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 a convinient resting place.
Recently the remains of a Buddhist Stupa were
discovered in excavations in the eastern suburbs of Indore, taking its history
to the early Christian era. Earlier a part of the Mauryan and Gupta empires, it
later formed a part of the flourishing Paramour kingdom of Malwa and the
sultanate of Mandu.
It is not fully understood when
Dashoras started living in Indore. But the majority of living Dashoras either
live in Indore or come from families in Indore.
It was on the route of the Marathas of Deccan on their way to North India. These
Maratha guerilla warriors were in constant battle with the Mughal empire. Their
army transit camps here attracted the local Zamindars (landlords) 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 centre
in 1715. In 1741, temple of Indreshwar was erected in the town, from which it
derives the name Indore.
The trade centre grew rapidly under the
(1733-1818). The remains of their two century old palace still stand in the main
square (called Rajwada which boasts of being the only 7 storied entrance of a
Palace in the world). Planned and built by Rani Ahilyabai, the brave Holkar
queen, Indore lies to the extreme west of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of the
rivers Saraswati and Khan which unite at the centre of the city. Though Ahilya
Bai (1767-1795), ruled from a palace-fort in Maheshwar loved Indore immensly, it
was only after her death that the State capital was shifted from Maheshwar to
Indore in 1811 AD. Today, her statue adorns the centre of the city, Rajwada. The city became the capital of the Indore princely state
in 1818 after the British forces under Sir John Malcolm defeated the Holkars led
by Rani Krishnabai Holkar at Mahidpur. Ahilya Bai signed the treaty of Mandsaur
(on December 21, 1817) by
which the control of Indore went in the hand of the East India Company. The
later Holkar rulers, especially Tukoji Rao II (1844-1886) who built the first
railway line and a hospital among other things, did much to modernize and
beautify their kingdom. Between
1948 and 1956, Indore served as the summer capital of the former Madhya Bharat
state. Currently, it is the commercial capital of M.P.
The 40 feet high Idol at Bada Ganapati in Indore is the largest
Ganesh Idol in the world.
Up to the last quarter of the 20th century majority of Dashoras
lived in central part of Indore. The major events such as marriages upnayan
sanskar and the last rights were performed in a community building "Dashora
Dharamshala". With the enormous growth of the city itself now Dashoras
live in all parts of the extended Mahanagar of Indore.
Due to its location on the southern edge of the Malwa plateau,
during the evenings a cool breeze starts which makes the nights quite cool
and pleasant. No wonder poets have deemed Shab-e-Malwa (the night of Malwa)
exquisite beyond compare. Thanks to the rich black soil of the Malwa Plateau,
Indore has prospered into being the fourth largest centre of cotton textile
industry in India. It is also justly famous for its beautiful bangles.