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Omkareshwar

Once upon a time Narada  visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Meru Parvat. 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 two 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 rishi 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. Rishi Agastya and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.

The second story relates to Mandhata and his son’s penance. King Mandhata of Ishvaku 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 Mucchkund, who had practiced severe penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. Because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.

The third story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was a 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 form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.

Omkareshwar  is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga . It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river; the shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu  symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means “Lord of Omkaara “) and one to Amareshwar. But as per the sloka on dwadash jyotirligam, Mamleshwar is the jyotirling, which is on other side of Narmada river.

Here, at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devout gather to kneel before the Jyotirlinga at the temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata.
Omkareshwar temple is the main attraction of the pilgrims. In fact the town owes its very existence to this temple. The sanctum sanctorum containing the Jyotirlinga seems to have been originally a small temple of the old construction style, the dome being made of layers of stone slabs and not of circular cut stones. As this temple is too close to the precipitously deep bank of the Narmada to the south, the great extension is of new construction style. This is the reason why the sanctum sanctorum and the main deity are neither in the front of the main door nor below the higher conspicuous Shikhar or the tower of later construction.The temple has a grand Sabha Mandap  standing on about 60 huge brown stone pillar (14 feet high), elaborately carved with a curious frieze and fillet of satyr like figures. Many of them have broad shoulders and meditating foreheads. The temple is 5 storeyed each having a different deity. There are three regular ‘Pujas’ in the temple. The morningone done by the temple trust , the middle one by the priest of Scindia state and the evening one by the priest of the Holkar state.The temple is always crowded with pilgrims, coming after a bath in the Narmada and with pots full of Narmada water, coconuts and articles of worship, many of them performing Abhishek or special worships through the priests.Omkareswar kshetra parikrama is the very important thing to do in Omkareswar tour.The parikrama route Starts from Omkareswar temple and completes after surrounding the hill.Adi Shankaracharya did parikrama when he visited Omkareswar jyotirling.While doing parikrama, he met his Guru Sri Govindapada and learned Advaita from him.

  

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