kaverikanarmadayoh pavitre samagame sajjanataranaya |
sadaiva mandhatripure vasantamonkaramisham shivamekamIde ||
Location of OmkAreshwar Jyothirling
OmkAreshwar is a beautiful self manifest (swayambhu) linga. From the
Vindhyanchal mountain range in Madhya Pradesh, river Narmada, turns
westward and meanders in that direction. The deep wide river looks like
it has assimilated into itself all the sins and sorrows of the humans
and releasing them from these. This river Narmada, which flows rippling
from the mountains, is also known as "Reva”. The smooth, round pebbles
found in this river are called "BanaLingas”.
"Narmada ke Kankar, UtteShankar” is the belief of the devotees. That is how, Narmada is also known as "Shankari” river.
On the banks of river Narmada, there is a huge island on which
the fourth of the JyotirLinga "Omkaram Amaleshwar” is situated. This
island and the river are shaped like "OM” and that is how it derives its
name. It is a natural phenomenon. The devotees who go round the temple
consider themselves blessed because they are doing a Parikrama or
Circumambulation of Omkara itself and Darshan of the holy JyotirLinga.
The Narmada banks and the island are extremely beautiful. The beauty of
Nature here is seen to be believed. The houses perched on the terraced
green, strong mountains, the temple, KotiTeerth located in the
waterfalls and valleys like Chakrateerts are some of the places to be
seen. One can see very big fish and also crocodiles in these waers.
There are many trees with beautiful creepers all over them. Groups of
monkeys live on these trees. There are a variety of birds. The temple
towers look bright and shiny in between. The whole atmosphere echoes
with the the sound of "Om Namah Shivaya”. It is here that Lord Sankara
has taken the forms of "Omkareshwara” and "Amaleshwara”, as JyotirLinga.
Sthala purana of Omkareshvar
In the ancient times the Demons defeated the gods or divines. Indra
was worried. The Danavas or Demons have wrecked havoc in all the three
worlds, i.e., Trilokas. In order to empower the Devas once again, Lord
Shiva assumed the form of Jyotirmaya Omkararoop. He came out of the
nether world or Patala. Lord Shankar came out in the form of Linga on
the banks of river Narmada. The gods or Devas have worshipped the Linga
which made them powerful once again. This time they were able to destroy
the demons and re-acquiesced their empire in Heavens.
Brahma and Vishnu also lived in the same place as Omkar
Amaleshwar. That is why on the banks of Narmada Brahmapuri, Vishnupuri
and Rudrapuri are built which are known as Tripuri Kshetra. The
Amareshwar JyotiraLinga is situated in Rudrapuri.
Later on, in the mythological era or Purana Kala, Yavanaswa Putra Mandhata
came into power here with the blessings of Indra. He served Lord
Shankara with great devotion. Lord Shankara was pleased with him. The
waters of Narmada emanated from the Arghya (holy water) or Jalahari of
the Omkar JyotirLinga and flown through the mountains, downward and
later on flow unseen. Narmada joins the deep-water spring located near
the Linga idol of Omkareshwar. It flows there eternally. When some
bubbles appear at the bottom of this spring, it is said, that Lord
Shankar is pleased.
King Mandhata made this holy place his capital. Therefore, this
place is also known as Omkar Mandhata. The descendents of Mandhata live
here even today. The Vindhya mountain also performed a severe penance
and pleased Omkar-Amareshwar. As a result of which, the whole place
turned beautiful. Many hermits like Agastya have performed severe
penances and japas at Omkar-Amaleshwaram JyotirLingam. They had built
This place of pilgrimage became famous in the historical times
too. In 1063 AD, Paramarking Udayaditya installed four stone
inscriptions with four Sanskrit Stotras and dedicated them to the
Amaleshwar Temple. Pushpadanta’s "Shiva Mahima Stotra” can also be seen
as a stone inscription.
Initially aboriginals used to live here on Omkareshwar island as a
settlement. It belonged to Kalika devi. Devotees of this goddess were
known as Bhairavgan and used to harass pilgrims. They used to sacrifice
them. After sometime, a saint by the name Dariyayinath took charge of
that place and stopped the atrocities of the Bhairavgan. Since then,
pilgrims started moving there freely.
After that, Bhil reign began there. In 1195 AD, King Bharat Singh
Cahuhan won over the Bhils and improved the grandeur of the Omkar
Mandhata. Even today the palace ruins of Raja Bahrat Singh Chauhan can
be seen. The heirs of Bharat Singh Chauhan call themselves the ‘Kings’
of Omkar island, even now staking their right.
The temple was renovated by Peshwa Baji Rao, the second. After
Peshwa, Punyashlok Ahilya Devi Holkar, has made several improvements in
this ancient shrine. She built strong, expansive and beautiful ghats.
The important one among there is the KotirLingarchana schedule.
This shrine of Omkar Mandhata Shiva pilgrimage is most beautiful. According to Shankaracharya. It is: