Maheshwar, located in south western Madhya Pradesh, must be one of the most atmospheric and magical villages in India. The fort and many-tiered temples situated on the banks of the sacred Narmada River are stunning. Views from the fort extend for miles over the impressively wide water course and the endless plains beyond. A walk through the fort and temples down to the river takes you down to the ghats, akin to the French ‘quai’. The temples along the ghats are dedicated to the avatars of Lord Shiva, and people of all faiths are welcome to enter any of the temples in Maheshwar, and participate in age-old rituals. Early morning and late evening are the best times to witness the ways of life and rituals of this ancient culture and not forgetting the daily sunsets which are invariably spectacular.
Arrange a late afternoon boat ride to the Baneshwar Temple in the middle of the river. Ancient texts tell that this is the centre of the Universe, the axis that connects the earth with the polar star. The river is calm and peaceful, except during the monsoon. Also worth visiting are the nearby destinations of the island temple of Omkareshwar and the deserted city of Mandu.