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Madhya Pradesh - Omkareshwar near Indore
Enjoy a one day trip to Omkareshwar, about 77 km away from Indore. The prime crowd pullers of Omkareshwar town are two of the divine temples namely Omkareshwar and Manileshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingam temples. These well known consecrated temples are located at a distance of 9 km from the Railway station of Omkareshwar. The holy land is placed on the banks of Narmada River. Engrossed devotees have to climb up the hilltop, situated at an altitude of 400 meters from plains.
Avail a bus from Omkareshwar to Kandwa and on the way interested devotees can watch the grandeur of Dhuniwale Dadaji darbar and the splendor of Bhavani temple. The deity residing on the righteous throne of Bhavani temple was worshipped by Shivaji.
Khandwa was the Birth place of the great Indian artists Kishore Kumar and Ashok Kumar.
Interested tourists can book rooms for staying overnight at Grand Hotel, Motimahal Darshan, and Tripti Lodge in Kandwa.
The hallowed Omkareshwar pilgrimage spot, amidst the wonderful natural milieu, is nestled in the holy land of the Om-shaped Island (2*1 Km). The astonishing temple is located at the assembling point of the Rivers Narmada and Kaveri. Tourists are flocking to the sanctified temple premise from faraway places to watch the beautiful façade of the idol. Pilgrims, who enjoy a holy bath in the water of the Triveni Sangam, are able to shed sins. The entire Island is divided into two adjoining parts by a 150 meters deep ravine. A well drawn out viaduct connects the deified Island to the main land.
The Island is protected by the elevated Vindhya hill. The rippling stream of Narmada River flows across the beautiful gorge of the Island.
Go beyond the Narmada River from the Island spending 5 rupees and you would hit the congested town at the other side. On the vertical slope of the Omkar hill, midst of crowded town, the Gauripattahin temple, the 5th among the 12 Jyotirlingam temples, is dedicated to Omkareshwar Mahadev. The emperor, Madhata, had constructed the temple. The special architecture using local soft stones are drawing attention. The deity, Omkareshwar, is also known as SriOmkar Mandhata.
Climb up the five faced Ganesha temple crossing more than 300 stairs. It is opined that this is the holy place where the emperor Mandhata could see the God, Ganesha.
Cross the pious Nandi temple, built by Ahilya Bai using marbles, to get to the main entrance of the Omkareshwar temple. 5 storied Omkareshwar temple is established on 101 contiguous pillars. Omkareshwar is residing on the holy throne on the ground floor. The deity Mahakaleshwar is worshipped on the 1st floor. Devotees pay tribute to Siddhanath Shiva on 2nd floor. Gupteshwar, in a small room, is the chief attraction of the 3rd floor where as Dwajadhari Dwijeshwar or Trident is honored as the holy power, placed on the 4th floor in a small room. The Trident is placed just under the peak which is wrapped up with precious gold. The panoramic view around the temple can be enjoyed from the sacred temple.
Kaveri and Narmada Rivers congregate in the close proximity of the temple as well.
Located at the left hand side of Omkarnath temple is the cave where the saint Shankaracharya had achieved his divinity. The shrine of the saint Gobindpad is also located adjacent to the divine place of Shankaracharya on a slope. It was believed that Shankaracharya had meditated here in the cave and could meet his Acharya (Chancellor) Gobindpad. Take a look at the idol of Acharya.
The Goddess Mahakali, made up of marbles, is also residing in the divine cave. The River Bank namely Koti Tirtha is situated right beside the cave as well. A staircase would take you to the River Bank of Narmada.
Plenty of ancient traces and memories, however, were destroyed by the ruler, Ghazni Mahmud during 11th Century.
Later on, during 18th century, 2nd Baji Rao, had reconstructed a temple, on the southern banks of the Narmada Rive, atop the Birkhala hill. The deity of the temple was Amleshwar or Manileshwar.
According to the Ritual, devotees take a walk for 11 km around the city territory to catch a glimpse of innumerable dotted Hindu temples and homes of countless saints.
Climb up the vertical Birkhala hill through more than 300 stairways to witness the divine power of Goru-Somnatha temple, situated at the western side of the Island. The chief deity of the temple is Shiva, made up of black stones where as the adjoining Nandi idol was built using green stones. Take a walk and watch Nanak Temple and various architectural evidences scattered at the roadsides.
The inhabitants of the entire undulating land, at the top of the hill, get irritated enormously due to the presence of monkeys. City dwellers and tourists have to always be cautious while taking a bath in the Narmada River because of the presence of crocodiles. Countless numbers of pilgrims had sacrificed their lives jumping from the peak of the hill into the River as it was known to be a Hindu ritual even before few years. A law that came into existence in 1824 had stopped this though.
Ruins of Vishnu temple along with innumerable holy Jain temples are dotted on the northern banks of the Narmada River, atop the Siddhakut hill. It was a famous Jain pilgrimage spot during the ruling period of the emperor Chadragupta Maurya. As plenty of known and unknown saints had achieved divinity here, the place is known as Siddhakut. The natural setting around is enthralling. Hiring a boat would be an apt decision to complete the entire trip of Siddhakut.
Another primeval Vishnu temple is located at the nearby place where the stream of the River Narmada has been bifurcated. 24 incarnations of Vishnu can be seen here along with the deity, Baraha.
Chamundeshwari with 12 hands, Saptamatrika temple of 10th Century (6 km from Omkareshwar) and Kajal Rani Cave amidst the fascinating natural backdrop (9 km from Omkareshwar) are other coveted allurements for the pilgrims. Visit the place during Shivaratri and Karthik purnima (the full moon).
How to reach: Omkareshwar is a small railway station on the Indore-Mou-Kandwa railway track. 12 Joyritlingam are situated at a distance of 9 km from the Omkareshwar railway station. Package tours are also available to Omkareshwar from Indore.
Where to stay: Holkar Guest House, Yatrika Niwas, Narmada Resort, PWD Rest House, Irrigation Project Guest House, Forest Rest House, Geetashree Guest House, Ganesh Guest House and Hotel Aisharya. However, you can choose to stay at Indore.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.