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The Collector Came! Open Day 2005

Itarsi

ITARSI 2000

Itarsi, Itarsi, that wonderful town…

There are two Itarsi's, the real one and the Butterfields' tour one. They're both in Madhya Pradesh, they're both a major junction on the east-west, north-south railway lines and they both have a railway kitchen producing meals for thousands of train travellers. They even have the same streets and markets and squares. To its inhabitants, Itarsi is probably just the place they live in, with temples and churches, factories, shops and markets, hotels, a bus station and a railway station with the usual veg and non-veg restaurants, and now a splendid new petrol station. Just a pretty ordinary Indian town, quite small by Indian standards. Maybe the most unusual thing about it was its regular invasion by foreign tourists, rushing to keep up with the man leading them and all carrying bits of green paper which they studied at intervals.

Overlooking the "village square"
Itarsi vegetable market
[Mystery Tour] [Brochure] [Itarsi]

But these foreigners (the bogiewallahs) knew a different place. Their Itarsi has a Village Green and a Village Square, a park, shopping arcades and, most famous of all perhaps, a marina. To them, Neelam's was Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe and it provided a breakfast unknown anywhere else. Behind all that 'romance' it's a quintessential Indian town most bogiewallahs have grown to know and ….