Maheshwar is a sacred tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh state, in central India, just 90 kms from Indore. It is also called Varanasi of Central India due to similar Ghat structures along the river Narmada. It was the capital of the Malwa during Holkar reign till 6th January 1818.
Maheshwar is a culturally prosperous town and its importance is described in Puranas and through history. It is said that there are more than 100 temples are telling the long history of Maheshwar. Main temples good to visit for visitors are Rajrajeshwar Mandir, Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Chaturbhuj Narayan Mandir, Ahilya Mata's Chhatris, Rajwada, Chintamani Ganpati Mandir, Bada Ganpati temple, Pandharinath Mandir,Bhawani Mata Mandir etc.
Maheshwar is also famous for Ahilya fort heritage hotel.
Also must visit is the nearest village Mandu, which has many famous monuments and biggest fort of India.
Narmada Ghat is famous 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.
Other Ghats - Peshwar Ghat, Fanase Ghat and Ahilya Ghat
Peshwar Ghat, Fanase Ghat and Ahilya Ghat line the river Narmada, flights of steps lead down from the sandy banks of the river, and through the day a kaleidoscope of rural Indian can be seen here, in the pilgrims and holy men who sit here in the ferry loads of villagers who cross and recross these surging waters.
Maheshwar - Famous Temples
With their soaring spires, the many - tiered temples of Maheshwar are distinguished by their carved overhanging balconies and their intricately worked doorways. Temples to see are Kaleshwar; Rajarajeshwara, Vithaleshwara and Ahileshwar.
Holkar Fort - Maheshwar
Located on the banks of the holy river Narmada, the fort was built in the 18th century and was the residence of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar. Also known as Queen’s fort; the fort was the administrative headquarters of the Holkars.
One can see the life-size statue of Rani Ahilyabai Holkar sitting on the throne. Chhatris, temples, a wada make the fort an interesting place to visit. Today, the fort is a heritage hotel, it is managed by Shivaji Rao Holkar, son of the founder of the hotel and last Maharaja of Indore, Prince Richard Holkar.
Shop for Famous Maheshwari Sarees
Introduced into Maheshwar 250 years ago by Rani Ahilyabai, the sarees are renowned throughout India for their unique weave. Woven mostly in cotton, the typical Maheshwari saree has a plain body and sometimes stripes or checks in several variations. The mat border designs have a wide range in leaf and floral patterns. The pallu is particularly distinctive with five stripes, three coloured and two white alternating, running along its width. Maheshwari has a reversible border, known as bugdi.
The exquisite beauty of Maheshwar and river Narmada is captured in some Bollywood and Tamil/ Kollywood movies. Some of the movies shot in Maheshwar including the movie "Ashoka", Tulsi (by actor and director Sachin), Mahashivratri, A R Rehman's music video, Tamil movie Alaipayuthey's song "Snekithanea..." and " yaro yaro di..." directed by Maniratnam, Tamil movie Leelai's song "Oru killi oru killi..." directed by Andrew Vasanth Louis, Yuvan Shankar Raja's musical Tamil movie Arrambam's song "Adadada Arrambame..." directed by Vishnuvardhan. Also starting episodes of Zee TV serial Jhansi Ki Rani were shot here.
In the 60's, Mythological film Mahashivratri's shooting was done here and many local artists were given a chance to act in that. Then Aadi Shankaryachary's shooting was completed in 1985.
Many Film stars from Bharat Bhushan to Shahrukh Khan have visited Maheshwar and admired its rich culture and beauty. Also Yamala Pagla Deewana (Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Kulraj Randhawa come here for shooting) film's 50 minute shot done here at Bazar Chowk, Rajwada, Ahilyabai Chhatri, Ahilya Ghaat and many more location.
Ahilyabai's birthday is celebrated in May each year, with a palanquin procession through the town.
The two biggest religious festivals there are Maha Shivratri (the great night of Shiva), and the Muslim festival of Muharram (the holy first month in the Islamic calendar) featuring a procession of floats that are submerged into the water.
On Maha Shivratri, thousands of women from surrounding village spend the night on the ghats, drumming and singing, before bathing in the river and worshiping the multitude of shivalingams there.
Nimar Utsav is held around Kartik Purnima each year, and consists of three days of music, dance, drama, and boating. An annual Sacred River Festival, featuring classical music performances, is held at Ahilya Fort each February.
And, on every Sunday before Makar Sankranti, Swaadhyaaya Bhavan Ashram holds a chariot festival (the Mahaamrityunjaya Rath Yatra) in Maheshwar.
Guru Kripa Food & Hotel
The appearance and setting of the restaurant might not appeal you very much, but well don't judge a book by its cover because the food that they have to offer will certainly make up for it.
Indian Heritage Food
This is one of the rare restaurants in Maheshwar that will provide you non vegetarian food and that too at a very cheap price. The interiors of the restaurant are well designed and the service is pretty quick too. It also boasts of a garden.
The Café is located in a very picturesque area, close to some of Maheshwar's major attractions. The coffee served is worth INR 25 and given that fact that is quite cheap as per the standards of a Café, the quality of the taste is certainly not compromised upon. The Cardamom Tea is highly recommended.
Temple Town of India - About Maheswar temples
Maheshwar (91 kms from Indore) is also known as temple town on the banks of the river Narmada, it finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are more than 100 temples, Main temples good to visit for visitors are Rajrajeshwar Mandir, Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, Chaturbhuj Narayan Mandir, Ahilya Mata's Chhatris, Rajwada, Chintamani Ganpati Mandir, Bada Ganpati temple, Pandharinath Mandir,Bhawani Mata Mandir etc
Bhopal » Ujjain » Indore » Omkareshwar » Maheshwar » Mandu
Day 01 - Arrival at Bhopal - Sanchi Tour, Bhimbetka
Morning Arrival at Bhopal. Pick up & Transfer to Hotel. Check in to Hotel. After fresh n up departure to Sanchi. Sightseeing of Sanchi -The World Heritage Site” Visit Stupas, Monasteries, Temples and Pillars.. Arrive at Bhopal. Sightseeing of Bhojpur and another World Heritage Site “Bhimbetika caves”.
Overnight stay at the Bhopal hotel.
Day 02 - Bhopal Site Seeing
Full day Bhopal Local Sightseeing places like Bhopal Upper Lake, Bharat Bhawan, Birla Temple, Manav Sangrahalya, etc.
Night Stay in Bhopal
Day 03 Bhopal- Indore - Maheshwar
Morning Departure to Indore- Arrive at Indore. After Lunch Proceed to Maheshwar, Reach Maheshwar in late evening, Night Stay in Maheshwar
Day 04- Maheshwar Site Seeing
Full Day Site Seeing in Maheshwar, including all Ghats, Temples, Ahilya Fort etc. Watch Sunset in Narmada. Night Stay in Maheshwar
Day 05 - Maheshwar & Mandu
Early Morning visit to Mandu. Full Day Sightseeing of Mandu The Darwazas, The Royal Enclave Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal , Hoshang Shah's Tomb , Jami Masjid, Roopmati's Pavilion, Rewa Kund - N/s at Mandu.
Day 06 Mandu-Maheshwar - Omkareshwar Tour
Morning Departure to Maheshwar and proceed to Omkareshwar, Arrival at Omkareshwar Visit to Omkareshwar & Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga Have a holy Bath in Narmada River of Omkareshwar temple.
Eve departure back to Bhopal.
Night stay at Bhopal hotel.& Morning drop to railway Station.
Ahilya Fort :- Ranked #1 of 2 Luxury hotels in Maheshwar
Hotel Sanginee :- Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Maheshwar
Best Time to Visit Maheshwar
Best Season / Best time to visit Maheshwar
Being an important Shiva religious destination, Maha Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated here during February - March. Best time to visit here is between October to March.
How to reach Maheshwar
Maheshwar By Train
Barwaha is the nearest railhead, which is at a distance of 39 km from Maheshwar. Indore is the main railhead nearby. Indore is a major railway station lying in the Chennai-Mumbai rail route. It is connected with major railway stations by express and passenger trains.
Maheshwar By Air
Nearest airport is at Indore, which is at a distance of 91 km from Maheshwar. Indore is well connected to many major cities in India, including Bhopal, Mumbai and Delhi. The nearest international airport is Delhi which is 895 km away from Maheshwar. Delhi is connected with all major cities in India and abroad.
Maheshwar By Bus
Regular public services are available from Maheshwar to many parts of the sate. Maheshwar is bus connected with Barwaha (39 km), Indore (91 km) and Khandwa (110 km).
Maheswar - Interesting History
Maheshwar town is built on the site of the ancient city of Somvanshya Shastrarjun Kshatriya, and was the capital of king Kartavirya Arjuna,(Shree Shastrarjun) who is mentioned in the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Maheshwar was known as Mahissati (Mahishamati in Sanskrit) in ancient times and was the capital of Southern Avanti. Maheshwar on the banks of the Narmada was capital of King Sahasrarjun.
One day the King and his 500 wives went to the river for a picnic. When the wives wanted a vast play area, the King stopped the mighty river Narmada with his 1000 arms. While they were all enjoying themselves, Ravana flew by in his Pushpak Vimana. Downstream, when he saw the dry river bed, he thought it was an ideal place to pray to Lord Shiva. He made a shivalinga out of sand and began to pray.
When Sahasrajuna’s wives were done and they stepped out of the river bed, he let the waters flow. The voluminous river flowed down sweeping Ravana’s shivalinga along, messing up his prayers. Furious, Ravana tracked Sahasrajuna and challenged him. Armed to the hilt the mighty Ravana was in for a huge surprise. The mighty Sahasrarjuna with the 1000 arms pinned Ravana to the ground. Then he placed 10 lamps on his heads and one on his hand. After tying up Ravana, Sahasrarjuna dragged him home and tied him up to the cradle pole of his son. A humiliated Ravana stayed prisoner until his release was secured.