Mhow is a cantonment town located near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. This was my second visit to Mhow. I had been here in 2006 when my son was barely one and hence hardly explored the place. This time though my visit was short I had decided to make the most of it. It was 10th of october when I reached, my husband though on a course with quite a busy schedule, had made up the complete plan for our sightseeing.
Mhow weather is fantastic in october, summers and winters both are severe in Mhow, but in the month of october it is very pleasant.
The cantonment is expansive, extremely well kept and beautiful with numerous institutions, batallions and training areas dotting it. It is a pleasure to take leisure walk or jog in the cantonment.
The first on my visit was the memorial of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, as it was very close by, we went their walking. On enquiry I came to know that Mhow is Dr. Ambedkar’s birth place. His father worked for the British army and was posted at Mhow when Dr. Ambedkar was born. The memorial is huge, well kept and right now it is in army area hence looked after by army.
On a Sunday we went to Mandu. Which is just about 60 kilometres from Mhow. Its original name is Mandapa Durga. Mandu was ruled by the Paramaras for 600 years. Jayavarman II moved his capital from Dhara to Mandu due its superb location. It is perched on a hill top of the Vindhya ranges and on its south is the valley of the Narmada river. In 300B.C. the Delhi Sultan Allauddin Khilji captured the Paramara territory and appointed his regent.
Mandu palace complex has many beautiful structures, reservoirs and palaces like the Roopmati palace which is a large sand stone structure made by Baaz Bahadur for his lady love.
Jahaj Mahal or the Ship Palace is situated between 2 lakes is built by Sultan Ghias-is-Din.
The Hindola Mahal constructed solely for leisure activities has slanting walls which is constructed in 1425 CE is an architectural masterpiece. The reservoir Reva Kund though now dirty must be mesmerising during those days. The complex has many wells, lakes and reservoirs which keeps the mercury of the place down and certainly that must be the intent of the then kings.
The Jami Masjid is huge inspired by the mosque of Damascus, which worth admiring. The Hoshang Shah’s Tomb is India’s first marble structure, it is huge and beautiful looking. The whole complex is now under archeological survey of India, which is working at a snail pace. I hope they manage to keep the whole structure in good shape, which is a great legacy of our country, which we would want to preserve for generations to come
Next in our list of sightseeing was Maheshwar, which is again close to mhow, same as Mandu just 60km. Maheshwar also has mention in mythology . It is believed to be the ancient kingdom of Maheshmati, not of Bahubali but of the King Kartviryarjun.
Maheshwar is in khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, it was the capital of the Holkars, the Maratha generals of the Peshwas. The valiant Malharrao Holkar established and extended his rule in Malwa. His dynamic, efficient, skilful daughter-in law Ahilya Bai holkar looked after it most splendidly and constructed beautiful temples, ghats and other structures in Maheshwar. It is said that Ahilyabai was so intelligent and dynamic that after her husbands death, her father in law, the then old Malharrao Holkar begged and dissuaded her from going sati, as he reasoned with her that, she is the most important person for this kingdom, if she is gone the kingdom will not survive.
The Holkar fort is widely spread, huge, it reminded me of forts of Shivaji, it is built in the same style, even the Holkar Wada inside the fort is same as wadas of pune during the Peshwas rule.
The Omkareshwar temple on the banks of Narmada is just amazing. It is huge; embellished with superb stone carving.
The ghats are extremely picturesque, due to which they have captured the eye of many film makers. The recently hit movie padman was picturised here.
Ahilyabai had brought in weavers from Surat and other places to weave turbans and nine yard sarees for the royal household. So, many weavers from that time are still there,
I should say the whole of Maheshwar is dotted with weavers.
The Mandelshwar, Chintamani temple, Ahilyashwar temple are a sight to behold.
Ahilyabai Holkar has constructed temples, rest houses in all over India. The reign of the Holkars is something of a legend in Madhya Pradesh. The city of Indore also developed during their reign.
Maheshwar is a must visit for tourists and shoppers alike.