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Omkareshwar Tourism And Travel Guide
32.8° C / 91° F
September to March
1 to 2 Days
Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (77 kms)
Omkareshwar in MP, is a sacred island with a shape that looks like Om, a Hindu symbol. The town, presumably five thousand years old, is based around a Hindu temple that is dedicated to Shiva. This temple’s importance stems from the fact that it is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva scattered all over India. Tourism in Omkareshwar is naturally mostly centred on various Hindu temples but the place itself is very beautiful because of its natural heritage. A travel guide to Omkareshwar is placed below for visitors.
How to Reach
Omkareshwar, in MP, is best reached either by rail or by air. However, it is well connected by road and the bus service is satisfactory. The local transport system is also not bad considering the fact that the town is small and infrastructure is yet to evolve.
Though a small town, Omkareshwar has an excellent road network because of its significance as an important religious centre for the entire country. The town is well connected with other cities in MP and these include Ujjain and Indore as well as Khandwa. There are excellent bus services linking Omkareshwar with all these and other cities and towns.
The rail connection with Omkareshwar Road, the town’s railway station, suffers from the fact that the more important trains do not stop here. It is therefore a good idea to plan your train journey to Indore, 77km away, and thereafter take a taxi to Omkareshwar. Since Indore has dozens of fast trains stopping there, a train journey can quite easily be planned.
Since Omkareshwar does not have its own airport, one should take a flight to Indore’s Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport. This airport has a fair number of flights to all the major cities and these include Mumbai and Delhi as well as Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad among others. For those flying into the country from abroad it would be quite easy to catch a flight from either Mumbai or Delhi to Indore. Once at Indore one can catch a taxi to Omkareshwar which is only 77km away.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Omkareshwar has a tropical climate. During its winter there is far less rain than occurs during the summer. While the average temperature is 26.9°C, the average rainfall considered for the entire year is 837mm. Summers are very hot while the winters are cold generally.
Omkareshwar’s summers are hot and trying. The visitor will find the place exhausting and most uncomfortable. While the temperature climbs up to 40°C and higher, the humidity is also pretty high thereby ruling out a visit during this period.
The rains start during June and end only around September. This is a wonderful time of the year since the rains tend to rejuvenate the entire region. The weather also starts cooling off and everyone starts preparing for the winter.
This is by far the best period for a visit although one could visit the place from September onwards till March in order to see some of the important festivals such as the Mahashivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Anant Chaudas. The temperature drops to around 15°C and walking around is enjoyable.
Things to Do
Gauri Somnath Temple:
Omkareshwar has several shrines and Gauri Somnath Temple is among the largest of these shrines. The shrine is dedicated to Shiva while the temple is constructed in the shape of a star. The temple is built over 3 storeys and it contains idols of dev kulikas besides the Shiva Lingam in shining stone.
Sri Govinda Bhagavatpaada Cave:
This cave is well known since it is here that Adi Shankaracharya, one of the greatest saints of India, was taught by his guru, Sri Govinda Bhagavatpaada. It is said that Adi Shankaracharya walked thousands of miles crossing mountains, valleys and dense forests in order to reach this cave.
The Satmatrika group of temples is located about 6km from Omkareshwar at the junction of the rivers Cauvery and Narmada. The history of these temples goes back to the tenth century when these were built. The temples have a very intriguing form of architecture and are devoted to Shiva. It is worth the while to visit these temples.
Do the Parikrama of Omkareshwar:
It is recommended to all visitors who visit Omkareshwar that they also try to do the parikrama. The parikrama is the path that goes around the hill on top of which is located the Omkareshwar temple. The path is 7km in length and it goes up and down the stairs where one will get to see several temples and ashrams. From the parikrama one can also get to see the confluence of the two rivers.
Visit Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple:
There are 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva all over the country and Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of them. There is a meeting hall in the temple and this is known as Sabha Mandap which sits on 60 14’ tall stone pillars which have been carved elaborately with satyr-like figures. This temple performs three pujas and each is conducted by different priests such as from the Temple Trust, one who is assigned by the state of Holkar and another from the state of Scindia.
Where to Eat
Omkareshwar does not have too many restaurants. One will therefore have less number of options when trying to dine out. There are a few eateries where quite often one will get only vegetarian food because of the religious importance of the place. One will also get food such as sabzi Puri and samosas in the temples and when one is hungry this is more than adequate. You can try out Om Shiva near Getti Chowk where one will get good vegetarian food as well as thalis. Hotel Gopal Midway is quite promising and one can definitely try it out.
Omkareshwar is a small religious town in Madhya Pradesh. One will not find luxury goods out here in the various shops. At best one can pick up some souvenirs from various shops such as beads and mementos. For more sophisticated products one may try out bigger places such as Indore.