Maheshwar is a small town in the state of Madhya Pradesh that holds the beautiful heritage of Ahilya Bai Holkar who was the queen of Malwa region. Located on Narmada River bank, this town has always been famous for the incredibly beautiful heritage fort and the popular and strikingly beautiful Maheshwari sarees that are hand-woven in the town. I have visited this beautiful fort town many a times thanks to have been living close to it in Indore city
The heritage of Maheshwar city has been a very long one. But it came into knowledge when the fort was built in the 18th century under the rule of Ahilya Bai. The mesmerizing beauty of the fort overlooking the holy Narmada River gives it pious importance and thus it is frequented by many visitors.
The best time to visit this beautiful city is mostly in the monsoon and winter season. During monsoon, the river flows with its full force and increases the beauty of the fort. But some people also visit the city during summers to take a dip in the river.
Maheshwar is located in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh about 90kms from Indore city and takes about 2 hours to reach without a stoppage. The beautiful route is very scenic and has a number of dhabas and food joints on the way. >
There are also regular buses from Dhar and Indore city. We can also take buses from Mandu which is nearby and is also a major tourist attraction in Madhya Pradesh. There are local buses from Mandu to Maheshwar. Maheshwar is also close to Omkareshwar which is a famous religious spot with one of the Major Jyotir Linga of Lord Shiva in the state
We left Indore at about 8am in our car in the February this year and reached Maheshwar at around 11am as we made several stoppages on the way to take snacks and once to take pictures of the scenic locations en route.
Although we have never stayed in Maheshwar for the night yet there are several options to stay in Maheshwar. The heritage hotel inside the Ahilya Fort has been beautifully maintained. It is mostly used by the tourists from foreign lands but Indians also stay here.
One of the attractions of the fort is a Shiva temple with beautiful carvings on the pillars, ceiling, arches and the elevated spire. The beautiful stone carvings add to the heritage of the fort. This is one spot where we clicked maximum pictures on the trip. As we step down towards the ghat, the beauty of this fort mesmerizes the eyes. It has been told to us that Devi Ahilya Bai was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and thus you will see numerous Shiva temples in the fort.
One of the major attractions of Maheshwar is the Narmada River. This is the region where the widest territory of the river flows and provides a serene beauty to the town. Many tourist visit Maheshwar for its boating attractions that is open every day till 6pm. The charges for boating are nominal from Rs 20-50 per person depending on the type of boat. The boating is a memorable experience during mornings and evenings. In the afternoon it might get very hot and therefore it is not pleasant to boat in the river.
One of the other attractions of this town is its beautiful hand woven Maheshwari sarees. This is one of the major attractions that bring tourists here. Anybody who visits Maheshwar does not leave without buying the Maheshwari sarees. These beautiful sarees are hand woven in the hand looms of the town. Watching these sarees being woven in the handlooms is also one of the attractions of Maheshwar. It is great fun to observe the various processes in these looms including the process of hand weaving and of dying the thread. Most people take away these sarees as gifts for their friends and relatives.
The silk and cotton handlooms of Maheshwar have been built during the age of the fort and the art of weaving the sarees is also that old. The stunning sarees are created in beautiful colors and the intricate zari work makes the sarees exquisite. We happened to buy a lot more sarees as we visited this time due to a wedding in the family. We bought these elegant sarees for almost all the guests that were to visit us during the wedding.
One of the other attractions in Maheshwar is the Raj Gaddi in the Royal Palace of the Rajmata of Maheshwar Ahilya Devi Holkar. This place has all the heritage belongings of the palace and the court. The carriages and the personal belongings of Rajmata are also displayed here. There are pictures of the Holkar's displayed in the royal palace. There are other religious items of Ahilya Bai made in silver and other members of the Holkar dynasty that are on display here.
The beautiful palace, heritage fort, grand temples and the pious bank of River Narmada make the city of Maheshwar a spiritual and heritage retreat in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This place is frequented by visitors from all over the state and beyond. Every time I visit this town, I feel a sense of connection to the heritage and the beautiful carvings attract my attention every time. The serene beauty is worth capturing and I take a lot of pictures in Maheshwar not just of the fort and palace but of the small yet beautiful town too.