KHANDWA, MADHYA PRADESH
When Brahma and Shiva once began to debate who amongst them was supreme, Shiva, it is said, settled the dispute by making himself manifest as a jyotirlinga (pillar of light) that had no beginning and no end. At all the 12 sites that he had penetrated, temples were built to remind devotees of his eternal and primordial form. Located in
Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district, Omkareshwar is one such shrine.
Believed to have been built in
1063 by the king Udayaditya, Omkareshwar is said to have been given a facelift in 1195 when Raja Bharat
Singh Chauhan saw that a palace was constructed next door. The 60 brown stone pillars in the temple are all 14-ft high, each elaborately carved. Many smaller shrines in the five-storeyed complex—dedicated to Gauri, Annapurna, etc.—offer great views of the Narmada.