A historical temple town located on the banks of the Narmada River, Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh is steeped in history. Maheshwar is built on the site of the ancient city of Mahesvari, and was the capital of king Kartavirya Arjuna, who is mentioned in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Maheshwar was known as Mahissati (Mahishamati in Sanskrit) in ancient times and was the capital of Southern Avanti. The real meaning of the word Maheshwar stands for home of lord Mahesh, which presents this temple city’s close connection with the lord Shiva.
In the late eighteenth century, Maheshwar served as the capital of Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar, ruler of the state of Indore. She embellished the city with many buildings and public works, and it is home to her palace, as well as numerous temples, a fort, and riverfront ghats (broad stone steps which step down to the river).
A magnificent city from a very old time, Maheshwar’s temples and monumental garrison-complex pose an unusual charm of architectural brilliance. The carved pendant structures with raised spires and the intricately worked doorways give a discerning look to the temples of Maheshwar.
Maheshwar is widely applauded for the handwoven cotton sarees called ‘Maheshwari Saree’, for its unique design and style. Introduced by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar, these sarees are renowned throughout India for their distinctive designs involving stripes, checks and floral borders.
The Ghats of the city, depicted after the several dynasties are the other feature that gives Maheshwar a distinctive look. A true expression of the rural India, these Ghats manifest a bright picture of an eternal religious Indian city. Maheshwar, the temple city, placed on the banks of the Narmada river where the pilgrims and holy men make their spiritual and culture holiday in silent meditation, the rows of poised women who carry brass pots down to the holy river, and the boats that ferry people from one bank to another, offer an experience that is hard to forget. With its enormous temples and a healthy climate, Maheshwar continues as a pleasant holiday and pilgrimage destination, which can be enjoyed any time of the year.
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