Rehabar Handloom – Saree Weavers in India

Origin of Maheshwari Sarees | INTRODUCTION & HISTORY

Origin of Maheshwari Sarees | Introduction & History

“Sarees are like Indian women – so versatile. From business meetings to first nights, from political speeches to red carpets, from college farewells to Indian kitchens, they truly have many avatars…”

Storyline Behind Maheshwari Sarees

Saree is the 9-yard language of three generations of a Grandmother, Mother and Granddaughter with different words but…same meaning.

It was the early 90’s as I vividly remember it. I used to be a tiny cute nuisance jumping around in every corner of the house. And my all cognizant mother, when she would come to cease my galactic attack on her household items, I would run and hug her. I would hit my hands on her saree and an astounding paper crushing sound would emerge which amused me to infinity and beyond. At that time she used to wear a paper silk saree because my father liked them. You see, enigmatic relationships are based upon enigmatic choices under enigmatic circumstances which is a chain reaction beget enigmatic actions drawing enigmatic conclusions more of like this enigmatic analogy and its equally enigmatic purpose.

Speaking of sarees, every Indian man would concur on this that saree brings out the best of Indian women and one of the best sarees coming from our rich Indian culture is Maheshwari Sarees, which is one of the best sellers in both national and international markets.


Maheshwari saree comes from Maheshwar, a city in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.

The history of the origin of Maheshwari Sarees goes back to the 5th century. It is when the city on the banks of the river Narmada, Maheshwar, used to be the capital of the Malwa during the Maratha Holkar reign till January 1818.

Royals have royal tastes and I wonder if anyone in the world could beat Indian royals in that. Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar wanted to design an exclusive saree that she could gift to the special visitors. She assembled a special team of craftsmen from Surat and Malwa to design Maheshwari Saree. That is not all; the first saree was made by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar herself. That made it a huge hit in the royal circle. To conclude, Maheshwari Saree developed a cult and soon these sarees became a must-have for every woman.

Emergence Origin of Maheswari Sarees
Garbh Reshmi Checks Sari with broad Border and Extra Weft Jaala Palla
Emergence Origin of Maheswari Sarees
Pink Handwoven Tissue Maheshwari Saree

Currently, Maheshwari sarees are weaved by looms with lightweight metal frames. The fabric used in the saree is dyed with naturally extracted colours. The zari and kinari were used to enhance the richness of this weave. More than often, weavers also used gold or silver threads and gemstones to make the saree come alive.

Women’s love for Maheshwari Sarees

What women often love about Maheshwari Saree is its glossy finish and lightweight fabric. Most sarees are available in only silk and cotton. But the Maheshwari saree is one of those few sarees which is available in wool. Another significant feature of Maheshwari Saree is the pallu. The pallu is in bright colours like magenta, pink, green, mauve, violet and maroon.

Women's love for Maheshwari Sarees
Lemon Yellow & Sky Blue Maheshwari Handwoven Saree with a special texture and Contrast Borders
Women's love for Maheshwari Sarees
Maheshwari Handwoven checks Sari with Traditional Mohini Gold Zari Borders

Colours bring out the essence of vision beneath. In its early life cycle, Maheshwari sarees were woven in earthy shades like maroon, red, green, purple and black but today you can find them in popular colours like shades of blue, mauve, pink, yellow and orange, mixed with gold or silver thread.

Famous Forms of Maheshwari Sarees

There are five popular forms of Maheshwari Sarees- Chandrakala, Baingani Chandrakala, Chandratara, Beli and Parbi. While the Chandrakala and Baingani Chandrakala are plain sarees, Chandratara, Beli and Parbi indicate stripes or checks.

Before you march ahead to get yourself one of these beauties but keep in mind a few points to check whether or not you are buying original stuff –

  1. The characteristics of these sarees are a narrow colour border embellishment with zari, and small checks, narrow stripes, or solid colour in the body.
  2. The speciality of Maheshwari sarees is its reversible border, also famous as bugdi, which ladies can wear on both sides.
  3. These sarees have embellishment with leaves and flowers on the border, in karnphool pattern.
  4. These sarees are famous for their unique pallus which are of five stripes, three colours and two white alternating, running along its width.


So this was all about the storyline and the origination of Maheshwari sarees. We hope that this blog helped you understand the origin of Maheshwari sarees.