Omkareshwar – The Divine Abode of Shiva
Omkareshwar is a holy place in Madhya Pradesh and home to one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Located at the confluence of Kaveri and Narmada rivers, the temple is situated on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri. This island is in the shape of the ‘Om’ symbol which is synonymous with Hinduism.
The Jyotirlinga here is split into two lingams-Omkareshwar and Amaleshwar. The temple is located at a distance of 20 km from Mortakka. Some of the interesting facts related to the temple are mentioned below for your reference-
According to a myth, when Narad visited Shiva in the Vindhya mountains, he was enraged on knowing that Shiva had no place to stay. The god of the mountains said that he would make a home for Shiva which would be dedicated to him. Shiva was delighted to hear this.
This holy place is bordered on all sides by mountains which enhances its beauty to a great extent. If you intend to do a parikrama around the island then you will get a deep sense of serenity in your mind.
There is another legend which connects the temple with the king Mandhata who worshipped Shiva here. Shiva appeared before him in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
According to the third legend related to Omkareshwar, there was once a war between the gods and demons. The gods were on the brink of defeat and prayed to Shiva to rescue them. Shiva emerged before them in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and ensured their victory.
Shri Adi Shankara is said to have met his Guru Shri Govindpada at this place.
The prominent white shikhara of the temple soars high and is pretty new addition among the building which are located to the south of the island. Beneath it are ornate pillars in the assembly hall(mandapa)which stand testimony to the antiquity of the temple.
Best Time To Visit Omkareshwar
The best time to visit Omkareshwar is during the time of Magha (February-March) when Mahashivratri is celebrated here.
Attractions close to Omkareshwar
Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple is located on a 1 mile long, half mile wide island formed on Narmada’s fork. Made from soft stone, it has a pliable surface with detailed work.
The frieze figures on the upper section are eye-catching. The stone roof of the temple is intricately carved. Verandahs encircle the shrine and have columns that are carved in polygons, squares and circles.
The Siddhanath Temple is the perfect example of early Bramhinic architecture. It has a frieze of elephants which are carved upon a stone slab on the outer perimeter. Another major attraction close to Omkareshwar are the Satmatrika Temples.
This group of temples was built in the 10 th century. The Kajal Rani Cave, situated at a distance of 9 km from Omkareshwar is a place of great scenic beauty.
The undulating landscape of the place attracts a lot of visitors. 24 Avtars is a cluster of Hindu and Jain temples. Though they were damaged by Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century, the temples have to a great extent remained intact.