10 Best Weekend Trips From Indore, Madhya Pradesh

weekend getaways from indore
Swadeep Singh
Swadeep Singh 
| 5 min read

The city of Indore is located in the western part of the state of Madhya Pradesh in the Malwa region. Although this is not the capital of this state, Indore has emerged as the largest commercial and education hub of central India. It is also the largest city in the state and has the densest population. But being a city of such a great calibre doesn’t mean that Indore is just a concrete jungle. In fact, the city is positioned at such a sweet spot on the map that you have numerous tourist attractions in all directions. In the same context, we will name a few nearby places which are worthy of your visit. Read on to learn about the best weekend trips from Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

1. Maheshwar

Maheshwar Fort 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bernard Gagnon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Maheshwar is a small town that is located approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles/2-hour drive) south of Indore. Historically known as ‘Mahishmati’, the chronicles tell us that this place is about 2500 years old; and it is even mentioned in two classical Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Today, this little town is known for its opulent palaces which were built by the Holkar dynasty, who had ruled over Indore during the 17th and 18th centuries. The notable attractions of this city are Maheshwar and Holkar Fort, Jaleshwar and Pandrinath Temple, and Narmada Ghat. Also, keep in mind to shop for the elegant Maheshwari sarees while you’re in Maheshwar.

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2. Ratlam

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Ratlam is a small district in the northwestern part of the Malwa region that is bordered by the state of Rajasthan. It was a princely state during the British Rule and had a palace too called ‘Mahalwada’. Besides this palace, Ratlam is renowned all over India for its gold jewelry market and ‘namkeen’ (popular Indian snack); in fact, this city is considered the place of origin for ‘sev’ (short crispy noodle-like savories). Some famous locations in Ratlam are - Amrit Sagar Lake, Hanuman Taal (lake), Kalka Mata Temple, and JVL Temple. This city is positioned at about 140 kilometers (85 miles/2.5-hour drive) from Indore.

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3. Mandav

Jahaz Mahal, Mandav, M.P. 24rth March 2017
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gurjeet1997 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Visit one more historic site that’s situated on a hilltop in the Vindhyachal Mountain Range at a distance of 100 kilometers (60 miles/2-hour drive) from Indore. This little town served as the capital of Parmara of Dhar in the 10th and 11th century but gained prosperity only after it was taken over by Malwa Sultanate. Mandav was governed by the Mughals too, yet it’s best known for the tragic love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati. Learn their folklore while exploring all the important monuments like Hindola Mahal, Jahaj Mahal, Baz Bahadur Mahal, Hoshang Shah Tomb, Jami Masjid, Champa Baoli, and more.

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4. Bhopal

A Shiv Temple Bhojpur Bhopal Madhya Pradesh India
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user shivanjan choudhury used under CC BY 2.0

Bhopal serves as the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh, and it is located approximately 190 kilometers (118 miles/3-hour drive) from Indore. The city was founded in the 11th century by King Bhoj, the famous ‘Paramara’ emperor of Dhar. It is believed that the most remarkable attraction of this city, the enormous ‘Upper Lake’, also known as Bhojtaal, was also built by this king. After the decline of the Rajputs, Afghans and Mughals ruled over this city. Some other famous monuments like Taj-Ul Mosque, Moti Mosque, and Shaukat Mahal were built by those Muslim monarchs. Birla Temple, Van Vihar Zoo, and the State Museum are also a sight to behold.

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5. Omkareshwar

Narmada in Omkareshwar
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bernard Gagnon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

To reach Omkareshwar, first, you must have to travel to Mortakka Village that is nearly 65 kilometers (40 miles/2-hour drive) far on the scenic ‘ghaat’ section (steep mountainous route) on Khandwa Road. Your destination lies 10 minutes away from this village. Omkareshwar is primarily frequented by pilgrims and is one of the twelve holiest shrines or the ‘Jyotirlinga’ as per Hindu religion. This temple is situated on a small naturally formed island in the Narmada River that is literally in the shape of the sacred Hindu symbol ‘Om’. Besides, you may also visit Siddhanath Temple, Kedareshwar Temple, and Sri Govind Bhagwatpad Cave.

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6. Dhar

Dhar Fort, Dhar, Madhya Pradesh 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Uchcharia used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Dhar is an easy reach from Indore at about 60 kilometers (37 miles/1-hour drive) away via National Highway 47. This settlement was founded by King Bhoj, who is known to be the most remarkable ruler in the Parmara dynasty that ruled the Malwa region between the 9th and 14th centuries. Like many other places in this region, Dhar was also taken over by Muslim emperors in the subsequent period. Hence, we have plenty of monuments that were built by both Hindu and Muslim rulers here. The notable attractions in Dhar are Bhojshala Temple, Mahadev Temple, Mohankheda Jain Pilgrimage, Maulana Mosque, and Bagh Caves.

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7. Ujjain

Shri Mahakaleshwer Temple - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gyanendra_Singh_C... used under CC BY 3.0

At 50 kilometers (30 miles/1-hour drive) away from Indore, Ujjain is a city of temple. The city is so old that nearly every sacred Hindu text takes its references. Even legend has it that Lord Krishna had studied in Ujjain at Guru Sandipani’s Ashram, and it is one of the four holiest sites where we could see the world’s largest religious gathering - the Kumbh Mela. Ujjain also possesses a Jyotirlinga site known as Mahakaleshwar, as well as a one Shakti Peetha called Harsiddhi Temple. Hindu astrology also considers this city phenomenal, since the Tropic of Cancer literally passes through Mangalnath Temple. And it is one of those few cremation grounds, where Tantra Vidya (techniques) can still be acquired.

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8. Kalakund

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Kalakund is a scenic village and a camping destination near Indore. While it can be still reached via road at approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles/1-hour drive), we suggest you book your tickets with Mhow-Kalakund Heritage Train. This train goes through a lush green valley over bridges and tunnels, a picturesque route indeed. Your destination is located between Patalpani and Choral stations, which are equally beautiful places to be explored. Trekking, waterfall, camping, and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in this woodland.

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9. Hanumantiya Island

JalMahotsav in 2016-17 - Houseboats Inside Hanuwantiya Tourist Complex
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Indrajit Das used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Hanumantiya Island is situated approximately 140 kilometers (86 miles/3.5-hour drive) from the city of Indore, and it’s unofficially referred to as Goa of Madhya Pradesh. The reason is obvious, the tourism department has intentionally developed it like that. The site is positioned in the massive pool of Indira Sagar Dam, which renders an illusion of coming to a sea beach. The government has made arrangements for nearly all kinds of aquatic sports that you would see at the seaside, so you could enjoy water surfing, jet ski, water zorbing, river cruise, etc. People can even explore the clear underwater with snorkel and scuba dive.

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10. Gulawat

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The last spot we have a scenic place that is located in the vicinity of this city. Gulawat, which is also known as Lotus Valley is located in the catchment area of Yashwant Sagar Dam; it’s the reservoir that supplies drinking water to Indore. This marsh is situated a mere 20 kilometers (12 miles/30 minutes’ drive) from the city center of Indore. The half-submerged trees and lotus lake at this site make it a preferred venue for photoshoots. The local villagers can be your guide here, and you may also try boating with them.

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Make the most of your vacation in central India

Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ra pk2 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

It may seem complicated, but the destinations that we have listed here wouldn’t consume a lot of time. If you look into a map, you will see that many of these destinations fall in the same route. For instance, Ujjain can be visited en-route Ratlam; and locations like Mandav, Dhar, Maheshwar, and Omkareshwar can be covered in a single trip. So choose your most-preferred destination and enjoy weekend trips from Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Also known as Bobby, Swadeep Singh is a businessman since 2013 but he has forever nurtured a passion for writing. Traveling never makes him exhausted, which is why he's never known turn down any...Read more

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