Route & Distance: Indore—100 km/2 hr —Mandu (Mandav)—39km/1 hr 15 min—via Dhamnod to Maheshwar—65 km/1 hr 30 min—Omkareshwar—78 km/2 hr 15 min—via Mortakka to Indore.

Day 1 MANDU

The veil of mist was so thick we could barely see Roopmati’s Pavilion. But we were lucky. As the sun rose, the shroud lifted to reveal a magical sight: a dazzling streak of the river Narmada in the far distance.

Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy
Sultan Ghiyas-ud- din Khilji’s former harem in Mandu, the Jahaz Mahal, is “afloat” on the still waters of a lake
Sultan Ghiyas-ud- din Khilji’s former harem in Mandu, the Jahaz Mahal, is “afloat” on
the still waters of a lake

Mandu echoes with stories of Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati, a shepherd girl who agreed to become his queen only if she could see her beloved Narmada every day. Baz Bahadur built Rewa Kund, a reservoir equipped with an aqueduct to supply his queen’s palace with water. An old army observation post with a watchtower on a 365 m-high precipice became the romantic pavilion from which Roopmati would gaze at the Narmada and Baz Bahadur’s Palace. Work your way north from here to Mandu’s other sites, including the stunning Malwa Fort, preferably with a guide. Overnight at Malwa Retreat, Mandu.

Day 2 MAHESHWAR

Abhinandita Mathur
The intricately carved arched doorway from Ahilyeshwar Temple leads to the famous Narmada ghats of Maheshwar
The intricately carved arched doorway from Ahilyeshwar Temple leads to the famous
Narmada ghats of Maheshwar

Located on the banks of the Narmada, Maheshwar is the ideal spot to witness how this river shapes the region’s cultural and spiritual landscape. The devout start their day early with a holy dip and a prayer. Others come for brisk walks and yoga. Women wash clothes at the ghats, while boats ferry people across the riverbanks. The clatter of looms melds into the tinkle of bells of the evening arti. Wash, rinse, repeat: the cycle continues. Stay at Ahilya Fort if you can afford it, or at the economic, and quaint, Labboo’z in the fort’s entrance gateway.

Day 3 OMKARESHWAR

Omkareshwar is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India that beckon pilgrims from far and wide. It is situated on the island of Omkar Mandhata on the Narmada. On its two banks are the ancient temples of Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar, accessible by bridges or boat. Watch kids take a plunge from the banks, and collect sacred water (tirtha) emerging from the mouth of a Nandi at Gomukh Ghat. Overnight at Narmada Resort.

Day 4 OMKARESHWAR/INDORE

Abhinandita Mathur
Locals take a break in the shade of Maharani Krishnabai Holkar's beautiful chhatri in Indore, located at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Khan rivers
Locals take a break in the shade of Maharani Krishnabai Holkar’s beautiful chhatri in
Indore, located at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Khan rivers

Make the time to walk the panch kosi parikrama, a 6 km/3 hr circumambulatory path around Mandhata Island at Omkareshwar. It passes various shrines like the Lete hue Hanumanji, as well as the Triveni Sangam (confluence of the Kaveri and Narmada). Alternatively, do the half-parikrama and cover just the Gauri Somnath Temple. Sample local pedas or bhang lassi at a stall near Jadam Gurjar Dharamshala, or stop for lunch at Hotel Gopal Midway, just before the Mortakka Bridge. Pay your respects to Narmadaji, before returning to Indore. 

THE INFORMATION

Where to Stay

MANDU

Malwa Retreat
Address: Main Road, Mandav.
Tel: 07292-263221
Email: meretreatm@mptourism.com
Website: www.mptourism.com
Tariff: ₹4,290 AC rooms (plus 12% GST); ₹2,990 AC tent (plus 18% GST); ₹1,590 non-AC room; includes buffet breakfast.

 MAHESHWAR
Ahilya Fort
Address: Ahilya Wada, Maheshwar.
Tel: 011-41551575
Website: www.ahilyafort.com

 Labboo’z Café & Lodge
Address: The Gatehouse, Outside Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar.
Tel: +91 77710 04818, 77710 04811
Tariff: ₹1,900
Café hours: 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

OMKARESHWAR

Narmada Resort
Address: Mortakka Omkareswar Road, Khandwa Dist, Omkareshwar.
Tel: +91 72802 71455
Tariff: ₹3,528 AC room

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