The ancient city of Maheshwar, once the capital of the Marathas, attracts tourists who take the Maheshwar tour Package from Indore and Ujjain. A mere 91 km from Indore, Maheshwar is the district capital of Khargone in Madhya Pradesh. Maheshwar is a major tourist stop for all Madhya Pradesh tour packages.
The beautiful city of Maheshwar is built on the banks of the River Narmada with plenty of temples and Ghats making it a pilgrimage spot too. The city is famous as the capital of the Holkar dynasty while under the reign of Rajmata Ahilya Bai. It was in the 18th Century that the mighty Queen relocated the capital from Indore. During her sovereignty, she built the palaces in the Maheshwar Fort as well as many temples. They are evidence that religion and art flourished during her supremacy. The temples are beautifully embellished with intricate carvings on the outer walls with distinctive hanging balconies and carved entrance doors and house idols of Lord Shiva and his consort. The Ahilyeshwar Temple, Jaleshwar Temple, Rajarajeshwari Temple, Kaleshwara Temple, and Vithaleshwara Temple are some of the more famous among the temples of Maheshwar that are covered in our Maheshwar tour packages. The splendid fort has an archeological museum that exhibits the various artifacts of the ancient settlements as well as heirlooms of the Holkar royals. Part of the Ahilyabai Palace, known as the Rajwada Palace is also a museum where Ahilyabai’s Devpuja or shrine and her Rajgaddi or throne are on display. Seated on the throne is a life-size statue of the Rani.
A few kilometers out of Maheshwar is the ancient archeological site of Navdatoli. In 1950, only some pottery was found in the site but later evidence of olden settlements was uncovered. Various artifacts of dating back to the Paleolithic period and up to the Holkar settlements in the 18th Century have been found at the site. A township with houses and settlements that show signs of being washed away indicate that a huge inundation took place long ago in the area. This is a place worth visiting during your Maheshwar tour.
Maheshwar, under Ahilyabai, was a thriving cultural and commercial center. Weavers of Maheshwari silk and cotton Sarees still continue the family tradition. Maheshwari Sarees are world-renowned and tourists flock the heritage villages for such handloom products.
There are vivid folklores associated with Maheshwar which was once the ancient city of Mahishmati, say some historians. Age-old legends tell of a city called Somvanshya Shastrarjun Kshatriya which was the capital of King Kartavirya Arjuna who ruled the region in the days of the famous epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Shree Shastrarjuna was a mighty King with his 1000 arms. He had 500 wives. Legend has it that he once blocked the path of the River Narmada with his 1000 hands for his wives to play in the sandy bed of the river. It so happened at that time that Ravana passing by on his famous Pushpaka Vimana spotted the dry bed of the river. Deciding to do his prayers to Lord Shiva, he alighted on the sandy bed and made a Shivalinga out of the mud and started his pooja. But he was taken by surprise when the river suddenly flooded his prayer when the King let flow the river after his queen had finished their play. Ravana’s anger knew no bounds and he challenged the King. But Shastrarjuna overthrew Ravana and held him down with his 1000 hands. It is said that he was held prisoner and the King lit 10 lamps on his heads and one on his hand and later released him. But this folklore still lives on and ladies light 11 lamps every year at the Shahararjuna Temple.
Witness the folklores come alive and the city burst into festivities during Dusshera or Navaratri when you choose from our many Maheshwar tour packages and take home some divine blessing from the many temples of Maheshwar. October to March is the best time to visit this place as the Maheshwar enjoys the pleasant and comfortable weather in this season so it becomes easy to explore the city. The nearest railway station and airport from Maheshwar are Indore Railway station and Indore Airport which are well-connected with the rest of the country.