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Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga

Omkareshwar is a Hindu Temple dedicate to God Shiva. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Omkareshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This sacred island, shaped like the holiest of Hindu symbols 'Om', is about 2 km long and 1 km wide.

Omkareshwar Temple is situated on the mountain Mandhata by the banks of Narmada River in Malva, Madhya Pradesh which is 77km away from Indore. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva which are spread throughout India and is closely linked with the Mamleshwar Temple which is situated on the southern end of the Narmada River. It is said that both Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar are two halves of the same ancient Linga that Lord Shiva had himself created and then divided into two. Here, at the banks of Narmada, devouts gather to kneel before the Jyotirlinga at the temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. And here, as in so many of Hindu shrines, the works of nature complement those of man to provide a setting that is awe-inspiring and magnificent. The shrine follows a North Indian style of stone-architecture and is embellished with beautiful carvings in the support structure.

Legends and History 
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga also has its own history and stories. Three of them are prominent. The first story is about Vindhya Parvat. 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 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 parthivlinga along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made tow parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva's 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.
The second story ralates to Mandhata and his son's penance. King Mandhata of lkshvaku clan worshipped Lord Shiva here till the Lord manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga. Some scholars also narrate the story about Mandhata's sons-Ambarish and Muchukunda, who had practiced severe penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. Because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.
The Thirt story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was great war between Devas and Danavas (demon), in which Danavas won. This was a major setback for Devas and hence Devas prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, Lord Shiva emerged in the from Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.
There is a good number of public transport available from and to Omkareshwar. The temple is well maintained by the authorities. Also, the location is full of peace and serenity and one can enjoy the beautiful aura of Omkareshwar at the ghats of Narmada river. The river is clean and full of fresh water.
Also, near to Omkareshwar temple (around 100 m away), one can have darshan of Mamleshwar, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. There is a bridge over Narmada river connecting Omkareshwar temple and Mamleshwar temple. One can also take boats and jetty to cross the river and reach Mamleshwar temple. The temple is thousand year old and having linga of Shiva in the main temple known as Mamleshwar. One can observe the peaceful and soothing environment at the 4th Jyotirlinga among the 12 Jyotirlinga of Shiva.

Major Attractions 
Apart from the main shrine, other major temples like Siddhanath Temple, Satmatrika temple, etc are great places to visit while you are here. A fresco of elephants, carved on a stone slab, is also a major draw on account of being a classic example of early medieval Brahmanatic architecture. The best time to visit the temple is during the major festivals dedicated Lord Shiva. Shivratri, believed to be the birthday of Lord Shiva, is the main day when one should visit this temple. For this festival, Shiva is decorated in the most exquisite and elaborate manner and the entire place echoes of religious hymns and incantations.

How to Reach
There are steamboats across the Narmada river and also two connecting bridges to reach the temple
By Air
The Airport close to Omkareshwar is at Indore (77 km).
By Rail
Nearest Railway station is at Omkareshwar Road (12 km) on the Ratlam - Khandwa section of the western Railway which is not a mainline. The other nearest railway station connected to Delhi and Mumbai is at Indore (77 km)
By Road
Omkareshwar is connected to major towns and cities of Madhya Pradesh. There are regular bus services from Ujjain (133 km), Indore (77 km), Khandwa (61 km), and Omkareshwar Road (12 km), By bus, it takes 2.5 hrs from Khandwa railway station to Omkareshwar.

To Read other Jyotirlinga click here

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