Every day starts with a journey, and our belief leads us to our destination. It is a kind of belief that renders us peace of mind at the end of the Journey. This belief has led me to one of Central India’s holy islands, known as “Omkareshwar.” Omkareshwar lies in the State of Madhya Pradesh which is popularly known as “Heart Of Incredible India.”
Omkareshwar, where the beauty of earth matches with the beautiful artifacts of humans, rendering the divine beauty of nature and its surroundings. Omkareshwar is the place where the holy rivers of Narmada and Kaveri merge.
About the Island Of Omkareshwar
At the island of Omkareshwar, a valley separates two hills in the shape of “OM or Omkar.” “Om or Omkar” is the holy symbol of the Hindu Religion. That’s why this place belongs to Lord Shiva. Omkareshwar has developed from the image of an ancient Village to a beautiful modern city.
Mythological Aspect Of Omkareshwar
There are various Mythological Stories dedicated to Omkareshwar. According to one story, King Manthada and his sons did severe penance of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva got gratified with King’s as well as his sons’ severe penance. He appeared there in the form of “Linga.” “Shiv Linga” is the symbol of Lord Shiva, which pilgrims worship in Hindu Temples.
Omkareshwar is one of the holy pilgrimages of India, which we popularly know as “Mandhata.” Out of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas, Omkareshwar is one of the all-important Jyotirlingas of India.
“Jyotirlinga” is a Shiv Linga that is not human-made, but it appears by itself from the earth. Devotees call it “Jyotirlinga” because Lord Shiva showed his existence in the form of “Jyoti” or “Light.”
According to mythology, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma got confused over ‘What is the “Greatest” of all? To this, Lord Shiva decided to examine both of them. He spread the whole world with “Jyoti” or “Light” and asked Lord Vishnu and Brahma to find the meaning of this “Jyoti or Light.”
Lord Vishnu accepted that he could not find the meaning to the “Jyoti,” but Brahma took the support of the lie. For this, Lord Shiva cursed him that devotees will never worship Brahma, while they will worship Lord Vishnu till eternity. According to mythology, “Jyotirlinga” is a place where Lord Shiva had sent light.
Worship Of Jyotirlinga
As per the Hindu religion, when we go on any pilgrimage, we pay obeisance to all deities. At Omkarehswar, we first pay obeisance to the Holy Narmada river by offering flowers and Shreefal. Then we pray, followed by Arti of the Narmada river.
After worshipping Holy Narmada, before proceeding for the main Jyotirlinga or Temple Darshana, there is a ritual of moving clockwise around the holy hill as an indication of reverence, that is known as “Parikrama.” The pilgrims do the parikrama of the Holy hill through the river Narmada via boat.
The Holy Narmada River
The serene beauty of Narmada water and its surroundings is picturesque. “Mekal Kanya” and ” Rewa” are the other names for the Narmada river. It is the third-largest river after Ganga and Godavari that flows in India. It is said ‘that the water of holy Narmada has healing power, taking a dip into which sets the human body free from all sins and griefs.
Narmada is one of the holy rivers among the five all-important rivers of India. It is the only river that flows from North to East while other rivers flow from North to West.
Apart from ordinary days, pilgrims come here to take a holy dip in the Narmada river, especially on “Makar Sankranti and Narmada Jayani, and throughout the holy month of Shravan.”
Puja and Abhishek (Worship and Prayer) At Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple
After covering a distance of seven kilometers through parikrama via boat here, comes the main Omkareshwar temple. Its construction is in the form of Indian Historical Architecture. The interesting fact is that the temple has its impacts from the rulers who once ruled the place. Priests worship the shrine thrice a day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Since the temple has impacts, from the rulers who once ruled the place, priests worship the shrine as per Mandakana ritual in the morning. In the afternoon, they worship the shrine as per the Sindhiya ritual. And lastly, in the evening, priests worship the shrine as per the Holkar ritual.
When the sun sets, the priests and devotees gather at the bank of the holy Narmada River. There they perform the evening Arti, which is also known as “Deep Dan.” And what is better than ending the day with “Deep Dan” at the bank of Holy Narmada.
This way, the journey of belief rendering extreme peace of mind and soul ends here.
How to Reach Omkarehswar
- Indore is the nearest airport to Omkareshwar, which is well connected via road and is an 86 km drive from Indore.
- Khandwa is the nearest railway station which is 51 Km from Omkareshwar.
- Ujjain to Omkareshwar distance is about 139 Km, via Khandwa road.
- Buses to Omkareshwar are available from Indore, Khandwa, Ujjain, Bhopal, Dewas.