Maheshwar was a glorious city at the dawn of Indian civilization when it was Mahishmati, capital of king Kartivarjun. This temple town on the banks of the river Narmada finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Revived to its ancient position of importance by the Holkar queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Maheshwar's temples and mighty fort-complex stand in quiet beauty, mirrored in the river below. Today, Maheshwar is also known for its distinctive handwoven sarees called Maheshwari exquisitely woven ‘Maheshwari’ sarees.

A historic temple town situated at the banks of the beautiful Narmada river, Maheswar in Madhya Pradesh is over flowing with its past glory. Found its mention in the epics, this historic city was the capital of the great king Kartivarjun and its old name was Mahishmati. The literal meaning of the term Maheshwar means abode of Lord Mahesh, which shows this temple city’s close connection with the Lord Shiva.

A glorious city from a very old time, Maheshwar's temples and massive fort-complex presents an unusual charm of architectural grandeur. The carved pendant balconies with elevated spires and the intricately worked doorways give a discerning look to the temples of Maheshwar.
Maheshwar town is built on the site of the ancient city of Somvanshya Shastrarjun Kshatriya, and was the capital of king Kartavirya Arjuna,(Shree Shastrarjun) who is mentioned in the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Maheshwar was known as Mahissati (Mahishamati in Sanskrit) in ancient times and was the capital of Southern Avanti. Maheshwar on the banks of the Narmada was capital of King Sahasrarjun. One day the King and his 500 wives went to the river for a picnic. When the wives wanted a vast play area, the King stopped the mighty river Narmada with his 1000 arms. While they were all enjoying themselves, Ravana flew by in his Pushpak Vimana. Downstream, when he saw the dry river bed, he thought it was an ideal place to pray to Lord Shiva. He made a shivalinga out of sand and began to pray. When Sahasrajuna’s wives were done and they stepped out of the river bed, he let the waters flow. The voluminous river flowed down sweeping Ravana’s shivalinga along, messing up his prayers. Furious, Ravana tracked Sahasrajuna and challenged him. Armed to the hilt the mighty Ravana was in for a huge surprise. The mighty Sahasrarjuna with the 1000 arms pinned Ravana to the ground. Then he placed 10 lamps on his heads and one on his hand. After tying up Ravana, Sahasrarjuna dragged him home and tied him up to the cradle pole of his son. A humiliated Ravana stayed prisoner until his release was secured.