Omkareshwar is a pilgrimage center for Hindus housing one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, situated on Mandhata islands in river Narmada.
One of the most sacred towns situated in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar resembles the shape of the “Hindu Om symbol“. The town of Omkareshwar consists of two ancient shrines- one is Omkareshwar and the other is Amarkareshwar. The holy town is situated on the meeting point of two rivers- Narmada and Kaveri and is a must-visit for all Lord Shiva devotees and tourists alike. This meeting between two of the most prominent rivers of India leaves the island in the shape of Hindu symbol Om which is one of the most revered symbols by Hindus. The whole area is bounded by mountains and it makes for a very beautiful view. A Parikrama around the island is considered to be very religious and the view around the island is also serene and relaxing. Kedareshwar temple is also a must-visit for all tourists here.
In the medieval period Mandhata Omkareshwar was ruled by the aboriginal Bhil chieftains under the suzerainty of the ‘Parmars of Dhar‘, the sultans of Malwa , the Scindia of Gwalior , who in turn handed over Mandhata to the British in 1824. The last Bhil chieftain Natthu Bhil fell out with Daryao Gosai a powerful priest of the place. The latter approached the king of Jaipur to set right Natthu Bhil .
The king sent his brother Bharatsingh Chauhan , then Subedar of Jhalarapatan on the border of Malwa . Finally the entire tussle ended with the marriage of Bharatsingh and the only daughter of Natthu Bhil . Bharatsingh along with some of Rajput associates who also married other Bhil girls settled in Mandhata in 1165 A.D. Their progeny is called Bhilalas . Bharatsingh’s descendants ruled Omkareshwar sinch then. During the British rule the Rajas (Officiallly known as Raos) had Mandhata Omkareshwar as their Jagir rights, all abolished now. Baratsingh’s direct descendants are called Rajputs.
Places to Visit
One of the holiest shrines in the whole of India, the Omkareshwar or Omkar Mandhata temple is one of the twelve revered Jyothirlingas in India. The temple is situated on an island called Mandhata, located at the meeting point of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri.
The island is said to be in the shape of the Hindu ‘OM’ symbol. There are multiple temples on this island and the actual Jyotirling is said to be in the Mamleshwar temple. This temple, apart from the religious values, also boasts of stunning architecture and houses beautiful frescos and carvings.
The temple has a grand Sabha Mandap (meeting or prayer hall) standing on about 60 huge brown stone pillar (14 feet high), elaborately carved with a curious frieze and fillet of Satyrlike figures. Many of them have broad shoulders and meditating foreheads.The temple is 5 storeyed each having a different deity. There are three regular ‘Pujas’ in the temple. The morningone done by the temple trust , the middle one by the priest of Scindia state and the evening one by the priest of the Holkar state.The temple is always crowded with pilgrims, coming after a bath in the Narmada and with pots full of Narmada water, coconuts and articles of worship, many of them performing Abhishek or special worships through the priests.
Built in the 11th century, the Kedareshwar temple is one of the most eminent shrines in Madhya Pradesh. The religious significance of the place attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world.
According to Hindu mythology, a walk around any positive source of energy provides one with positive energy too. It is considered to be a sacred thing and what better way to do it than a parikrama across the entire island.
This stretch of around 8 km takes around 3 hours to complete and is not very difficult. The whole area is also very picturesque as this stretch is along the island. Circular path around Omkar hill is parikrama path, has many ups and downs stairs . On this parikrama path there are several temples and ashrams on the way. The confluence of two rivers is also on the path.
Considered very religious by the Hindus, this cave has a main hall and a small sanctum with a Shivalingam. It is believed that it was here where Shankaracharya met the great saint Govinda Bhagwatpad and he took spiritual education and his deeksha under him.
It is also believed that Shankaracharya saved the town from a big flood by forcing the river water into a kamandal (small bowl), which he had placed near the mouth of the cave. He did this to also save his Guru as he was emerged into a Samadhi in the cave.
The correct name is the Amreshwar temple. It is a protected Ancient Monument with good architectural stone work. Since the time of Maharani Ahilyabai holkar who expired in 1795, 22 Brahims paid by the Holker state, daily performed Lingarchan Puja. Each Brahmin was Provided with a wooden board having 1300 little holes.
In each they put very small miniature clay lingam to represent Shiva Lingas and when nearly 14300 lingas were manufacture and worshipped, they used to be submerges in the Narmada. In the early part of the 20th century the number of Brahmins was reduced to 11 and at present the number is only 5. the wall of the temple contains the inscription of Mahims Stotra dated 1063 A.D.
There is an ancient type construction old Markandeya Mandir around which the Annapurna Temple Trust of Indore has raised a great complex containing a Sarva Mangala temple with the three goddesses Laxmi , Parvati and Saraswati A 35 feet tall statue of Lord Krishna depicting the “Virat roop”, which is One of the mightiest form of Lord Krishna, We get the depiction of this Virat roop in Shreemad Bhagwad Gita.
Shiv Pratima at is about 90ft high. Bellow the huge statue of Lord Shiva beautiful temple is there. This managed by Sri Rajrajeshwari Seva Sanstshan Trust on the parikramapath near Gauri Somnath temple.
Nakshatra garden at Kailash dham is a great trial to demonstrate the trees related to Sign/Planets/Nakshtra. Each of the nakshatras is governed as ‘lord’ by one of the nine graha in the following sequence: Ketu (South Lunar Node), Shukra (Venus), Ravi or Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Rahu (North Lunar Node), Guru or Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shani (Saturn) and Budha (Mercury). This cycle repeats itself three times to cover all 27 nakshatras. The lord of each nakshatra determines the planetary period known as the Dasha, which is considered of major importance in forecasting the life path of the individual in Hindu astrology. Spritual Gift center at kailash dham is a good place to by authinticated articles like Rudraksha, Stones and other things used in the worships (Pooja).
One of the most inspiring temple from architectural point of view, and was declared a protected ancient monument by lord curzon. It is on a plateau on the island hill supported by a huge plinth whose four sides are carved with about 5 ft high executed with singular correctness and excellence of attitudes, in playful mood.
with deficient trunk with a mahavat on and a victim being crushed under foot. Two of them are removed and kept in Nagpur Museum. The rest are mutilated. The central shrine had an entrance on all four side with magnificent porches or Sabha Mandaps.
Each containing 18 stone pillars 14’ high to the architrave, have marvelously carved satyr like figure. When complete the temple must have been an imposing structure with a cluster of 5 shikars, 4 on the porches and the 5th standing above them on the temple itself.
Just as omkareshwar is one of the foremost of 12 Jyotirlingas of the Hindus, So is Siddhwarkut of the 24 tirthankars of Jains.
There are number of Jain temples in Siddhavarkut some old and renovated and some new ones. Some images found in the old temple bear the date 1488 A.D. Most of the images of Shantinathji a jain tirthankar with the symbol of deer.
Temple, containing a gigantic six feet tall shivlinga, around which as the legend goes two grow up persons embracing it cannot reach their hands unless they are a internal uncle and nephew (Mama-Bhanja). The lingam though very old of a smooth black stone with shinning polish.
Omkarnath Mission is an international human welfare unit of the central organization Akhil Bharat Jaiguru Sampradaya (Mahamilan Math Kolkata 108) established by his Holiness Ananta Sri Thakur Omkarnathjee Maharaj Ananta Sri Thakur Omkarnathjee MaharajPARAM GURUDEV Sri Dasharathi Dev of Digsui was the Guru Of Thakur Sitaramdas Omkarnath. His life of total surrender to his Guru is indeed a unique example of exclusive devotion to one’s Guru.At the age of forty-five, He was commissioned by His Guru, to preach the Naam or the Mahamantra. In the days before He gave up His mortal body, Dashrathideva saw a dream set in celestial space. The dream contained a message: the Mahamantra was the only means to universal succour, in the present age. Dashrathideva conveyed this message to His disciple. By now Prabodhchandra Chatopadyaya had formally become a renunciate; he had donned the robe and assumed the name of ‘Sitaramdas Omkarnath’.
Best Time to Visit
October to March is the best time to visit Omkareshwar. However, you can also visit during the Monsoons as rains are mostly average here. The town is also very attractive during the festive season of Dusshera and if possible, you should visit this place during that time to see the illuminated town.
Winter (November – February) -: The climate of Omkareshwar in winter becomes cool and pleasant, with temperature ranging from 6 to 29 degrees Celsius.