Maheshwar - The Land of Legends


Blog :: Spiritual

Heritage - Maheshwar, MP

Situated on the banks of river Narmada, the ancient town of Maheshwar is a blend of spirituality, heritage, and culture. The capital of the erstwhile Maratha empire under Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar in the 18th century, Maheshwar has also been the centre of handloom weaving since the 5th century, with weavers producing the exquisite Maheshwari saree.


This temple town finds a mention in the Hindu epic Ramayana when it was known as Mahishmati, the capital of King Kartivarjuna. As per legend, once King Kartivarjuna had gone for an outing with his wives and had stopped the waters of the mighty river Narmada with his bare hands. Meanwhile, Ravana, while crossing the same path, saw the dry river bed and thought it was an ideal place to worship Lord Shiva. He made a Shiva Linga out of the sand from the river bed and began to pray. As Kartivarjuna and his wives finished their day's outing, the king let the waters of the river flow again. The gushing water swept away the Shiva Linga and enraged Ravana. To avenge this disruption, Ravana tracked down Kartivarjuna and challenged him. However, he was overwhelmed by the power of the brave king and was defeated. King Kartivarjuna placed 10 lamps on Ravana's head and one on his hand. Arjuna's victory is commemorated even today, and 11 lamps are lit every evening at the Sahasrarjuna temple in Maheshwar.

Royal Heritage

During the 18th century, Maheshwar enjoyed its golden period under Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar. During this time, Devi Ahilya adorned the city with beautiful buildings, intricately carved shrines, a majestic palace, and a mighty fort. A life-size statue of the queen sitting on a 'Rajgaddi' (royal seat) within the fort complex celebrates her reign. Once a bastion of Devi Ahilya's power, today, the majestic 250-year-old Ahilya Fort is a stunning tourist destination, sitting dramatically on a cliff, overlooking the Narmada. With the city of Mandu and the temple of Omkareshwar nearby, Maheshwar is an ideal tourist destination and attracts a lot of travelers throughout the year.

Maheshwari Sarees

Maheshwar is also the centre of handloom weaving and home to one of India's finest handwoven textile traditions, the Maheshwari fabrics, patronised by Devi Ahilyabai Holkar. Traditionally, Maheshwari sarees were made with pure silk and were 9 yards long. Over time, cotton also became one of the major fibers used for these exquisitely designed sarees. Initially, these sarees were meant to be special gifts for royal families and they were designed with utmost precision. 

Today, while new colours and patterns have been introduced to make the sarees more contemporary, they are still woven with precision. One saree may take up to several days to be completed, depending upon the intricacies. The most time-consuming part of weaving the saree is pallu, as it entails detailed designs. So, when you visit this historic town, do not miss buying this beautiful fabric.

Sumptuous Dal Bafla

Shri Bake Bihari Palace, located near Narmada Ghat, will please your appetite with a special treat of Dal Bafla. This traditional dish is essentially balls of baked flour dough served with flavourful daal (lentil). They follow the age-old method of using Kande (cow dung cakes) for charring the baflas, adding to the dish's smoky flavour. Another specialty of this place is the Shahi Baithak, where people can enjoy their food in the royal Rajwadi way, i.e. while sitting on chowkis (low wooden stools).

Contact Number - 9827798211, 9630621111 

Accommodation and Heritage Walk

The serenity of Maheshwar cannot be justified only through words. You must explore every part of this ancient town to be mesmerised by its glories. 

With MPT Narmada Retreat, you can plan the best itineraries to make the most of this heritage city. Heritage walk is the best way to explore Maheshwar. During the walk, you will cover places that include Rajwada, Rajdarbar, Swarn Jhoola, Ahilyeshwar Mandir, Ahilya ghat, and many more. 

You can also try the Handloom Walk to know about the whereabouts and history of Maheswari fabrics. 

Contact Details - 8349994784