About OmkareshwarThe ‘Om’ shaped island of Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh is home to one of the twelve pious Jyothirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is known for its scenic beauty, numerous religious and pilgrim sites and beautiful ghats and is therefore rightly called as the ‘mini – Varanasi’. Thus being a prominent pilgrim centre, it attracts tourists and worshippers in huge numbers from all over the country. The mystic aura surrounding this island lends it a uniqueness and sanctity that is indescribable by words and needs to be experienced.
Brief History of OmkareshwarThe city of Omkareshwar derives its name from its shape that resembles the pious Hindu symbol, ‘Om’. There are many legends and theories associated with the origin of this city and the Jyothirlinga Temple. A popular theory attributes the origin of this Jyothirlinga here to the severe austerities conducted to please Lord Shiva, on sage Narada’s intervention. While another theory states that Lord Shiva was pleased with the dedication of the sons of King Mandhata and manifested himself in the form of Jyothirlinga here, it is also believed that he appeared in the form of Omkareshwar Jyothirlinga to defeat the demons in a raging battle between the Gods and the demons. This city saw the rise and fall of several great dynasties and passed under the rule of Bhils to the Britishers and later became a part of the Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh.
Geography and Climate of OmkareshwarLocated between the coordinates 22.2461° North latitude and 76.1503° East longitude, the island of Omkareshwar is situated on the banks of the holy river Narmada and its shape resembles that of one of the most revered and pious Hindu symbols, ‘Om’. It is a part of the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. The summers from March to May, in this city are hot with temperatures as high as the about 29°C to 45°C, while in winters from December to February, the minimum temperature is about 6°C, while the maximum temperature is about 29°C. From June to the month of Seprtember, this city receives average rainfall. An ideal time to visit this city would therefore be during the months of October to March, when the weather is mild and pleasant, and you can enjoy sightseeing with your dear ones as well as participate in various festivities like Mahashivratri, held here, during this period. For more on geography, click here
Places of Interest In and Around Omkareshwar
Festivals Celebrated in OmkareshwarBeing a religious site and a major pilgrim centre, many festivals are celebrated here in a grand and pompous manner, with strict observance of various customs and traditions. Mahashivratri is an important festival celebrated here, where worshippers throng to the Temple in large numbers and perform various sacred rituals to please Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. Karthik festival and the fair also attracts hordes of visitors to this city. Other major festivals include Ganesh Chaturthi, Narmada Jayanti, Bhutni Amavasya, Holi, Diwali etc, that are celebrated with the participation of the people belonging to all religions and sections of the society.
Art and Culture in OmkareshwarBeing one of the holiest cities in India, Omkareshwar is known for its rich historic culture and traditions, that remains largely undisturbed by the influence of Western culture. Hindi and English are the major languages spoken by the people here. Women here prefer wearing traditional attire like sarees of different colours and patterns, while men wear dhotis and shirts. However with the increasing influx of tourists, youngsters here are now switching over to modern outfits. Puja paraphernalia, exquisite handicrafts, trinkets, souvenirs, small shivalingas and other unique items, that reflect the rich and varied culture of this region can be purchased from the road side shops and markets in Omkareshwar city.
Shopping in Omkareshwar
Economy and Industrialism in OmkareshwarOwing to the availability of fertile black cotton soil and irrigation facilities in Omkareshwar, majority of the people here depend on agriculture and other allied activities for their revenue. These factors are conducive for the growth of three crops per year, include fruits, grains, vegetables, soya beans, sugarcane, cotton, chillies, groundnuts etc, being the major crops grown in this region. Apart from agriculture, animal husbandry is also one of the major occupations of the people here.
Transportation in OmkareshwarOmkareshwar city is well connected to major Indian cities and is easily accessible via air, road and railways. Devi Ahilyabai Airport at Indore, about 77 kilometres away, is the airport nearest to this city and has regular flights to all major cities. Meter gauge trains are available from Omkareshwar Road Railway station to nearby cities. Khandwa Railway Station and Indore Railway Junction are major railway stations near Omkareshwar city. Regular buses are available from the Omkareshwar Bus Stand to important nearby place. Taxis, autorickshaws, buses form the major means of commuting within this city. Steamboats are available across river Narmada to reach the Omkareshwar Temple. For more on transport in Omkareshwar, click here
Omkareshwar at a glanceCountry: India
State: Madhya Pradesh
Languages spoken: Hindi, English
Winter temperature: About 6°C (min) to 29°C (max)
Summer temperature: About 29°C (min) to 45°C (max)
Best time to visit: October to March
PIN Code: 450554
STD Code: 0731
Major Tourist Attractions: Omkareshwar Temple, Ranmukteshwar Temple, Omkar Mandhata Temple, 24 Avatars, Siddhanath Temple, Gauri Somanth Temple, Satmatrika Temples, include Kajal Rani Cave, Fanase Ghat, Shri Govinda Bhagavatpada Cave, Peshawar Ghat etc.
Major Festivals: Kartik Festival, Mahashivratri Ganesh Chaturthi, Narmada Jayanti, Bhutni Amavasya, Holi, Diwali etc.