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Nestled along the banks of the holy river, Narmada, Maheshwar is a charming town in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. The word Maheshwar comes from Mahesh, a name of Lord Shiva. This temple town rests on the site of the ancient city, Mahesvari that was the capital of King Kartavirya Arjuna. Maheshwar finds its mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. In the late eighteenth century, it became the capital of Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar, the legendary queen of famous Holkar dynasty. She adorned the city with beautiful buildings, temples, palaces and ghats. Maheshwar is known world over for its fine handloom work and exquisite Maheshwari sarees. It has been the major center of handloom weaving for last many centuries
Maheshwar, meaning the Abode of Lord Shiva is dotted with multitude of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva out of which some have been named after his incarnations. With its amazing history and rich heritage, Maheshwar is emerging as one of the major tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh.
What to buy – Maheshwari Sarees, Handlooms, Metal crafts, Handicrafts.
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Best Time to Visit - July to March Pilgrimage Attractions
Ahilya Fort Situated atop a hill, the magnificent Maheshwar Fort was built in the 18th century. It houses the state archeological museum that displays the royal antiquities and varied possessions of Holkar dynasty. The life size statue of Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar seated on the throne remains the major attractions of the fort. During Dusherra festival, a procession is organized in which a small shrine of Rani is carried down the fort in a splendid palanquin for public viewing.
Temples Maheshwar is embellished with many temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. The temples have unique overhanging balconies, intricately crafted walls and exquisitely carved doorways. Kaleshwar temple, Akhileshwara temple, Vithaleshwara temple, Tilbhandeshwar temple and Kashivishwanath temple are amongst the most famous temples of Maheshwar.
Navadatoli It is the pre-historic archeological site located on the other side of the bank of river Narmada in Maheshwar. Discovered in 1950, various collectibles like painted pottery and microliths were found during the early stages of excavations. Digging deep in the site confirmed it to be the home to people belonging to varied cultures from lower Paleolithic period till 18th century.
Ghats Peshwar Ghat, Fanase Ghat and Ahilya Ghat are the famous ghats stretched along the sandy banks of river Narmada. Devotees from all across the country visit Maheshwar to pray and take a holy dip in Narmada. Along the ghat lie the poignant stone memorials to the satis of Maheshwar who immolated themselves on their husband’s funeral pyres.
Excursions - Sahastradhara (13kms), Mandleshwar (5kms), Oon (18kms), Bawangaja (10kms)
How to Get There
By Air: Nearest airport is at Indore (91 km), connected with Mumbai, Delhi and Bhopal.
By Rail: Closest railway stations are Barwaha (39 km), Indore (91 km), Khandwa (110 km), and Mhow.
By Road: Regular buses connect Maheshwar from Barwah, Khandwa, Dhar and Dhamnod.