Indore Travel Guide
What does it mean to travel to a city that hasn't been written about when it comes to safety in terms of travelling with the veil on? I believe in the fact that The Almighty is protecting me whenever I am in the Hijab. That the veil is a shield that stops me from a lot of harm and unfavorable situations. It has always been a source of protection for me! There is always an inside fear of travelling to a new place. Are people going to stare? Are they going to harm me? Am I going to stand out? If I stand out, what happens?
Indore was a place where I didn't find many people in a veil like I am. But, I definitely did see veiled ladies. But, their veils had their own style. It wasn't like How I had seen it. The interesting part was not only Muslims wore veils here. A lot of ladies had their faces covered while they were on their bikes or whether they were walking down the streets. And, it definitely wasn't for the same reason that I wore them. It was summer in Indore, and the reason they were covering the faces was to protect their faces from the rays of the sun.
I did get a few stares, but, that was it. Indore is more on the quieter side when it comes to tourism. There isn't much in the city itself. However, it was an experience we did enjoy in its own way.
Visit the Rajwada Palace
If there is something to see, it is the Rajwada Palace. The Rajwada Palace is one of the very few historical site within Indore that is well maintained to this date.
We got our entry tickets as well as tickets for each of our cameras as well.
When we were in Sri Lanka we had to pay for entry tickets. But, in India in addition to your own entry ticket, you would have to pay extras for photography in most places.
One of the rooms of the palace was converted into a Museum with a couple of different artifacts from the past. An old guy sat at the entrance to check the tickets. When I went in with the veil, he pointed to it, and said this wasn't allowed (meaning my veil). I did not stand to argue nor discuss anything. I just showed my tickets, and went along to see the artifacts displayed. No one made a fuss of it after anywhere else.
Stop by the Edward Hall now known as Mahatma Gandhi Hall
While we were researching what else to see in Indore, we found Mahatma Gandhi Hall previously known as Edward Hall. The building was old, and the architecture details on it was impressive. We could only see it from the outside. The hall is still being used for private events, and is not open for public visits. However, it is in need of heavy maintenance.
Visit the Sarafa Bazaar
IF there is something you shouldn't miss experiencing, it is the Sarafa Bazaar.
Indore is known as the street food city of India. And ,the reason being namely because of the Sarafa Bazaar which is a market that is a jewelry market by day, and a street food market by night. Lights turn on, and it gets really crowded. You need to be walking as there are no spaces for even two-wheelers to stop in the market though there will be many that passes through these narrow corridors. Though no one is sure about the origin of this bazaar, it is believed that it started some 100 years ago and was encouraged by jewellery shop owners so the noise and bustle would secure their own shops at night. With this in mind, they willingly started offering space in front of their shops to food vendors and, thus, Sarafa Bazar came into existence. Today, when most of Indore is asleep, this late night market gets nearly 3000 visitors, both locals and tourists.
We were very skeptical about trying the food as we were just being cautious of not getting ourselves sick. Sweets, piping hot Gulab Jamuns, Ice creams, Faloodas, kulfi, ice gola, jalebis - all being freshly made, there is something you will definitely end up trying.
I tried the pani puri in ten different flavors which was a first for me. The flavors for these range from khatta meetha, hajma hajam to kachhi kairi. People around were friendly, and gave us tips on how to have it for they realized we didn't belong to this place.
Myself, and Mr. M also tried a sweet drink called Sikanji - quite on the sweeter end, but a good drink to beat the heat.
Dine at Saify
Another experience we had in Indore was visiting a restaurant which we had no idea about, and happened by chance. We asked the taxi guy to drop us off at a good restaurant, and he dropped us off at a restaurant called Saify. Saify was run by Muslims, and wasn't any big restaurant but a small one in the middle of the Bombay Bazaar. However, we were really glad that we ended up there because the food we had there was just amazing. If you would like to be there next time, you can find the location via zomato at the bottom of this post. I particularly recommend the Brain Masala, and Chicken Hyderabadi. On the spicier side they were, but absolute goodness!
Try their Speciality Poha Jalebi
Indori poha (flattened rice) is a specialty that is served with a mountain of sev and pomegranate seeds as breakfast, along with jalebi. IF you are in Indore for only a few hours, make sure you get to try them if possible from one of the shops in Chappan dukan
There are no prayer halls or spaces for ladies in Mosques in Indore. Ladies have to pray at home.</p>
Also, a tip for travellers:
Ask the taxi drivers about hidden gems/ recommended places in the city.
Uber and Ola cabs work within the city, so you can book taxis through your mobile at reasonable rates, and don't have to worry about being robbed of a ridiculous amount of money for taxi
If you are on a budget, you can choose to stay at Treebo Hotels. If you are looking for luxury, then I recommend you the Lemon Tree Hotel.