The traditional weavers at Ahilya Fort produce colorful yarn that is used for making the famous Maheshwari saris …..
Maheshwar is noted as a center for weaving colorful Maheshwari saris.
At Ahilya Fort, the 17th century Moghul-built fort, is the Rehwa non-profit weaving center. Rehwa –an old name for the river – boasts 130 looms, and employs 300 people, mostly women. Preference is given to widows. Housed within the fort, the airy layout is cooled by breezes off the Narmada.
More intricate workmanship in the carvings at Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, India
Ahilya Fort features intricate carvings in stone depicting various scenes. Here is one showing dueling elephants.
An Ahilya Fort doorway arch features attractive designs and a carving of Ganesha – the Indian elephant deity
An intricately designed viewing porch at Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India
It is said that of the five most sacred rivers of India – Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Godavari and Kaveri, Narmada is the holiest. It is also said that when Ganga herself feels unclean, she takes the form of a black cow and using the darkness of the night as her cover, comes to cleanse herself in the waters of the Narmada.
The Narmada, for most of its course flows through Madhya Pradesh. Owing to its sanctity, there are many temple towns on the river including Maheshwar. This tiny town on the banks of the Narmada is known not for its temples but for its benevolent queen, Ahilyabai Holkar, considered by many as a goddess.
Viewing the Narmada River from the porch of Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar …
Ahilya Fort also has the Chhatri (mausoleum) of Vitoji Rao Holkar. He was the younger brother of king Yashwant Rao Holkar (1798-1811). Built on a high plinth and sporting two bulbous domes, this chhatri is known for its exquisite carvings, especially that of a row of caparisoned elephants on its side.
Quite an architecturally, artistic porch for a view of Narmada River at Ahilya Fort
This 16th century fort is famous for its elegant architecture and spectacular view from Narmada River, this place was constructed by a greatest queen Ahalyabai Holkar and was her residential place, a queen India ever had seen.
The Ahilya Fort was originally built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1601 and was decades later regained and reconstructed to become an important place of rule by Rani Ahilyabai. She belonged to the Holkar Dynasty of Indore and reigned over the region from 1765-1796. Maheshwar was the capital of the Malwa during the Maratha Holkar reign till around 1818 as afterwards the capital was shifted to Indore by Malhar Rao Holkar III
Rani Ahilya Bai was a powerful woman, who was loved and admired by the locals. She transformed the city by reconstructing old temples and adding numerous more.
Now a tourist spot as evidenced by the colorful umbrellas of the vendors ….
Maheshwar – literally means the abode of ‘Lord Mahesh’ – another name for Shiva and is located along the Narmada River and hence an important pilgrimage site.
Ahilyeshwar Temple, inside the temple complex of Ahilya Fort Maheshwar overlooking Narmada River