One of the 12 jyotirlings of Lord Shiva, Omkareshwar Temple is located an island in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. Cradled between the Vindhya hills to the north and Satpura hills to the south, the island called Mandhata or Shivapuri, appears in the form of sacred Hindu symbol ‘Om’.
It is believed there were 64 jyotirlings of which 12 are considered very sacred.Each of the 12 jyotirlings are considered a different manifestation of Shiva. The jyotirling shrines are places where Shiva is believed to have appeared as a fiery column of light.
According to Hindu beliefs, the Shiv ling at Omakreshwar is made of two parts. One half is called Omkareshwar and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. The Omkareshwar temple is the main temple and is also called Omkar Mandhata temple.
There are several legends associated with Omkareshwar. According to one of them, Lord Shiva appeared as Omkareshwar to defeat Asuras (demons) who had trounced the Devas (gods).
Pilgrims visit in large numbers at Omkareshwar. The parikrama or circumambulation at Omkareshwar starts from the ghats of the Omkareshwar temple and ends at the cave of Guru Govindpada. Pilgrims also take a dip in Narmada river to wash away their sins and get blessed.
While performing parikrama, visitors also visit Amareshwar temple, the other half of the jyotirling. The temple is situated on the bank of Narmada river opposite the Omkareshwar temple.
Pilgrims visit the island on large numbers. Number of visitors increases during the festival of Mahashivratri.
Somnath and Nageswar in Gujarat, Mallikarjun at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleshwar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar, Grishneshwar and Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Vaidyanath at Deogarh and Rameshwar in Tamil Nadu are the other jyotirlings.
Where to stay
There are few accommodation options in Omkareshwar. You will find budget and mid-range hotel in the city. These hotels provide only basic facilities. Visitors mostly visit the city during October to April, so it important to book room in advance as accommodation options are few.
Where to eat
There are few eating options in Omkareshwar. Restuarants in Omkareshwar are multi-cuisine in nature. Most of the restaurant only offers vegetarian food. Bhojanalayas near the temple serve food items like puri-sabzi, samosa, pakodas, etc.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the city is during the festival of Maha Shivratri between February and March.