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Madhya Pradesh - Maheshwar
About 61 km away from Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, has derived its name from the name of its founder. The name of this bright spot has also been found in the pages of Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. People knew it as a homeland of intelligent people. It was a prominent destination if education and politics are concerned. Once the famous Maheshwar, was known as the capital of the state of Indore before the city of Indore came into existence.
It was a city which was momentously standing with his noteworthy historical values of more than 700 years. It was during 18th century, the queen Ahilya Bai, had given a new shape to the city, on the prolonged northern banks of the River Narmada. Countless numbers of holy temples, built by Ahilya Bai, had offered a wonderful and different shape to the city. Besides the astonishing and primeval temples, a number of famous River banks are also counted as the praiseworthy places of Maheshwar.
The River Bank Ahilya is located right in the middle of the city. Fanase and Pessoa are the prominent River banks, situated at the west and east sides of the city respectively. Plenty of other River banks with different names are also scattered around the city of Maheshwar. These River Banks remain crowded always and Hindus from nearby places flock to these banks in number regularly to perform daily rituals. The memories of the ill-fated women who had sacrificed their lives along with their husband are recalled by their memorials. All these dotted commemoratives still recollect the old painful stories.
It seems that a number of temples are floating on the holy water of the River. Seven divine temples of Saptamatrika, at the confluence of Narmada and Maheshwar Rivers, look marvelous together. The consecrated Kaleshwar temple, atop the tiny tila, is located at the eastern side of the congregating point. The tila, at the western side of the congregation point, is said to be a prime and hallowed place for the charisma of the Jaleshwar temple of Shiva. The submerged hill, nestled in the water of the Narmada River, entices huge number of temple lovers and hordes of spiritual crowds for its Baneshwar Shiva. The name of the deity probably has been derived from the name of Banasura who used to pay the honor to the deity residing on the righteous throne of the temple.
Besides the historic and significant temples, thousands of other pious temples, such as, Rajrajeshwari, Bithleshwar and Ahileshwar, are spotted in and around the city. Pilgrims and tourists still admire the architectural splendor of the Ahileshwar temple.
The valiant Ahilya Bai had constructed a palace or Rajwada in 1763, in the astonishing fort, which was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar way back in 1601. The palace lies 3 km off the city bus stand. Climb up the throne of the queen Ahilya Bai through the staircase, placed right beside the holy Omkareshwar temple. The simple throne, however, is not praiseworthy at all for its splendor. It’s different from any other monuments and creations in that respect. The abode of the deities of the palace is located at the southern side of the throne. The Hindu God Shiva is accompanying a number of other deities here as well. Balmukund is riding the golden cradle here.
The Navratna Mahadeva idol has been shifted to the palace museum of Indore from Maheshwar. The memorial of Holkar dynasty, primeval furniture of Holkar dynasty, Dasara Tirtha Mandapam, Sati bulwark, Brahma temple and Jakhapati Kuber meditation ground are other coveted attractions of Maheshwar. A Gurudwara was built way back in 16th century as a commemorative to recall the trip of Guru Nanaka to Omkareshwar. The Chattis of Ahilya Bai is another impressive allurement of Maheshwar as well. Bithoji-Ka-Chattis, on the banks of the Narmada River, is an enticement for the pilgrims who love to watch the hallowed monuments.
The archeological museum recollects the traces and memories with the excavated items which are more than 5000 year old. All the sculptures, maintained in the museum, were excavated from Maheshwar.
Devotees and tourists throng to the city to watch the magnificence of the Dasara festival. A deity during the festival comes out of his abode sitting on a palanquin and travels to the various corners of the city. This is truly a wonderful sight.
The holy Narmada River had been alienated into thousands of streams at the captivating place, about 10 km away from the city. Tourists, who like to keep memories alive of the trip, can purchase special silk and cotton saris from the shops of Maheshwar. If you have some time in your hand, then you must travel to the Rewa Society, founded by the queen Ahilya Bai, to watch the process of producing these saris.
Plenty of tourists are interested to revisit the historical days. Navdatoli is a sought after destination for them. The excavation (1950) had revealed innumerable singular and antique collection of stones era. It would be a pleasing trip to Navdatoli as you have to ride on a boat and go beyond the Narmada River to visit the destination.
Located at a distance of 5 km from Maheshwar, on the banks of Narmada River, Mandleshwar, is another sought after tourists’ destination. The place is famous as it houses a historic palace of the emperor, Tukoji Rao 2nd of Holkar dynasty. A fort of the Muslim age, namely Mandleshwar, is still standing tall with its ancient architectural stateliness. Lingering River banks of Narmada can be accessed easily as well. Holiday makers who want to enjoy a bath can get down on the banks crossing 123 stairways. Spiritual crowds can take pleasure in the holy Ram temple, on the Narmada River banks. Mandleshwar is a famous business hub of Madhya Pradesh.
How to reach: Maheshwar is well connected by bus to Indore and Khandwa. The nearest railway station of Maheshwar is Barwaha, about 39 km from Maheshwar, can be accessed by bus. The Barwaha railway station is situated on the Ratnam- Khandwa railway track.
Where to stay: Narmada Retreat, Ahilya Palacy, Narmada Cottages, VIP Cottages, Lodge Ashoka, Ajanta Lodge, Anjana Lodge, Sanjoy Lodge, Vijoy Lodge, Paryatan Vishranti Griha, Yatrika, Ahilya Trust Guest House, Akadhdeep Lodge and Government Rest House. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.