Omkareshwar is the town situated at Khandwa region at Madhya Pradesh. The place is at the banks of the river Narmada.
The town has several temples dedicated to various Deities. A few of them are covered here.
This Mandir is situated on an island named Mandhata in Narmada River. The place is also called as Shivpuri. This is one of the twelve Jyotirling Shiv temples in India. Here Bhagwan Shiv is worshipped as the physical form of the sacred chant Om.
As per the legend, the Vindhyachal mountain, as a devotee, had worshipped Bhagwan Shiva at this place. The Deity made two Shiv Lings with sand and clay and did Puja at the banks of river Narmada. Vindhaychal did this prayer for the alleviation of sins. Bhagwan Shiv was pleased with his prayers and promised to stay there. As one of the Lingams was in the form of Om, He is called as Sri Omkareshwar. The other Shiv Ling was called as Sri Mamleshwar.
As per another legend, King Mandhatha, the ancestor of Ikshvaku dynasty (Bhagwan Ram’s ancestor) did penance and prayer here and he got the darshan of Bhagwan Shiva as Jyotirling. It is believed that his sons Ambarish and Muchkundha also did penance on Bhagwan Shiva here and had His darshan.
Another legend is that Bhagwan Shiv, as Sri Omkareshwar, had diminished demons to save Devas at this place.
It is believed that Sri Adi Sankaracharya had met His guru Sri Govinda Bhagavath Pada at a cave this place. The depiction is said to be available here.
This is the five storied Shiv Mandir at the bank of River Narmada. Normally, devotees enter the temple after taking the holy bath at the river. They bring the river water, coconuts and flowers for doing abhishekam to the Deity.
The main sanctum is at the height of fourteen feet and there are 60 sculptured pillars in the Maha Mandapam.
The temple can be approached through the foot bridge built on river Narmada. At the end of the foot bridge, a pathway leads to the sanctum. Enroute sanctum, the there is a flight of downward stairs to reach Narmada River. Devotees get down the stairs and bring the water in small containers along with sweets and flowers to offer to Sri Omkareshwar.
The entrance to the main sanctum is through an ornate mandapam. First, we are blessed with the darshan of Sri Nandi Dev.
Due to distancing norms, the devotees are asked to pour down the river water in a container which has piped connection upto the Vigraha of Sri Shiv. The container is covered with a sieve. The sweets and flowers remain in the sieve and are taken for Neivedyam. The container lies near the sanctum of Sri Nandikeshwar.
Enroute the main sanctum, we are blessed with the darshan of Sri Maha Vishnu who is in the form of a separate sculpture.
The pillars, the side pathways, the roof and everything in the mandapam are full of beautiful and exquisite sculptures.
The three Pujas of the day are said to be done by three different groups, morning by the temple group, mid-day by Scindia group and the evening by Holkar group.
The sanctums of Sri Maha Kaleshwar, Sri Omkareshwar, Sri Siddhanath, Sri Gupteshwar and Sri Dhwajeshwar are situated at the first, second, third, fourth and fifth floors of the temple respectively.
The temple is open from 05.00 A.M to 09.30 P.M. The timings may differ during festival days. Maha Shiv rathri and Shravan Pujas are observed elaborately here.
The special Pujas done here are Maha Rudrabhishek and Laghu Rudrabhishek.
Sri Mamleshwar Mandir
This mandir is adjacent to Sri Omkareshwar. This temple also is revered as a Jyotirling. The other name for the Deity is Sri Amleshwar.
As per the legend, the priests of this temple were patronized by the Holkar Dynasty. During Holkar rule, each of the 22 priests in the temple was given a wooden plank having 1300 holes. Using those holes 14300 clay Shiv-lings used to be made and immersed in Narmada River. It could not be ascertained as to whether this practice followed to date.
The temple is an architectural marvel with sculptures allover. The walls contain the inscriptions of various Slokas.
Sri Omkareshwar and Sri Mamleshwar are two parts of the same Shiv Ling. The darshan of Jyotirling in Omkareshwar is complete only if we have the darshan of both the Shiv Ling.
The date of origin of both the temples could not be ascertained.
Sri Annapurna Mandir
This is situated on banks of Narmada River. This is also called as Sarva Mangala Mandir.
The main sanctum has the idols of Sri Parvathi Devi, Sri Lakshmi and Sri Saraswathi. The temple also has reference to Sage Markhandeya.
There is a huge statue of Vishwa roopa Sri Maha Vishnu as He appeared to Arjuna during Maha Bharatha war.
We are also blessed with the sanctum of Sri Dattatreya.
Apart from the above, there are other temples as briefed below. Most of the temples are situated in the outer parikrama path around the elevation on which Sri Omkareshwar Mandir is situated.
The temples are Sri Shiv Pratima Mandir, Sri Maa Rajeshwari Mandir, Sri Kailash Dham Shiv Mandir, Sri Vishnu Temple, Sri Siddheshwar Mahadev Mandir, Sri Ram Mandir and Sri Patali Hanuman Mandir.
Apart from the above, we can have the darshan of Sri Run Muktheshwar Mahadev where it is believed that the visit will alleviate the debts. There is another temple named Sri Gowri Somnath Mandir. At this temple, the Shiv Ling is six feet in height and is huge.
How to reach
Omkareshwar can be reached from Indore through bus, train or taxi. We also get to see the dam across Narmada River. The town in serene and full of divinity. There are lots of dwelling facilities offered by various Ashrams in this place.