Located on the banks of the River Narmada, this gorgeous town is largely referred to as the temple town of Madhya Pradesh. It also holds a lot of mythological and historical importance given the fact that it has found a mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
This was the capital of Queen of the Maratha Malwa kingdom Rani Ahilyabai province, Holkar. She beautified the city with many buildings and public works, the Maratha architecture and this city was also home to her extravagant palace. Maheshwar is a renowned hub for its production of Maheshwari sarees, which makes this place a paradise for shopaholics.
Places to Visit
As the name precisely suggests, this was the opulent palace of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar which is the reason why it is also known as the Queen’s fort. This fort was also the administrative headquarter of Rani Ahilyabai during her reign and currently it has been converted into a guesthouse, which is managed by the son of the last Maharaja of Indore, Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar.
This palace is the zenith of the Maratha architecture. To add to this, the palace is also host to a weaver’s cooperative society in its premises. This structural marvel is sure going to teleport you to the ancient times.
A town of temples situated on the bank of the Narmada River, Mandleshwar has been mentioned in the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata as a splendid city also known as Mahishmati. It was the capital of southern Avanti during the rule of King Kartavirya Arjun. This town which is situated in quiet beauty is well-known for its temples, fort complex and bathing ghats. Located in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, the sarees of this town are famous for their floral designs throughout the country. The temples and fort of Mandleshwar have a remarkable charm to it due to the grandeur of its wonderful architecture.
Mandleshwar was the name given to the city which means the home of Lord Shiva. Earlier, the city was known as Mahishmati which was later changed to Mandleshwar. Tourism and religion have a lot of importance in and around Mandleshwar due to the presence of ancient temples known as Bawangaja, Shiv Jyotirlinga Mandleshwar and Mandav. A lot of Bollywood, as well as Tamil movies including Ashoka and Tulsi too, have been shot here thereby making the city famous amongst tourists. It is an amazing place to be visited by a lot of foreign nationals as well having interest in the art and spiritual values of India. Mandleshwar is a must-visit for all the tourists out there if you are planning a trip to Madhya Pradesh due to its history and tourist places.
Legend has it that this splendid architectural wonder was constructed under the rule of one of India’s most powerful female leaders, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar.
Surprisingly, the edifice does not only display Maratha architectural styles but it also boasts of designs inspired from Mughal and French trends. One of the major attractions of this monument is the statue of Rani Ahilyabai standing tall right at the entrance.
Shopping in Maheshwar
Maheshwar is an excellent location for someone who loves shopping. It is of particular importance for its production of cotton saris known as Maheshwari Saris. These saris are specially woven and designed in Maheshwar and are the finest in the country. If at all one plans a trip to Maheshwar it is mandatory to buy these fine masterpieces of textile art. Saris are available in a range of colours and designs to choose from. They can be worn in day-to-day life and are extremely comfortable in summers.
Apart from the Maheshwar Saris, one is also likely to come across some other famous shops including swastika fashion garments and other men’s and kidswear shops in the area. There are also numerous sweet shops in the area including Siyaram sweet house and Shree Krishan sweets. Arts and crafts of the place are some other essential commodities to buy.
Jari Buta Saris are another variety of the famous sari collection that one gets to buy. A good scenic spot plus a good shopping experience is what makes the place stand out from the rest. Whenever one visits the place, all the places mentioned above should surely be visited.
Narmada Ghat is another off-beat destination in close proximity to the town of Maheshwar surrounded with lush green environs. It is a nice spot for picnicking and to enjoy a day off from all the worries and stress one has.
It is located on the banks of river Narmada and is one of the many places constructed by Rani Ahilyabai.
Following the trends of the various temples in Maheshwar, Jaleshwar Temple is also dedicated to the third god in the Hindu triumvirate, Lord Shiva. He has many benevolent and fearsome forms.
At the highest level Shiva is limitless, unstoppable, unchanging and invincible. To honour this, the Jaleshwar Temple was constructed.
This temple unlike others is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the protector of the whole universe and not Lord Shiva. Legend has it that at the end of the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna incarnated on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the holy month of Shravana.
Due to this, Lord Krishna is also called Pandrinath. This temple like the other temples of Maheshwar is also an architectural marvel. The best of complicated artistry can be reflected on the doors of the temple.
Situated on the banks of Kunda River, Khargone is famous for Navgraha Mandir, a temple which is devoted to the navagrahas or the nine planets, Ahilya Fort, Rinmukteshwar Mahadev Temple, Sahastra Dhara, and last but not the least Pandrinath temple. In ancient times, the city served as the capital for Malwas during the Maratha Holkar reign. It is also widely known as a chilli and spice hub
Visiting Khargone during the festive season will make you enjoy its beauty to the fullest. The flamboyant Shree Navgrah Mela (January-February), Nimar Utsav (November), Shiv Dola (August), and Gangaur (March-April) will add seven stars to your trip to Khargone. These festivals paint a beautiful picture of the culture that the locals possess. Hence travelling to the monuments and cotton fields gets more interesting when festive vibes are all over the city.
This is another temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Ahilyeshwar Temple is also testament to the splendid architectural skills of the Maratha workmen.
The temple comprises intricate designs and artwork in honour of the deity. Apart from being the shrine of Lord Shiva, this temple also has a shrine of Lord Rama. With a very soothing atmosphere, this place is a must visit after a hectic day. The aartis are fixed at 8 am and 6 pm.
The festival of Mahashivratri is to celebrate the celestial union of Shiva and Parvati in marriage. The night of Shivratri is believed to be their wedding night.
For millions of devotees of Lord Shiva, Mahashivratri is the most significant day as per Hindu mythology. Devotees of Lord Shiva execute the centuries-old ritual of Shivratri with utmost love and devotion. The Shiva Lingam is bathed with honey, milk, water, curd and sugar in a holy ritual. Hindus believe that worship of Lord Shiva with devotion and honesty forgives a devotee of past sins.
Shivratri is considered to be an extremely significant festival for women. Married and unmarried women observe a fast and perform Shiva Puja with extreme love to pacify Goddess Parvati, who favors marital bliss and long prosperous married life. Unmarried women also pray for a partner like Lord Shiva who is the embodiment or personification of the ideal husband.
Must Try Food in Maheshwar
1. Shree Balaji Rajasthan Sweet
2. Raaj Bhog Food
3. Maheshwar Cottage Restaurant
4. Banke Bihari Bhojanalaya
5. Famous Dal Bafle
6. Hotel Shri Shamam
7. Hotel Nimar Spice
8. Shri Rajkamal Bhojnalaya
9. Lakhan Chinese
10. Panchwati Roof Top Restaurant
How To Get Here
The nearest Airport and major railway station to Maheshwar is Indore. One can reach from all the major cities of the country to Maheshwar through all the three modes of transportation through Indore. One can then take a taxi from Indore to reach Maheshwar, which is 90 km away.
The nearest aerodrome is the Indore Airport which is 91 km away from the city. Indore is connected to all the key cities via air, and it wouldn’t be a problem to reach Maheshwar from Indore as the cabs are available in plenty.
Nearest Airport: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (IDR) – 65 kms from Maheshwar
Maheshwar is well connected by road to various cities of the state, and hence it is also easy to visit Maheshwar from any part of the country. State-run buses start from Barwaha, Indore and Khandwa are available.
The nearest railway station is Marwaha which is 39 km away from the town of Maheshwar. Though, not all trains halt here. The major train station nearest to Maheshwar is Indore which is 80 km away. Maheshwar is easily traversable through road from there on.