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Things To Do In Omkareshwar
Omkareshwar, a Hindu temple on a sacred island with a shape of Om, is situated on the banks of the River Narmada in MP. In the medieval period this place was under the rule of the Bhil chieftains who were all an aboriginal tribe. It was much later that the island came into the hands of the Scindias of Gwalior and finally became a part of India in 1947. For the devoted Hindus, Omkareshwar has a great importance attached since the shrine is a Jyotirlinga. There are several things to do in Omkareshwar besides visiting some of the best maintained temples going back in time. These are now discussed.
Bathe at the Fanase Ghat
The Fanase Ghat in Omkareshwar on the River Narmada is one of the river’s several bathing ghats. These ghats were named after the various rulers of the region such as Ahilya Ghat and Peshwa Ghat besides Fanase ghat. On any given day you will see large number of holy men and pilgrims bathing in the river or meditating. There will be a fair number of boats used for ferrying pilgrims to and from the ghat. Of course, this trip can be extended to include a visit to the Jyotirling Temple and the Sidhanath Temple as well as the Satmatrika Temple.
Admire the Kajal Rani Cave
Located just 9km from Omkareshwar, the Kajal Rani Cave is among the top attractions here for tourists. The charm about the cave is that it gives you a fantastic view of the length and breadth of the surrounding lands. It is a beautiful cave and you can reach it by rail too since Omkareshwar Road is only 12km from Omkareshwar. One can also get buses to this place.
Do the Parikrama of Omkareshwar
Visitors to Omkareshwar can do the parikrama of Omkareshwar by going around the hill. The path is well made and it is 7km long. However, there are ups and downs in the form of stairs and one can see several ashrams and temples en route. The route includes the confluence of the two rivers.
Visit the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is among twelve such temples which are dedicated to Lord Shiva throughout India. There is a meeting or prayer hall which is called Sabha Mandap that stands on top of sixty pillars of stone 14’ high which have been carved beautifully with figures such as those like satyr with foreheads which seem as if they are meditating and broad shoulders. There are five storeys in this temple and each storey has a deity that is different from the others. There are three pujas conducted at this temple. Visitors may try and attend at least one among these three pujas.
See the Hidden Treasure of 24 Avatars
After your visit of the Omkareshwar Temple you will find a bridge that leads to the dam from the temple. If you walk for some 15min you will reach the group of temples. The 24 Avatars are old temples that are in ruins now. However, you will find that your pictures of this group of temples will come out very well. You will be able to see the dam from here as well.
Admire the Gauri Somnath Temple
Gauri Somnath Temple is one of the largest shrines in Omkareshwar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it has been constructed in the shape of a star in the typical Bhumij style of architecture. The temple has three storeys and has the shape of a peahen. The sanctum sanctorum has a 6’ high lingam that is made of a shining stone. There are other idols too and these are the idols of Dev Kulikas. Outside the temple is the ride of Shiva, the bull Nandi.
The Unforgettable Sri Govinda Bhagavatpaada Cave
Sri Govinda Bhagavatpaada Cave is of significance especially to those who are aware of one of the greatest saints of India, Adi Sankaracharya. The well-known saint is supposed to have walked thousands of miles through valleys and thick forests to be able to reach his master, Govinda Bhagavatpaada who taught him in this cave which is on the banks of the River Narmada. The cave is now part of a greater story, one about our ancient civilization.