Narmada is one of the seven holy rivers of India, which is said to have the power to cleanse the sins of the people who visit it. Human settlements thrived at these banks believing that the river will keep their lives pure and sustain life. Maheshwar is a town situated on the right bank of the river Narmada and is one of those places in the world known for its glorious past, artistic present and timeless sacredness.
Today Maheshwari sarees are recognised by its site of production Maheshwar that has gained its own unique identity shaped by its rich culture and sacred charm.
and religion, so that art and crafts flourished in this environment of nurturance. Due course the weavers developed an unique style of weaving combining the styles practiced in Maharashtra and motifs inspired by the rich environment around them.
The airyness and transparency of Maheshwari weaving, is a reflection of the delicate first rays of sun that touch the steps of the ghats by the Narmada. The first bathers in Maheshwar arrive to the banks of the river to take a dip and perform their morning rituals. Some devout bathers even stop to worship the innumerable banalingas on the ghats, by pouring water, offering flowers and performing a small puja to these Swayambhu Lingas.
As the Sun moves up the zenith, the town slowly comes to life accompanied by the rhythm of the looms busily weaving wonders in silkcotton. The weavers, who once wove plain sober sarees and turban materials, today weave dupattas, dress materials, sarees of all kinds and styles, Kurta materials and bed linens. Handwoven Maheshwaris represent today the living heritage of this magical place and continue to grace traditional fashion.
As the sun slowly dips down the horizon, the mysterious quality of the city returns. People gather on the riverbank to worship the river. Some just set afloat a humble lamp on a leaf cup, while others perform an elaborate aarti with bhajans to mark their respect to their sustainer and protector.