About the Temple:
Omkareshwar temple is situated in the Mortakka of Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple idol is a self-born in nature. It is one of the Twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva.
In 1195, Raja Bharat Singh Chauhan renovated the temple and enhanced the temple’s grandeur. The architecture of Omkareshwar temple is inspired by the Nagara style. The temple is a five leveled structure and each level is consecrated to a different God. The white temple dome is made out of soft soapstone. The temple tower is adorned with the carvings of Gods and Goddesses.
Temple History and Temple Legend:
Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga has its own history. There are three prominent stories. As per the first tale, Once, Narada, son of Lord Brahma visited Mount Vindya and praised about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous and he decided to be bigger than Mount Meru. Vindhya started worshipping Lord Shiva. Vindhya did severe penance and worshipped a linga made from the physical material. Lord Shiva blessed him with boon but took a promise that Vindhya will never create a problem for Shiva's devotees. Lord Shiva divided the lingas in to two parts. One-half is known as Omkareshwara and the other is known as Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Vindhya did not keep his promise and he began to grow. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Sage Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya and requested him not to grow until they come again to visit Mount Vindhya. They never returned and hence, Vindhya stopped growing. Agastya and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is known as Dakshina Kashi and it is one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.
The second story is related to the penance of King Mandhata and his son. King Mandhata worshipped Lord Shiva at this place till the Lord manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga. It is also believed that Mandhata's sons-Ambarish and Muchukunda had practiced severe penance to please Lord Shiva. Hence, this mountain is named Mandhata.
The third tale from ancient blockedures says that once a war took place between Devas and Danavas, in whichDanavas won. This was a major defeat for Devas and hence, they prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayers, Lord Shiva appeared as a Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.
Festivals, Puja and Celebrations:
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated for 5 days to mark the marriage celebrations of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. A fair is organised in the temple premises which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims. Special pujas and aartis are conducted throughout the day.
Karthik Utsav is celebrated for 10 days. The Panchakoshi Yatra starts from the Ekadasi of the Shukla Paksha from the Gomukh Ghat and ends on Poornima.
Narmada Jayanti is celebrated to celebrate the birth of the holy river Narmada.
Other major festivals celebrated are Vasant Panchami, Holi, Hanuman Jayanti, Shanishwar Amavasya and Janmashtami.
How to reach:
By Road: Buses and taxis are available from all the major cities of Madhya Pradesh to access the temple.
By Train: The nearest railway stations are Mortakka (12 km) and Indore (77 km).
By Air: The nearest airport is located at Indore which is 77 km away from the temple.