Places to See
The perfect place to start the picnic of Maheswar is Rajwada, where the glorious history of the Holker’s is depicted. Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar is the driving force of this modest building, which is located in the heart of the city. Rajwada, a seven storied structure exhibits a unique mix of Muslim, Maratha and French style architecture. A dumb witness to the bygone glory, the complex holds a marvelous, small shrine from which ancient Dussehra ceremony used to start. It is difficult to believe that this custom is still in practice here. One of the interesting sights in this massive complex is the life size statue of the late queen which is exhibited on the entrance. Many other things related to the holker’s reign are also put on display.
The palace is surrounded by a pretty garden on the western side. Though in a dilapidated state, recent renovations have recreated some of the ancient charm of this beautiful palace.
A famous temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is an important pilgrimage center in Maheshwar. The popular belief is that at the end of the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna incarnated on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the holy month of Sravan and he is lovingly called as Pandrinath among other names. The temple, which is dedicated to the maintainer of the whole world, is exquisitely carved with beautiful images of puranas. The overhanging balconies with rich carvings and intricate designs are fantastic. The doors of the temple are decorated with minute designs, which show excellent craftsmanship. The worship of Mahavishnu in the form of Pandrinath or lord Vitthala has its roots on the Puranas and great Vaishnava Saints of 13th to 17th century made this form of worship well known through their teachings, poems and kirtans.
A famous Shiva temple situated on the convergence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, Omkareshwar Temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage centers in Maheshwar. Located in the sacred island called Mandhata or Shivapuri, this temple is one among the 12 sacred Jyothirlinga shrines of Lord Maheshwar. The island in which the holy shrine is placed is in the shape of the holiest Hindu Symbol 'Om', which itself add the sanctity of the temple. The name of the sacred shrine literally means ‘Om-maker-lord.’ Situated on the beautiful ambience, one can see the awesome view of the Mother Nature and the man-made constructions go together harmoniously.
Rajarajeswara temple in Maheswar is one among the numerous Shiva temples in the city. It is situated very near to the famous Ahilyeshwara temple and a frisky walk of few minutes through the lovely paved stone path from the Ahilyeshwara lead to this important shrine. This magnificient shrine is renowned as the temple of the 11 Akhand Jyoti Deepak or eternal flame lamps. The flame in the lamps will not be allowed to put out and the main offering of this fabulous shrine is ghee, which is used to light the lamps. Like all other Shiva temples in Maheswar, Rajarajeswar temple also is very rich in architecture and sculpture. The ceiling of the main shrine is decorated with many faceted mirrors.
Located on the beautiful banks of Narmada River, this temple also holds well-maintained stretches of Khats where one can see plenty of Shivalingas and Nandi shrines. Kashivishwnath Temple Kashi Viswanath temple is built by the pious and religious queen, Ahalyabhai of the Holker dynasty. Dedicated to the Jyothirlinga of Shiva, this temple displays an architectural Marvel. Mythology says that the holy darshan of Jyothirlinga of Shiva liberate the devotee from all sorrows. A single darshan of the Jyothirlinga of Kashi Viswanath equalizes the virtues acquired by the darshan of other Jyotirlingas spread out in various parts of India. A glimpse of this Jyotirlinga is an enthralling experience that purifies life and puts it on the righteous path. Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga has a remarkable significance in the devout history of India. Profoundly rooted in the Hindu mind, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a living quintessence of our timeless cultural traditions and highest spiritual values.
As the name itself suggests, Maheswar is closely associated with Lord Shiva. The temples of Maheshwar are particularly famous for their excellent artistry and architecture. The spires and domes are the special characteristic of the temples of Maheshwar.
Situated on the banks of the beautiful river, Narmada, Ahilyeshwar temple provides a serene and a calm atmosphere to the devotee. Apart from the main deity’s shrine, Ahilyeshwar temple houses a shrine dedicated to Lord Ram. The façade of this marvelous shrine displays intricate carvings. Beautiful images of elephants and Maratha soldiers on the exterior of the temple catch the attention of the viewer for their originality.
Holi darsan time of the Ahilyeshwar temple is between 7 am - 6.30 pm and Aartis are fixed at 8 am and 6 pm.
Established by Richard and Sally Holkar, belonging to the ex-ruler family, Rewa Society has helped so much for the growth and development of the handloom industry. Rewa Society weaving center is a thriving attempt to continue the 250 year tradition of weaving the celebrated Maheshwari sarees.
In this sophisticated era of modern techniques, the activities of this cooperative society are a success in promoting the feasibility of the craft with drawing and advertising inputs. Like many other aspects of Maheshwar, the weaving industry, though rooted in the past, lives contentedly and gainfully in the present.
The Rewa Society, which functions in the fort complex, runs between 10.30 am - 12.30 pm and 2.30 - 5.30 pm.
The term Maheshwar means the abode of Lord Shiva and as the name implies, this beautiful city houses numerous Shiva temples. Most of the temples in Maheswar are named after the incarnations of the deity. Tilbhandeshwar temple is one among the important Shiva temples in the city. The deity is believed to increase by the size of til every year.
This holy shrine displays splendid architectural beauty with intricately worked doorways and overhanging balconies. The serene ambience of the sacred temple is a solace to the inevitable entanglements
All festivals of Lord Shiva especially Maha Shivratri, are celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
The banks of the beautiful Narmada river is considered sacred from time immemorial and it has been a famous Hindu pilgrimage destination over centuries. The 12th Century Kaleshwar Temple, which is located within equipped ramparts on the northern shore of the river, is an impressive shrine. The deity is Kaleshwar, the destructive form of the Almighty who destroys and dissolves everything to nothing.
Kaleshwar Temple in its glittering red colour presents an unusual appearance, which amply differs from the typical structures of ordinary shrines. The temple stands on an elevated platform, with spiral domes pointed upwards which is further enhanced by vertical projections. The tranquil surroundings of lush greenery add the sanctity of the temple by which the devotees felt a divine pleasure.
Among the numerous deities of the Hindu religion, Lord Shiva occupies a paramount position and is worshiped as the supreme god. Being the third element of the holy trinity, Lord Shiva took various incarnations to wipe out evils from the world. Jaleshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshiped as the god of water. It is believed that Lord Shiva protects the earth from the impacts of Ganga River’s fall from heaven.
The deity in the form of 'Lingam' reminds the devotee of the presence of eternal time. The temple's elegant architecture with its towering spires, carved overhanging balconies and complicated carving works is worth seeing.
A lovely building of 18th century, Queen’s Fort was the residence of Ahalya Bai Holkar, one of the greatest queens India ever had seen. The queen’s fort, which functions between 7 am to 7 pm, is a living monument to the greatness of the late Queen. Situated on the majestic Narmada banks, Queens Fort is the hub of all activities of Maheshwar.
Once functioned as the administrative quarters of the queen, this splendid palace displays her seat, various chhatris and her personal temple with its all elegance. A devotional song in the honour of the late queen has been composed under the auspicious of the Ahalyabhai Trust. The Queens fort also houses a weaver’s cooperative society in its premises.
A visit to this fort gives oneself with an in depth knowledge about the greatest queen of the Holker’s dynasty.