Omkareshwar or better known as Mandhata Omkareshwar is one of the foremost of the 12 Joytirlingas or it is luminous physical self-presentation of Lord Shiva of the Hindus. 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 island comprises two lofty hills and is divided by a valley in such a way that it appears in the shape of the sacred Hindu symbol 'Om' from above. Between the precipitous hills of the Vindhya on the North and the Satpura on the South, the Narmada forms a deep silent pool which in former times was full of alligators and fish, so tame as to take grain from human hand. This pool is 270 ft below the cantilever type bridge constructed in 1979. The bridge has enhanced the scenic beauty of the place, making it look exceedingly picturesque.
Omkareswar kshetra parikrama is the very important thing to do in Omkareswar tour.The parikrama route Starts from Omkareswar temple and completes after surrounding the hill.Adi Shankaracharya did parikrama when he visited Omkareswar jyotirling.While doing parikrama, he met his Guru Sri Govindapada and learned Advaita from him.We can see that place at the end of parikrama.It is nearer to Omkareswar temple.
First of all we will reach Triveni sangamam.Here we can take holy bath.Just after Triveni sangamam there is a temple of Runa Mukteswar. In this temple people offer Red gram to lord Siva. After that the journey is through forest.It is very pleasent and nice to see in Winter season.After crossing this forest there is a temple of Bholenath.It is the mid point of parikrama. The Siva linga in this temple is very big and it is made of Narmada banam.After that we will reach Durga Goddess temple. By crossing Durga temple we will enter into a deep forest.In the forest there are many ancient monuments and temples which are under the control of Indian Archeological department.
In the way of Parikrama one can see so many Sadhus belonging to different traditions.If we are lucky we can see deers and peacocks in the route. The view of Narmada river is very beautiful with the bridges and the Project. The last stop is the cave of Guru Govindapada. Totally we can get very much pleasure by doing this parikrama. Some scholar say, King Mandhatha of the Ishvaku clan is believed to have worshipped Shiva here. Besides, Govinda Bhagavatpaada, the Guru of Shankaracharya is believed to have lived in a cave here.
Place to visit
Shri Omkar MandhataThe 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. Encircling the shrine are verandahs with columns which are carved in circles, polygons and squares.
Another popular legend says that once upon a time Vidhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped Parthivarchana along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with the desire boon. On the sincere request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lings. One half being Omkareshwara and the other Amaleshwara or Amareshwar.