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Maheshwar Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
October to March
2 to 3 Days
Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (90 kms)
Indore Junction (90 kms)
Maheshwar in MP is located in Khargone district about 91 km from Indore. It is on the banks of Narmada River and is popular among pilgrims and tourists. Since the 5th century Maheshwar has been a centre of handloom weaving and its Maheshwari saris are famous throughout the country. Maheshwar was also the capital of Rani Ahilya Devi’s empire during the 18th Century. It was only on 6th January 1818 that the capital was moved to Indore by Holkar III.
Maheshwar finds mention in both our epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. During more modern times, Maheshwar was under the rule of the Mauryas and the Guptas besides Harshvardhan till it came under Akbar. The Marathas took over in 18th Century. Tourism in Maheshwar is mainly in terms of its beautiful temples. However, there is plenty to see in Maheshwar. A travel guide for Maheshwar is given below for all tourists.
How to Reach
Maheshwar is located in the heart of the country. Although it does not have its own railhead or airport its roads are good and one can move around with relative ease. Since the place is small one can walk to all the attractive locations. However, one can hire auto rickshaws and buses if one would like to.
The roads leading to Maheshwar are good and generally well maintained. Firsthand accounts say that one can drive at an average speed of around 50-60km/hour if you are in your own car or in a taxi. Buses will naturally be slower. Indore is 90 km from Maheshwar while Mumbai is about 510 km. It may take you more than nine hours to reach Maheshwar if you are planning to drive up from Mumbai.
Maheshwar has no railway station of its own. However, Indore Junction, which is only 90 km away from Maheshwar is well connected with all the major cities of India. You could take a Superfast Express from Delhi if you have flown in from abroad.
Indore has a modern airport, the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport that is well connected to cities such as Bhopal, Varanasi, Lucknow and Delhi as well as Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata. There are regular flights on these routes.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Maheshwar has a tropical climate. It is very hot in summer and very wet and humid during the monsoon. It is cold but comfortable during winter which is the best season to visit Maheshwar.
In summer months one could find the temperature shoot up to 45°C. For this reason tourism is not advised during this period. The dry, scalding heat will be unbearable for tourists. Maheshwar is best avoided in summer months.
During the monsoon period Maheshwar becomes humid and sultry. This may not appeal to some although it is quite all right to visit Maheshwar during the monsoon as well. The wettest month is August when the precipitation can reach 350mm.
Maheshwar is beautiful in winter. The maximum temperature may hover around 25°C while the night temperature may remain in the vicinity of 15°C. Tourism is quite comfortable throughout the day although nights might appear chilly sometimes. Try to visit Maheshwar during Mahashivratri celebrations in February to really get the feel of the beautiful place.
Things To Do
Visit the Awe-inspiring Holkar Fort:
The Holkar Fort, built in the 18th century is one of the greatest attractions in Maheshwar. Located on the bank of the holy River Narmada, the fort was where Rani Ahilya Bai, the queen of Malwa, once lived. Today, hundreds of visitors throng the fort to see where Rani Ahilya Bai would sit and hold court. The fort also has several temples and when you visit the place do take a close look at the splendid architecture.
Have a Cool Swim in the Narmada:
The Narmada in Maheshwar offers the best swim one can have in a river. The river comes to Maheshwar from Omkareshwar and it is here that the river becomes wider and deeper too. Since the ghat is clean and large and there are safety chains as well as changing booths, you will surely have a cool swim.
Spend Some Enjoyable Time in Mandleshwar:
A visit to Mandleshwar, mentioned in both our epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, is bound to be very pleasant. Located in Khargone in MP, the town is popular because of its excellent fort complex and bathing ghats. Like Maheshwar, Mandleshwar is also well known for its lovely saris in floral designs. The temples and fort at Mandleshwar are most attractive and architecturally exceptional. This is the reason why Mandleshwar is quite popular with tourists both domestic and foreign.
Be Prepared to be Amazed in Rajwada:
Visitors to Maheshwar must make a special visit to the Rajwada and the queen’s gaadi or the place where she would hold court and listen to the woes of her subjects. You will find that the court is exactly the same as it must have been in the times of the queen. There is a life-sized statue of Rani Ahilya Bai and portraits of the different Holkars. Rajwada does impress all those who come to visit.
Have an Enjoyable Boat Ride on the Narmada River:
When you visit Ahilya Fort make sure you take a boat ride on the Narmada River as well. The view of the fort from the boat is stunning and will surely bring out the photographer in you. Boating is possible here every day till 6pm. The charges are also most reasonable.
Where to Eat
There is a large variety in the types of food one can taste in Maheshwar. There are luxury restaurants as well as budget hotels that offer diverse options in dining. There are starred restaurants too and these offer multiple dining options. There are some restaurants which offer only vegetarian food and some among these offer amazing preparations. For premium dining one may try The Ahilya Fort Hotel.
Shopping in Maheshwar is all about looking for the best Maheshwari saris which are essentially cotton saris that are both designed and woven in Maheshwar. These are among the finest saris in India and all visitors are advised to buy these pieces of art before they head back home.