UNLIKELY FAVOURITE: OMKARESHWAR
Omkareshwar is a magical place. We could have spent a week in the quaint spiritual town but unfortunately, we had just one day and one night. But it may have been one of the happiest days of my life. We walked through the market past peddlers selling religious paintings and kitschy idols, malas and garlands, jewellery and toys; and found a place to stay for a few hundred rupees on the advice of a holy man. We crossed the footbridge and headed towards the giant Om climbing a million stairs up to the top of the island dotted with shrines and temples. I felt a deep, consuming sadness in the Shiva temple, the effigy over it so tremendous that you can see it from the other hill. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t prayed in months but I broke down on the temple floor and it felt greatly cathartic. We drank chai at the tea stall nearby and a baba reminded us that the only temple that really mattered was ‘apna shareer’, one’s own body. We dipped our feet in the sacred Narmada river, though many swim. We smoked chillums with another baba who told us all about this temple town that he loved. We bought tiny brass bells to make music and rings to wear on our fingers. We ate dinner and breakfast in the lovely garden cafe. We spent the night under the stars and felt good and whole and complete. And we left the next day, our hearts lighter and heavier at the same time.
Omkareshwar is an approximately three hour bus journey from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
This travelogue is from my archives.