Omkareshwar , one the 12 revered Shiv temples ( Jyoteerling) is actually on an island called Mandhata in Narmada. On the south bank you will find the Mamaleshwar also among the 12. The town is similar to all temple towns all over India, full of small lanes packed with Pooja shops and hotels, a free passage to all living animals including humans, devotees and pestering priests and in addition there were flocks of flies as the monsoon special. Omkareshwar is a modern looking temple from the outside however we know the place is ancient and there are ornate pillars inside the temples which give a glimpse of the old temple. Everything inside the temple is to ensure that you should not feel peaceful. The ceramic tiles, the water abhishek mechanism where water goes in a tube and then gets poured on the shivlinga, the overbearing crowd of priests offering a menu card of abhishek in various types and costs. The only time you find solace is when you come out and look at the serene Narmada. That is the real ‘Darshan’ for me.
Mamaleshwar on the other bank is visible from this side with its ornate high shikhar and a red flag fluttering to show the location amongst the crowd of several other small temples and houses. All built in red sandstone, Mamaleshwar has that special quality of providing a devotional experience to the visitor. The temple is typical Nagar style with up-swinging Shikhar. There are many small and medium temple structures in the clean premise. The elaborate door frames and beautiful sculptures on the outer walls of temples are worth a watch. In the premise, we also find several pieces of temple structure strewn away. A lone ‘amalak’ the round top of the shikhar, some carvings and ‘chandrasheela’ – an ornate step to get into the Garbhagriha are all there stashed away, silently suffering the passage of time.Read More