Omkara Mandhata - Omkareshvara

also spelled: Omkareshwar - Omkareshvar


"The Most Sacred of the Sacred Sites symbolizing the sacred symbol OM." 3 holy Cities - Shiva Puri, Vishnu Puri, Brahma Puri

Omkareshvar, also known as Mandhata Omkareshvar is a holy island shaped like the sacred symbol "OM".  The rivers Narmada and Kaveri converge together forming the island Omkara Mandhata.  Nature blessed this island with two hillside ranges that reveal the sacred symbol "OM", visable only from above. The island is located 77km south of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, India.  It draws thousands of devotees daily to one of 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.


Legend is that the Vindhya mountain prayed to Shiva - Omkareshvara and was blessed here.  As the legend goes, upon the request of the Devas, the Shivalinga split into two, one half becoming Omkareshvara and the other Amaleshvara.  King Mandhatha of the Ishvaku clan is believed to have worshipped Shiva here.  Govinda Bhagavatpaada, the guru of Sankaracharya is believed to have lived in a cave here, as well as many others like the great philosopher Adi Shankara who was born in 804 A.D.


History of the Town of Omkareshvara


Mandhata Omkareshvara was ruled in the medieval period by Bhil Chieftains under the Parmars of Dhar, the Sultans of Malwa, and the Scindias of Gwalior. In 1824 the Scindias gave Mandhata to the British. After India's independence, the Rajas lost their Jagir rights to Mandhata Omkareshvara. In 1959 the Omkareshvara temple was declared a Public Trust under the M.P. Public Trust Act 1951.


It was here at Omkareshvara that Shankaracharya, born to Aryamba and Shivaguru of Kaladi in South Kerala, at the age of eight, found his Guru Shri Govinda Bhagavadpada and was initiated to Sannyasa. As the legend goes, Adi Shankara walked hundreds of miles through forests, valleys, crossing mountains and rivers finally reaching Omkareshvara to find Shimad Govinda Bhagavatpada in a state of Nirvikalpa Nishtha in a cave under a Banyan tree on the bank of the River Narmada.


View Satellite Images of Omkara Mandhata


Do you see the hills on the island that create the OM symbol?


Omkara Mandhata Aerial photos reveals the OM symbol


Sankaracharya on the banks of the Narmada River


This drawing of the island is displayed in the entrance way to the Temple Trust office.  It is only an artist drawing providing an illusion of OM, unlike a real image that reveals the hillsides that actually creates the illusion of OM, see satellite images.

View more picture slideshows by selecting:  Menu - Pictures

The plate on the back wall of the Rao Palace temple displays sanskrit text of Dvadasa Jyotirlingani.

The brass lamp inscription is praying for peace (shanti) of the departed souls of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in WW I, it was presented in 1922 by Lord Redding the last Viceroy of India.


Rao Palace

Interior of the Rao Palace

Omkara Dam - newly constructed dam (2004 -2006) on the Narmada River at Omkareshvar.  It supplies power to the State of Madhya Pradesh that benefits over 529 villages with water and irrigation for crops.  It became fully functional in the year 2007.



Every Monday the gold plated three headed idol of Lord Omkar is taken in a palanquin with bands, drums and priests along with devotees that gather in a procession down to the Narmada river to worship then thru the streets of the town.

Read more about the 1st Jyotirlinga by selecting Menu option "12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva" 


Rao Devendra Singh, Managing Trustee

Evening Festival lights


Along the Narmada by moonlight


There are many fairs and festivals, the Kartiki and Shivaratri bring many pilgrams to Omkara Mandhata.

Contrast of ideals......lady thinking of the other world (offering holy prayer waters) while man still absorbed in this world (grooming)

Evening offerings and prayers


"Parikrama" or circumambulation, the moving around a sacred object, idol or temple is a form of prayer or devotion.  It is a 6km trek along a walking path now called "Geeta Parikrama Path" that has been cemented with concrete for devotees ease.  It takes several hours to complete with the many temples, ashrams and shrines along the way to visit.  The circumambulation completes the Omkareshvar pilgrimage.


Swami Anand - Temple Trust

Omkara Mandata Temple

Om Shanti Mandiram

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