| Omkareshwar, a two kilometer long wedge-shaped
outcrop of sandstone, seen from above bears an uncanny resemblance
to the symbol 'OM'. This coupled with the presence (on its sheer
south-facing side) of a revered Shivalingam, has made Omkareshwar,
77 kilometers south of Indore, one of the most sacred sites
in central India. Ruined temples, wayward shrines, bathing places,
and caves inhabited by chillum-smoking shaivite sadhus are dotted
around the island, strung together by an old paved pilgrims'
trail. The prominent white shikhara that now soars above the
Shree Omkar Mandhata temple is a relatively new addition to
the dense cluster of buildings on the south side of the island.
Below it, the ornate pillars in the assembly hall, or mandapa,
are more representative of the temple's antiquity. Omkareshwar,
the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols,
'Om', has drawn to it hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Here,
at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devout
gather to kneel before the Jyotirlinga (one of the twelve throughout
India) at the temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. And here, as in
so many of Madhya Pradesh's sacred shrines, the works of Nature
complement those of man to provide a setting awe-inspiring in
its magnificence.The temple is a huge imposing stone structure
with the inner sanctum deep inside. The construction itself
is without any cement with beautiful carvings on the support
It is said that once, sage Naradar during his visit to the
Vindyas, sang the praise of mount Meru to Mount Vindhya. On
hearing this, Mount Vindhya prayed to Lord Siva to gain in
importance. Lord Siva blessed him & appeared here as Omkareshwarar
& Amaleshwarar and gave the boon of grwoing, but without
hindering Siva devotees. But the Vindhyas did not stop growing,
and even obstructed the sun and the moon. Sage Agasthyar subdued
its growth by saying it should not grow till he gets back
there. He never went back & hence the growth was arrested.The
Omkareshwar temple built in the Nagara style is characterized
by a lofty shikhara.
Places to see
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 is the most striking. Also intricately carved
is the stone roof of the temple. Encircling the shrine are
verandahs with columns which are carved in circles, polygons
A cluster of Hindu and Jain temples. Though damaged by Mohammed
of Ghazni (11th century), these temples have remained intact
to a large extent.
A good example of early Brhmanic architecture, it has a frieze
of elephants carved upon a stone slab in the outer perimeter.
6 km from Omkareshwar, a group of 10th century temples.Kajal
Rani Cave: 9 km from Omkareshwar, this is a particularly picturesque
scenic spot, with a Panoramic view of the broad acres and
gently undulating landscape that stretches in unbroken Harmony
till the horizon.
Kajal Rani Cave
9 km from Omkareshwar, this is a particularly picturesque
scenic spot, with a panoramic view of the broad acres and
gently undulating landscape that stretches in unbroken harmony
till the horizon.
Best Season : July to March.