Maheshwar Travel Guide
Distance : 91km from Indore
Population : 15,000
¤ Famous For Its Delicate
Cotton and Silk Textiles
than anything else, Maheshwar is now synonymous with the exquisitely
delicate cotton and silk blend handloom saris woven by its people.
However, if you rewind to the dawn of Hindu civilization, youll
find that Maheshwar was a veritable hotbed of culture, religion and
It even made it to the great Indian epics, the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata, where it finds mention as, Mahishmati. The sacred Narmada
that flows by lends Maheshwar charm and sanctity.
¤ The Temple Attraction
Most of the towns temples and forts date from the 18th century.
Rani Ahilya Bai was a great ruler, so beloved and revered by the
people that she almost gained the status of a deity during her
A visionary and a just ruler, she was against such horrible and
repulsive rituals as sati. Yet she had the courage to watch her own
daughter become sati, after vainly seeking to dissuade her.
¤ Places of Interest
An awesome fort dominates the dusty landscape of Maheshwar. A palace
on its premises has now been converted into a museum displaying
heirlooms, paraphernalia and other trivia belonging to the Holkar
A really special exhibit is the small shrine on a palanquin which is
carried down from the fort during the annual festival of Dusshera.
Another must-see is the beautiful statue of Rani Ahilya Bai seated on
The ghats of the serene Narmada are charming and definitely cleaner
than those of the Ganga or the Yamuna. Running along the banks are
countless temples dedicated to the numerous Hindu deities.
The Temple Attractions
Most of the temples are multi-storeyed and have intricately worked
doorways and overhanging balconies. Dont miss the Kaleshwara,
Rajaraheshwara, Vithaleshwara and Ahileshwara temples.
Do check out the Peshwa, Fanese and Ahilya Ghats to watch the daily
rituals of ordinary villagers. Youll get a pretty good idea of
how life still revolves around the river in most villages of India. Do
go for a swim in the mighty Narmada its an exhilarating
experience. Another highlight of the ghats are the stone memorials to
all the women who ever committed sati here.
Navdatoli - An Archaeological Site
Sitting smug on the southern bank of the Narmada, just opposite
Maheshwar, is the historically and archaeologically important site of
Navdatoli. First discovered in 1950, it yielded painted pottery and
With increased explorations, archaeologists concluded that a broad
sequence of cultures from the Lower Palaeolithic period up to the 18th
century have existed at Navdatoli. The third period of occupation has
been dated at between 1,500 BC and 1,200 BC. House plans from this
period have been excavated which show either circular or rectangular
buildings. The circular houses had a circumference of about 3m and the
walls and roof were made of split bamboo covered with mud.
The settlement was apparently wiped out by a great flood when the
site was temporarily abandoned. Later a small stupa was built here
though it was probably left incomplete.