|Elevation||367 m (1,204 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Origin of the name
It is said that when Shiva was carrying the body of the dead mother goddess (Mai in Hindi) Sati, her necklace (har in Hindi) fell at this place and hence the name 'Maihar' (Maihar = Mai+Har, meaning the 'necklace of mother').
Maihar's history can be traced to the Paleolithic Age. The town was formerly the capital of the princely state of Maihar. The state was established in 1778 by Rajputs of the Kachwaha clan, who were granted land by the ruler of the nearby state of Orchha. The state became a princely state of British India in the early 19th century, and was administered as part of Bundelkhand Agency in the Central India Agency. In 1871 the eastern states of Bundelkhand Agency, including Maihar, were separated to form the new agency of Bagelkhand in Central India. In 1933 Maihar, along with ten other states in western Bagelkhand, were transferred back to the Bundelkhand Agency. The state had an area of 407 square miles (1,050 km2), and a population of 63,702 in 1901. The state, which was watered by the Tamas River, consists mainly of alluvial soil covering sandstone, and is fertile except in the hilly district of the south. A large area was under forest, the produce of which provided a small export trade. The title of the ruler was maharaja. The state suffered severely from famine in 1896–1897. Maihar became a station on the East Indian Railway (now the West Central Railway) line between Satna and Jabalpur, 97 miles (156 km) north of Jabalpur. Extensive ruins of shrines and other buildings surround the town.
Maihar is located at  It has an average elevation of 367 metres (1204 ft)..
According to the locals of Maihar, the warriors Alha and Udal, who had war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that they are the first ones to visit the goddess in this remote forest. They called the mother goddess by the name 'Sharda Mai', and henceforth she became popular as 'Mata Sharda Mai'. Alha worshiped for 12 years and got the amaratva with the blessings of Sharda Devi. Behind the temple and downhill is Alha Pond. At a distance of 2 km from this pond is situated an 'akhara' (wrestling ring) where Alha and Udal used to practice kushti (wrestling). The people of Maihar believe that Alha is still alive and comes at 4 am in the morning to worship the Goddess Sharda.
As of the 2001[update] India census, Maihar had a population of 34,347. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Maihar reported an average literacy rate of 64%, with male literacy at 72%, and female literacy at 56%. In Maihar, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Maihar is placed quite well as far as connectivity is concerned. It is connected via both major rail routes and National Highway 7. The Mahakoshal Express provides a daily direct connection from Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin station. The Mahakoshal train runs between Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Jabalpur station which is situated about 722 kilometres (449 mi) past Maihar. Maihar Railway Station is situated in between Katni and Satna stations of the West Central Railway. During the Nav Ratra festivals there is a heavy rush of pilgims. Therefore during these days all UP and DOWN trains stop at Maihar for the convenience of passengers. The nearest airports are Jabalpur and Khajuraho.
There is a 3.1 mn tn cement factory near Maihar (Maihar Cement Factory) which provides an industrial touch to the holy place. The factory complex and the township are situated at Sarlanagar about 8 km away from Maihar town on the Maihar-Dhanwahi Road. Two new cement factories, KJS Cement and Reliance Cement, are also setting up their cement factories here.
NTPC, the power giant of India, is setting up a thermal plant at Barethi in Maihar district in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh.
Maihar has a prominent place in Indian classical music as the birthplace of the Maihar Gharana, a gharana (school or style) of Hindustani music. The greatest doyen of Indian classical music, Ustad Allauddin Khan (died 1972) lived here for a long time and was the court musician of Maihar Maharaja's palace. His students popularised the style in the 20th century. The first Ustad Allauddin Khan music conference was held by Shri Deep Chand Jain in 1962.
- Maihar Darshan Guide (Ed. Laxmi Prasad Soni), Vidyasagar Book Stall, Satna, p. 5
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Maihar
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Maihar Cement, a BK Birla Group of Companies