The serene island in the beautiful River Narmada is itself a sacred site – naturally shaped to resemble the sacred symbol of ‘Om’ – the primordial, cosmic sound. Studded with green hills, Omkareshwar is connected by a cantilever-like bridge (on which vehicles are not allowed) and by boats to the mainland. The mainland is a tiny cluster of houses, temples, a bazaar and a bus stand.
Omkareshwar’s Omkar Mandhata Temple is dedicated to one of Shiva’s 12 Jyotirlingas (representing the Supreme God Shiva, a Jyotirlinga is a self-generated linga of light) in India. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine every year, seeking the blessings of Shiva. The ancient Temple is full of impressive old carved pillars.
The ruins of the 13th century Siddhanath Temple, decorated with figures and murals, are spectacular to look at. The shrine has a Shivalinga in the centre. The Gauri Somnath Temple can be reached via a long flight of steps cut into the hill-face west of the bridge. The red temple, strewn with antiquities, is famous for its massive, jet black (perhaps granite) Shivalinga. The Mamaleshwar Temple is the only significant shrine on the mainland. The tranquil 11th century temple complex has finely carved stones from old temples around it.
Holxo Tours in Omkareshwar