Thursday, 31 January 2013


Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga

 Omkareshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva. It is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river; the shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means "Lord of Omkaara or the Lord of the Om Sound") and one to Amareshwar (whose name means "Immortal lord" or "lord of the Immortals or Devas"). But as per the sloka on dwadash jyotirligam, Mamleshwar is the jyotirling, which is on other side of Narmada river

History of Omkareshwar

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga also has its own history and stories.Three of them are prominent. The first story is about Vindhya Parvat (Mount). Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop cosmic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthivlinga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva's devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.
The second story relates to Mandhata and his son's penance. King Mandhata of Ishvaku clan (an ancestor of Lord Ram) worshipped Lord Shiva here till the Lord manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga. Some scholars also narrate the story about Mandhata's sons-Ambarish and Mucchkund, who had practiced severe penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. Because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.
The third story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was a great war between Devas and Danavas(demon), in which Danavas won. This was a major setback for Devas and hence Devas prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, Lord Shiva emerged in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.
Omkareshwar under lights
It is situated in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradeshstate in India. It is about 12 miles (20 km) from Mortakka in Madhya Pradesh.
Omkareshwar is formed by the sacred river Narmada. This is one of the most sacred of rivers in India and is now home to one of the world's biggest dam projects.
There are steamboats across the Narmada river and also two connecting bridges to reach the temple.
Air : The Airports close to Omkareshwar are at Indore (77 km) and Ujjain (133 km).
Rail : Nearest Railway Station is at Omkareshwar Road (12 km) on the Ratlam-Khandwa section of the Western Railway which is not a mainline. The other nearest railway station connected to Delhi and Mumbai is at Indore (77 km).
Road : Omkareshwar is connected to major towns and cities of Madhya Pradesh. There are regular bus services from Ujjain (133 km), Indore (77 km), Khandwa (61 km.) and Omkareshwar Road (12 km). By bus, it takes 2.5 hrs from Khandwa railway station to Omkareshwar.
While traveling from Khandwa to Omkareshwar, on the left side of road in the outskirts of Khandwa you can see the memorial to the celebrated singer, Kishore Kumar.
Mamleshwar Temple
Sculpture at Omkareshwar Temple
Sculpture at Omkareshwar Temple
Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga
One of the temple shrines
View of Narmada


Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
The Temple

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south. This is a unique feature, upheld by the tantric shivnetra tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami. The temple has five levels, one of which is underground. The temple itself is located in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls near a lake. The shikhar or the spire is adorned with sculptural finery. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum. It is believed that prasada (holy offering) offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other shrines

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendor, reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its shikhar soaring into the sky, an imposing façade against the skyline, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with ancient Hindu traditions. On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night

According to the Puranas,

 The city of Ujjain was called Avantika and was famous for its beauty and its status as a devotional epicenter. It was also one of the primary cities where students went to study holy scriptures. According to legend, there was a ruler of Ujjain called Chandrasena, who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva and worshiped him all the time. One day, a farmer's boy named Shrikhar was walking on the grounds of the palace and heard the King chant the Lord's name and rushed to the temple to start praying with him. However, the guards removed him by force and sent him to the outskirts of the city near the river Kshipra. Rivals of Ujjain, primarily King Ripudamana and King Singhaditya of the neighboring kingdoms decided to attack the Kingdom and take over its treasures around this time. Hearing this, Shrikhar started to pray and the news spread to a priest named Vridhi. He was shocked to hear this and upon the urgent pleas of his sons, started to pray to Lord Shiva at the river Kshipra. The Kings chose to attack and were successful; with the help of the powerful demon Dushan, who was blessed by Lord Brahma to be invisible, they plundered the city and attacked all the devotees of Lord Shiva.
Upon hearing the pleas of His helpless devotees, Lord Shiva appeared in his Mahakala form and destroyed the enemies of King Chandrasena. Upon the request of his devotees Shrikhar and Vridhi, Lord Shiva agreed to reside in the city and become the chief deity of the Kingdom and take care of it against its enemies and to protect all His devotees. From that day on, Lord Shiva resided in His light form as Mahakala in a Lingam that was formed on its own from the powers of the Lord and His consort, Parvati. The Lord also blessed his devotees and declared that people who worshipped Him in this form would be free from the fear of death and diseases. Also, they would be granted worldly treasures and be under the protection of the Lord himself.


The temple complex was destroyed by Sultan Iltutmish during his raid of Ujjain in 1234-5.[11][12][13] The present structure was built by the Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj Scindias in 1736 AD. Further developments and management was done by Shreenath Mahadji Shinde Maharaj also known as Madhavrao the First (14 January 1761–13 February 1794) and Srimant Maharani Bayzabai Raje Shinde (1827–1863).

In the regime of Maharaja Shrimant Jayaajirao Saheb Shinde Alijah Bahadur until 1886, major programs of the then Gwalior Riyasat used to be held at this mandir. After Independence the Dev Sthan Trust was replaced by the municipal corporation of Ujjain. Nowadays it is under the collectorate.


The temple is located in the heart of Ujjain, at a distance of two kilometers from the Ujjain railway station and bus stand. It is accessible by state-operated tempos (fare Rs. 10/- per head from railway station or bus stand to temple. The service of Tempos is after every five minutes), auto-rickshaws or private taxis.

12 JyotirLinga Temples of Lord Shankar - Significance, Stories


12 JyotirLinga Temples of Lord Shankar - Significance, Stories

What is jyotirlinga ?

Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme - solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God - formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills. More details on the shiva linga significance could be found at Shaivam A Perspective.
This jyoti swarUpa of God exist in all the shivalinga forms, there are prominent abodes across Indian subcontinent, where It is in a splendid form. These are renowned as dvAdasa jyotir lingas or 12 jyotirlingas. These are held at much great esteem since the ancient pre-historic times. purANas talk in many sections as well as in detail about the glory of these abodes. Devotees have been getting pulled towards these kshetras due to the highly benevolent divine presence in these abodes, since ancient times.

The 12 jyotirlinga temples

There is an sanskrit shloka that lists the twelve jyotirlinga temples. (This and the complete dvAdasa jyotirlinga stotra could be found at Scripture Page) 

“Saurashtre Somanathamcha Srisaile Mallikarjunam|
Ujjayinya Mahakalam Omkaramamaleswaram ||
Paralyam Vaidyanathancha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram |
Setu Bandhethu Ramesam, Nagesam Darukavane||
Varanasyantu Vishwesam Tryambakam Gautameethate|
Himalayetu Kedaaram, Ghrishnesamcha shivaalaye||
Etani jyotirlingani, Saayam Praatah Patennarah|
Sapta Janma Kritam pApam, Smaranena Vinashyati||”

Mahadev, the Lord incorporates in Himself, the aura and the holiness of all the twelve JyotirLingas. The grandeur of these places is unique. Devotees line up in great numbers to take a look and get a Darshan of all the JyotirLingas.

Location of the jothirlinga temples

Two on the sea shore, three on river banks, four in the heights of the mountains and three in villages located in meadows; the twelve Jyotirlingas are spread out like this. Every place has been described in glorious words by many detailing the surroundings etc.
Those of us who go to these temples of Shubhankar Shankar- Jyoti-Sivasthan, receive the holy blessings of the Lord, and come back happy, peaceful and blessed. This in indeed depends on one’s devotion and experience too.

Dwadasa  Jyotirlingas
The names and the locations of the 12 Jyotirlingas are mentioned in the Shiva Purana

Prabhas Patan, Saurashtra
Andhra Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Island in the Narmada River, Omkareshwar
Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deogarh, Deoghar district
Tamil Nadu
Near Dwaraka
Uttar Pradesh
Trimbakeshwar, Near Nashik
Near Ellora, Aurangabad district

Those who chant the Dwadasa JyotirLinga Stotram or prayer will attain salvation and enlightenment and be released from this cycle of human existence with all its travails. By worshipping the Lingas, people of all castes, creeds and colour would be freed from all difficulties. By eating the holy offering made to these Lingas (Naivedyam) one would be rid of all the sins instantly. 

As a matter of fact, we do the Darshan of the JyotirLingas as a part of our daily life. Sun, Fire and Light etc., are indeed a part of that great Light. “Om tatsavituvarenye” these magical words of the Gayatri mantra or chant invoke this Supreme light only. By chanting this powerful Mantra, humans can obtain divine power to their life-light or Atmajyothi. 

The aura of the Sun rays and the various benefits that can be derived there from is indeed a difficult task to describe. This gorgeous life-light is the only thing that is responsible for the activity in the universe. We salute this life force. 

“Agni” or fire is a great light. For all the activities on the earth, “Fire” is the pivot.
Deepajyoti or light and its greatness, is known to all of us, and we offer our prayers. Let us celebrate the glory of light. Light is offered a place of pride at welcome celebrations and on all auspicious occasions. 

“Shubham karoti kalyanam Arogyam Dhanasampada|
Shatru buddhi vinashaya Deepa Jyoti namostute||”

This light removes the darkness from the lives of one and all. Darkness means ignorance and it is destroyed by this light. The natured light of God makes all our wishes come true, when we take a Darshan of it.
Thus, by taking a Darshan of these twelve JyotirLingas, the auspicious air surrounding them and the holy pilgrimage, will bring happiness, peace and satisfaction to all.