Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga – a must-visit when in Madhya Pradesh

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is the finest example of India’s proud history, architecture, heritage, and beliefs. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India that possess immense power. Plus, Shankaracharya, one of India’s finest philosophers and Vedic scholars and many other Indian scholars used to study and meditate here. Therefore the city possesses an immense religious significance. There are hundreds of Ashrams and temples on both sides of the river Narmada.

Omkareshwar, an Om-shaped island, a Jyotirlinga, and the entire city around it, is the pinnacle of Madhya Pradesh religious tourism.

How to reach Omkareshwar?

Omkareshwar is very well connected to all the major cities of Madhya Pradesh. The nearest railway station is Omkareshwar Road (Mortakka). The nearest airport is Indore airport. Regular bus and cab services are available from Indore and Bhopal. I was visiting a friend in Indore. So I just put it on google maps and drove. As I said Omkareshwar is the religious capital of Madhya Pradesh, a tourism culture has grown around the city. A lot of highway dhabas and hotels are available on the route.

What to see in Omkareshwar?

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga

The main attraction here is the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga. It is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India and is believed to be very powerful. I find temple timings to be very flexible. Expect a lot of people in the queue for darshan. I visited on a special day, so I had to wait over 3 hours. But the energy of devotees around you keeps you up. I have met devotees who walk 50 kilometers barefoot for this darshan and a holy dip in Narmada Ji.

The Parikrama

Devotees circle the om-shaped island, take a dip in the holy river Narmada, and darshan of the Jyotirlinga for the wellbeing of their family. The entire route is about 7-8 kilometers and goes through the hills and slopes around the island. One can see many small yet significant temples in this parikrama. The nearest dam on the Narmada river is also visible from one point.

River Narmada or Maa Narmada

It is mandatory to take a dip in Maa Narmada. Indian civilization is river-based, all our historical cities were established near rivers. So rivers are worshipped as mothers in our culture. Narmada, being the only major river flowing to the west has major religious importance. She is the symbol of purity and peace. It is believed that a dip in the Narmada river can erase all your sins.

Siddhanath temple

Siddhanath temple which is located at the top of the hill is considered to be very powerful. The astounding stone curved designs and architecture are still visible. It is said that Muslim rulers attack this temple and cut down all the elephant trucks that were designed around the temple. You can still see those elephant structures. It is sad, but the only way forward is to accept the tragedy.

What else?

There are many ashrams of famous Gurus on the island, from Ramakrishna Ashram to Anandmayi Maa Ashram and many more.

What was the best experience for you in Omkareshwar?

Sunset from the boat

The sense of fulfillment, the experience of pause. When you are at Omkareshwar, taking a boat ride to Sangam and watching the sunset is a must. You start from the crowded and noisy ghats near Jyotirlinga temple and ride west, through high cliffs and countless ashrams, watch people offering evening aarti, taking holy dips into mighty Narmada, and witness the century-old structures sheltering yogis during their sadhana. You can get down at any of the ghats, and give yourself some time to sit back, relax, and experience the sunset.

I loved this image so much, that I just had to put it somewhere 🙂

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