Yoga By the River Narmada in Maheshwar

Woke up to the news of the passing into light of BKS Iyengar, the man who took Yoga to the world. It is the end of an era in the World Yoga Map. I have been a yoga practitioner for a while and turning upside down in Shirshasana every morning is a joy forever. My initial interest in Yoga was fuelled by books on Yoga by Guruji. As I glide into yoga poses I remember his golden words “Live Happily, Die Majestically’. I don’t know about death, but I definitely try to live happily. Recently, I was walking along the Narmada in Maheshwar and it was a delight to watch a gentleman stretching into different asanas on the banks of the river. I curbed my intense desire to turn upside down and focused on a few clicks that I am sharing here from the Yoga by the River session.

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Hotels in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh

When I was planning a trip to Maheshwar, there was not much information on the net about how to choose the place to stay and specially for a solo traveler. I finally selected Labboos and resolved to write about it once I had visited the place. There are quite a few options in the 2 sq km town along the different ghats of Narmada.

Super Deluxe: Ahilya Fort Hotel –The old Ahilya Fort over looking the Narmada has been converted into a super deluxe hotel with suites, rooms and tents. You can enjoy a majestic view of the river and gorge on food prepared with ingredients from the organic garden. If you are in at the right time, you may just bump into the current Maharajah – Richard Holkar for a short tete a tete. The rates may vary between 6k to 14k a night based on the time of the year. Rehwa Society Maheshwari Weaving Centre is located just outside its gate next to Ahilya School sponsored by the Royal Family. Click to Book:

Deluxe: Narmada Retreat by MP Tourism – This is located on the Narmada with its own private ghat away from the hustle and bustle of the main ghats near the fort and temple area. There is a way to walk along the ghats to reach the fort area through slush and mud during monsoons but the safest would be to just take the round about way through town (2kms). The restaurant is good and if you are just looking to laze around away from all the noise – this is it. Sai Handloom outlet in their complex is a reasonably priced outlet to pick up Maheshwari weave. Contact – (07283) 273455
Email: maheshwar@mptourism.com

Standard: There are multiple options in this category

Labboos Cafe and Lodge: This is the Gatehouse of the Fort and managed by the same team of Ahilya Fort. The food is awesome, the rooms basic and neat. Ranging between Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 a night based on the type of room. 5 minute walk to Fort, Ahilya Ghat, Raj Rajeshwar, Kashi Vishwanath Temples. Click to Book

Hotel Ashray – Just Opposite to Labboos. Very good location. Not sure of the room size service and cleanliness

Hotel Raj Palace – Located next to Raj Rajeshwar Temple. The higher floors have great views of the Narmada and you can awake to Temple Bells. Not sure of the room size service and cleanliness

Hotel Hansa Heritage – Located between the Fort and the market, you cannot miss this bright Orange building and the Hansa Handloom store on the ground floor. A uphill walk of 5 minutes will take you to the gate of the fort and another 5-10 minutes to the main temple and the river side. The other way to reach through the market which is gentle walk for 10-15 mins. Not sure of the room size service and cleanliness

The rest of them are located far away from the river. When in Maheshwar, enjoy the beauty of the Narmada.

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Quaint and Calm Labboos Cafe, Maheshwar

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

Labboos CafeLabboos 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.

Labboos Cafe

 

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.Labboos Cafe

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.

Click to Book

Maheshwar is 90 kms from Indore and 60 kms from Omkareshwar and the roads are pretty smooth and nice.

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