Omkareshwar, a spiritual Island

On the Trail of Western Madhya Pradesh - Day 2 contd. 

Our next pit stop was Omkareshwar, we reached here by afternoon and had whole evening with us to explore the Om shaped island.

Omkareshwar temple (white temple top) on right with Omkareshwar Palace behind it

Omkareshwar, one of the 12 jyotirlingas is on the island Mandhata (named after King Mandhata of Ishwaku clan), also known as Shivpuri on the banks of Narmada. The island is in the shape of Hindu symbol "Om / AUM" ॐ, hence the name. There is one more temple Mamleshwar (also called Amreshwar) opposite to the Omkareshwar temple on the other side of Narmada river. Mamleshwar (also known as Amreshwar) temple is lesser known than Omkareshwar but is of great significance. It is in fact believed that Mamleshwar is the real Jyotirlinga. 


As per legend, the Vindyachal mountain range was controlled by deity Vindya who was once worshiping Lord Shiva. He created a sacred symbol and a Lingam using mud & clay and when Shiva pleased by his worship appeared, there were two appearances, namely Omkareshwar and Amaleswara. The sacred symbol was the formation "OM", hence, the island came to be known as Omkareshwar.

Mamleshwar Temple

We reached Omkareshwar around afternoon and paid our visit to Mamleshwar first. It is a small temple with beautiful architecture protecting the shivalinga inside. I fell in love with the temple with rose fragrance in the air clubbed with the aroma of agarbattis. It also has prehistoric carved sculptures and looks older than Omkareshwar temple. Mamleshwar was not very crowded and we got peaceful darshan. We spent some time here before heading to Omkareshwar temple. 

After reaching the banks you either take the boat ride to the other side of Narmada river or take the bridge connecting the island to the mainland. Although boat ride can be interesting with amazing view around, it takes time. We chose to take the bridge, it was less than 30 minutes walk with stunning view around (during festivals even a few hours are not enough to reach the other side). 

Mamleshwar Setu

The bridge (Mamleshwar Setu, constructed by NHDC) will definitely remind you of Lakshman / Ram jhula. It was early evening and hence the breeze felt good on face. On the way one can see many shops adorned with colorful toys and pooja items.

After reaching Omkareshwar there was a line but since it was off season, we got darshan pretty soon. There is also a gufa (cave), Govindeshwar Gufa at Omkareshwar next to temple entrance which is believed to be the place where Sri Adi Shankara met his guru Govindapada, hence it is called Adi Shankara cave also. 

View from Omkareshwar Temple

There is a terrace in the temple complex where we spent some time, sat by the railing and watched the sun set. The wind caressing face and playing with hair felt so good. There was so much calm and solace in the air and love in environment. I loved whatever time I spent here watching the birds and waves of Narmada crushing the sedimentary rocks of Vindhya mountain range.

There are two more temples in the complex of Ma Parvati and five faced Lord Ganesha. Next to the temple is Omkareshwar palace, a few steps up.

Omkareshwar Palace

Post sunset we left back for the mainland where our car was parked and left the same evening for Indore. On the way to Indore we visited an old Shani temple and had dinner in a near by dhaba. Omkareshwar to Indore is around 80 km and you can make it to the city in less than 3 hours if there is no much traffic.

Trail of Western Madhya Pradesh:
Day 1 Ujjain (an ancient Indian City) --> Day 2 Mandu (a lyrical fortress) --> Day 2 Maheshwar (a city of Ahilyabai) --> Day 2 Omkareshwar, a spiritual Island --> Day 3 Indore (city of Lord Indra - Indrapur)

With long weekend in hand, you can definitely cover this historical cum spiritual cluster.

Me And My Suitcase


  1. Liked the write up and photos, some of which are stunning. I myself also have Omkareshwar in my bucket list and lets see when can I make it. Could you suggest a nice hotel there ! Best wishes.

    1. Hello sir, I am glad you liked it. Although, I am afraid I won't be able to help you on stay. If you read my itinerary you will see that I didn't stay at Omkareshwar. Instead I stayed at Ujjain (detail in my Ujjain blog post) and Indore. You can also stay at Mandu if you wish to cover it in the same day.

  2. Not just the bridge, even the ghat picture looks like Rishikesh. :D

  3. Lovely write up and pics have come up so well spl. the narmada crushing against the rocks

  4. Beautifully written, Stuti. I had planned to visit Omkareshwar last year along with Jal Mahotsav in Hanuwantiya but unfortunately couldn't. I have been to Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh (one of the 12 jyotirlingas) with my mother in law. She wants to visit all the 12 :) Hopefully, we'll be able to fulfill her wish.

    1. That's amazing. I visited srisailam last year and have been to 10 jyotirlingas so far with kedarnath and rameshwaram remaining :)

  5. This is very nice write up, neat and clean, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks :)

  6. Very nicely written post with all the legend and history of the place. The bridge definitely looks like that of Laxman Jhula! I guess most of the pilgrimages have the same kind of feel.

    1. Yes. I guess. The feeling of love and purity.
      Thank you 😊

  7. Though I have heard of Ujjain I didn't know anything about Omkareshwar. Loved your shots especially those taken during the golden hour.

    1. Thanks mann. You should visit it. Club it with Maheshwar and Mandu.


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