Life in the Cleanest City of India, Indore

India’s second largest state, Madhya Pradesh has some of the most exquisite cultures and traditions neatly tied in a bow at the centre of the nation. And the largest city in it, Indore takes away most of the credit by being the epicenter of this center.

Crowned as the cleanest city in India by Swachh Survekshan (Government of India) for the fourth consecutive time this year, Indore has two communities to thank- its people and the state government. And as you can imagine, being the cleanest city is definitely hard work. So, let’s quickly find out how Indore managed to blow our minds with god-level neatness 4 years in a row!

Clean roads and public spaces boost Indore tourism.
The government workers work tirelessly to keep the roads spick n' span. Picture credits to coloursofindore_c .

Game, Set, Dispose

The Indore Municipal Corporation has stepped up in its game by taking serious steps when it comes to proper waste disposal by its residents. The earlier placed garbage disposal bins have been replaced with door-to-door garbage collection. It is much more efficient and effective than the former method and keeps a clear record of the households adhering to the rules. Dry wastes were kept separate from the wet ones making their disposal easy.

With the population reaching over 5 million, the government has still found a way to keep Indore clean and manageable.

Organic Matter Does Matter

We all know that wet garbage and organic matter (such as vegetable peels, tea leaf waste and other kitchen waste) can be used to make compost for plants. The residents in Indore actually implemented the same in most of their localities and it did wonders! One such example is that of Lokmanya Nagar, where almost 750 households have a legit business of making compost from terracotta pots, a lucrative local business in Indore.

The self-sufficiency really comes off as sheer surprise to people on the outside and makes them wonder, how do they do it? Most of the localities not only followed into the footsteps of this revolutionary change, but also found individual ways to reduce waste generation. This happened to an extent that almost 700 compost making units are working at gardens, hotels, schools and other places across the big city.

Polythenes Are Enemies

A lot of Indian cities talk about it and even try implementing it but with little to no success over a period of time. Indore, on the other hand, has taken this step in all seriousness. Use of polythenes has been banned in the city and as a result, shopkeepers and citizens both have started using either cloth/jute bags or bags of permissible thickness as suitable replacement products. It’s almost like removing the root cause of the problem, right?

Dustbins On The Move!

Not just the government but people have collectively started taking responsibility for not littering the roads and honestly, nothing can be better than this. Be it cars, buses or other public transport in the city, dustbins are installed by both the public and the government to keep a check on unnecessary litter disposal inside the vehicles. And the result? Well it’s pretty evident, don’t you think? :)

Interesting graffiti can be seen plastered on the walls of the city.
Not just cleanliness, but the streets of Indore are also plastered with interesting graffiti, making them all the more vibrant. Picture credits to coloursofindore_c .

Educating Kids, The Right Way

A clever way to incorporate the habit of proper waste disposal is by educating the children at home or in school. And no better way to do this than making them responsible for their actions and the people around them. If someone is seen littering the roads in Indore, the kids try to discipline them with discretion, off course! After all they are the future of our nation and they ought to know.

Afterparty Includes Clean-Ups

Be it religious events, public rallies or festival celebrations, the citizens make sure to clean-up post a big event that uses public space and dispose the waste properly. This maintains the level of waste generation in the city and helps keep a check on it too. And since it’s a community effort, it helps bring people closer to each other and work in unison.

Wedding Vows That Wow You

This is a rather interesting find I stumbled upon the other day- apart from the seven vows that are exchanged in Indian weddings, Indore has introduced one more to the list. The newlyweds are administered to the vow of cleanliness! Yes, you read that right. This pledge taken by the couple makes sure that they do their fair share of cleaning in whichever locality they choose to settle in the city. It is also mandatory to follow up after the marriage and dispose all the waste that has been generated during the wedding. Also, dustbins are given away as return gifts at weddings instead of sweets or usual monetary favours. Talk about an interesting take on things!

All these and a lot of other factors are responsible to make Indore the cleanest city in India. Wondering what it is like to spend 2 days here? Here’s how.

The Indore Travel Bucket List

When in Indore, it is important that you do justice to it by trying the hefty variety of food it offers and visiting places that demonstrate its chill vibe. Be it restaurants being full on the weekends (the city practically breathes on food) to sitting on freshly-cut grass as you enjoy a heavy plate of sev puri, Indore is every foodie’s dream come true for sure. Want to witness the city in its true form? These places should definitely top your travel bucket list. :)

Khopra Pattice is a delicacy at local markets in Indore.
The signature Khopra Pattice is a staple for both locals and travellers. Picture credits to  akash.pahi​

Sarafa Bazar- Famous for sweets and Indori delicacies such as Mawa Bhati and Maal Pua.

Chappan Bazar- Translating to 56 shops in english, this market is adorned with famous eateries that specialise in one dish per shop. A lot of cuisines are covered including South Indian, Continental, Chinese and so many more. Do try the Maggi Kebabs when here.

Chappan Bazar in all its glory.
One of the most popular markets in Indore, Chappan. Picture credits to indorizatka​

Rajwada- Of historical importance at primarily the center of the city, Rajwada is a place to shop for trinkets while you sip on some freshly squeezed juices. Known for selling durable footwear, do try shopping from the street vendors; they tend to have pretty cool stuff. :)

Mandav- A supposed haunted picnic spot in Indore, Mandav is home to an age-old fort and gardens surrounding it. It is a cheerful picnic spot by the day and a spooky tourist attraction after dawn.

Gardens in the city- Megdoodh Garden, Nehru Park and Kamla Nehru Park are some of the many gardens where you can go for an evening stroll. They are very well maintained, adding to the charm and feel-good vibe of the city. These gardens add all the more value to Indore tourism for varied travellers and tourists.

Writing about Indore is synonymous to mentioning the sorted food scene that the city has to offer. The jalebi, varied samosas, poha with sev, bhutte ki kees, khopra patties, garadu and batla kachori are some of the most famous delicacies here. And surprisingly, everything comes with a hint of sweetness- even the savoury items. Every second street vendor has something unique for your taste buds and I bet you’d want to try it all.

Gulab Jamun at the the Sarafa Bazar.
Locally known as Mawa Bhati, gulab jamuns are one of the specialties at the midnight Sarafa Bazar. Picture credits to   foodiewoodieclub​

If you’ve reached this far, I’m sure Indore must have given you tons of reasons to ponder on. Why is it that one of the largest cities in our country is doing better than all the other cities when it comes to cleanliness? What makes Indore different or rather, what makes it stand out? The answer is simple; its people. Every little step you’ve read here is a result of years of hardwork and dedication the city and its government has put through. And when it comes to India, there is still a long way to go when it comes to learning from Indore.

Writer, Kanak Kundlani.