Lalbagh Palace

Lalbagh must be one of the more common names a palace or garden, although perhaps not quite as popular as a Mahatma Gandhi Road. When I read about the late 19th century palace built by the Holkars of Indore the associations that popped into my mind were in Mumbai and Bengaluru. A search immediately threw up many more red gardens.

With a couple of hours to kill before our flight, I quickly looked at the small list of places we had not yet seen in Indore. The choice was between a 20th century temple, a mid-19th century mosque and this palace. We chose the palace; unfortunately. The Holkars have moved out of this sprawling building, leaving behind a few chandeliers and bulky pieces of furniture for tourists to gape at. You can pay 20 rupees for the pleasure of walking through nearly empty rooms. The mosaic floors and high ceilings are of some interest if you like late 19th century architecture, but the emptiness told on us. We escaped quickly to the desultorily maintained gardens. Clearly the locals make good use of the huge spaces. We came across lovers, cricket teams and people having a nap. We came to patches of lilies which were over-running their borders, but since they were all in bloom I guess the gardeners forgive them their audacity.

We were at the airport early.