About Omkareshwara TempleLocated on Omkareshwara Temple Road in the town of Madikeri, Omkareshwara Temple is an ancient Hindu architecture built by King Linga Rajendra II of the Kodagu Kingdom in Coorg, as early as the 19th century. The temple is designed along the Islamic architectural style and is shaped elaborately like a mosque.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva located across the country. It is believed that it was altered to its Mohammedan style outlook during the rule of Tipu Sultan, in order to avoid destruction.
Omkareshwara Temple remains open on all days of the year, and does not have any visiting restrictions. The temple does not require any entry fee, even for foreigners, and it takes approximately one hour to explore the entire temple. Omkareshwara Temple is located in the very heart of the town of Madikeri. It is easily reachable through multiple modes of transportation. The temple also has a parking space of its own to allow devotees to park their cars while visiting. Photography is not allowed within the temple complex.
Location : State Highway 88, Stuart Hill, Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, 571201
Opening Hours: The temple remains open between 6.30am-12.00pm in the mornings and between 5.00pm and 8.00pm in the evenings, from Monday through Sunday.
Entry Fee: The temple does not require an entry fee for tourists and locals.
Best Time: The best time to visit Omkareshwara Temple is during the monsoon months between July to September, when the temperature is neither too cold not too hot.
Average Temperature: The average temperature at Madikeri is 20.5 C
Distance from Coorg: The temple is located within Madikeri, the capital of Coorg.
How to Reach Omkareshwara Temple
By Bus: While travelling on road, tourists may opt for private or government buses to travel to Madikeri from major cities like Bangalore, Mangalore, Virajpet or Mysore. There are direct and frequent buses from Kerala as well.The nearest bus stop from the temple is approximately 1km away from it.
By Road: If travelling on the road by car or taxi, it takes about 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach Madikeri from Bangalore, and approximately three hours from Mangalore and Mysore.
By Rail: Madikeri doesn't have a station of its own. If one decides to travel by rail, one should get off at Mysore, Hassan, Kasargod or Kannaur. Buses are available from here direct to Madikeri. Once in Madikeri, one might opt to hail local modes of transportation like auto-rickshaws or local driven taxis for reaching the temple.
Architecture of Omkareshwara Temple
Fashioned after the Islamic Dargah, with a dome at the center surrounded by four minarets, the architecture of Omkareshwara temple exhibits a unique blend of Islamic and Gothic architecture. The entrance door features a copper plate, on which the history of the temple is inscribed. The windows of the temple consist of bars made entirely of 'panchaloha', and in between each bar, the letter 'lim' is inscribed.
The interior of the temple houses a water tank consisting of various species of freshwater fish. At the center of this tank is a mandapa, which is connected to a walkway.
Unlike most temples in India that are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Omkareshwara Temple does not have an entire hall dedicated to idols of the deity. Instead, a single shiva linga is installed near the entrance door.
History of Omkareshwara Temple
According to legend, King Ling Rajendra II of the Kodagu Kingdom in Coorg had once killed a Brahmin for political gains. Following his death, however, the spirit of the Brahmin took form of a Bramharakshasha and haunted the cruel king in his dreams.
To end his mental anguish, King Ling Rajendra sought the help of other learned Brahmins, who advised him to build a temple to Lord Shiva in order to satiate the angry spirit. Following their advice, the King built the Omkareshwara Temple in 1820, and installed a Shiv Linga which he brought from Kashi.
According to a second story, the spot of the Omkareshwara Temple was used by King Mandhata of Ikshvaku to perform his penance for his austerities against Lord Shiva, and hence the mountain on which the temple is located is alternatively called Mandhata.
Pooja Timings of Omkareshwara Temple
The Daily Puja schedule at Omkareshwara Temple is as follows:
Abhisheka - 6:30 AM to 6:45 AM
Ganga Pooja - 7:00 AM
Maha Pooja - 12:00 noon
Maha Pooja - 8:00 PM
Apart from this, a Ganahoma is conducted at the Koter Ganapathi Temple on the first Tuesday of every month. The temple also holds a Satyanarayana Puja on the full moon day of each month.
Other Important Information
1. Places to Stay Near Omkareshwara Temple
- Ginger Homestay: This is a 4-star homestay located within the coffee plantations of Madikeri, offering cottage homes with double bedroom facilities. This homestay provides complimentary breakfast and does not charge a cancellation fee.
- Akashadeepa Homestay: Akashadeepa is located on a small hillock about one kilometre away from the town of Madikeri, and provides a suitable stay for couples as well as groups as large as 7 people.
- Coorg Jungle Camp Backwater Resort: Coorg Jungle Camp is a luxury resort and offers suites, cottages, as well as single or double bedded rooms for stay. The resort also has two restaurants of its own, a nightclub, and a swimming pool.
2. Places to Eat Near Omkareshwara Temple
- Coorg Foodlands Restaurant: Located in the Netravati Complex, Coorg Foodlands is a small but homely restaurant serving Indian and Mughlai Cuisine. The restaurant also offers plenty of vegetarian options, and is deemed to be good for kids.
- City Cold Storage: Located on College Road, City Cold Storage is a casual dining place, known for its pocket-friendly rates and local breakfast services.
- Popular Guruprasad Restaurant: This restaurant is popular for its multi cuisine menu, serving North Indian, South Indian as well as Chinese food.
- Coorg Cuisine: Serving Kodagu specialties such as dry pork and rice dumplings, this restaurant is well worth trying. The ambience of the restaurant, situated above a shop on a main road, is not ideal, but the seating is comfortable and the prices reasonable.
3. Transportation facility
The temple is well connected to the Main Road by all modes of transport. Travelers may choose to travel in the local auto-rickshaws, taxis or cabs. Devotees may also use the bus while travelling within the state or travelling inter-state to arrive at Madikeri. There are multiple buses running to and from Madikeri and its surrounding cities, several times each day.
4. Medical Facilities
Although the temple itself does not house a medical unit of its own, there are several hospitals near and around Omkareshwara Temple, including Vivus Hospital (550 mts), Sri Rajarajeshwari Hospital (980 mts), or the Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences and Teaching Hospital (2.31kms)
5. Network Connectivity
BSNL has the widest cellular network range across all of Madikeri, closely followed by Airtel. Major cellular networks like Jio or Vodafone also have fairly decent coverage. The network connectivity, however, differs from and depends on each individual handset.