March 26, 2023

About 500km Mumbai, on the banks of the mighty river Narmada, lies the previous metropolis of Maheshwar. Many historians establish Maheshwar as the traditional city of Mahishmati. It’s believed Maheshwar was construct on the traditional metropolis of Somvanshya Shastrarjun Kshatriya and was the capital of the King Kartavirya Arjun, who’s talked about within the Sanskrit Epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. A lot later, it turned the capital of the Maratha Kings, the Holkars. Maratha Queen Ahilya Bai Holkar (1725-1795) took over the reigns of Maheshwar after her younger son Male Rao Holkar, inheritor to the throne died, quickly after her father-in-law, Malhar Rao Holkar’s dying (her husband Khaderao Holkar had died virtually 12 years earlier).

Ahilyabai Holkar led her armies to battle. She additionally reworked Indore from a small village into a powerful metropolis. Nonetheless she herself made Maheshwar her capital and developed the fort, ghats and temples of Maheshwar, in addition to many roads, wells, ghats and relaxation homes.. She developed many temples all throughout India, probably the most vital being the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. They are saying the websites the place Ahilyabai Holkar constructed embody Kashi, Gaya, Somnath, Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchi, Avanti, Dwarka, Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jagannath Puri. She additionally supported retailers and farmers and helped them lead lives of peace and prosperity.

Ahilyabai Holkar’s Maheshwar was flourishing with artwork, music, literature and enterprise enterprise. She entertained and patronised poets like Maropant and Anantaphandi, in addition to students like Khushali Ram. Craftsmen, sculptors and artists acquired salaries and honours at her capital and she or he established a textile business in Maheshwar.

Her efforts might be seen even in the present day. Maheshwar is known for its textiles, and no go to is full with out looking for some unique handwoven sprees, stoles and materials. In truth ‘Maheshwari’ is now a coveted style in Sarees. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar’s help to structure and sculpture might be seen within the fabulous fort and ghat temples in Maheshwar itself. The beautiful carvings and design converse of the colourful and wealthy tradition of its instances. Maheshwar must be seen to be believed.

We haven’t been to Madhya Pradesh a lot, a reality we wish to change this yr (if the Covid19 scenario improves). So on our highway journey to Maheshwar we had been apprehensive of the keep and meals. All searches urged Labbooz Cafe and Lodging because the place to remain and we promptly booked it. Nonetheless, our maps app and highway circumstances urged we might attain simply round 8pm, a time when Labbooz is scheduled shut. So we known as the Cafe and requested them to take our dinner order. The Cafe supervisor was, nonetheless, very positive that we must place our orders instantly (it was solely 5 pm or so) for the reason that workers would begin making ready to close down at 7 pm. He mentioned our meals will probably be unnoticed for us. We weren’t eager to have a chilly dinner so cancelled the dinner order, getting anxious on the form of place we’ve booked ourselves into. Whoever closes kitchen at 7pm? However upon arriving and the next day we realised not each city strikes on the velocity and schedules of a serious Indian metropolis. Despite the fact that Labbooz workers shut the kitchen at 7pm, they’re genuinely heat and onerous working individuals.

We stayed at Labbooz Cafe and Lodging, a quaint keep constructed from the erstwhile Fort Entrance Gate Guards’ Quarters. It’s mentioned Labboo is a driver to the descendent of the Holkar dynasty. The chosen their premium room, which has two terraces, on within the entrance and one behind. The small room was very tastefully appointed and clear and dry. What extra can one ask for?

The household of the Holkars nonetheless stay within the fort and proceed to patronise the humanities, particularly weaving. Sally Holkar began the Women Weave Initiative, the place girls are empowered as handloom weavers, skilled and provided with gear, thread and designs, and their creations are bought nationwide. Inside Maheshwar too, search for a retailer known as Rewa which sells textiles and sprees made by the women in Girls Weave.

An fascinating factor I noticed was the event of an indigenous trend aesthetic amongst the youth who hung across the ghats. Fashionably dressed, with funky and colored hairstyles, virtually each younger boy was carrying a stole and had the look of a rigorously put collectively trend assertion. From Contemporary Inexperienced Blazer with an embroidered Gold Eagle and color fur sneakers to styled hair with numerous shades of brown dye. The younger males had taken pains to place collectively a trend assertion and spent as a lot time photographing and posing for one another, with a lot confidence and elan. What’s their inspiration? The kinds didn’t look ‘Bollywood’. Mainstream film actors are way more conservatively common. I want there have been extra younger women too, however I assume the patriarchy within the society doesn’t allow them to transfer round as freely.

Labbooz Cafe and Lodging in Maheshwar
Our charming room with a personal terrace at Labbooz Cafe and Lodging. Though small, the room was very clear and comfy.
View of Maheshwar
A view of Maheshwar city from the terrace at Labbooz Cafe and Lodging.
Women Weavers
The Girls Weave Initiative.
Labbooz Lodging in Maheshwar
I can’t recover from how charming Labbooz Cafe and Lodging is.
Maheshwar Fort in Maheshwar
The fort partitions with loads of greenery and appeal.
Labbooz Cafe, Maheshwar
The doorway to Labbooz Cafe.
Maheshwar Fort Gate
The Entrance Gate at Maheshwar Fort.
Maheshwar Fort Gate Side View
A facet view of the doorway gate to Maheshwar Fort.
Maheshwar Town Morning
The city of Maheshwar is quaint and finest skilled strolling within the early mornings.
Lanes of Maheshwar Town Morning
The bylaws of Maheshwar have many elderly homes.
Tana Bana Store in Maheshwar
And amidst the previous homes in Maheshwar, you notice a store promoting hand woven Sarees and materials.
Lanes of Maheshwar Town
The undulating roads resulting in the ghats of the Narmada.
Arched gate to Maheshwar Ghats
The doorway to the ghats and temples is adorned with these lovely arched doorways.
Temples in Maheshwar Ghat
The Ghat Temples at Maheshwar are once more, finest skilled early mornings earlier than the crowds fill in.
Temple Complex in Maheshwar Ghat
Stepping down in the direction of the Ghats, with River Narmada, also referred to as Maa Reva (Mom Meva). On the left is Akhileshwar Temple.
Figure of Woman Musician in Maheshwar Fort Complex
Lovely collectible figurines of musicians on the Maheshwar Ghats and Fort Advanced converse of a wealthy and vibrant tradition stuffed with arts and music.
Maheshwar Temple Complex
The magnificently carved and designed Maheshwar Fort Advanced on the ghats.
Akhileshwar Temple, Maheshwar
Akhileshwar Temple in morning mild.
Maheshwar Ghat
Within the rising solar mild on the ghats. With the Fort partitions on the left and the steps resulting in Maa Reva, there’s something very non secular about this place.
Maheshwar Ghat 02
The fort entrance, designed and carved elaborately. I want we’d do extra to guard this for posterity. Discover the Swift birds within the sky.
Narmada River Maheshwar Ghat
Life within the ghats. Morning walkers, bathers, holy water dippers, individuals praying or simply speaking selfies.
Maheshwar Ghat in the Morning
Because the solar rises, so does the group. I seen loads of native children.
Nandi and Shiv Ling
Nandi, the bull, ready subsequent to Shiv Ling. Maheshwar is one other title for the Lord Shiva.
Youth Taking Photos on Maheshwar Ghats
Native youth spend hours photographing themselves. Will these images find yourself on Instagram or Fb?
Youth Posing on Maheshwar Ghats
Hip younger locals posing and photographing one another. I seen only a few women and girls right here. A somewhat patriarchal society, I assume.
Youth taking selfies on Maheshwar Ghats
Extra children taking selfies. That is the brand new cultural phenomenon of our instances.
Sculpture of Couple on Maheshwar Temple
Very fascinating to see a sculpture of this couple, maybe royalty, for his or her garments. The lady appears to be carrying one thing that appears like a ‘choga’ or lengthy robe with determine hugging ‘leggings’ or like churidaar salwars.
Inside Maheshwar Fort
The primary fort is open to vacationers. We couldn’t go in as we had little time.
The primary fort complicated has a brilliant costly lodge too, the place rooms value near 20k per night time. I’m positive they’re superb to expertise.
Palanquin Inside Maheshwar Fort
On this shot of fort discover the Queen’s Palanquin. Additionally word the elaborately carved wood brackets to the pillars.
Labbooz Cafe Outdoor Seating
The charming Labbooz Cafe. Sit in these beautiful dappled mild drenched cafe and have scrumptious vegetarian snacks and tea espresso.
Labbooz Cafe Outdoor Seating Dappled Light
An ideal place to idle away your day, ready for there solar to come back down, Labbooz Cafe has an eclectic however very inexpensive menu.
Labbooz Cafe and Lodging Room
Our room in Labbooz Cafe and Lodging was charming, clear and dry. We cherished it, regardless of the small toilet.

How To Attain : Maheshwar is a few 500km from Mumbai. 90km from Indore (which has busy airports and railway stations). The closest practice station is Barwaha.

When To Go to: Maheshwar is positioned in Central India which will get very popular within the summers. Since many of the city must be visited on foot, summers (March – July, then September and October) isn’t the perfect time to go to. Winters are higher (November until February) and monsoons may be good (July and August).