Omkareshwar Temple- A way to reach Shiva
India is a mystical country with many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, the 12 Jyotirlingas are considered to be his most apt representations.Omkareshwar Shivling or temple is one of these Jyotirlingas and is located at Mandhata Island in Narmada River. Let us read more about Omkareshwar Temple and why it is revered so much.
There are two temples of Lord Shiva here. One is the Omkareshwar Temple on the island. The other is the Amareshwar temple which is located on the mainland. As per a shlok, Amareshwar or Mamleshwar is the actual jyotirlinga but most people consider both the temples as sacred.
According to ancient texts, Vindhya or Vindhyachal Mountain offered severe penances to Lord Shiva here. He made a lingam and a geometrical diagram out of sand and clay. Pleased by his prayers Shiva appeared in front of him in two forms also known as Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar.There are shrines for Parvati and Ganesh too in the temple.
In the other legend one of Lord Ram’s ancestors, Mandhata prayed to Shiva here. He was finally blessed when Shiva himself appeared here and decided to stay as a Shivling. Once a fight happened between the Devas and the Danavas. Unfortunately, the Devas were defeated. They prayed to Shiva and he manifested himself here in the form of Omkareshwar and taught the Danavas a lesson.
Adi Shankar met his guru Govindpada in a cave here. This cave is still found here just below the temple of Shiva. An idol of Adi Shankaracharya has been installed here. Omakreshwar is located in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh India. It is around 20 kilometers away from Mortakka in the same state. The temple is situated on the Mandhata Island on banks of Narmada and Kaveri.
The Omkareshwar Temple has a grand Sabha Mandap or prayer hall. It has five floors and each one of them has a separate deity. Three pujas are done in the temple on a given day. The morning puja is done by the temple trust while the afternoon by the priest of Scindia state. The evening prayers are done by the priests of the Holkar state. The temple is always crowded with pilgrims. They first take a bath in the river Narmada and then pay their obeisance here.