planet for the places to visit in the city and around. And talking to a friend there.
Indore, Omkareshwar, and Ujjain Short Trip
Drive to Omkareshwar
On day 1 I visited Omkareshwar which is about 70 km from the city. Omkareshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The roads were good and the drive had two small ghat sections, not very steep and long. They made the whole drive very beautiful. The view from the ghat tops was misty and carried a sense of mystery. After crossing a few towns in between and missing a turn, we finally managed to reach the destination on the banks of river Narmada. The original temple with ancient architecture was actually on this side of the river. But the Jyotirlinga was replaced in a new temple on the other side of the river Narmada by some ruling kings during medieval times.
You can cross the river by 3 bridges which are quite close to each other. One look at them and you can see the era in which they were built. We crossed the river by boat and visited the temple. My first offering was to, a monkey, which decided to snatch that from me. A horrifying experience to see a monkey jumping on you. But I think I provided good laughing material to people there.
Having grown up as a Hindu, don’t know if this was my perception or was the reality. I could feel divinity in the ancient temple as if you can feel the power of prayers that would have happened there for eons. You can feel connected to all the souls who would have prayed there.
Coming back to the other side of the river, there were a few young girls playing with the water. As soon as I took out my camera to click them, I was amazed at the poses that they started giving me. They were like a small brigade of models, each one trying to be better than the other. I could clearly see the big influence that a small TV can have on the whole generation.
Ujjain – Mahakaleshwar Temple
The next day we visited Ujjain, which has both historical and religious importance. Ujjain is situated about 55 KM’s away. This is also a seat for one of the most important 12 Jyotirlingas, named Mahakaleshwar. The temple had a long queue and a very detailed queuing system. It took us 3+ hours to have the darshan. But once you have had the darshan, you tend to forget all the turmoil of the queues. Ujjain also happens to be the one-time kingdom of Vikramaditya (remember Vikram-Betal stories), who could visit the temple of his Kul-Devi. A small religious place, I could feel the undertones of Haridwar, Kashi, Mathura, and similar places. There is a lot more to Ujjain, which I believe I would have to cover in some other visit, if and when that happens.
Indore City – Food
On the way from the airport and to and from Omkareshwar and Ujjain, I did get to see around the city. A medium-sized city with almost all the facilities that a Metropolitan city can offer. But much more accessible, owing to the size and the population. Lots of buzz in the markets and a lot more nightlife than one would expect. But the high point of Indore was its food. Whether you eat in an up-market restaurant like Sreemaya, street food at Chhappan, food at an institute, or home-cooked food. Wherever you eat, it always left you wanting to eat more. And a sad feeling why do I not get to eat it every day?
There were quite a few of us who had gone for this visit. And each one of us had the same feeling about food. It showed in the amount of foodstuff we carried back with us. You may actually want to visit this city for food if nothing else.
Recommend you to read the following travel blog posts on Madhya Pradesh Tourist places.