One amongst the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines, this holy island resembles holiest of all Hindu symbols, the ‘Om’, by mother nature herself.
The island comprises of lofty hills, between which, river Narmada forms a serene pool. According to folk mythology, Omkareshwar came into existence as a result of Vindhya Parvat’s jealousy and a boon by Lord Shiva.
Once, sage Narada was on his cosmic journey when he visited Vindhya Parvat. In his usual, playful way of instigating, Narada started praising about the greatness of Mount Meru. And he got the desired reaction – Vindhya’s jealousy. Vindhya Parvat created a “Parthivlinga” (lingam made of physical material) and started the worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Mount Meru. Pleased with Vindhya’s devotion, Lord Shiva gave him the boon of growing. But this blessing came with a condition that Vindhya’s growth shouldn’t be a hindrance to Lord Shiva’s devotees. Vindhya soon forgot the condition and grew so mighty that it hid the sun and the moon. Troubled, devotees approached sage Agastya for help. The sage and his wife approached Vindhya and convinced him to not grow till they return. Vindhya agreed to keep the promise. The sage and his wife never returned. Today, the Jyotirlinga that Lord Shiva had placed, as a sign of his blessing, is known as Omkareshwar. Folklore and history enhance the charm of these soothingly picturesque towns, bringing back the child-like wonder; the kind you experienced on listening to the myths from your dear ones. The 270 ft hanging bridge over Narmada enhances the beauty of Omkareshwar. You will also be witness to the sheer devotion the Narmada commands from the locals. The moment the wheels of your vehicle touch the bridge on the Narmada, folded arms rise to foreheads and the passengers shout out almost in unison: “Narmada Mai Ki Jai”. Glory to Mother Narmada. If there are any doubts left in your mind about how important the river is, just set foot in the holy city of Omkareshwar.
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