Our History


Ahilya Fort, in the central Indian town of Maheshwar, sits high above the sacred river Narmada. Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar ruled here from 1765 to 1796 and built Ahilya Wada, her personal residences, offices, and darbaar audience hall, within the fort.

In the year 2000, Prince Richard Holkar, her descendant and son of the last Maharaja of Indore, converted his home in Ahilya Wada into a guest residence, today known around the world as the Ahilya Fort Hotel.

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The Property

The Ahilya Fort Hotel has 19 rooms of character, set in six buildings of the 18th century, with modern amenities and comforts. Guests stroll through 3 acres of courtyards, fountains, and gardens that link areas within the Wada. It is easy to find a secluded spot to read a book, sip some tea, or just watch the butterflies flutter by.
NB: Many of our rooms are accessed via a flight of 10-15 steps, however ground floor rooms are available on request.

The hotel is well located to explore the highlights of Maheshwar, including its bustling village markets and riverside complex of temples and cenotaphs.

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Think of your dining experience as eating in the home of your host, Prince Richard Holkar.

Ahilya Fort has no restaurant, nor a menu with many choices. For your dining pleasure, Prince Richard creates every day’s fixed menu, with many dishes taken from his internationally famous cookbook, Cooking of the Maharajas. Our teams are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions or allergies.

The meal choices may be fixed, but dining locations are not! We will be serving you at various surprise spots throughout the Fort.

The day begins with breakfast on the mandap sitout overlooking the Narmada below or in our garden cottage. Lunch is generally a light western fare prepared with produce gathered that morning from our organic house garden and farm. In the evening, guests are invited to the mandap for refreshments followed by a traditional thaali dinner of regional specialties and dishes ‘with a Holkar twist’.

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The Gardens

The hotel’s gardens, designed and planted by Prince Richard, are spread throughout the property. The organic bageecha, or vegetable garden, provides the kitchen with seasonal salads, veggies, and herbs, picked fresh each day. In one corner is our menagerie, where children love to play with the bunnies, ducks, and goats, as well as our grumble of Royal Pugs.

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Pool & Facilities

Our large pool is nestled within a walled garden and works equally well for some vigorous laps or just wallowing about. Guests can lounge poolside in the shade of a lemon tree or sizzle in the Nimar sun, as they wish. Steps from the pool is the petanque court, where the game is played with 18th century cannon balls. Our massage treatment room is situated in the Lingaarchan area where guests enjoy the traditional nimadi massage.


For the Little Ones

Indulge your little ones in memorable outdoor experiences at Baccha Bagh or with our beloved pets at the enchanting menagerie.

Introduce them to Maheshwar’s wonderful craft traditions and history through our specially curated children’s activities. Our teachers at the Ahilya School will lead sessions in arts and crafts, storytelling, and organic gardening.


Body & Soul

Our Body & Soul offerings are designed to help relax and recenter. Our local masseurs are experts at village style Nimaadi Maalish and also have basic training in deep tissue and river stone massage. Sunrise yoga on the ramparts or a sound healing session with our resident Yogini is also not to be missed.

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Rajwada, Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, MP - 451224



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