Saturday 9 September 2017

Omkareshwar- A sacred land of Shiva..

Omkareshwar Temple (in left)

After getting the taste of hundreds of years old historical places, we finally thought of coming out from the prehistoric era and delve ourselves into devotion of Lord Shiva. Yes, we finally reached the mystical land of Shiva i.e. Omkareshwar (one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines in India). It took us around 2 hours to reach Omkareshwar from Maheshwar. The road was fine and the distance was around 70km. It was a hectic day already and I seriously needed some energy for revival. And there couldn’t be a better place than Omkareshwar to redeem my being. The divinity in the air provided me the much-needed peace and calmness which I was looking for.

Walk over bridge

Lord Shiva

Sacred land of Shiva

A recap of where we started our journey from and what all we covered:

Bhopal → Dhar → Mandu → Maheshwar → Omkareshwar → Indore → Bhopal

We started from Maheshwar at 2 pm and reached Omkareshwar around 3:30-4 pm. Despite being a hectic day, my mother and father were still looking as refreshing as when we started from Mandu in the morning. Maybe, I was driving, hence the excuse can be considered, No? Though I won’t take away the fact that my parents are actually fitter and much more proactive than me. Well, the weather was comparatively good in Omkareshwar and that made our life much easier. The cool breeze had a lot of good vibes and a sense of welcome to the humble abode of Lord Shiva. There are two main temples of Lord Shiva, one is on the island i.e. Omkareshwar temple and other on the mainland i.e. Mamleshwar. Many say that Mamleshwar is the actual Jyotirlinga as it is stated in the sloka on Dwadash Jyotirlingam. But despite all the contradiction over the main jyotirlinga, most people consider both temples as equally sacred.

Omkareshwar Palace

Shops en route to Omkareshwar Temple

Keyrings and Lockets

Omkareshwar temple is situated on the island in the Narmada River. So, there are two ways to reach the island, either by boat or by walk over the bridge (well connected to the island). We started walking from the parking point and crossed the Narmada River through the bridge. Some people also prefer to go by boat but that requires more time. Since we had to complete the darshan before evening, we opted to walk. It hardly takes 20-25 min to reach the main temple if it’s not the peak season. During Shivratri, the same 20-25 min walk turns into hours. 

Flowers, Garlands, and Prasad

Colors of Sanctity

En-route to temple, one can also find many shops along the street selling Pooja related articles. As we reached the temple, we deposited our shoes/sandals at the shoe stand. Luckily, there were hardly 20-30 people standing in the queue for darshan. Hence, there was no pushing and all to make the experience unpleasant. We completed the darshan and sat in the temple for some time. All the positive energy that was flowing in the air embarked our journey from thoughts to wisdom. It was blissful! After spending much needed peaceful time in the temple, we left for the Mamleshwar temple. Also, to add there is a Gufa (Cave) Mandir ‘Govindeshwar Gufa’ near the entry gate of Omkareshwar Temple. It’s believed that Aadi Shankaracharya took yog lekh shiksha (Education) from his Guru Govind Bhagvad in Omkareshwar. And the place where Guru Govind Bhagvad used to live was a gufa (cave), now known as Govindeshwar Gufa Mandir.

Abhishek to Lord Shiva

Gomukh Ghat

View from the Omkareshwar Temple

Mamleshwar temple is situated in the heart of the city. It can also be seen from the Island where Omkareshwar temple is located. Mamleshwar temple was earlier named Amleshwar in the 10th century during Parmara period. Not only it looks older than the Omkareshwar temple but it also has beautiful pre historic carved sculptures on the structure of the temple. People in Omkareshwar consider both the temples on island and mainland as jyotirlinga. So, if you ask anyone for the directions, first they will ask you which jyotirlinga you want to visit? I was a bit confused when I heard it for the first time. My father then explained me the whole story that why the locals consider both places as equally sacred. Well, the questions were answered. Hence, we went ahead for the darshan. Comparatively, the Mamleshwar temple was less crowded than the Omkareshwar temple. There was hardly any queue for darshan and in no time we reached the inner sanctum.

Mamleshwar Temple

One of the temples at Mamleshwar shrine

Sculptures at Mamleshwar Temple

The whole experience of visiting the greatly revered place like Omkareshwar was quite enchanting. I was really happy that I visited this place and realized a great deal about how we are ruining our lives in big cities, running after things that are materialistic in nature. It’s true that some trips make memories for a lifetime! This was one such trip. :)

City of Temples

Do you want to take a boat ride?

Best Season...

July to March

Where to Stay...

Narmada Resort (MP Tourism).

How to reach Omkareshwar via Mandu and Maheshwar from Bhopal...

Bhopal → Sehore → Dewas → Indore → Pithampur → Dhar → Mandu → Dhamnod → Maheshwar  → Barwaha → Omkareshwar

Previous Posts from this trip:

Hidden Gems of Madhya Pradesh - Dhar 

Mandu - A place that resonates with history.. 

Walk the talk with city of Maheshwar...

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  1. your pictures are tempting me to visit long pending trip to this sacred site. Lovely pictures especially of the heritage buildings.

  2. No Matter how much ever research we do, when we meet with locals the info we get has fresh element in it. Its a quite interesting story the place bears. As always beautiful pictures to accompany your writings :) Thanks for the beautiful virtual journey!

  3. Lovely post... I've heard of the Omkareshwar temple from one of my friends who was in Bhopal for a long time. It was lovely reading your post and the photos are just the icing on the cake. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  4. A picture speaks a thousand words, Saumy. Yours speak more than that at times. :-) Some beautiful ones to accompany your writing as usual. My favorite (non-temple one) is the garland. Very colorful.

  5. Mandu is one place I have been longing to visit. For about a week, I stayed in MP and CG and couldn't find even a day to plan my trip. Your post makes me want to add Omkareshwar to the journey too! But kab hoga? I don't know.
    However, if you do plan on taking forward your "Shiva" journey, then do visit "Tunganath" in Uttarakhand - it's the highest temple of Shiva in the world (Tung: highest). It's a small trek of 3-4 km and completely untouched by the "business" of worship. Friends or family, it's a memorable trip where you can actually see and sing, "aaj main upar, aasma neeche" because clouds would be grazing around your feet and waist!!!

  6. You made me travel back to 2011, when I visited it with my parents (camera card forgotten at home) :P And I still have a picture clicked on the bridge (from a blackberry phone) hehe.
    Wonderfully written Saumy, your entire encounter with divinity and the peace of the place is so well described :) Thanks for this trip down the memory lane!

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