March 1, 2013

The heart of India

By The Benign Maleficent In Artefact 4 min read

Madhya Pradesh has always been one of the most under rated states of India. Whatever are the reasons, the state has amazing historical and hence, cultural diversity. But since the rest of the India remains heedless, I have taken the liberty of bringing it to your attention myself.. And, I would like to begin with MAHESHWAR!

Picturesque Narmada

No points for guessing its a temple of Lord Shiva.. an abode kinda thing to be precise. True to its name, it has a lot of small n large Shiva temples. But main attraction there is a the Devi Ahilya fort. It was built in the late 1700s by the Holkars. The Holkars were the ruling dynasty of Indore from 1721 till 1818 when it was confiscated by the British. The most prominent ruler of this dynasty was Ahilyabai Holkar. She was a great patron of art and embellished Indore and Maheshwar with a lot of hindu temples. After shifting the capital from Indore to Maheshwar, she built the fort of Maheshwar. The fort is very beautifully built at the bank of river Narmada.. It has exquisite carving and some people describe it to be a labyrinthine 18th-century palace. Complete with maintained English flower gardens and evocative battlements of rough-hewn stone. Each guest room is a unique combination of colonial period furniture and personal touches, with smart attention to details. Being at the bank of the river, there are ‘ghats’ built over there, and this the best part!

A part of Fort

I have been visiting masheswar since I was a child and I can never get enough of it! The river is simply irresistable.. (And its still clean!) The place is not very much known and hence the visitors are mostly from the surrounding towns. Although, a lot of pilgrims stop by during ‘shravan’ and for the ‘Narmada parikrama’. Its a popular belief that river Narmada is equivalent of the three sacred rivers of India- Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Hence, circumambulation of Narmada, is considerd fruitful. But enough of that! Apart from all this religious stuff, there is architecture-which i think i have discussed enough 😛 Also, Maheshwar is a photographer’s haven! (Above is one of the numerous pictures I have clicked of the river and the ghats.. )The intricate carvings of the fort, the local culture, Narmada, temples… is all worth capturing!

A Saree in progress.

Aaannddnd, if you happen to be a fashion fanatic, you must have heard of the Maheshwari fabric.. In her time, Devi Ahilya set up a few handlooms here to help the local weavers and to preserve their beautiful art. The business grew eventually, and now the special hand woven fabric has gained immense popularity.The handlooms used to be a major sight there until recently, but they were closed for public viewing a few months ago. But it was totally aw-so-me!! We could choose the colors and the get the saree woven in front of us. The old style handlooms and the weavers weaving on it with was an interesting sight. Although everything about the fabric is pretty ,the silk thread and the special border is what makes the fabric so popular…

The handloom

And if you happen to be a foodie too, you can always visit Indore!

Banner Image by the.photoguy

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