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Old 1st January 2018, 11:03   #1
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Smile Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

It was December month, time to consume the pending office leaves. The best option was the last week of December with two holidays of Christmas and New year. Luckily son's school was off in the last week and the itch to drive was already taking shape. But I was done with the nearby 200 kms runs, wanted to do a longer one min 6-7 hrs type. Scouting for location began about couple of months back which was within 400 kms drive. As usual looked to my son to come with some of his wishlist places and surprisingly he said he wanted to visit a shiva temple. The idea of Jyotirling stuck to me and Trimbakeshwar immediately came to my mind but that was very close. Nothing for the drive keeda. Few hours of googling and suggested Indore to wife but there was a resistance as Indore was 570 kms away and a good 9.5 hrs drive. I was super excited but there was hesitation from wife and son. This was like pushing the limits of driving. Researched, spoke to few known guys and everyone confirmed that roads to Indore are super good. The moment wife and son agreed, booked the hotel and started the preparations. Chalked out itinerary as below:
Day 1: Drive to Indore, start early reach around 2 pm. Take rest, see local sight seeing
Day 2: Drive to Omkareshwar, see Jyotirling, drive to Maheshwar and back to Indore
Day 3: Drive to Mandu and back to Indore
Day 4: Drive to Ujjain, see jyotirling and back to Indore, do shopping plus sight seeing
Day 5: Drive back to Thane

Basic preps before the start of the journey:
Fuel full - Checked
PUC - Checked
N2 in tyres - Checked
Fluids topped up - Checked.
Mapmyindia routes programmed - Checked
Basic cleaning kit - Checked.

Having done all the above, wait for the d-day (drive day) started.

Day 1: Woke up early, decided to start the journey at 5 am assuming the heavy vehicle traffic on the NH3 would be thin. Started at 5 am and indeed the traffic on NH3 was thin. Decided to keep the speed limits to 80 till day break after which I would be pushing at 100 kmph speeds. The route would be Thane-Nashik-Malegaon-Dhule-Sendhwa-Kalaghat-Pithampur-Indore. All the way on the NH3. As usual got slowed in the Igatpuri ghats due to the stupid heavy vehicles occupying both the lanes. Crossed Nashik at 7.30 (as against 7 am planned). Immediately after 10 kms from Nashik, the 4 laned road converted to 2 lane but luckily was not for more than a couple of kms. It was heartening to see the 4 laned road again. Then the most dreaded thing happened. Punto experienced the ill famed power loss issue. The accelerator pedal was touching the metal, yet the car was not moving beyond 50 kmph. There was no power in the car at all. Pulled the car to a side and halted for 15 odd minutes hoping the engine would cool down. Was getting tensed that I might not be able to keep up to the time limits. Luckily the engine purred back to life. Got back the turbo push and the car started hurtling down on the NH3. Came across 10 tolls on the way to Indore, 7 in Maharashtra and 3 in Madhya Pradesh state. Since the roads were superb, paying tolls was not met with a frown. Paid a total of Rs 681 in tolls as against Rs 912 seen on the NHAI website. Took the mandatory mins halts after every 2 hrs. Reached Indore at 2.30 pm after covering a distance of 581 kms over 9.30 hrs travel time. Few road pics and trips stats for reference.

NH3 Pics
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-yi_1513992145007.jpg
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-yi_1513994582279.jpg
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Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-yi_1514002407330.jpg
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-yi_1514006183146.jpg

Final stats Mileage achieved
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171223_145046.jpg

Kms covered
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171223_145037.jpg

Last edited by ghodlur : 4th January 2018 at 08:51.
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Old 1st January 2018, 12:14   #2
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Smile re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Day 1 contd:

After taking some rest post the long drive, decided to see some local Indore sight seeing. Visited the Khajrana Ganesh temple. The temple complex was huge with almost all gods in one place. The setting was so serene, spent an hour at the place.

Khajrana temple pics
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Later decided to savour some goodies which Indore was famous for and where else but Sarafa bazaar. The lane lined with Jewellery shops till 8 pm suddenly transforms into khau galli with some lip smacking varieties of chaats, kachoris, samosas, paani puris stalls all in one lane. Apart from that there were gulab jamuns, rasgullas, rabdi, angoor malai, shikanji, malpuas for the sweet tooth. Also visited the famous Joshi vade wale to have the dahi vadas and bhutte ka kees. With the stomach on the verge of exploding decided to make an exit or else we would have ended up with a upset stomach. No pics of this place as we were too engrossed with the eating part.

Last edited by ghodlur : 4th January 2018 at 08:53.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 14:02   #3
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Smile re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Wish you a happy and a prosperous new year to all BHPians.

A little more about the Indore food we savoured at Sarafa. People in Indore I guess are more fond of spicy and tangy foods. Being a Thaneite the spiciness in their food was frankly unbearable. But still put a brave front and kept having the food at Sarafa because the food was very tempting. Generally people in Indore are born foodies if I may say so. They could keep having the Kachoris day in and out. The poha served was a little bland for my taste and dry too coz in Maharashtra the poha is well garnished with coconut and coriander which makes it moist.

The sweets was the things that made the stomachs heavy. The rabdi was simply delicious and so was the gajar ka halwa and moong dal ka halwa. Gosh, mere mention of these things is making me drool and I am smacking my lips.

Overall, if you like spicy and tangy fast foods, then Indore is the place to be.

Day 2: Started at 8 am from hotel to avoid the traffic and proceeded to Omkareshwar. It was a 2 laned road for 82 odd kms on the Indore Khandwa road. Since we started early there was no much traffic, also there were very few heavy vehicle traffic on the road. On the way there was ghat sections with some patches of sharp turns and steep slopes. If only the MP state govt could have made this 4 laned road, it would have been fun to drive on the ghat as well as straight stretches. Reached Omkareshwar in approx 2 hrs time. The Public parking near the temple premises turned out to be a big joke. Hardly 4-5 vehicles could be parked there and they were already full. Found a nearby private parking space which costed Rs 50/-.

Omkareshwar temple is situated on the banks of Narmada river. There are 2 options to reach the Jyotirlinga - one by boat over Narmada which is hardly 400 mtrs and one by walk which is 1.5 kms through a bridge. No sooner we started towards the temple, priests and the boat agents started following us pestering us to use their services.Every priest seem to promise me VIP darshan of the Jyotrilinga and the boat agents promised 4 tourists places visit for Rs 500. Ignored all of them and proceeded towards the temple by walk.

There is a place in the temple for the footwear unlike the people who wanted us to deposit the footwear for the pooja thali. There is an option at the temple for VIP darshan costing Rs 300 per person. But I decided to go take darshan like common man. There was rush, no people management, no systematic queues. People jostled and pushed like theres was no tomorrow. But patience paid and we did have a good darshan of the Jyotirlinga within 1 hr.

Narmada river
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Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171224_093751.jpg

Rush at Omkareshwar Temple
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Banks of River Narmada
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Motor boats used to ferry devotees across to the temple
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Omkareshwar Temple
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Returned back to the parking spot, had breakfast and proceeded to Mamleshwar temple. It is said that no visit to Omkareshwar is complete without visiting this temple. Being around 1.5 kms away from the Jyotirling, I drove to the Mamleshwar temple and had darshan. Parking here is on a broken ground but still they charged Rs 50 for even 15 mins.

Mamleshwar temple pics
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Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171224_115929.jpg

The entire visit was done by 12 noon and we were ready to proceed to Maheshwar.

Last edited by ghodlur : 4th January 2018 at 08:59.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 14:13   #4
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Day 2 contd:
After completing the Omkareshwar temple visit, proceeded to Maheshwar which was 65 kms away on the MP state highway 38. Took 1.5 hrs to reach Maheshwar. Finding a parking slot near the Maheshwar fort was next to impossible. Luckily found a spot near a house and requested the owner for parking for which he readily agreed.

Started with the Maheshwar fort and reached the banks of Narmada where the fort is situated. The fort looked majestic in the afternoon. Took a dip in the holy water of Narmada (just wet my feet coz could not stand people taking bath and all in the river for reasons best untold). Visited the Ahilyabai temple, Holkar palace which housed the items used by the great queen and the huge statue of the queen.

Maheshwar Fort
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Banks of river Narmada also popularly called Narmada Ghat or Ahilyabai Ghat
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Self at the fort.
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Ahilyeshwar Temple dedicated to AhilyaBai
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Statue of Ahilyabai Holkar
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Also visited the local handloom where the famous Maheshwari sarees and dress materials were being woven.
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Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-dscn3983.jpg

Maheshwar by far was the best location I visited in the entire Indore trip. Started back to Indore at around 4 pm and reached hotel in 2.5 hrs. The route taken was through Dhamnod to reach NH3. Road conditions were simply good with 2 laned road till Dhamnod and then 4 laned NH3 till Indore. Overall a day well spent.

At the end of the day the odo read 834 kms covered.

Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171224_171454.jpg
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171224_171501.jpg

Last edited by ghodlur : 4th January 2018 at 09:10.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 14:52   #5
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Day 3: Started from Indore again early morning at 8 towards Mandu which was around 90 kms away. Took the usual NH3 till Maanpur after which took the Khargone - Bhusawal highway which was a 4 laned road, freshly laid tarmac but toll road for 20 odd kms. then turned towards the Mandu road which was a 2 laned road all the way till Mandu for the next 30 odd kms. For about 4 kms I found broken roads which I was seeing for the first time in MP after having driven on some good roads. Stopped to have breakfast and had sumptous Aloo Parathas with some sweet chai.

Route taken
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-indore-mandu.png

Started the Mandu sight seeing with first one at Rani Roopmati Pavilion. This was the farthest amongst the sites about 6 kms from town centre or Jama masjid, hence took it first. There is an entrance fee of rs 50 per person. At the base of the Pavilion, there is parking available for about 20 cars. The pavilion is perched on a lift mountain and the only way to reach was by walk. Atop the pavilion the scene was mesmerizing. It was supposed to be an observatory of Rani Roopmati who used it to look over her lover Baz Bahadur's palace and the mighty n holy Narmada river. I am sure many must have heard or read about the unique love story of Rani Roopmati and Baz Bahadur.

Rani Roopmati Pavilion pics
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Scenery from the pavilion
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The Baz Bahadur palace was in real shambles, pity they were not maintained. Next stop was Jahaz Mahal a unique structure which resembled a ship. The palace was built around lakes and canals and when the water was released in the lakes and canal, the palace would like a ship afloat in midst of water. the Jahaz Mahal is housed in the royal palace complex which housed many more monuments like the Hindola Mahal. It takes around 3-4 hrs to visit every site in the complex. Most of the monuments are already in ruins begging to be restored.

Jahaz Mahal Pics
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Hindola Mahal pics
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Ruins nearby Jahaz Mahal
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Had lunch and started back to Indore at around 2 pm via the same earlier route, reached by 4 pm. By end of Day 3 the odo read 1051.
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171225_151929.jpg
Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171225_151936.jpg

Last edited by ghodlur : 4th January 2018 at 09:19.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 15:44   #6
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Day 4: Started early from Indore around 8 am to Ujjain for the Jyotirlinga darshan. Ujjain is 55 kms away from Indore and roads are 4 laned and in very good conditions. reached Ujjain in 1 hr, parking near the Mahakaleshwar temple was never going to be easy. The public parking place was already full, had to keep searching for a parking which I got a bit far away from the main temple. Deposit the mobile and cameras, took the Pooja Thali and headed to the common line. There is VIP darshan also but since I loathe the VIP giri decided to stand in the common line which was very slow moving. The main reason being the high paying VIP line moving faster than usual. There was huge rush and once inside the main temple people didn;t hesitate to jostle, push, shove to reach the sanctum sanctorum. People management was a big zero. Finally patience paid off and the Jyotirling darshan happened albeit from a distance. I was told before the morning aarti at 11 am, the darshan is provided very close the shivalinga. But content with whatever I could see. No pics here since camera, mobiles were already in lockers.

Had some snacks and left for Indore. In the evening visited the local attractions such as Bada Ganpati, Kaanch Mandir, Rajwaada palace. Visited the urban class Sarafa at 56 dukaan which is nothing but the eat street of Indore. But unhygienic, traffic management was absolutely poor. Retired for the day since I had start early for the return trip back to Thane.

The odo at the end of the day read 1169 kms.

Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171226_133425.jpg

Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more-img_20171226_133431.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th January 2018 at 14:50.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 15:53   #7
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Day5: The return journey to Thane started at 6 am in the morning. It was the same road as travelled earlier. The only scare I had was I was running low on fuel and couple of IOC petrol pumps weren't open in the morning. Luckily found one, refueled to full tank and started the return journey. Reached Thane at 3.30 pm. Should have reached earlier had it not been a traffic mess near the Kharegaon toll where not one but 3 heavy vehicles had broken down and caused a huge traffic back log. In both ways I had taken 15 mins break every 2 hrs with one breakfast break for 30 mins.

The final stats:
Total Distance covered: 1750 kms
Mileage achieved: 19.2 kms
Total fuel: Rs 6200
Total tolls paid: Rs 1562.

Next day washed the Punto and brought it back to its original glory.

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Old 4th January 2018, 14:51   #8
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th January 2018, 15:09   #9
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Thank you for a crisp travelogue gholdlur. This circuit and the POIs covered particularly interested me because in 2013, we had driven to Indore and covered all these places; incidentally on a Punto too!

That trip was mainly a food trip where we ensured not to miss anything famous at Indore - Be that Sarafa Bazar, Chappan Dukaan or Ghamandi Lassi and more.

The icing on cake (if we may call it so) was the Indore - Ghodra route that we took on return (and then Halol - Vadodara ) to return to Bangalore where the road after Indore before Ghodra was so bad that 3 of us walked while the 4th one drove negotiating the potholes and I will remember this drive more for that just because we asked a truck driver about the road conditions head and he said "Badhiyaa hai" may be with a malicious intent or whatever!

Neverthless, we also had some excellent twisties to handle on Kannad Ghat because we took the onward route via Aurangabad - Kannad Ghat - Dhule.

Thanks again for bringing these memories back.
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Old 5th January 2018, 14:23   #10
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Nicely narrated. One thing struck me, and we faced it too:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
No sooner we started towards the temple, priests and the boat agents started following us pestering us to use their services.
It's really ironical that a place of worship, meant to be run by supposedly god fearing priests, are almost militant in nature in Omkareshwar, with no qualms about cheating. One particular priest (out of the 15 different odd ones who pestered us) was so adamant that he followed us for almost 10 minutes all through our walk from the car, trying to convince us to take the special darshan. We refused all through, but since it partly off season, there was no single "line of people" heading to the entrance, so we didn't know where the entrance was! Hence we were forced to accept his services, in a weak moment. Halfway through, he tried to jack up his price by insisting on all sorts of "extra darshans and contributions", which we firmly resisted without hesitation.

Never again!
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Old 5th January 2018, 15:49   #11
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Angry Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Great travelogue gholdlur.

If it was me, then think there is a exit road on NH3 towards Khandwa.
NH3 -> Khandwa -> Omkareshwar -> Maheshwar
->Mandu -> Indore ->Ujjain -> Indore -> Thane.

Btw Big question, are roads better than the US ?

Disclosure : Originally from MP, last visited 2012, and have traveled in the US.
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Old 5th January 2018, 16:43   #12
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
It was December month, ....
Great travelogue Ghodlur. Looking at the time stamps of your images, I am sure we would have crossed each other on 23rd Dec.

Sad, I missed you on my way.

Regarding your Mamleshwar visit after Omkareshwar: Many believe Mamleshwar is the actual Jyotirling & not the Omkareshwar. (I am not sure on this part). Just listen to the Dwadash Jyotirling Mantra & it says "Omkar - Mamleshwaram".

With So many myths around, it is always better to visit both the sides of river.


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Originally Posted by ritz3645 View Post
Btw Big question, are roads better than the US ?
They are excellent, If I may say so. I am doing this route Pune-Nashik-Indore & sometimes till Mandsaur; every alternate weekends since November-17. This will go on till May this year. Road immediately after MP starts is a bit patchy (not much though) till Julwania.

"NH3-Khandwa": I guess you want to say Khargone; you exit NH3 from Julwania to go to Khargone. NOM, but not recommended: as it is completely two lane & Khargone to Omkareshwar Via Gogawan - Sanawad, is a mess for 10-15 KMs

The most irritating part of this route is the rumble strips (they are huge) almost every two KMs within the Maharashtra Territory (NOM). Very irritating, cars achieve speeds upto 80 or 100+ KMPH & then you have to suddenly break to maneuver the breakers..

The six lane highway starts from Pimplegaon & goes till Mumbai (I guess - I exit from Nashik to Pune). Ojhar (10 KMs from Nashik) & Pimplegaon still has that old 2 lane road. Only God knows why, when the entire stretch is six lane. These patches on any day can destroy the time you covered on the remaining excellent road.

Another issue is with MP territory is the free roaming cows almost everywhere.

Regards,
Saurabh

Last edited by saurabh2711 : 5th January 2018 at 17:05.
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Old 5th January 2018, 18:28   #13
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

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Started the Mandu sight seeing with first one at Rani Roopmati Pavilion...
The Baz Bahadur palace was in real shambles, pity they were not maintained. Next stop was Jahaz Mahal a unique structure which resembled a ship. The palace was built around lakes and canals and when the water was released in the lakes and canal, the palace would like a ship afloat in midst of water. the Jahaz Mahal is housed in the royal palace complex which housed many more monuments like the Hindola Mahal. It takes around 3-4 hrs to visit every site in the complex. Most of the monuments are already in ruins begging to be restored.
Mandu is an amazing place indeed. A fortified city that is perched on a mountain with mahals, stepwells, tombs, mosques, and grand gateways! The place is a real hidden gem in my opinion. I hope to visit Mandu again and spend a few days exploring the place.
Thanks for the reminder
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Old 8th January 2018, 14:10   #14
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Default Re: Stallion visits the Holkars & Jyotirlingas - Indore, Ujjain, Omkareshwar & more

Any reason you didn't try staying at the beautiful MP Tourism facility called Narmada retreat at Maheshwar which is bang on the banks of the Narmada river.

We stayed there for a couple of days and did Mandu and Omkareshwar before moving to Indore. Saved us some travel time.
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Old 8th January 2018, 14:56   #15
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Any reason you didn't try staying at the beautiful MP Tourism facility called Narmada retreat at Maheshwar which is bang on the banks of the Narmada river.

We stayed there for a couple of days and did Mandu and Omkareshwar before moving to Indore. Saved us some travel time.
There was a thought on this idea but spending a single night for an pricey MPTDC hotel was not appealing. Besides, I would miss on the driving part too which was the core intention of this trip. Plus the biggest reason for not staying here was the uncomfortableness for the missus to pack and unpack. Hence 4 nights at a stretch in Indore meant no worrying about the same.
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