Omkareshwar Tourism

FAST FACTS
Location West Madhya Pradesh, Central India
STD Code 07280
Main Attractions Pilgrimage, Historical sites, Narmada River
Sightseeing Duration Half-day to 01 Full Day
Accommodation Hotels, Dharamshalas
Next destinations Maheshwar, Hanumantiya, Ujjain, Burhanpur, Ajanta Caves
PHOTOS
indore hotels indore hotels indore hotels

INTRODUCTION
Omkareshwar is a pilgrimage and sacred destination in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. It lies at western Madhya Pradesh in Central India. Out of 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India, one i.e. Mamaleshwar Temple is located in Omkareshwar which increases its importance among Hindu devotees. It is small town, 90kms south-east of Indore which is most suitable place to reach for Omkareshwar tour. Indore is the nearest airport for visiting Omkareshwar. Although Omkareshwar has its own railway station but its connectivity is not so good thus Indore is best option to reach by train and further road journey is preferred by devotees and tourists. This place and its temples are dedicated to lord Shiva, which is called lord of destruction in Hindu religion. He is the one of the three important Hindu Gods (Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh or Shiva) which generates power to destroy evil powers on earth.

PILGRIMAGE
The Omkareshwar temple is situated on a small piece of land called Mandhata or Shivapuri on the banks of Narmada River; and it has surprised the geologists and scientists that the shape of the island is much similar to that like the Hindu (Om) symbol. There are two main temples of Lord Shiva here, one is the Omkareshwar whose name means Lord of Omkaara or the Lord of the Om Sound which is located in the island and the other one is Amareshwar whose name means Immortal lord or lord of the Immortals or Devas. Being located on the south bank of Narmada River, it derives Hindu pilgrims and international Tourists from world over. The two high hills and the valley that divides the island give the place the shape of Om. The land of this place is enriched with abundance of natural beauty, pilgrim centers and architectural wonders. Omkareshwar is considered to be one of the holiest Hindu sites in the nation. This is due to the presence of the Jyotirlingam, one of the twelve in India. These 12 Jyotirlingas form the entire religious spectrum of Hinduism. Lingam is termed as the symbol of Lord Shiva but the Jyotirlingam is called the lingam of light. It is said to derive currents of power from within itself. The Jyotirlingam is enshrined in the Temple of Sri Omkareshwar Mahadeo. Also known as the Temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata, it is made up of locally available soft stone. As a result, there is detailed carving in the front chamber and mesmerizing wall paintings on the upper parts of the structure. Omkareshwar draws thousands of pilgrims every year from various parts of the nation and even from abroad of India. The devotees kneel before the Jyotirlinga to be blessed by it. Omkareshwar presents a magnificent blend of natural as well as the human artistry and is a huge center of religious tourism and pilgrimage.

HISTORY
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga has its own share of history, tales, ancient saying, stories and narrations related to it. Three of them are prominent. The first story is about Vindhya Parvat (Mountain). Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop cosmic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthiv-linga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result, Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to his devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
There are plenty of other temples also in the Omkareshwar. Along with these, there are some monuments and tourism spots also. To begin with, the Siddhnath Temple is a classic example of early medieval Brahminic architecture. The most attractive feature of the temple is the wall paintings of elephants, over 1.5 m high, carved on a stone slab at its outer boundary. The huge Nandi Bull which is also known as the the vehicle of Lord Shiva is carved on the hillside opposite the temple of Gauri Somnath. Then, there are the 24 Avatars and a group of Hindu and Jain temples which cannot be missed at all. Even the 10th century Satmatrika Temples and the Kajal Rani Cave situated nearby the 24 avatars is worth visiting. Next up, the Mamleshwar Temple is naturally the next destination after Omkareshwar Temple as it along with Omkareshwar Temple which houses the replica of 4th Jyotirlinga out of the total 12 present in India. Devotees are allowed to touch the Jyotirlinga and can perform pooja. But they should have taken bath, no leather product should be on body, shoes/sandals should be removed and mind should be clean while touching the Jyotirlinga and performing the Pooja. The temple is located opposite Omkareshwar Temple on the other side of River Narmada. The Idol of Parvati, wife of Supreme God Shiva and the Origin incarnation of Female Supreme Diety of Entire Universe and Originator of word Power, Goddes Adi Shakti is also on the wall behind Shiva Linga. Another tourist attraction apart from temples in Omkareshwar is Kajal Rani Cave. It is one such cave that offers not just a view into the past history but also a breathtaking view of long stretches of land that spreads before you and seemingly extending up to the horizon. It is Located 9 km away from Omkareshwar. Kajal Rani Cave is a must visit tourist destination here. Next up, continuing the list of Temples, Gauri Somnath Temple is one of the biggest shrines in Omkareshwar, located in the Khandwa District. The temple of Gauri Somnath is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is constructed in the Bhumij style of architecture, in the shape of a star. It is a three - storied temple made in shape of peahen. The sanctum sanctorum or garbha-griha holds a large Shiva Linga of a glazy stone, on a Jilhari; and on the back side of the garbha-griha, there are idols of three dev kulikas. The Shiva Lingam is almost of 6 feet in height. Another attraction of this temple is the idol of Nandi, the bull and the vehicle of God Shiva which stands outside the sanctum of the temple, facing its master. Another famous temple is the Kedareshwar. The temple of Kedareshwar is located at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers. The Kedareshwar Temple was built in 11th century A.D. and is popular for its architecture. The temple is situated at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers and is made in the Nagara style of architecture, with frescos and carvings. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and finds mention in the puranas as well. The Shiva Linga in this temple is believed to be a swayambhoo (self manifested) and is not affixed to the cupola, as it is encircled by water. Besides the Shiva Linga, the temple premises hold other small temples of Annapoorna and Ganesha. The main festival of this temple is Shivratri and during this festival, temple gets filled with crowds of devotees. During the attack of Mahmud Ghazni in the 11th century A.D, the Muslim invader demolished many Hindu and Jain temples in every part of country, including Omkareshwar. There were many temples here, of which, only the 24 avatars are still standing. Later on, from between 17th – 18th century, these temples were somehow rebuilt by that time Hindu rulers of nearby Hindu kingdoms. Another temple of Ranmukteshwar is located at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers. Devotees come here to offer gram pulses, usually channa dal, to the deity, with the belief that it would wash away the unpaid debts of their beloved ones.

If we talk about excursion tours, possible from Omkareshwar, we have option to visit Bajirao Peshwa Samadhi in Raver Khurd. It is located in 45kms south-west of Omkareshwar and connected by road. This spot is located on the bank of Narmada river and less visited by tourists but it has great importance as it is associated with that Maratha Military General who have never lost any war in his life-time and referred as Napoleon of India. After visiting this spot, tourists have option to undertake excursion tour of Hanumantiya, which is a popular leisure tourism place. Here water sports can be enjoyed on back water of dam on Narmada river.

HOW TO REACH
Here we have given information on how to reach Omkareshwar town by various means of popular transportation. It lies in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. For reaching Omkareshwar, Indore & Khandwa are considered as the best place to reach first and launch further journey by road option. Indore is most preferred as it is the nearby large city with best flight, train, road connectivity.
LOCATION MAP


By Train: Omkareshwar is connected by train with its own station but due to narrow gauge train line, it is not the popular mode for reaching Omkareshwar. Tourists mainly reach either Khandwa or Indore railway stations for visiting this place. Both the places are approx. 85kms from Omkareshwar and well connected by road option. Further journey from Khandwa or Indore is possible by road option.
By Flight: Nearest airport for reaching Omkareshwar is Indore Ahilya Bai Airport. It is a large airport with better flight connectivity from rest of India. It has direct flights connectivity from New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bhopal etc. Due to this fact, majority of tourists use Indore Airport for reaching Omkareshwar and other surrounding tourist destinations.
Road connectivity: Omkareshwar is well connected by road. Its nearby towns & cities are Khandwa, Indore, Dhar, Barwani etc. Tourists can directly travel from cities like Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal etc.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Indore city is considered as gateway to pilgrimage sector of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. Their are number of important pilgrimage places in & around city, visited for visitors from all over the country and even from other countries. All such temples & monuments remain open & accessible throughout the year for visitors. From August to December, it register huge presence of hindu religion disciples as it is a festival time of many Hindu festivals like Janamastmi, Rakshabandhan, Dushera, Diwali etc. Tourists prefers to visit from October to March and it is a popular tourism time for Central India as weather & climate remain supportive and most of other tourism destinations of country also remain open for visitors. Foreigner tourist prefers to visit during this time. During the months of April - May - June, due to hot climate their is fall in tourists but disciples still continues as it is a holiday time in schools & colleges in India. During the months of July - August - September, in rainy season, beauty of nature is at its best. One can enjoy best photography of riverside temples and lush green nature.

NEXT TO OMKARESHWAR
Omkareshwar is surrounded by many popular tourist attractions. It includes some Madhya Pradesh tourist attractions like Maheshwar, Bajirao Peshwa Samadhi, Hanumanitya, Mandu, Burhanpur etc. Among them Hanumantiya and Bajirao Peshwa Samadhi can be visited as excursion tour. Tourists can also visit to Maharashtra tourist attractions like Ajanta Caves, Shirdi, Ellora Caves, Aurangabad etc.

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