For 250 years our family have been patrons of the people, culture, and natural environment of Maheshwar.  Sharing this history and culture with our guests is an important part of why we established the Ahilya Fort Heritage Hotel, and we invite you to explore and experience it for yourself.

Highlights of this are our school, REHWA society the handloom NGO, our solar panels which power 65% of the hotel, and our bee keeping program which pollinates our gardens with 13 boxes of tiny stingless bees.

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The Ahilya Bal Jyoti School

The Ahilya Bal Jyoti School was set up in 1989 as a means to educate the children of those weaving at REHWA Society. Through a grant from the German aid organisation BORDA, the dream which REHWA had finally become a reality. The school started with just two teachers and 60 pupils.

The Ahilya School now provides high quality, low cost education to over 250 students from nursery to the 8th class. With 16 teachers, as well as cooks and caretakers, the weavers’ children and the poorest children in Maheshwar get a brilliant education and balanced nutritional support.


The Restoration Of Ahilyeshwar Chattri

Maheshwar has numerous beautiful and historically important structures, which together create a location and ambience that is unique in India. Many of the important temples, chhatris, courtyards, and ghats are over 200 years old and in need of careful restoration and conservation. Over the years the Ahilya Fort Hotel has restored a number of important sites within the Fort, including Ahilyabai’s gaadi darbaar, or hall of audience.


Masaheb’s Paalki

Devi Ahilyabai Holkar, or Masaheb as she is affectionately known, was a devout and deeply spiritual worshiper of Lord Shiva. She went by palanquin to offer daily prayers in the numerous shiva temples in town, and performed aarti on the banks of the Narmada every evening. Honoring her devotion, every Monday her descendents take Ahilyabai’s portrait in procession to these temples to figuratively pay her respects.


Lingaarchan 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. Here you can watch 11 Brahmins painstakingly making thousands of shivalings out of river soil, which culminates in a puja to seek blessings for all inhabitants of the Holkar State.


The Holkar Cultural Center

Established in November of 2020, the Holkar CulturalcCenter (HCC) is an initiative by the Holkar Family to preserve and promote the rich history, culture, and built heritage of the Devi Ahilyabai and the Royal Holkars of Indore. The HCC will focus its efforts in three areas: research & documentation; communication & publication; and creating an enriching visitor’s experience in Maheshwar.

You can find the HCC on social media @HolkarCulturalCenter.


Going Organic

Organic, sustainable, fresh produce makes a world of difference and a difference to the world. We’ve been following sustainable methods for over two decades, using drip irrigation, water harvesting, vermiculture, composting, biodynamic fertilizer, and ofcourse, being totally chemical free.


Water, Water, Everywhere

The Ahilya Fort Hotel is a waste water free property. Ask the team about our rather beautiful, flower based DEWATS system, which cleans all hotel effluent for onward use in watering our garden. We encourage plastic-free drinking water and recycle used glass bottles into our patent pending “Bottle Walls”.

We also use natural mosquito spray, recycled oils in our diyas, and avoid disposable toiletries in the rooms.


Bee Program

Happy, healthy bees are a vital part of any ecological system. The ten boxes of apis trigona stingless bees are a very welcome addition to the gardening team and are doing wonders for our orchards and gardens. Not only do they provide a bit of “holy honey”, successful bee hives can increase agricultural yield by 30-60%. If interested in learning about apiculture, please enquire with the front desk and our beekeepers would be delighted to introduce you to the fascinating world of bees.





Rajwada, Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, MP - 451224




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