Welcome to Maheshwar
The peaceful riverside town of Maheshwar has long held spiritual significance – it’s mentioned in the Mahabharata and Ramayana under its old name, Mahishmati, and still draws sadhus and yatris (pilgrims) to its ancient ghats and temples on the holy Narmada River. The town enjoyed a golden age in the 18th century under the Holkar queen Ahilyabai (r 1767–95), who moved the Holkar capital here from Indore and built the palace within Maheshwar's fort, and is still much revered for her wisdom, benevolence and temple-building. Away from the ghats and historic buildings, Maheshwar’s colourful streets display some brightly painted wooden houses with overhanging balconies.
It’s a captivating place that packs a lot of punch in a very small area around the ghats, palace and temples – a sort of refined, spit-shone Varanasi in miniature.