You are on page 1of 2


Narmada means ‘Magnificent Mother’. The word ‘nar’ means sweet as in fragrance and ‘matha’
means mother. The holy river Narmada is the embodiment of Goddess Narmada,who like Ganga
removes the sins of those who bath in her waters. So holy is Narmada that, to remove all sins of
all lifetimes, one must bathe three years in the Saraswati, seven days in the Yamuna, one day in
the Ganges, or mrely glance at the Narmada.
There are various myths surrounding Goddess Narmada. One says that she was born from the
body of Siva. The legend states that, once Lord Shiva meditated so hard that he started
perspiring. Shiva’s sweat accumulated in a tank and started flowing in the form of a river – the
Narmada. Another legend has it that two teardrops that fell from the eyes of Lord Brahma,
yielded two rivers – the Narmada and the Sone. Legends have it that, even Ganga bathes in
Narmada waters, in the shape of a black cow. This event is witnessed as a holy day.
According to Vishnu Purana, Goddess Narmada is related to the Naginis, for her waters are held
effective against snakebite.
River Narmada is one of the most sacred of the seven holy rivers of India. Its origin is a tiny
reservoir named as Narmada Kund situated on the Amarkantak Hills. Also known as Rewa, the
Narmada River is associated with Amarkantak and Narmadakund. There is less mention of the
Narmada in Vedic literature but addressed in the Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabaratha, Vashistha
Samhita and Shatapatha Brahmana. It is said that the Puranic name of Amarkantak was Riksh
Parvat. About six thousand years ago the Suryavanshi samrat Mandhata established a town in the
Riksh parvat valley and called it Mandhata. The queen of samrat Purukutsa apparently gave the
title Narmada to the river.
The Narmada rises in the Maikala ranges of the Amarkantak Hills of Madhya Pradesh and flows
between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges before draining into the Arabian Sea. It is the fifth
largest river in the Indian sub-continent and flows completely within India just as the Ganges and
Godavari. Hindu God Lord Shiva Omkareshwar temple on the banks of Narmada river situated
in the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. Here the Narmada branches into two and form the
island Mandhata.
The Krishna river joins Narmada and the confluence or sangama is considered to be a very holy
spot. It is said that the arial view of the island is shows a Om symbol. The island is dominated by
the white Sikhara of the Sri Omkar Mandhata or ‘Bestover of Desires’, the Omkareswara
Temple. It houses one of the twelve sacred Jyotir Lingas.
MAJOR TEMPLES: The banks of Narmada are dotted with favourite temples and pilgrimage
focus. Pilgrims perform a holy pilgrimage of a Parikrama or Circumambulation of the river. This
is called the Narmada Parikrama.
(a) The Amarkantak
(b) Maheshwar, Omkareshwar,
(c) Mahadev Temple at Anusya.
(d) Siddeshwar Mandir in the central portion of the river

(e) Surpaneshwar Shiva Temple. . (f) Chaubis Avatar temple (g) Chausath Yogini (sixty four yoginis) with attendents of Durga (h) Narmada Udagam or the sacred source housing a stone state of Goddess Narmada. (i) Bhrigu Rishi temple and Bhojpur Shiva temple in Bharuch (j) Shri Ram Janki temple (k) Vangeshwar Temple (l) Shiv Pariwar (m) Sri Radha Krishna temple (n) Guru Gorakhnath temple (o) Kartikey temple and many many more.