For my women friends, Maheshwar was the most interesting place, you know why? Because women love shopping and they love temples.
Maheshwar is the commercial and spiritual capital of Ahilyabai Holkar’s city, and has rows and rows of colorful shops and everybody went crazy shopping for sarees, dupattas, dress materials and stoles. We walked down the narrow lanes, that had fragrance of fried samosas (so very tasty) and we shopped.
But before shopping, we drove up the hill to enter 250-years old Ahilya fort that is perched high above the ghats of Maheshwar. We entered through the north gate, called Ahila Dwar, previously known as Gadi Darwaza because this is the largest gate where the vehicle can enter.
Part of the fort has been converted into a heritage hotel, that is for one who enjoys luxury with scenic beauty and can stay there. We turned right to see the part reserved for tourists.
The big statue of queen Alilya Bai Holkar greets you in all its simplicity of just white sari and shiva linga on her hand. Queen Ahilyabai was a great patron of literature, music, art and industrial enterprises. She is considered as one of the strongest and most powerful women rulers of India.
We started our descent through the stone step passing through different gates. We passed through a gate that had beautiful, small statue of Lord Ganesha perched on top of the temple’s main door flanked by two Maratha (doorkeepers)
We passed through a temple that had beautiful architecture and sculptures in black stone.
The climbing down the steps was quite scary, there were no handrails and no support, the steps are quite huge and I needed help to climb down. The view was fantastic from above.
We reached the ghats where boats were parked on banks of Narmada river.
Colorful boats lie moored at the ghats to take the tourists for the cruise down the Narmada river passing along the shores that has palaces and different temples.
We just walked along the shore passing through the different temples on the way till we reached the shopping lanes…
That was quite a distance for me….
To be continued…..