Omkareshwar is present on an island in the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh. It’s not just a pilgrimage site but also a haven for nature lovers due to its scenic beauty and serene surroundings. It got its name from Lord Shiva who is the god of OM. It has two temples. Omkareshwara temple is on an island called Mandhata in Khandwa city of Madhya Pradesh and Mamaleshwar Jyotirlinga is on the mainland. Both of them are considered equally powerful by the devotees. It is believed that Vindhya Mountain once meditated with Lord Shiva to atone for all the sins.
“Omkareshwar” means the lord of AUM (OM)
“Mamleshwar” means the lord of immortals
Where is the Omkareshwar & Mamaleshwar Jyotirlinga located?
The island is a natural beauty, surrounded by the Narmada River. The serene environment makes it an excellent spot for meditation and self-reflection. Omkareshwar Temple is a fine example of the Mandhata architectural style. It features a blend of North Indian and South Indian architectural elements, with intricate carvings and a towering shikhara. It is divided into two Shiva Lingas, Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is present on Mandhata island in the shape of OM in the Narmada River, Khadwa district of Madhya Pradesh, whereas the Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga is present in the mainland. Both the temples are considered as equally important by the devotees.
Legend of Omkareshwar and Mamaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Legend of King Mandhata
In ancient times, King Mandhata of the Ikshavaku clan (ancestors of lord Rama), known for his immense devotion to Lord Shiva, undertook a severe penance to please the deity. He had two sons Ambarisha and Muchikunda who again were extreme devotees of Lord Shiva. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before King Mandhata and granted him a divine boon. The king requested Lord Shiva to reside on earth in the form of a lingam (a symbol of Lord Shiva) that resembled the letter “AUM” or “OM,” which is considered the sacred sound of the universe.
Lord Shiva fulfilled King Mandhata’s wish by creating the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga at the sacred spot where the Narmada River splits into two branches, symbolizing the holy “OM” symbol. The northern branch is called the Narmada, and the southern branch is known as the Saraswati.
The legend of Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga is closely linked to the legend of Omkareshwar. It is believed that the two temples represent the forms of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Omkareshwar Temple symbolizes Lord Shiva (Omkareshwar), and the Mamleshwar Temple represents Goddess Parvati (Amareshwara). Together, they represent the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Read More: Jyotirlingas in Madhya Pradesh
Legend of Vindhya Parvat
As per Hindu legend, Vindhya, the deity controlling the Vindhyachal mountain range was worshipping Shiva to propitiate himself from the sins committed. He created a sacred geometrical diagram and a Lingam made of sand and clay. Shiva was pleased with the worship and believed to have appeared in two forms, namely Omkareshwar and Mamaleswara. Since the mud mound appeared in the form of Om, the island came to be known as Omkareswar. There is a shrine for Parvati and Ganapati in the temple
it is said that Lord Shiva also allowed the Vindhyas to grow but only as long as he did not trouble the pilgrims. However, over time, Vindhya Parvat’s massiveness did cause problems for the devotees and so they sought sage Agastya’s help. The sage ordered the mountain to stop growing until he returned to it, which he never did, and hence he solved the devotees’ problem.
Read More: Important Temples around Omkareshwar temple
Legend of Devas and Danavas
The third story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was a great war between Devas (gods) and Danavas (demons), in which Danavas won. This was a major setback for Devas and hence Devas prayed to Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, Shiva emerged in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.
Some facts About Omkareshwara and Mamleshwara Jyotirlinga
Philosophy of Omkaar – Advait Matt says Omkaar is composed of two words, Om (sound) and Akaar (srishti). Both are one not two since Advait means “not two”. Om beej mantra of Srishti, itself is creator of Srishti.
Adi Shankara’s Cave – Omkareshwar is said to be the place where Adi Sankara met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada in a cave. This cave can be found even today just below the Shiva temple where an image of Adi Shankara has been installed.
Read More: Om shaped Island of Omkareshwara temple
How to reach Omkareshwara jyotirlinga
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is a revered pilgrimage site in India, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. To reach Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, you can follow these steps:
- The nearest major airport to Omkareshwar is the Indore Airport (Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport), which is approximately 80-90 kilometers away.
- From Indore Airport, you can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach Omkareshwar.
- The nearest railway station to Omkareshwar is Omkareshwar Road Railway Station, situated around 12 kilometers from the temple.
- You can take a train to Omkareshwar Road Railway Station from major Indian cities like Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain, and others.
- From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga.
- Omkareshwar is well-connected by road to various cities and towns in Madhya Pradesh. You can use your private vehicle or hire a taxi to reach the temple.
- The nearest major city is Indore, which is around 80-90 kilometers away. You can drive from Indore to Omkareshwar, which takes approximately 2-3 hours.
- Alternatively, you can use public buses that operate from Indore and other nearby cities to reach Omkareshwar.
Once you arrive at Omkareshwar, you can access the temple complex, which is situated on an island in the Narmada River, by a bridge or boat, depending on the water level and local conditions. It’s advisable to check the local transportation options and schedules, as they may vary. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult a local guide or your accommodation for the most up-to-date information on reaching Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga.