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The 250 year old Ahilya Fort has what is possibly one of the most dramatic, unique and glorious setting of any Indian hotel. Perched on the edge of a cliff, enclosed with the massive walls of the 16th century Maheshwar Fort, Ahilya Fort has breathtaking view over the sacred Narmada River and the ghats below. Within the Fort there are shaded courtyards and verandahs on different levels, linked by stone walkways. Thirteen unique rooms & One Maharajah tent scattered amidst 6 different groups of the 18th century buildings, numerous garden, hidden terraces, ancient turrets and battlements, a stunning swimming pool all make for unique boutique hotel. Off the beaten track, Ahilya Fort offers its guests a truly authentic Indian experience.The renowned gourmet meals, which are table d’hote, take place in different areas of the fort. There is no fixed dining room. Special requests for separate tables are gladly entertained, as are dietary restrictions. Menus are based on recipes created by the owner Prince Richard Holkar- a reputed gourmet, culinary author and chef. Lunch is generally light western cuisine, with cold soups, salads, grilled vegetables. Indian recipes from around the country are featured at dinner. Seating at meals is generally common, but guest who wish can have a table by themselves. VegetarianAhilya Fort has been loving restored into a unique boutique hotel with 13 exceptional rooms set in six buildings in this 18th century fort. There is one fabulous private tent with its own heated plunge pool and wonderful views of the river and temples below, a truly unique experience. Each room and tent is decorated in a distinctive and traditional Indian style. A stay here allows guests to discover the fabulous, deserted city of Mandu and the famed island temple of Omkareshwar nearby. There is no formal dining room. Breakfast are a buffett style and are served on the ramparts of the fort, overlooking the river. Lunch is served in a shady, leafy courtyard or on the patio. Candlelit dinners are served in the garden by the pool or on the terrace. Ahilya Fort is an all-inclusive hotel, all meals, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and all snacks are included. 


How to Reach 

By Air

The closest airport to the Ahilya Fort hotel is the Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar airport in Indore (IDR). From the airport it is approximately a two hour car journey (95 km) on excellent roads to reach the hotel. The airport is well connected by daily flights to most major cities in India. Indore airport does not currently feature flights to or from international destinations.

By Train

Our closest major railway station is in Indore, which is connected to most major railway lines. From the railway station it is approximately a two hour car journey (96 km) on excellent roads to reach the hotel. The Barwah station is about 45 km away, but is not very well connected.

By Road

Maheshwar is about a half hour drive off the Mumbai – Agra highway (AH47). It is approximately a 10 hour drive (514 km) from Mumbai to Maheshwar, and a 17 hour road journey (942 km) from New Delhi to Maheshwar.


Things to do : 

Rehwa Society and the Ahilya School

Situated a five minute walk from the Hotel, the centre has traditional wooden hand looms, and we have our own dye house. Surpluses from the sale of textiles support the adjoining Ahilya School


Lingarchan Puja

A daily ritual dating from the time of Queen Ahilya Bai is still performed every morning in the area just below the breakfast Mandap by 11 Brahmins. Here you can watch them painstakingly making thousands of shivalings out of earth, which culminates in a puja to ask for the protection of the inhabitants of the Holkar State.


Narmada Parikrama Dhaan

Pilgrims doing a circumambulation of the Narmada on foot (which takes 3 years, 3 months and 3 days), are offered rations and subsidized places to stay along this devotional journey



A short drive (75 minutes) away are the ruins of the 15th century fortified city of Mandu, on the edge of the Malwa plateau. One of India’s most romantic sites,


Royal Baz Bahadur Picnic

While in Mandu, should you wish to spoil yourself with an unforgettable lunch, arrive at one of Mandu’s secluded ruins with a breathtaking view of the plateau below. Discover an elegant al fresco picnic (laid out with tables and chairs, linen, glassware and cutlery) served by our uniformed waiter.



In the town of Omkareshwar, an 80 minute drive upriver from Maheshwar, is one of the 12 most revered temples of followers of Shiva. The main idol is a lingam or phallic symbol of Shiva’s creative power, which is believed to have sprung out of the earth by itself. 


Baji Rao Samadhi

Baji Rao was a very important Peshwa ruler in the 18th century. His scenic chattri, or crematory cenotaph, is perched above the Narmada River in the village of Rewa Khedi, and is about an hour from Ahilya Fort


Sunset Boating

boat ride to Baneshwar Temple, considered to be the Centre of the Universe. Watch the sun setting as you glide down the Narmada on a hand-poled boat to the Temple. 


The Ahilya Organic Farm

organic 15 acre farm is a 10 minute drive from the Hotel. The farm provides much of the livestock and produce used in our kitchen


Village Walk

A 20-minute boat ride across the Narmada River are the two sleepy villages of Naodatodi and Bothu, very much in contrast to bustling Maheshwar town. 


Blessings Ceremony

Experience vedic blessings in a Ganesh Puja, or prayer service, in the Ganesh temple located in the centre of the Ahilya Fort Hotel.



Classical Hatha yoga sessions are held on the Fort’s southwestern turret, overlooking the river. 



Lingarchan area of the Ahilya Wada. In our effort to work within the local community, our masseurs (for gents) and masseuses (for ladies) are trained in-house and give the traditional nimadi maalish massage of the region.


Slowly down the Narmada

Guests can enjoy a leisurely 2 ½ hour float down the River on our traditional paddle boats. Our boatmen will serve you light refreshments. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat!


Moonlight River Promenade

A magical hour under the stars on the Narmada. Your traditional wooden boat will be hand-poled up the River through hundreds of flickering lamps, as you are serenaded by local musicians. 


Boleya Chhatri Dinner

Dine in the ancient garden of one of the Holkar State’s chief nobles. Take a hand-poled boat down the diya-strewn river and disembark at the magical Boleya Chhatri gated garden for a delectable vegetarian dinner by candlelight, served by our staff.


Roopmati's Picnic

Roopmati’s Picnic takes place in one of our several locations on or along the Narmada River. After the sun has gone down, board your hand-poled boat to be transported through hundreds of flickering lamps while local musicians serenade you. Our waiters will serve refreshments while you dream and float to your destination, where an elaborate candlelit dinner picnic awaits you.

Escape  Ahilyafort  Maheshwar  

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