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If you rewind to the dawn of Hindu civilization, you’ll find that Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh was an important centre of culture, religion and politics. Today, more than anything else, Maheshwar is synonymous with the exquisitely delicate blend of cotton and silk handloom sarees woven by its inhabitants. Maheshwari Sarees were introduced 250 years ago by Rani Ahilyabai and are renowned throughout India for their unique weave. The magnificent Holkar Fort dominates the dusty landscape of Maheshwar, with a life-size statue of Rani Ahilyabai within the fort complex. A palace on the premises has now been converted into a museum displaying heirlooms, paraphernalia and other trivia belonging to the Holkar Dynasty. With their soaring spires, the many-tiered temples of Maheshwar are adorned with carved overhanging balconies and intricately worked doorways. The Peshwa, Fanese and Ahilya Ghats on the Narmada river are a great spot to watch the daily rituals of ordinary villagers. There are many temples built along the ghats dedicated to numerous Hindu deities.