Thursday 31 August 2017

Walk the talk with city of Maheshwar...

Ahilya Fort and Ghat

I haven't been writing much lately and the series of posts (from the last year road trip) which I had to complete a long back are still pending. Though it's difficult to recollect everything, I'm trying to post at-least what I have remember from the trip.

A colorful house on the street

About Maheshwar...

In the last post, I shared my experiences of my visit to Mandu. The trip was planned well in advance and we were going as per the plan, so the next place in our itinerary was one of the oldest cities of Madhya Pradesh i.e. Maheshwar. Maheshwar is located at a distance of 40-45 km approx from Mandu. It used to be known as Mahishmati and mentioned in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata under its old name. Does the name ring a bell? Mahishmati from the epic 'Bahubali' series. Well, if you have started relating things then please don't go further and pull back your thoughts. It ain't the same Mahishmati but the city has great significance in the Indian history.


Maheshwar is situated on the banks of the holy river Narmada. It's a small town but is known for many great things.In the 18th century, Holkar Queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore revived the soul of the city and shifted the Holkar capital from Indore to Maheshwar. Under her reign, the city witnessed a great transformation; a lot of buildings were built and public works were completed. Since Ahilyabai was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, she built many temples and ghats across the country, including the Lord Shiva Temple on the ghats of Narmada. The temple has astounding architecture and since it's built adjacent to the Ahilya Fort, the view one gets from the top of the fort is surreal.

Temples on the Maheshwar Ghat

One of the many temples along the ghats of Narmada

Ahilyeshwar Temple (Top View)

Now, a recap of where we started our journey from and what all we covered. Here's the itinerary-

Bhopal → Dhar → Mandu → Maheshwar → Omkareshwar → Indore → Bhopal

Ahilyeshwar Temple

Our Journey...

Our plan was quite tight and we had to cover the remaining monuments in Mandu then Maheshwar and Omkareshwar on the same day. Therefore, we started early and reached Maheshwar at twelve noon. Though it was winter season, the sun was belching fire.We all were hungry and tired. I thought it would be better to fill the tummy first and then explore the ghat and temples. While I was parking the car my father noticed a board alongside road:  'Shudh Saatvik Pavitra Bhojan' and the rest I'm unable to recollect that what all I ate that day. I was hungry like a Sher - 'Bhooka Sher'. :P 
And the feeling of  'Bhagwan sabke dil ki baat sunte hai' was proved 100% true!!

Carved artwork on the doorway

  After the meal, we walked down to the Ahilyeshwar Temple and spent some time at the Ghat. Since it was quite hot we couldn't manage to take the boat ride.

Apart from the majestic Ahilyeshwar Temple, there is a Chhatri (Cenotaph) of Vithoji adjacent to the temple in the precincts of the Maheshwar Fort. The artwork on the Chhatri (Cenotaph), Temple, Jharokhe, Windows, Overhanging balconies and Doorways tells a great story about the place and the artisans employed for carving spectacular designs on the Windows and Doorways of Fort.  Devi Ahilyabai had a great vision and all the works completed in her reign proves that.

Chhatri of Vithoji Rao Holkar

Entrance of Ahilyeswar temple

After visiting the temple, we went on to visit the Rajgaddi and Rajwada (of Devi Ahilyabai) built within the Fort complex. Within the complex, there are other collectibles of the Holkar Dynasty that are kept in other rooms for public display.

As we had to leave for Omkareshwar the same day, we started from Maheshwar at 2 pm. Maheshwar is also very famous for Maheshwari Silk and Cotton Sarees, so before leaving my mother did some shopping and then we left for the holy city of Omkareshwar.

Carved overhanging balconies and the doorway


Also, it would be wrong if I do not mention that Maheshwar is one of the few cities of Madhya Pradesh that has attracted the Film Industry many-a-times. There are many movies and TV shows that have been shot in Maheshwar. Ashoka, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Tevar, Bajirao Mastani and Jhansi Ki Rani to name a few.

Royal Palace

Devi Ahilyabai's statue

Maheswari Sarees

Best Season... 

July to February

Where to stay...

Narmada Retreat (MP Tourism)

How to reach Maheshwar via Mandu from Bhopal...

Bhopal → Sehore → Dewas → Indore → Pithampur → Dhar → Mandu → Dhamnod → Maheshwar

Previous Posts from this trip: 

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar 

Mandu - A place that resonates with history..  

Note: Few details have been taken as a reference from Incredible Madhya Pradesh.

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