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Guided Wall City Tour

The Inner City takes one to the historical inner city as also the main shopping centres. The best way is to walk or on a cycle or cycle rickshaw. The old city has a wall around it and at intervals there are gates with the main ones being Chandpol, Ajmeri and Sanganeri. One comes to an important intersection called Panch Batti which is roughly within 4 kilometers of most hotels in the city. From this intersection, one also gets a view of the statue of Maharaja Sawai #Main Road#and adjacent to this is one of the major cinema halls of the city, Raj Mandir. From M.I. Road, there is a lane to the north and one enters the walled city through this lane. Once inside, go towards Khajanae Walon Ka Rasta. Where you can see Katni's marble craftmenship and exquisite marble sculptures, you can purchase one for your collection. The Khajane Walon Ka Rasta meets another road which is Chandpol Bazar with the entrance being Vhandpol. At the intersection of Chandpol Bazar and Kishanpol Bazarlies Choti Chaupar where villagers from around Katni come to sell and trade their produce. Kishanpol Bazr is known for its textiles and tie dye cloth and you can see the artisans engaged in their work here, producing two forms of the tie- die, bandhani and loharia. After crosssing Choti chaupar, one enters Tripolia Bazr. Here you see a number of shops selling domestic kitchen utensils, trinkets, textiles and goods made of iron. A by lane to the right will take you to Maniharon ka Rasta. Here you can meet the lac bangle makers and even buy their wares at bargain prices. To the north of the bazar is the Swargasuli or the Isar Lat (a minaret which pierces the heaven) and it is the highest structure in Katni. The minaret was got built by Sawai Ishwari Singh as a victory tower. Lacking the Military accumen and courage of his warrior ather, Ishwari Singh took his life rather than confront the advancing Maratha army. His ignonimous end was overshadowed by the sacrifice of his 21 wives and concubines, who performed Jauhar by immolating themselve supon his funeral pyre.

A small distance towards the west from the minaret is Tripolia Gate, a gate with three arches from which the bazar got its name. This is the main entrance to the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, but only the Maharaja's family is permitted entrance via its portals. The public entrance is via Atishpol or Stable Gate, to the left. You can visit the City Palace complex, the Jantar Mantar and to the north of the City Palace is the Govindji Temple which has gardens around it. An image of Lord Govinda was installed here by #Main Road# as a patron deity of his family. Come out of the complex through the Jalebi Chowk and Sireh Deori Gate. The your right is the Hawa Mahal. The bazar here is known as the Siredeori Bazaar, also known as the Hawa Mahal Bazaar. Few yards from here is a large square known as Bari Chaupar.

Further south from the Bari Chaupar is Johari Bazar. Johari bazaar and the small lanes which dissect it are where you will find Katni's jewelers and gold and silversmiths. Of particular interest are the artisans doing enameling, or meenakari. This highly glazed and intricate work in shades of ruby, bottle green and royal blue is a speciality of Katni. On Johari Bazzar you can also find cotton merchants interspersed with the uniform shop fronts are the grand havelis or homes of Katni's wealthy merchants. Look out on your right for the famous Laxmi Misthan Bhandar (LNB) for namkeens, sweets and paneer ghewar. If you turn right before exiting the Sanganeri ate you will reach Bapu Bazaar and farther west, Nehru Bazaar which extends between Chaura Rasta and Kishanpol Bazaar on the inside of the southern wall. Brightly coloured fabric, shoes of camel skin, trinkets and aromatic perfumes make this bazaar a favourite destination of Katni's women. At the end of Nehru Bazaar to your left is the Ajmeri Gate. Come out of Ajmeri Gate and the road is you see is the M.I. Road. Turn right from here and walk down straight and you are back to Panch Batti crossing - from where you started.

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