Omkareshwar, the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, ‘Om', has drawn hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Here, at the confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devout have gathered to kneel before the Jyotirlinga (one of the twelve throughout India) at the temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. Mahmud of Ghazni had invaded and severely damaged the temples at Omkareshwar in the 11th century. Peshwa Baji Rao II had to build a new one as the earlier ones were mutilated beyond repair..
The Temple of Lord Omkareshwar is situated on the banks of River Narmada, in between Indore & Khandwa.Lord Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is situated by the banks of Narmada river in the Malva area. Gods of all the Gods Lord Shiva's Omkareshwar linga is situated on the mountain Mandhata. The Shiv Purana speaks of the greatness of Omkareshwar and Mammaleshwar. The 2 sons of the sun dynasty Mandhata (Ambarish and Mucchkund), practiced severe penance and austerities here pleased Lord Shiva. They had also performed great religious sacrifices here, because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.
Before entering the temple one has to pass through 2 rooms. The Omkareshwar is not affixed to the ground, but is naturally installed there. There is always water around it. The significance of this linga is that the linga is not situated below the cupola. The idol of Lord Shiva is situated on the top of the temple. A huge fair is organised here on the day of Kartik Poornima.
Omkareshwar is undoubtedly amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas but another name often comes up in this context is Mammaleshwar. Not only the name but the existence of these two are also thoroughly different. The temple of Maleshwar is situated south of the river Narmada, but both the forms of Shiva have been counted as one.
It is said that once upon a time Vidhya Parvat practiced severe penances and worshipped Parthivarchana along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with the desire boon. On the sincere request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the ling. In one he resided as the Pranav or Omkar and assumed the form of Omkareshwar and Bhagwan Sadashiva, Parameshwar, Amareshwar or Mamaleshwar assumed form from the Partivlinga.
The temple is built in the North Inidan style of architecture, with high spires The soft stone of which it was constructed has lent its pliable surface to a rare degree of detailed work, of which the frieze figures on the upper portion is the most striking with the stone roof of the temple being intricately carved also. Encircling the shrine are verandahs with columns which are carved in circles, polygons and squares. The temple also houses the shrines of Panchamuga Ganesha, and Annapoorani which are considered very auspicious by the devotees