Last July, I had just reached the Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, and was enjoying the views of the Narmada river in Mahishmati (the ancient name of Maheshwar)! 🙂
Every Monday evening, a photograph of the erstwhile queen – Ahilyabai is carried in a palanquin to the nearby ghats and worshipped there. When she was alive, she herself went down in a palanquin to the ghats and was worshipped by her people because they revered her. She was one of the most remarkable women rulers in India and ruled over a large kingdom efficiently, enacting several reforms.
In addition, she also rebuilt many decaying temples including the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Somnath, Dwaraka, Gaya, etc. She is credited with constructing a road from Gaya in Eastern India to Rameswaram in South India, as well as many wells and lakes.
I was lucky to visit this fort and stay there because it’s one of the most expensive heritage hotels in India. However, they have great discounts during the monsoons. Apart from being able to stay in a heritage palace replete with history, it was wonderful to sample the wonderful cuisine prepared by the royal chef every day!! Unlimited complimentary champagne or wine with each meal was an added bonus! 😉 Finally ended the day with a unique dinner – a candlelight thali. 😀😀