The word “Maheshwar” in Hindi means Great God, an epithet of Lord Shiva. The city lies on the north bank of the Narmada river and served as the capital of the great Maratha queen – Rajmata Ahilya Devi Holkar. She embellished the city with many buildings and public works, and it is home to her palace, as well as numerous temples, a fort, and riverfront ghats.
Maheshwar is the home of one of India’s finest handloom fabric traditions. It is noted as a centre for weaving colourful Maheshwari sarees. These cotton sarees are weaved with distinctive designs involving stripes, checks and floral borders. They are extremely light and easy to wear. The hand looms also make fabric material used for making kurtas and other clothing. The weaving centre is located in one of Maheshwar’s historic buildings. About 130 weavers associated with the process produce over 100,000 meters of fine fabrics a year.
It was when husband dearie was undergoing a course at Mhow, that I got the opportunity to visit this historic town. It is located at a distance of about 90kms from Indore. It is a fascinating experience to see the weaving process of the saree in its traditional form. The colours of the Maheshwari sarees are made using natural vegetable dyes and the border is reversible, therefore one can wear it from either side. The grandeur of the forts of Madhya Pradesh and their designs have played an important role in inspiring the motifs of the Maheshwari sarees.
Here are some pictures from our trip to this beautiful city and of these gorgeous sarees.
Shopping Tip- Do purchase a saree from the shop located inside the Maheshwar Fort complex, they have the best collection and are completely authentic.