Spent 3 of my 4 weeks in India at Ahilya Fort. Never wanted for a thing. Staff was ready to take care of my every wish. Huntabai was always accessible & is just a wonderful woman. Staff doesn't stand over & coddle you all the times. However, they ARE there at your beck & call.
The lunch packed for our trip to Mandu was great & enough for our driver/guide (Manoj is the best!) & we gave what we couldn't eat to local folks. This is all-inclusive: great food (a 2nd cookbook is in the works by Richard Holkar), drinks, river "rapids" trips, moonlight cocktail parties on boats with a bar/appetizer boat or two along with a boat with musicians to an island where dinner is served in the most amazingly beautiful way, car trips, massages... what more can one ask for.
The Rehwa Society will take you on a tour to see how they dye fabric & through the weaving rooms to watch weavers on their looms making the most gorgeous of fabrics. You can buy fabric & have the Fort's on-staff tailor make something for you too. Linens, scarves, saris, etc. are available at the store where all the money goes to help the weavers & their families. This goes to run the on-site school & also provides medical & helps with housing for the weavers & their families. The Holkar family has always been most benevolent.
Be aware that there will be the sound of women washing clothes, people bathing, people praying aloud & playing music on the ghats of the sacred Narmada River below the Fort. The Fort also houses a Temple honoring Ahilya Bai Holkar who had the Fort built in the 1700's & ceremonies are aplenty in her honor.
By the way, I'm a dog lover from the word "GO", & since I missed my own dogs, it was great having the Fort dogs around. I NEVER heard them bark once, but they were always ready for a belly rub or a pat.
So, if you want to relax & enjoy, not to mention meet new & very interesting people from all over the world (when I was there, the Granddaughter of the last King of Afghanistan was at the Fort, a member of Parliament, etc. & Sting & his wife arrived two weeks after I left!), then this is the place to go. If you want to dance at clubs all night, stay at home. Lovely property! Richard Holkar has done wonders & continues to do so.
- Also Known As:
- Ahilya Fort Hotel Maheshwar
- Ahilya Fort Hotel
- Ahilya Fort Madhya Pradesh
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The majestic 250 years old Ahilya Fort sits on the edge of a cliff, high above the sacred Narmada River, surrounded by the beautiful and unexploited town of Maheshwar. The views over the river and ghats are exceptional. Replete with myths and legend, Ahilya Fort offers guests a rare chance to get off the tourist trail and an abundance of things to see and do. With the fabulous, deserted city of Mandu nearby and the famed island temple of Omkareshwar even closer, this is a place at which to spend time and relax but from which you can also explore the area, undisturbed by the other tourists – a stroll down through the town to the ghats is a must. The food is delicious and it’s all-inclusive so, once here, you pay for nothing – be it food, excursions or e-mail! The pool is lovely; terraces and shady areas abound; meals are taken in different areas of the fort; the charming rooms and tents have superb views, balconies & gardens; the weaving center here is famous nationwide. A boat trip at sundown is something you will never forget. Truly a memorable place where you could spend days or weeks!There are 10 bedrooms scattered around the premises and the rates include full board and all excursions. It is the most perfect base for visiting Mandu (1 hour away) and is just a 2-hour drive from Indore. It makes the perfect place to end or start a holiday, as there is so much to do. From here you may also visit Dhar, Baneshwar and Omkareshwar. Being a gourmet himself, your host Prince Richard Holkar has the highest standards and the food here is delicious. Staying here is like a time wrap as the village is still enclosed within the fort itself and is truly wonderful to explore in your own time. ... more less