Have you seen any movie just for its locations? Well, I always search my new travel destinations in Films or Documentaries.
One such travel destination I came across was Maheshwar. And very very prior to the movie 'PADMAN'!
This tiny town is yet to be touched with extensive tourism and hence a perfect gateway for solance.
I travelled early in the morning from Ujjain to Indore. And took a local bus to Maheshwar.
One thing I've noticed while travelling is that the main heritage sites in the State are not at all linked directly to the main cities. It good in a certain way, since crowds can be managed properly..
Its a two hour journey from Indore to Maheshwar. Ticket fare costs only Rs. 30/- .
I had prebooked a hotel at the Raj Palace just outside the Rajrajeshwar Mandir in the town. Since I had reached mid noon, I didnt find any proper commute till my hotel. And had to walk 2km from Maheshwar bus stand to my hotel. Since the town is small, the roads are too easy. After freshning up quickly, I headed to make the most of the remaining day and explore the town as much as I could.
While walking, I first came across the simplest Durbaar of the Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. Her Palace, her Durbaar were so basic but extensively elegant. With the idea of minimalism, she thought about the progress of the community as a whole instead of her own. This ideology should have taken more deeper roots, but ended alongwith her reign.
Maheshwar is famous for its textile industry especially the Silk Saarees called the Maheshwari Silk. Did you know, it is a crime to even replicate the Maheshwari Silk outside Maheshwar? Its their patent, giving livelihood to so many women. I happen to visit the Rehwa Handloom Society in the Palace premises and got a chance to look at the women working hard and creating something so beautiful. Each garment they create had a label of their name on it. And the money went directly to that particular women who had weaved it!
After a thorough look in the handloom factory, I headed to one of the most beautiful Shiva tenples I've ever seen! The carvings there were so intricate and so close to the present! The statues there had colts in their hands depicting the British era!
This temple had a gate facing the calm Narmada river. Narmada river is one of the holiest rivers in India which flows in an opposite direction as compared to all other rivers in India. It originates at Amarkantak, slightly to the eastern side of Madhya Pradesh and flows to the west and meets the Arabian sea. She is the calmest at Maheshwar!
Having seen the beautiful temple, I decided to go boating and experience the panormic voew of the Ghat built under the Queen Ahilyabai Holkar's reign. And i could proudly say, it was the cleanest of the river banks I ever visited.
That day, I wished the sun could stay a little bit longer!
After the evening Narmada Aarti, I was in search of a decent place to have dinner. Since Maheshwar is not that developed, hotels and cafes have not made their way here. I was welcomed by one Ashram just along the river bank. And in just Rs. 50/- I had the most delicious dinner!
God does work in mysterious day!
My day ended with me walking down the empty streets of Maheshwar at just 8pm at night!