the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, 'Om',
has drawn to it hundreds of generations of pilgrims. Here, at the
confluence of the rivers Narmada and Kaveri, the devout gather to kneel
before the Jyotirlinga (one of the twelve throughout India) at the
temple of Shri Omkar Mandhata. And here, as in so many of Madhya
Pradesh's sacred shrines, the works of Nature complement those of man to
provide a setting awe-inspiring in its magnificence.
The island comprises two
lofty hills and is divided by a valley in such a way that it appears in
the shape of the sacred Hindu symbol 'Om' from above. Between the
precipitous hills of the Vindhya on the North and the Satpura on the
South, the Narmada forms a deep silent pool which in former times was
full of alligators and fish, so tame as to take grain from human hand.
This pool is 270 ft below the cantilever type bridge constructed in
1979. The bridge has enhanced the scenic beauty of the place, making it
look exceedingly picturesque.