The Omkareshwara Temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in the town of Madikeri in Coorg, Karnataka. The speciality of the temple is that its construction reflects a combination of Gothic and Islamic styles. It is a popular religious destination of Coorg. The temple draws a large number of tourists and devotees regularly.
History of Omkareshwara temple, Coorg
The Omkareshwara temple was built by King Lingarajendra II in the 18th Century. As per the legend, the king built the temple in order to absolve himself from the sin of killing a Brahmin. As per the story, the king killed a Brahmin in order to fulfil his political ambitions. However, it had adverse effects on him. The king was haunted by nightmares and to be relieved of them, sought the advice of some wise men. As per their words, the king built a temple for Lord Shiva. He installed a Shivalingam brought from the holy city of Kashi in the newly constructed temple.
The story goes on that this put an end to the nightmares of the king. This Shivalingam is worshipped as Omkareshwara and is now visited by many who visit Madikeri, Coorg.
Image: Omkareshwar temple, Madikeri, Coorg
What is Omkareshwara temple famous for?
The unique architecture of Omkareshwara Temple, Coorg, is worth mentioning. It is built with a mix of the Islamic and Gothic styles. The temple has a design that is quite similar to the ones seen in Muslim dargah. Its structure comprises a large central dome with four minarets standing at the four corners. It is interesting to note that the temple lacks a pillared hall, as is common in most temples of India. The Shivalingam is installed near the entrance door. The history of the temple is inscribed on a copper plate and fixed on the entrance door frame.
The Omkareshwara Temple is a large but simple structure with a peaceful ambiance. A water tank exists inside the temple premises. The tank has a mantapa built in the centre. This mantapa is connected by a walkway. A large number of fish can be seen in the tank’s water. The tank thus attracts the attention of the tourists and devotees who visit the temple.
How to reach Omkareshwara Temple, Coorg
The Omkareshwara temple is in the heart of the Madikeri town and hence can be reached easily from different parts of Coorg. Madikeri is located near the Karnataka State Highway 88 that connects Mysore to Mangalore. This makes Madikeri a well-connected place by the road network.
There are several public buses that ply from Madikeri to a number of places in Karnataka and Kerala. There are frequent KSRTC buses that connect Madikeri to Bangalore, Mysore, Virajpet, etc. The town can also be reached by private cars and hired cabs.
Quick Facts About Omkareshwara Temple
- Timings: 6:30 AM to 12:00 Noon; 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Best time to visit: between the months of October to March
- Entry Fee: Free
- Duration of Visit: 1 hour (approximately)