After those eventful hours in Omkareshwar, I was headed to Maheshwar by the Narmada. Maheshwar is a quaint town by the river whose claim to fame is the Ahilya Fort named after Queen Ahilyabai who ruled with a tender heart and iron hand. I forced myself to stay awake during the journey from Omkareshwar to Maheshwar (60kms) which passes briefly through the ghats of Vindhya mountains. I was done clicking for the day and soaked myself into green therapy !! A little more than an hour later I reached Maheshwar and the winding roads through this rather small town led me into Ahilya Fort area and right in front of Labboos Cafe.
Labboos Cafe is the gatehouse of the fort with a very small and cozy cafe by the road. Mr Nripendra Maitra who takes care of the entire Ahilya Fort Hotel property was present at the gate with a beaming smile and immediately made me comfortable. He was continuously pinging the driver to enquire where we are and about my well being right from the start of the journey in Indore since I was a solo woman traveller. He promised me a boat ride on the Narmada in one of the boats that was owned by the Fort. I had arrived to warm royal hospitality in Central India.
My tired and hungry soul was satiated by Mohan ji’s awesome Aloo Paratha’s and grilled sandwich. He promised to dish out some mouth watering poha the following day. While I was relishing the Paratha’s, I met a young girl who had just arrived from America to teach at the Ahilya School sponsored by the Raja of Maheshwar, Richard Holkar. She was struggling with Indian cuisine but immediately took a liking to the paratha.
The warm bath and Shiva Bhajans lulled me to sleep within the clean cozy sheets that night. Rs 1430/- per night for that atmospheric room with an attached bath and toilet including breakfast is perfect for the safety and comfort. The room is converted from the area that would have been used by the watch guards during some bygone era. That night I dreamed of my days as a guard here in a past life and finally arriving in this life time to complete my unfinished tenure 🙂 So filmy !!
Travel Tip: Stop for vegetarian snacks and coffee if you are a day tripper. It is on the way to the ghats from the fort entrance. Stay here, if you are travelling solo or as a couple. The stairway to the AC room is a little steep so mind your kids and knees, instead opt for the ground floor Non AC Room.
Maheshwar is 90 kms from Indore and 60 kms from Omkareshwar and the roads are pretty smooth and nice.