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Omkareshwar Temple



Omkareshwar Temple


Koyla Bazar, Near Town Hall Park Varanasi 221001

The Omkareshwar Temple, located on the banks of the sacred river Ganges in Varanasi, India, holds deep significance in Hinduism as an iconic place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva. The significance of the temple is deeply rooted in the spirituality, mythology, and rich cultural heritage of Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. According to Hindu belief, Omkareshwar Temple is located at the place where Lord Shiva appeared in the form of the sacred word "Om", which symbolizes the essence of the universe and the eternal sound of creation. Devotees come to Omkareshwar Temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva for spiritual growth, freedom from worldly attachments, and inner peace. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses a Shiva Lingam, a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva, where devotees pray and perform rituals with utmost devotion. The architectural beauty of the temple adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures adds to its spiritual allure, creating a serene environment for worship and contemplation. Omkareshwar Temple is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of the eternal connection between humanity and the divine. Pilgrims from far and wide come to this holy abode to experience the divine presence of Lord Shiva and immerse themselves in the spiritual aura of Varanasi, the city of light and salvation.

Mythological History:

The Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple is revered as one of the most esteemed Shiva lingams, hailed by Lord Shiva himself in the Kashi Khanda of the Skanda Purana. Kashi, known as one of the holiest pilgrimage sites on Earth, boasts countless Shiva lingas, with the greatness of the city beyond the comprehension of even the most enlightened sages like Agastya and Skanda.

Situated north of the Macchodari area in Kashi, originally five lingas resided here: Omkareshwar, Akaareshwar, Makaareshwar, Naadeshwar, and Bindu Linga. However, only three remain today, with Naadeshwar and Bindu Lingas lost to the passage of time. Together, these five lingas represent the pranavakara, known as the Shiva Panchayatan.

The Macchodari area, once home to the Matsyodari Tirtha, as mentioned in the Skanda Purana, has since dried up. Lord Shiva urged devotees to bathe in the holy waters of the Matsyodari Tirtha and seek the darshan of his Omkareshwar Linga in the Omkareshwara Mahadev Temple. Today, devotees use the waters of the sacred Ganga for worship, as the Ganga River once joined the Matsyodari Tirtha during the rainy season.

Despite its significance as one of the 14 most important Shivalingas of Kashi, and one of the Pancha Shiva Lingas mentioned in the Kurma Purana, alongside Sri Vishwanatha Linga, Krittivaseshwara Linga, Madhyameshwara Linga, and Kapardeeshwara Linga, the Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple, like the Krittivaseshwar Mahadev Temple, has faced neglect.

The history of the Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple is recounted in the Kashi Khanda of the Skanda Purana, where Lord Shiva reveals the origin of the Omkareshwar Linga to his consort Parvathi Devi. According to the narrative:

Once, during Lord Brahma's deep meditation, after 1000 yugas had passed, a brilliant radiance emerged, piercing through the seven netherworlds. Startled by the cracking sound, Lord Brahma emerged from his meditation and witnessed the manifestation of the three main components of the Omkara Pranava - 'a', 'u', and 'm'. Alongside, he perceived the 'nada' (shabda brahman) and 'Bindu' (the absolute cause of the universe).

'A' symbolized sattva-guna, the cause of the Rigveda; 'U' represented raja-guna, the cause of the Yajurveda, while 'm' signified tamo-guna, the cause of the Samaveda. The 'nada' represented the Shabda Brahman, while the 'Bindu' represented the cause of all causes.

Lord Shiva explained that OM, known as the Pranava, protects and uplifts devotees with its power. It is formless yet with form, and it is called Taraka as it aids meditation and redemption. OM is hailed as the origin of all Vedas.

After witnessing Lord Shiva in the form of a Shivalinga alongside the five components of 'aum', Lord Brahma praised Shiva's distinctiveness from the material world and his manifestation as the 'Omkara' linga.

With joy, Lord Shiva emerged from the linga and stood before Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma beseeched Shiva to reside in the linga form in Kashi for the welfare of devotees, naming it Omkareshwar. Lord Shiva, pleased, agreed to stay in Kashi as the Omkareshwar Linga.

Lord Shiva declared these lingas as Akara, Ukara, Makara, Nada, and Bindu. He proclaimed that those who bathe in the Matsyodari Tirtha and behold Lord Omkareshwar shall attain liberation and be free from the cycle of rebirth.

Timing of Temple:

The Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple celebrates various festivals like Maha-Shivaratri, observed monthly by devotees. The month of Vaishakha (April) holds special significance, marked by the annual Shringar festival on the Chaturdashi day.

The temple, housing the Omkareshwar Linga and the deity of Parvathi Devi installed in 2010, welcomes devotees during specific 


Morning: 05.00 AM to 11.00 AM

Evening: 05.00 PM to 09.00 PM

For special pujas, devotees can consult the temple pujari: To reach the Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple, located at A-33/23, north of Macchodari in Pathani Tola, one can visit Kashi, which stands on a high mound opposite the Jalalipura mosque. Macchodari was once the renowned Matsyodari Tirtha, which has since dried up.

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