Indore is the largest city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and the most populous metropolitan area in central India. It serves the headquarters of both Indore District and Indore Division. A central power city, Indore exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment and has been described as the commercial capital of the state.
Located on the southern edge of Malwa Plateau, the city is located 190 km west of the state capital of Bhopal. With a Census-estimated 2011 population of 1,960,631 distributed over a land area of just (526 km2), Indore is the most densely populated major city in the central province. As more than 13 languages are spoken in Indore, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the central India. The Indore Metropolitan Area's population is the states' largest, with 2.2 million. It is the 14th largest city in India and 147th largest city in the world.
Indore traces its roots to its 16th century founding as a trading hub between the Deccan and Delhi. The city and its surroundings came under Maratha Empire on 18 May 1724 after Maratha Peshwa assumed the full control of Malwa. During the days of the British Raj it was a 19 Gun Salute (21 locally) princely state (a rare high rank) ruled by the Maratha Holkar dynasty, until they acceded to the Union of India. Indore served as the capital of the Madhya Bharat from 1950 until 1956.
Indore's financial district, anchored by central Indore, functions as the financial capital of the Madhya Pradesh and is home to the Madhya Pradesh Stock Exchange, the India's third oldest stock exchange. Indore's real estate market is among the most expensive in the state. Indore's Lokmanya Nagar incorporates the highest concentration of Marathi people in the Western city. Providing continuous 18 hour service, the Indore City Bus is one of the most popular bus transit systems in India. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Indore, including IIM Indore and IIT Indore, which are ranked among world's top institutions.