Maheshwar and Mandu architecture tour of India
India Travel

Maheshwar – An Introduction:

Maheshwar city is located in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. This is National Highway no. 3 (Agra-Mumbai Highway) is situated 13 kilometers in the east and is located 91 kilometers away from Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh. This city is situated on the northern bank of the Narmada River. This city was the capital of the Holkar Maratha rulers of Indore state before independence. The city is named after the name of Maheshwar, Lord Shiva, so Maheshwar literally means the home of Lord Shiva.

According to mythological accounts, the city of Maheshwar has been the capital of the Haihavanshi king Sahastrajun, who defeated Ravana. His son Lord Parshuram killed Sahastrajun due to harassing sage Jamadagni. Later, this city has also been the capital of the great Empress Goddess Ahilya Bai Holkar of the Holkar dynasty. Situated on the banks of river Narmada, this city is famous all over India for its very beautiful and magnificent ghats and Maheshwari sarees. There are extremely artistic temples on the ghat of which the Rajarajeshwara temple is prominent. The famous scripture of Adi Guru Shankaracharya and Pandit Mandan Mishra was concluded here.

The city is also known as Mahishmati. Maheshwar is also mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata. The ghats built here during the period of Goddess Ahilya Bai Holkar are very beautiful and their reflection is seen very beautiful in the waters of Narmada River. Maheshwar is the nearest to Indore.

Situated on the banks of Narmada River at a distance of 90 km from Indore, this beautiful tourist place has got the status of “holy city” by the Madhya Pradesh government. The city itself is about 2500 years old, incorporating art, religious, cultural and historical importance. Originally it was famous abroad for the “Maheshwari Saree” started by Hyderabadi weavers during the efficient reign of Goddess Ahilya Bai and her tenure (1764 – 1795). In its religious significance, this city is the city of Lord Shiva, similar to Kashi. It has been called “Gupta Kashi” for the construction chain of temples and pagoda. In its mythological significance, it is mentioned in the Narmada mystery of Skandha Purana, Reva Khand and Vayu Purana etc. under the name “Mahishmati”. In historical importance, this city has been the capital of kings and groom men like King Mahishman, King Sahastrabahu (who took Ravana captive), who has special importance in Indian culture. Later it also gained prominence during the tenure of Holkar dynasty.

A beautiful statue sitting on the throne of Queen Ahilya Bai has been placed inside the fort of Maheshwar. Near the ghats in Maheshwar are the Kaleshwar, Rajarajeshwar, Vittaleshwar, and Ahilyeshwar temples.

This was a brief introduction to Maheshwar and now let us go towards our journey. The rainy season, the early morning hours, my vehicle and above all the beautiful weather, everything seemed very good. On the way out, as far as the eyes were going, greenery was visible all over. We all like the rainy season very much, especially Mukesh. As soon as the monsoon arrives, it rains a couple of times just to make them wander, and most of our tours are planned during the rainy season itself. With a lot of enthusiasm in our mind, we were moving towards our destination only when the mood of the clouds started to deteriorate in the sky, dark black clouds were enveloped and strong rains started with lightning. We were enjoying the beauty of the weather and the rain, sitting in the car, but now we were worried that if the rain does not stop, we will not be able to enjoy the stroller and photography in Maheshwar and pray to God in our mind. Looked like we did not get rain in Maheshwar.

God accepted our prayers and soon the weather opened and became happier than ever. At some intervals on both sides of the road, small shops of bhutta baker were being found, from one place we also bought bhutas which were very tasty. From time to time, wherever we saw a good background for photography, we were going to take pictures. The children had not eaten anything since morning, so they started to insist on eating, so we also felt hungry and on the way from a hotel we ate hot onion pakoras and khamen and started again on our journey. Milestones on the side of the road were telling us that after just a few kilometers, our destination is coming to Maheshwar. We did not know when we reached Maheshwar while listening to favorite songs in the car stereo and enjoying the weather. After traveling for about two hours, we had now entered the boundary of Maheshwar Nagar.

After crossing the main market and some narrow streets of Maheshwar town, we finally reached the parking lot of Ahilya Ghat. After completing the formalities of car parking and putting some important items in a small bag, we walked towards Ahilya Ghat on foot. After walking a few steps, we have now reached the main attraction of Maheshwar i.e. Ahilya Ghat. This time we came to Maheshwar after a very long time, so everything seemed new. Due to the rainy season and incessant rains, the Narmada water had become muddy and looked like tea. The water level of the river was also greatly increased. Now we were at the famous Ahilya Ghat in Maheshwar. First of all, we sat down on the lower stair of the ghat in Narmada ji and enjoyed the waves of the river.

Suggested Program :

Delhi  Gwalior  Bhopal  Indore  Mandu  Dhar Maheshwar  Aurangabad  Ajanta  Ellora  Mumbai

Day 1. To Delhi
Fly from London to Delhi on British Airways or Jet Airways direct flight.

Day 2. Delhi
Morning arrival in Delhi. Afternoon sightseeing of fascinating Old Delhi including an exhilarating cycle rickshaw ride to the Jama Masjid through the bustling Chandni Chowk and it’s back roads, which were the centre of the city Shah Jehanabad in the Mughal times. Finally continue onto the Raj Ghat- Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, before returning to the hotel. Two nights at Hotel Maidens.

Day 3. Delhi
Morning sightseeing of dynamic New Delhi including the impressive Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and the India Gate. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 4. To Gwalior
Early morning Shatabdi train to Gwalior. Afternoon Gwalior sightseeing including Gwalior Fort considered to be the finest example of Hindu architecture in North India. Also visit the Jai Vilas Palace & Museum and Tombs of Ghaus Mohammed and Tansen, the former, noted in particular for its fine sandstone screen work. Evening Son et Lumiere show at the Fort. Overnight at the Usha Kiran Palace.

Day 5. To Bhopal
Morning Shatabdi train to Bhopal. Afternoon sightseeing of Bhopal including Taj-ul-Masjid Mosque said to be the largest Mosque in Asia and Dhai Seedhi Masjid believed to be Bhopal’s oldest masjid. Two nights at the Jehan Numa Palace.

Day 6. Bhopal
Morning excursion to Sanchi Stupa- a World Heritage site, originally commissioned by the Emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd C. BC. Afternoon excursion to Bhimbetka with its ancient cave paintings some thought to be 12,000 years old. They depict an amazing wealth of information about the life and death of early man.

Day 7. To Indore
Morning drive to Indore. Afternoon visit the Kanch Mandir an exceptional Temple with every part of the interior – floors, ceilings, walls, doors and pillars ornamented with mirrors of all sizes and shapes. Overnight at the Rashid Kothi.

Day 8. To Dhar via Mandu
Drive to Dhar, en route visit the vast deserted Fort of Mandu including the Royal Enclave, Village and Rawa Kund Buildings. Mandu is known for its fine architecture, it celebrates in stone the life and love of the poet-prince Baz Bahadur for his consort, Rani Roopmati. Overnight at the Jhira Bagh Palace.

Day 9. To Maheshwar
Drive to Maheshwar and relax in the delightful Ahilya Fort – perhaps walk to the beautiful ghats and explore the lovely Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Two nights at Ahilya Fort.

Day 10. Maheshwar
Day at leisure to enjoy the beauty of the 250-year-old Ahilya Fort perched high above the Narmada River. Stroll around the gardens, swim in the pool or take a boat ride along the sacred River.

Day 11. To Aurangabad
Drive to Aurangabad. Three nights at the Taj Residency.

Day 12. Aurangabad
Full day Ajanta excursion where the exquisite 2000 year old Buddhist paintings will transport you back through the centuries, bringing to life a bygone age of wonder.

Day 13. Aurangabad
Morning sightseeing of the vibrant, exotic Hindu sculpture and charismatic Buddhist art work at Ellora – the Jain caves are ascetic with intricate detailing. The spectacular work will feast the senses particularly the stunning Kailasanatha Temple. Afternoon enjoy sightseeing of Aurangabad.

Day 14. To Mumbai
Fly to Mumbai in the morning. Afternoon sightseeing of this pulsating city including the Prince of Wales Museum, Crawford Market and Dhobi Ghats. Overnight at the Marine Plaza Hotel.

Day 15. To London
Fly to London on direct British Airways or Jet Airways flights.

Suggested extensions: Goa, The Hill station of Matheran
(Various other extensions are available on request)

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