Indore reflects the true spirit of unity in diversity. People from all corners of the country have migrated and settled here for their livelihood and education, resulting in a diverse culture.
The official language of the Indore city is Hindi and the language is spoken by the majority of people living here. However, you can hear a number of dialects being spoken here, namely Bundelkhandi, Malwi and Chattisgarhi. Since people belonging to other states also stay here, they can be heard speaking in Urdu, Marathi, Sindhi, and Gujarati too.
Most of the people residing in the state of Madhya Pradesh practice Hinduism and the same holds true for the people of Indore also. Apart from Hindus, one can also find sizeable minority population of Muslims, Jains, Christians and Buddhists. A small proportion of Sikh population also lives in the city.
Owing to its rich cultural background, Indore Festivals are celebrated with great zest and are one of the main attractions of the city. Though growing westernization has been a reason behind the celebration of events like Valentine's Day, Friendship Day and New Year's Eve, Indore has not lost its traditional values. The city still celebrates a host of traditional festivals which originated centuries back. All national festivals, like Diwali, Holi, Eid-ul-Fitr and Rakhi, are also celebrated in Indore with the same enthusiasm as in the other parts of Madhya Pradesh as well as India.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated quite differently in Indore city. Earlier, when textile mills flourished here, the workers of the mills contributed money and labor to arrange a carnival of floats ("Jhanki") and celebrated the festival with great pomp and show. Another festival celebrated here is Makar Sankranti, also known as the Kite Festival. The sky over Indore is rendered colorful as people fly kites and organize competitions on this day. It is celebrated on 14th January each year. Some other major festivals celebrated in Indore are.
Anant Chaudas is celebrated around the month of September. On the night of Anant Chaudas, large processions are taken out and huge idols of Lord Ganesha are immersed in water. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the people.
Rangapanchami is celebrated five days after Dulendi or Holi, but it is not the usual Holi colors that paint the atmosphere around, rather it is the color of music that fills the air. Indore has its own style of celebrating Rang Panchami. Here, it is celebrated like Dulendi, but colors are mixed with water and then poured on others. On the event of the festival, the local municipal corporation sprinkles color mixed water on the main streets of old Indore. Earlier, they used Fire Brigade vehicles for this purpose. Rangapanchami is an age old festival, which was celebrated during the Holkar reign and continues to be celebrated till date.
Ahilya Utsav is an annual festival celebrated in Indore. It is celebrated to commemorate the death anniversary of Rani Ahilya Bai, the brave queen of Indore.
Though Navratri is celebrated throughout the country, it has a special relevance for the people of Indore. The temple of Bijasen Mata is located on a small hillock called Bijasen Tekri. In the months of September/October, during Navratri, a fair is organized at this temple. It attracts pilgrims in huge numbers. The participation in fairs and tirth-yatras has a special significance among Hindus. An important yatra of the region is connected with a fair at the time of Maha Shivratri, lasting for a day. There is a temple of Shiva and a sacred water tank. People from different areas assemble here to worship Shiva, and to take a dip in the sacred tank.
The enthusiasm and joy at the times of festivals and religious ceremonies find expression through dance, drama and music. The important community dances are known as bhaguria, phag and matki. Usually the former two are preformed at the time of Holi festival, while the matki dance is performed at the time of marriage.
Popular games played by the people of the district include kho-kho, kabaddi, gilli-danda , gulam-danda.
Shivaji Rao was a great builder who built most of the existing buildings and palaces of Indore. Lal Bagh palace was originally constructed by him in the last decade of the 19th century.
The Lalbagh Palace of the Holkars on the banks of the Khan river is one of the grand monuments of the Holkar dynasty in the city. The whole complex has a total area of 28 acres. The palace is a reflection of the grandeur and lifestyle of the Holkar Dynasty. Its construction began in 1886 under Tukoji Rao Holkar II, and was carried out in three phases, the final phase being completed in 1921 under Tukoji Rao Holkar III. It is a blend of Baroque and Renaissance styles, and in its day was one of the most elegant residences in India. The main attractions are the splendidly proportioned and furnished rooms, with frescoed ceilings and guilded ornamental mouldings. The architecture and decoration of this palace, inhabited by the Holkars until 1978, reflect the highly westernized aesthetic sensibility of the later Holkar family. The imposing gates of the palace are unique in Asia. A replica of the gates of Buckingham palace (London), but about twice their size, they were moulded in cast iron and shipped from England. They carry the Holkar state emblem. Another building called the Shiva Vilas palace was also built. The buildings of Holkar College and secretariat were built during his regime. The Jain community of the city built a double-storied temple in the Shakkar bazaar.