Heading out of Mandav (Mandu for the locals) after 3 days of choicest photography options I chose to travel to Maheshwar a town located approximately 45 kms from Mandav. The distance however took me a good 120 minutes to cover given the hilly terrain and multiple stops for scenic photography captures.
Maheshwar as a town is well advanced with all necessary luxuries that a person may need with a religious touch that transports the mind and soul into trance. The sheer sight of the Narmada river soothes the nerves and makes the mind wander. One thing that starkly stood out in this leg of my solo trip was the power of the diverse gender. The Narmada is worshiped in its feminine form. The power of Narmada comes to light when you climb up the stairs of the Ahilya Fort (another feminine power) and when you reach the spot thats easily 40 to 50 meters high. The locals have marked the spot where the river had entered the fort. She is equal in match to the benevolent queen of Maheshwar – Ahilya Bai Holkar (31 May 1725 – 13 August 1795). The stories of her courage, commitment and non-partisan techniques of ruling her kingdom are still discussed openly. The audacity of her decisions can put to shame some of our current leaders in popular politics.
The Ahilya fort stands tall on the banks of the Narmada. Maheshwar has in all 28 ghats (place where religious rites, worship is performed) along the river. Out of these ghats the most prominent ones are Ahilya, Peshwa, Phanse and Mahila. Full of activity from 5 am in the morning in summers to as late as 10 or 11 pm there is a lot to capture apart from the usual photography frames. Unique faces, lovely reflections over the sparkling water, a random couple walking hand in hand, pooja performing priests and much more.
(to be continued . . . .)
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