MAHESHWAR | JYOTIRLINGA TEMPLE & TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAHESHWAR
Heritage | Pilgrimage
Country: India | State: Madhya Pradesh
#100 of 21 Places to visit in Madhya Pradesh
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Maheshwar: Indore (90 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Maheshwar: October to March
Peak Season: November to February
At a distance of 40 km from Mandu, 65 km from Omkareshwar, 90 km from Indore, 115 km from Khandwa, 143 km from Ujjain, 279 km from Bhopal, 300 km from Vadodara, 350 km from Nashik, 377 km from Surat, 394 km from Ahmedabad, 441 km from Udaipur, 465 km from Nagpur, 530 km from Mumbai, 539 km from Pune, and 558 km from Jabalpur, Maheshwar is a temple town located in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. Situated on the banks of river Narmada, it is one of the popular places to visit in India and among the must-include places in Madhya Pradesh tour packages.
Maheshwar is largely referred to as the temple town of Madhya Pradesh. The town is famous as the place ruled by the legendary Maratha Malwa queen Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar. Akbar built a fort here after he came into power in the year 1601. Maharani Ahilya Bai took over as the queen of the Holkar Dynasty in the 18th century and she transformed this riverside town into a peaceful and prosperous land when the rest of India was facing an uneasy time. Later, she built many temples and buildings that are the prime attractions of Maheshwar tour packages. It was the capital of the Malwa during the Maratha Holkar reign till 1818 when the capital was shifted to Indore by Malhar Rao Holkar III.
Dates back to more than 4000 years back, the history of Maheshwar finds a mention in Mahabharat and Ramayana as well, and was known as 'Mahishmati'. This city has been the capital of the Haiyavanshi king Sahasrarjun, who had defeated Ravana. According to mythology, King Sahasrarjun who was a husband of 500 wives had stopped Narmada River with his 1000 arms and made a play area for his wives. While they were all enjoying themselves, Ravana flew by in his Pushpak Vimana. Downstream, when he saw the dry river bed, he made a Shivalinga out of the sand and began to pray. When Sahasrajuna's wives were done playing and they stepped out of the river bed, he let the waters flow. The Shivlinga has washed away and that arose a war between both of them. But when the king got the victory, he kept ten lamps on the heads of Ravana and one on his hand. Now, one can see 11 lamps in the Sahasrarjun Temple to keep the event lively.
Situated on the banks of river Narmada, Maheshwar appeals to both, the pilgrim as well as the tourist in you. The town possesses a treasure trove of beautiful temples, gorgeous ghats, and forts. Rajeshwar temple is the main. Narmada Ghat, Peshwa Ghat, Ahilya Ghat, Kaleshwara Temple, Rajarajeshwara Temple, Akhileshwara Temple, Vithaleshwara Temple, and Maheshwar Fort are some of the top places to visit in Maheshwar. Besides, the town is famous for its handloom sarees which are popularly known as Maheshwari Sarees, and locally manufactured brass utensils.
Nimar Utsav is one of the major events held every year at Maheshwar around Kartik Purnima (November). Organized and celebrated on the banks of the holy river Narmada, the festivities comprise music, dance, and drama. Also, an annual Sacred River Festival, featuring classical music performances, is held at Ahilya Fort every year in February. Apart, Maha Shivratri is also an important festival where thousands of women from surrounding villages spend the night on the Ghats, drumming, and singing, before bathing in the river and worshiping the multitude of Shivalinga's there.
Devi Ahilyabhai Holkar Airport, Indore is the nearest airport which is about 92 km from Maheshwar. It has well-connected flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Goa, Nagpur, and Raipur. Indore Junction Railway Station is the nearest railhead which is 90 km from Maheshwar that has well-connected trains from Jodhpur, Bangalore, Bhopal, Ratlam, Allahabad, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhind, Chandigarh, Pune, Bikaner, Puri, Dehradun, Rewa, New Delhi, Amritsar, Khajuraho, Bareilly, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Nagpur, Kochuveli, and Gandhi Dham. One can then take a taxi or bus from Indore to reach Maheshwar. Maheshwar Bus Station is well-connected by buses with major cities of Madhya Pradesh like Indore, Barwaha, Dhar, Dhamnod, and Khandwa.
Ranging from budget to medium, there are few accommodations available in Maheshwar which helps the tourists to stay and explore the nearby places.
The best time to visit Maheshwar is from October-March when the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing. The temperature in Maheshwar during the summer months could go up to 45°C, hence it is not advisable to visit. The monsoon season has a decent amount of rainfall which shall not be a problem.