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Khargone, Maheshwar Overview

Situated on the banks of Kunda River, Khargone is the 24th biggest city in Madhya Pradesh. The town is a home to principal administrative offices including the police, Collectorate, telecom and other government organisations. This city is full of vibrant people and cultures. Cotton and Chilly Pepper production bring tonnes of fame to Khargone. Apart from cotton and chillies, the place is famous for Navgraha Mandir, a temple which is devoted to the nav grahas or the nine planets, Ahilya Fort, Rinmukteshwar Mahadev Temple, Sahastra Dhara, and last but not the least Pandrinath temple. In the ancient times, the city served as the capital for Malwas during the Maratha Holkar reign.

Visiting Khargone during the festive season will make you enjoy its beauty to the fullest. The flamboyancy of Shree Navgrah Mela (January-February), Nimar Utsav (November), Shiv Dola (August), and Gangaur (March-April) will add seven stars to your trip to Khargone. These festivals paint a beautiful picture of the culture that the locals possess. Hence travelling to the monuments and cotton fields gets more interesting when festive vibes are all over the city.

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History of Khargone

Khargone gets its name from 'Nimar' which is derived from the word "Nimarya", meaning a land which belongs to both Aryas and the non-Aryas. It also means a place highly populated with Neem trees. The district has a long history. In ancient period, the Haihayas of Mahishmati (present-day Maheshwar) ruled this region. In early medieval age, the area was under the Paramaras of Malwa and the Ahirs of Asirgarh. In the late medieval era, it belonged to Malwa Sultanate of Mandu.

In 1531, Gujarat sultan Bahadur Shah brought this area under his control. In 1562, Akbar annexed this territory along with the whole Malwa to Mughal empire. In 1740 Marathas under the Peshwa brought the area under their control. The area has been under the control of different kingdoms at different points of towns such as Haihayas of Maheshwar, Ahirs of Asirgarh, Parmar of Malwa, Muslims of Mandav, Mughals, Peshwa and Marathas. The district came to be known as West Nimar after Madhya Pradesh was formed on 1 November 1956.

Attractions of Khargone

Here are a few places which you must visit in Khargone-

1. Sahastradhara: Ideal for boating and spending some time in tranquillity, Sahastra Dhara is a fantastic place. It is best visited in the morning when the air is all fresh, and beauty is at its peak. Narmada river after hitting rocks and rising from deep river beds turns into thousand streams at this point.

2. Navgrah Mandir: Situated near the Kundi River the temple is known as the "Town of Nine Planets." It is a place of high importance in the city. Moreover, the temple is a host to Navgrah Mela that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. The locals believe that this temple consists of Lord Brahma in the form of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Murarai in the form of Shri Ram Tripurantkari. They have strong beliefs attached to the holy place. 

3. Ahilya Fort: Reflecting the strong history of the place, Ahilya Fort stands on the banks of Narmada River. Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar established the foundation of Ahilya Wada. In the year 2000, Maharaja Richard Holkar, her descendant converted his Wada into a guest residence. Today Ahilya Fort serves as the most elegant hotels in Madhya Pradesh. 

4. Rin Mukteshwar Temple: Absolving the sins and debts of its devotees the temple holds a significant position. People all around the year pay a visit to the shrine to free themselves from all their pains and sufferings. It is believed that offering gram pulses to the temple deity brings good luck which recovers all your debts.

5. Kashi Vishwanath Temple: The sacred grounds of Khargone are a homeland to Kashi Vishwanath temple which is a smaller version of the one situated in Varanasi. Ahilya Bai built this temple in 1780 during her reign. According to her, this replica would also help similarly earn the devotees Punya as travelling to Varanasi would. The mandapa of the temple is exquisitely carved with Nani bull. 

6. Santoshi Mata Temple: Situated 7 km towards south from the city is the ancient Santoshi Maa temple. A beautiful waterfall near the temple adds to its prestigious location. Small drive to the place is always refreshing as the way to temple offers many picturesque locations.

Festivals in Khargone

Khargone is a place centred with divinity. The lands here are mainly devoted to Gods. This belief in sanctity has given birth to certain festivals that are celebrated with sheer enthusiasm. The place enjoys joyous vibes throughout the year hence visiting here when the festive mode is on is a great decision. Here is a list of some famous festivals of Khargone. Celebrations here are a blend of modern upsprings and traditional customs.

1. Shree Navgrah Mela (January and February) 
It is an annual fair held for some 20 to 25 days. The Mela is organised at the Mela Grounds near the banks of river Kunda where the famous Navagraha temple finds itself. The fair is full of fantastic events such as circus, enjoyable rides, and moving theatres. From a child to a fully grown up adult everyone enjoys being here. It brings forward the true cultural colours of Khargone. 
There is a huge market with more than hundred stalls offering a huge variety of goods. The food here is beyond any description. It provides dishes belonging to multiple cuisines. After all who doesn't like going gaga over the yummy food.
Furthermore, a separate cattle and livestock market is also organised where people of different villages gather to exchange or sell their bulls, cows, camels, etc.

2. Nimar Utsav (November)
Organised by the state government of Madhya Pradesh, the event takes place near the banks of Narmada River. It is held during the eve of Kartik Purnima. The three-day programme is full of dancing, singing, boating, canoeing, and dramatic zeal. Maheshwar a small town in Khargone which is the venue for this event. Every festival here is celebrated with immense dedication to the almighty. 

3. Shiv Dola (August)
A vast procession dedicated to Lord Shiva is taken out in the city during the second day of Baisakh month. Around 2-3 lakh people are a part of this massive festival. People dance to the tunes of Lord Shiva's songs. Best DJs are hired so that more enthusiasm could be added in the spirits of the devotees. It is one of the biggest festivals to be celebrated in Madhya Pradesh. Gulal and flowers are showered upon the people present in the jaloos. Many schools and colleges also take part in this procession to showcase their talent in dancing, singing, and martial arts.

4. Gangaur (March-April)
A 15-16 day long festival, Gangaur is the most important festival of the people of Rajasthan which is celebrated in some parts of Madhya Pradesh as well. The people of Nimar celebrate the colourful festival with sheer devotion in which women pray to Goddess Gauri, the wife of Lord Shiva. The unmarried women pray for a good husband whereas the ones who are married pray for the well being of their married life. It is a celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity.

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