Maheshwari saris originate in the town of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh, which is where their name comes from. These saris were first commissioned by Rani Ahilya Bhai Holkar, who wanted exclusive saris to bestow upon visiting dignitaries and guests to the palace. After becoming popular among the aristocrats, it became well known among the common folk as well.
After a decline in the 1970’s, the Rehwa society was founded in order to revive this ancient craft. Today Maheswari sarees are sought after and even exported to Europe.
There are numerous reasons why they are considered exotic and beautiful. Being light and airy, made primarily of cotton and silk, they are perfect to wear in tropical regions. They are characterized by the reversible border, or bugdi, which allows the sari to be worn on both sides. With unique pallus, which have five stripes along the width, and leaves and flowers on the border known as karnphool, these saris truly are one of a kind.