Central India, India
At a Glance
Offers 13 unique rooms located in six 18th century buildings
Indian and International food
In-resort bakery and vegetable garden
River trips in a traditional wooden boats can be arranged
Internet/computer room, library, massage room
In-house tailor can copy your favorite blouse overnight in a stunning Maheshwari fabric
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Generally pleasant October to March although Madhya Pradesh does get cold over the winter months (January and February). The monsoon is hot, yet it is a dramatic time to see the Narmada River as it should be! Each year in February The Ahilya Fort presents the Sacred River, a celebration of the Narmada, three days of music, dance, and song in the Fort’s courtyard.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Ahilya Fort or take a look at our itineraries to Central India
Ahilya Fort is a delightful 18th century heritage property located on a cliff above the banks of the Narmada river in Maheshwar and is a perfect retreat for those wanting an authentic experience away from main tourist areas.
Rising up from the Narmada River, Ahilya Fort is the perfect location for a few days away from it all. Built in the 18th century by Ahilya Bai Holkar, the fort has been lovingly transformed into a boutique heritage retreat.
Your host is Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar who makes sure your visit is magical. The food is exceptional – with organic ingredients used from the garden. You can even learn the tricks to making wonderful Indian cuisine. The Chef produces delicious continental and Indian food. There is no formal dining room. A la carte breakfast is 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. Maheshwar is an all inclusive hotel so all meals, soft drinks, beverages of all kinds, and snacks are included, along with boating and all local excursions.
There is one suite with separate sitting room and a spacious balcony overlooking the temples and the river, seven superior rooms with either balcony or river view, four standard rooms and two luxurious tents with spectacular river views set in a private garden. The rooms are prettily furnished in neutral, natural fabrics.
This untouched corner of India has a plethora of things to do and see including the city of Mandu or the island temple of Omkareshwar. You can take a boat out on the river at sunset for a memorable and unforgettable experience. Ahilya Fort is a place where guests return time and time again, and everyone leaves with a heavy heart.
Ahilya Fort can now be easily accessed from Rajasthan or a finale to visiting the tiger circuits in Madhya Pradesh. The experience is everything, and by going there you will justly rewarded.
The Ahilya Fort offers two Regal Suites with private balcony, eight Princely Rooms, two Standard Rooms and two air-cooled tents. All Princely and Regal rooms have air-conditioning. Suites feature a separate sitting room and a spacious balcony. All rooms have plenty of hot water provided by the geyser, overhead fans, air coolers and tea and coffee making machines, safe, mini fridge, and an en-suite bathroom. The Regal suites boast fantastic views over the river and the Maharajah or Regal tent features its own private garden and plunge pool.
Children of all ages are welcome at Ahilya Fort. There is a baby sitting service available and interconnecting rooms can be booked. Please note that this is still a Heritage Hotel.
Facilities at Ahilya Fort include a large swimming pool (60ft x 30ft), traditional Nimad massages, sitting room with TV, wifi, and a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisines. A table D’hôte menu is offered but a la carte is also available for anyone with specific requests. The Chef produces delicious
continental and Indian food. There is no formal dining room. Breakfast tends to be a buffet 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 so all meals, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and all snacks are included, along with all
excursions. Excluding imported alcohol.
Cultural activities include visits to the historic, deserted city of Mandu, the fort at Dhar, the island temple of Omkareshwar, walks around the walled city of Maheshwar and the ghats, visits to the local handloom houses, the city of Indore and swimming in the river at the Thousand Waterfalls. Other activities include boat trips to the Baneshwar Temple in the middle of the river and birdwatching.
Emma Neale (Staff)
For me, staying at Ahilya has been one of my most touching Indian experience. Not only does staying at the fort feel like you have been immersed into a family, it is also a great opportunity to calmly explore a part of India that feels untouched by international influences. I really loved the excitement of all the people we met when walking along the ghats, watching people swim in the holy waters and join in devotional ceremonies. It felt like a much calmer and smaller Varanasi!
Location & directions
Central India, India
Ahilya Fort overlooks the sacred Narmada River in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh. Maheshwar is a sacred Hindu place, emphasised by the many small temples set within the fort walls.