Spreading over a flattish green valley in the Vindhya ranges, at a pleasantly cool elevation of 1065 meters, it is still more a hamlet than a town. This, in spite of the fact that two sacred rivers are born here: the Sone and the Narmada.
Curiously, Amarkantak has none of the teeming grottiness often associated with popular pilgrim towns. It really is more like a green sub- mountain resort with wide-open, well watered, meadows and sunlit sal forests alive with springs and brooks.
he stream of Sone is fed few hundred meters from its birth, by a number of tributary rills. The Sone becomes the main southern tributary of the Ganges,
Joining that great river near Patna. Amarkantak, in the green bowl in the old Vindhyas, is the serene epitome of that titanic power.
This holy island is shaped like the sacred Hindu symbol "OM". Here the Narmada and the Kaveri rivers meet and the pilgrims gather at the confluence in large numbers to pay obeisance before the Joytirlanga OM kareshwar
(one of the twelve Joytirlangas at the Temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. The spectacle of hundreds of brightly dressed devotees worshipping and bathing on these riverine landing steps or ghats, is a ‘happening’ that is unique to Hinduism.
The temple on these ghats are excellently carved and sculpted; every pillar and panel would occupy a pride of place in any museum in the world. The temples and banks become colorful during festivals particularly the major ones of Dussehra and Diwali.
Omkareshwar is on a temple-dotted island at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers. During major festivals, townships of tents and huts spring up on the banks, and flotillas of decorated boats ferry pilgrims across the water.
Shri Omkar Mandhata :- This temple, situated on an island, is made of soft stone with intricately carved frizes. Encircling the shrine are verandahs with columns which are richly carved.
Siddhnath Temple:- Built in the traditional of early medieval Brahmanic architecture it has a unique frize of elephants carved upon a stone slab at its outer perimeter.
24 Avatars :- A group of Hindu and Jain temples displaying architectural expertise in each structure.
Satmatrika temple:- A group of 10th century temple situated 6 km from the city.
Kajal Rani Caves:- Nine km from the city from here one can get an uninterrupted view of the gentle undulating landscape.
Maheshwar was a glorious city in the dawn of Indian civilization when it was known as Mahismati, capital of King Kartvirarjun. This temple town on the banks of the river Narmada finds mention in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Having been revived to its ancient glory by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore, the town with its temple and fortress stands in serene dignity.
Maheshwar is also famed for the manor, the walled mansion of the 18th century queen and the state of Holkar, Ahalyabai. She was a very wise, powerful and virtuous woman who has now been virtually deified by her subjects. She introduced and encouraged the weaving of Maheshwari saris; still a popular craft in Maheshwar.
Temples:- Meheswar’s temples stand high with spires reaching out to the sky. Their balconies and carved doorways are a sight to behold. Temples to visit are Kaleshwara, Rajarajeshwara, Vithaleshwara and Ahileshwar temples.
Ragaddi and Rajwada:- Located with-in the fort complex is a life size statue of Rani Ahilyabai seated on throne. Other fascinating relics and heirlooms of the heirlooms of the Holkar dynasty can be seen in the rooms, which are open to the public.
Ghats :- Along the Narmada river are the Pehwa Fanase and Ahilya Ghats. A flight of step lead down to the river, often crowded with pilgrims.
Maheshwari saree:- Introduced into Maheshwar 250 years ago by Rani Ahilyabai, the sarees are renowned throughout India. Woven mostly in cotton the "palu" is distinctive with five strips, three colored and two white alternating running along its with hand reversible border, known as Bugdi.