Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Omkareshwar: An Island of OM

On the banks of river Narmada, there is a huge island on which the fourth of the JyotirLinga “Omkaram Amaleshwar” is situated. This island shaped like the most sacred of Hindu symbols, the Om, a mountainous region covered with ancient temples, the sacred Narmada flowing on either side, smoothening the rough rocks into pebbles to be carried away by pilgrims and venerated as Shiva Lingams, Omkareshwar is all that and more. Omkareshwar, the sanctified island, is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India.


Omkareshwar Temple
 This is the sole reason why the place has drawn to itself hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Omkareshwar is at the conflux of the River Narmada and River Kaveri. The temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata stands on the island, one mile long and half mile wide, which was formed by the fork of the Narmada River. Shri Omkar Mandhata has one Jyotiralingam of Lord Shiva, which is one among the twelve Jyotiralingas throughout India. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists visit this temple every year just to kneel before the shrine and offer prayer



According to Legend: Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop comic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthivlinga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva's devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.


Omkareshwar Island: Omkareshwar is a 6 km long narrow stretch of an island in the river Narmada. It is connected by a bridge. It has many places of interest.



Shri Omkar Mandhata: The temple stands on a one mile long, half mile wide island formed by the fork of the Narmada. The soft stone of which it was constructed has lent its pliable surface to a rare degree of detailed work, of which the frieze figures on the upper portion are the most striking. Also intricately carved is the stone roof of the temple.
Omkareshwar Parikrama: While it is for the temples that most pilgrims visit Omkareshwar, the most interesting thing about the island is the island itself. With its unique shape, the island itself has been venerated, and over centuries, scores of temples have been built on it. The ancients not just built the temples, but also made a path so that one could visit all the temples while circumambulating the entire island.



Veiw of Omkareshwar Temple
 
The Siddnath Temple: A classic example of early medieval Brahminic architecture, this one is well worth a visit. Its most eye-catching feature is a frieze of elephants over 1.5m high carved on a stone slab at its outer perimeter. Elaborate carved figures decorate the upper portion and the roof of the temple. The shrine is encircled by verandahs with columns carved in circles, polygons and squares.
Triveni Sangam: It is the sacred meeting point of Narmada and Kaveri River. Here every stone is considered as Shivalinga. According to legends, in ancient times a yaksha called Kuber performed penance and pleased Lord Shiva. He got a boon from Lord Shiva to be always a king of yakshas. The devotees come to this place to offer tarpan to their ancestors. This is, for a change, clean and perfect for a bath. The clear water with rounded pebbles forming the river bed invites us to sink our feet into it and enjoy a relaxed dip, while the more devout pilgrims (few, at the best of times, since it is almost an hour’s walk from the bridge) offer prayers.

Related Information:Devotees who visit Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain normally also visit Omkareshwar near Indore. Popularly it is referred as twin Jyotirlinga yatra. The distance between Ujjain and Omkareshwar is about 145 km and it takes 3 and half hours by road. One can also plan a connecting journey of Maheshwar, which is 60 km away from Omkareshwar. It is situated between Mandu and Omkareshwar. MP state Road Transport buses and private vehicles are available from Omkareshwar. It combines a wide and beautiful Narmada, very clean ghats, tranquil temples and scenic fort surrounded by pipal, neem and old banayan trees.

15 comments:

  1. Very informative post. Lovely pictures too.

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  2. This sure is in my wish list.

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  3. Nice post... Thanks for sharing.....

    http://debnature.blogspot.in

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  4. Added to my wish list too after reading ur post :)

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  5. beautiful pictures and imformative post ....i am following you :) :)

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  6. Thank you for your informative write up.

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  7. its a wonderful place, in fact there are many other hidden gems in MP like Maheshwar.. there's a Jain pilgrimage next to Omkareshway called Siddhwarkut. Its also great.

    lovely pics

    http://styledestino.blogspot.com/

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  8. Nice post...
    Been to Mahakaleshwar, Somnath and Mallikarjunswamy ... 9 to go! :)

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  9. Nice post...
    Been to Mahakaleshwar, Somnath and Mallikarjunswamy ... 9 to go! :)

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  10. Nice post...
    Been to Mahakaleshwar, Somnath and Mallikarjunaswamy, 9 to go! :)

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  11. Jai Ma Reba! Har Har Narmade! Jai Omkareswar Bhagawan Shankar Mahadeb ki jai !!!

    ReplyDelete

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