The city of Indore presents a happy blend of historical past & promises of rapid future modernization, it is situated on the Malwa plateau at an altitude of 535 m (18823 ft) above sea level, on the banks of two small rivulets-the Saraswati and the Khan. They unite at the center of the city where a small 18th century temple Sangamnath or Indreshwar exists. The name Indore is due to this deity. It is the largest city in Madhya Pradesh; this city has emerged as the commercial capital of the state.
Situated on one of India’s oldest pilgrimage routes from Mahakaal at Ujjain on river Kshipra to Omkareshwar on the river Narmada and onwards to Rameshwaram, Indore was on the route of Marathas of Deccan on their way to North India. These Marathas guerilla warriors were in constant battle with the Mughal Empire. Their army transit camps here attracted the local Zamindars who, drawn by the promise of lucrative trade, settled in the villages on the confluence of the khan and Saraswati rivers, thereby laying the foundation of this commerce in 1715 In 1741. Temple of Indreshwar was erected in the town, from which it derives the name of Indore.
The trade center grew rapidly under the Holkar dynasty (1733-1818). The remains of their two-century-old palace still stand in the main square (called Rajwada) the city became the capital of the Indore princely state in 1818 after the British forces under Sir John Malcolm defeated the Holkar led by Rani Krishnabai Holkar at Mahidpur. She signed the treaty of Mandsaur by which the control of Indore went in the hand of East India Company. Between 1948 and 1956 Indore served as the summer capital of the former Madhya Bharat state. Currently, it was the commercial capital of M.P.
The Holkar Palace is close to the Chhatris, in the main square in the heart of the city. It is a seven storied building (only facade remains) built over two centuries ago. The historic palace of the Holkar is built in a mixture of Maratha, Mughal and French style. The gopura-like monumental stone and wood structure flanked by bastions and studded with balconies and windows, is a testimony of the past grandeur of the Holkar. Its lofty entrance archway above a huge wooden door encrusted with iron studs, lead into a vast county ward enclosed by galleried rooms, and the arcaded Ganesh Hall where state and religious functions were once held. It is now used for art exhibition and classical music concerts. The lower three floors are made of stone and the upper floor are made of wood which made it very vulnerable to destruction by fire. Rajwada was burnt three times in its history and the last one in the year 1984 was the most devastating. The charred rubble of the rearportion has now given way to a symmetrically laid out garden featuring foundations, an artificial waterfall andsome superb pieces of eleventh century sculpture.