Trip to Omkareshwar: A comprehensive tour guide

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While you are visiting Indore, make a trip to Omkareshwar, a quaint little town that is tucked away in the Vindhyachal region of Madhya Pradesh . This charming town has gained popularity as a destination for pilgrims from all over the country due to its famed ancient temple and religious significance. Omkareshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and is located at the confluence of the Narmada and Kaveri rivers..

The centre of attention in the town is the Omkareshwar Temple, which honors Lord Shiva. The intricate carvings and distinctive architecture of the temple are evidence of the town’s rich cultural heritage. The temple is thought to have been constructed in the 11th century, during the reign of the Paramara dynasty. Over the centuries, it underwent a number of renovations.

Omkareshwar is known for its natural beauty in addition to its religious significance. The town is surrounded by verdant hills, and the Narmada River adds to its appeal. This tranquil environment draws tourists looking for peace and quiet.

We’ll take you on a tour of Omkareshwar’s history, culture, and tourist attractions in this blog post. We’ll delve into the history of the town, take you to the well-known Omkareshwar temple, and show you the town’s stunning natural surroundings. Omkareshwar has something to offer everyone, whether you’re a history buff, a religious traveller, or a nature enthusiast.

Trip to Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar Temple

Legend and architecture of Omkareshwar Temple

According to Hindu mythology, the god Vindhya, who was in charge of the Vindhyachal mountain range, worshipped Shiva to atone for his sins. He shaped a clay and sand Lingam and a sacred geometric diagram. Shiva is said to have been pleased with the worship and to have manifested as Omkareshwar and Amaleswara. The island was given the name Omkareswar since this mud mound had the shape of Om. In the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Parvati and Ganapati. You will be thrilled to learn about such legends and more during your trip to Omkashwar.

The second tale concerns the penance of Mandhata and his son. Before Lord Shiva became a Jyotirlinga, he was worshipped here by King Mandhata of the Ikshvaku clan, an ancestor of Lord Ram. Some scholars also talk about the story of Mandhata’s sons namely Ambarish and Muchukunda, who performed severe penance and austerities to please Lord Shiva. Thus , the mountain came to be known as Mandhata.

Yet another story goes that there was once a great war between Devas (gods) and Danavas (demons), which Danavas won. This was a major setback for the Devas, so they prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, pleased with their prayer, and defeated Danavas.

The stunning architecture of this massive temple structure has been designed according to ancient building design ideas. Majestic, impressive and very divine are the best ways to describe it and its entire beauty. The temple follows the Nagara architecture style, which makes it very stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. 

Such is the loveliness of the temple’s intricate carvings that you will find its interiors to be more like a work of art than just a place of devotion. Reaching the Omkareshwar temple requires that you cross the Jhula Phul else you need to ride on a boat across the River Narmada. It is a five storied massive structure and each floor is dedicated to a form of Lord Shiva.

Inside the temple, you will find the Sabha Mandap, which has some 60 pillars made from brownstone and they are 14 feet high. On these pillars, you can see the most beautiful frieze carvings. If you observe more closely, you can see group figures here, which resemble sanyasis.

Trip to Omkareshwar
Gaumukh ghat in Omkareshwar, PC: Bernard Gagnon/Wikipedia

Related Post: Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain

Omkareshwar Ghats

During your trip to Omkareshwar, don’t forget to visit its ghats. Visitors come to the town from all over India to visit these well-known picturesque ghats.

The Omkareshwar ghats are a set of stairs that descend to the river Narmada, each with a special purpose and allure. In Omkareshwar, there are roughly 24 ghats, and each one is associated with a legend or story. The Siddhnath Ghat, the Varhdhara Ghat, the Nagar Ghat, and the Gaumukh Ghat are a few of the well-known ghats.

One of Omkareshwar’s most well-known ghats, the Nagar Ghat is renowned for its exquisite carvings and beautiful architecture. Another significant ghat where cows are worshiped before being let loose on the riverbank is the Gaumukh Ghat. The Siddhnath Ghat is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere and breath-taking views of the river, while the Varhdhara Ghat is thought to be the location where Lord Shiva himself is said to have descended to bless his devotees.

The Omkareshwar ghats provide a glimpse into the town’s extensive cultural and religious history. Visitors can take a dip in the sacred river, observe the priests’ daily rituals and ceremonies, or just take in the peaceful surroundings. Photographers who love to travel are also drawn to the ghats and click the stunning views of the river and the town

The Omkareshwar ghats are an integral part of the town’s religious and cultural heritage. They offer visitors an unique experience that combines spirituality, history, and unspoiled beauty. Without visiting these magnificent ghats and learning about their significance, your trip to Omkareshwar would be incomplete.

Trip to Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar Dam

Omkareshwar Dam

During your trip to Omkareshwar, don’t miss to visit the dam constructed over river Narmada.. One of Leading hydroelectric projects of the country, the dam was constructed in the 2000s as a part of the Narmada Valley Project. The dam’s primary priorities are to supply water for drinking, irrigation, and the production of hydroelectric power.

The Omkareshwar temple, a significant Hindu pilgrimage site, is not far from the Omkareshwar Dam. The dam measures 1,200 metres in length and 57 metres in height. With eight generators, each with a 65 MW capacity, it has a total installed capacity of 520 MW. The dam’s reservoir can irrigate about 1.2 million hectares with its 9.5 billion cubic metre storage capacity.

The Omkareshwar Dam is a major hydroelectric power source for India’s central and western regions. Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh receive the electricity produced by the dam. Additionally, the dam provides drinking water to the nearby cities and towns of Dewas and Indore.

The Omkareshwar Dam serves both practical needs and is a well-liked tourist destination. Many people visit the dam and its surroundings because of their scenic beauty, particularly during the monsoon season when the dam’s gates are opened and water cascades down the steps in a spectacular display. The dam serves as a popular destination for adventure seekers because it provides a variety of adventurous activities like boating, kayaking, and rafting.

The Omkareshwar Dam, which provides hydroelectric power, irrigation, and drinking water supply, is a crucial project for India’s development. It is a popular tourist destination because of its proximity to the Omkareshwar temple and picturesque surroundings. The dam is a significant piece of infrastructure for India’s future because of its substantial impact on the economy of the area and the nation’s energy sector.

Trip to Omkareshwar
Mamleshwar Temple

Do Read: Kaal Bhairav Temple of Ujjain: Shrine

Other attractions

 In addition to the famous Omkareshwa Temple, there are several other attractions in the area that are worth visiting during your trip to Omkareshwar. Kedareshwar Temple, Siddhanath Temple, and Mamleshwar Temple are the ones you must visit.

The Kedareshwar Temple, located on the banks of the Narmada River, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the most ancient temples in Omkareshwar. The temple is believed to have been built during the 11th century and is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. The temple also has a sacred pond called the Kunda, which is believed to have healing properties.

The Siddhanath Temple, situated on a hill overlooking Omkareshwar, is another important temple in the area. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to have been built during the 9th century. The temple is known for its beautiful carvings and intricate architecture, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Trip to Omkareshwar
Sanctum of Mamaleshwar Temple

The Mamleshwar Temple, located on the south bank of the Narmada River, is one of the most famous temples in Omkareshwar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to have been built during the 12th century. The temple is known for its stunning architecture and nning views of the beautiful carvings, and is a popular spot for pilgrims and tourists alike.

In addition to these temples, there are several other attractions in and around Omkareshwar that are worth visiting. These include the Omkareshwar Dam, which offers a stunning view of Narmada River and the surrounding hills, and the Satmatrika Temples, which are a group of seven temples dedicated to the seven mothers of Hindu mythology.

Overall, Omkareshwar and its surrounding areas offer a rich cultural and spiritual experience for visitors, with a wealth of ancient temples, stunning natural beauty, and fascinating historical sites to explore.

Trip to Omkareshwar

Also Read: Know Why Harsiddhi Mata Temple in Ujjain is a must-visit shrine

Local cuisine and shopping options

The town, located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, is not only a popular pilgrimage destination, but also a great place to sample some delicious local cuisine and do some shopping during your trip to Omkareshwar..

When it comes to food, Omkareshwar offers a range of vegetarian dishes that are full of flavor and unique to the region. Some popular dishes include dal bafla, a type of bread made from wheat and lentils that is typically served with a spicy curry; poha, a savory dish made from flattened rice, vegetables, and spices; and sabudana khichdi, a dish made from tapioca pearls and spices that is often eaten during religious fasts. There are also many sweet treats to sample, including malpua, a sweet pancake-like dessert, and jalebi, a crispy fried sweet that is soaked in sugar syrup.

In addition to food, Omkareshwar is also a great place to shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts. Some popular shopping areas include the Omkareshwar Market, which offers a range of handicrafts and souvenirs such as wooden toys, brass items, and colorful textiles; and the Chowk Bazaar, which is known for its colorful bangles and traditional clothing. Other popular items to purchase in Omkareshwar include Rudraksha beads, which are believed to have spiritual and healing properties, and sandalwood products, such as incense sticks and carved idols.

Overall, Omkareshwar offers a unique cultural and culinary experience for visitors, with a range of delicious local cuisine and colorful shopping options to explore.

Trip to Omkareshwar


 Some of the popular festivals celebrated in Omkareshwar are:

  1. Maha Shivaratri: This festival is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva and is one of the biggest festivals in Omkareshwar. The festival is celebrated in February or March and involves elaborate rituals, including fasting, chanting of prayers, and the offering of bael leaves and milk to the deity.
  2. Navratri: Navratri is a nine-day festival celebrated in honor of the goddess Durga. The festival is celebrated in September or October and involves the worship of the nine forms of Durga. During Navratri, the town is decorated with lights and colorful decorations, and there are cultural programs and performances held in the evenings.
  3. Deepavali: Deepavali, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated in October or November and is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. During Deepavali, the town is decorated with lights, and there are fireworks and the exchange of sweets and gifts.
Trip to Omkareshwar

How to Reach

 Here are some ways to reach Omkareshwar:

  1. By Air: The nearest airport to Omkareshwar is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport in Indore, which is located approximately 77 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Omkareshwar.
  2. By Train: The nearest railway station to Omkareshwar is Omkareshwar Road railway station, which is located approximately 12 km away. However, this station is not well-connected and has limited trains. The major railway station near Omkareshwar is Indore Junction, which is located approximately 77 km away. From Indore, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Omkareshwar.
  3. By Road: Omkareshwar is well-connected by road and can be reached by bus or taxi. You can take a bus from major cities such as Indore, Ujjain, and Bhopal to reach Omkareshwar. You can also hire a taxi or drive on your own if you prefer a more comfortable and flexible mode of travel.

Overall, Omkareshwar is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, making it a convenient destination for pilgrims and tourists alike.

Must Read: 12 best things to do in Ujjain

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Omkareshwar is from October to March, during the winter season. The weather during this time is cool and pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the temples and enjoying the scenic beauty of the region.

During the winter season, the temperature ranges between 10 to 30 degrees Celsius, making it comfortable for visitors to explore the various attractions in and around Omkareshwar. The winter season is also the peak season for tourism in the region, and you can expect to see a lot of pilgrims and tourists visiting during this time.

Visiting Omkareshwar during the summer months (April to June) is not recommended due to the scorching heat and high humidity levels. The monsoon season (July to September) is also not an ideal time to visit as the region receives heavy rainfall and the roads can become quite slippery and difficult to navigate.

Trip to Omkareshwar

Final thoughts on trip to Omkareshwar

Omkareshwar is a popular pilgrimage destination located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The town is named after the famous Omkareshwar temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. However, there are many more reasons why Omkareshwar is worth visiting.

Firstly, Omkareshwar is set in a scenic location, surrounded by the beautiful Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges and the Narmada River. The natural beauty of the region is breathtaking, making it a great place for nature lovers and photographers.

Secondly, Omkareshwar has a rich cultural and historical heritage. The town is home to many ancient temples, including the Kedareshwar Temple, the Siddhanath Temple, and the Mamleshwar Temple. These temples showcase the architectural and sculptural excellence of ancient India and are a must-visit for history and culture enthusiasts.

Thirdly, Omkareshwar offers a range of unique experiences, such as boat rides on the Narmada River, shopping for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and trying the delicious local cuisine. The town is also known for its religious festivals, such as Maha Shivaratri and Navratri, which are celebrated with great pomp and show.

Overall, Omkareshwar is a destination that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, cultural and historical heritage, and unique experiences. Whether you are a pilgrim seeking spiritual enlightenment or a traveler looking for a memorable vacation, Omkareshwar is definitely worth visiting.

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