Omkareshwar is a holy town situated at a distance of 77 km from Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It derives its name from the sacred Hindu symbol of Om. The Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple Omkareshwar is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. The place is a pilgrimage site, as there are several Hindu temples and Jain temples located here. It is an island in the shape of Om. The island is divided into north and south by a deep gully and is linked by a bridge. A boat ride in the Narmada River around the island of Omkareshwar is quite incredible. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar, whose name means lord of Omkara or the lord of the Om sound and one to Amareshwar, whose name means Immortal lord or lord of the Immortals or Devas. The devotees kneel before the Jyotirlinga to be blessed by it.
One of the holiest shrines in the whole of India, the Omkareshwar or Omkar Mandhata temple is situated on an island called Mandhata. The temple is located at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri. The Mandhata Island is said to be in the shape of the Hindu 'OM' symbol. There are multiple temples on this island and the actual Jyotirlinga 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.
Omkareshwar presents a magnificent blend of natural as well as human artistry. The Shivalinga in this temple is believed to be a Swayambhoo (self-manifested) and is not affixed to the cupola, as it is encircled by water. Besides it, the temple premises hold other small temples of Annapoorna and Ganesha. The main festival of this temple is Shivaratri. According to Hindu myth, this is one of the linga that emerged spontaneously from the earth after a struggle between Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Walking through the paved trails of the island, you will be approached by vendors selling flowers, sweets as offerings (Prasad) and prayer-objects.
The pilgrim’s pathway leads through the decorous Surajkund arch flanked by 3-m figures of Arjun and Bhima, and covers the number of temples; one of the finest is Siddhnath or the Siddesvara Temple, which was built around the 10th century. The island’s landscape is dominated by the shikaras, a towering dome over the shrine of Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple, the abode of Shiva as the fulfiller of desires. There are two ways of getting to the islands—the high concrete foot-bridge over the river or the ferries and boats that cross the river gorge separating the northern river banks from the island. The island seen from the boat is picturesque with temple spires and domes rising from a dense cluster of buildings on the southern bank, and shrines breaking the monotony of sheer rock-faces. The Parikrama or tour on the path circumventing the island begins at the Ghats below the Shri Omkar Mandhata Mandir and runs clockwise. Most devotees start with a bath at the Sangam or holy confluence where the Narmada meets the Kaveri before climbing the sand beach and the rocks to the plateau atop the island.
How to reach Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple
Omkareshwar does not own an airport so the closest airports to Omkareshwar are Indore (77 km) and Ujjain (133 km). The nearest railway station is 12 km away namely Omkareshwar railway station, but it is not on the mainline and is not connected to the major cities. The nearest major railway station is Indore (77 km) which is well-connected with the major cities of Madhya Pradesh and other major cities of the country such Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Jaipur, and more. You can also board a bus from Ujjain, Indore or Khandwa to reach the city. The temple is situated at a distance of 650 m (approx.) from the bus stand and one can walk from there to the temple.
Best time to visit the Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple
The winter season is the ideal time to visit the temple. 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.
Places to visit near the Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple
There are numerous places to visit in Omkareshwar. The famous places to visit near the temple are Kedareshwar Temple, Siddhanath Temple, Narmada Ghat, and many more. One can also go for Parikarma on the island which is very famous among the devotees.
Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple Timings: 5:00 A.M to 10:00 P.M.
Shri Omkar Mandhata Temple Entry Fees: Nil