In the southwest corner of the Madhya Pradesh region in India lies a truly magical and atmospheric village. First and foremost, there is a magnificent fort and many tiered temples perched on the banks of the celebrated Narmada River. Then, there are the panoramic views, particularly beautiful from the fort. The landscape stretches out for miles over the water and endless rolling plains.
Vibrant river life in Maheshwar is a big part of its charm. A stroll through the temples and the fort down to the Narmada river takes you to the ghats (riverfront steps). The temples here are all dedicated to Lord Shiva’s avatars. Happily, everyone is welcome to enter Maheshwar’s temples and participate in ancient rituals, regardless of faith. Pay a visit early in the morning or late in the evening to catch a glimpse of this ancient culture’s fascinating traditions and enjoy the spectacular sunsets while you’re at it.
In the middle of the Narmada River lies Baneshwar Temple, and a late afternoon boat ride to visit it is a delight. This is in fact the centre of the universe, according to many ancient texts; the axis connecting earth to the polar star.
Take some time to savour the calm in Maheshwar. Poke around for a famous local sari at a market – they are woven using plain cotton and decorated with silk ends. The Rehwa Society in Maheshwar is also worth a visit. The society is dedicated to sustaining the ancient art of hand looming, native to the Maheshwar region, empowering women weavers, and assisting them and their families.