Omkareshwar, the sacred island, shaped like the holiest of all Hindu symbols, ‘Om’, over the centuries attracted numerous pilgrims. The region has numerous legends associated with it and there are numerous temples in Omkareshwar that are worth visiting like the Mamleshwar temple which was built in the 10th century. This ancient temple is under the protection of the Archeological Survey of India. It is a small complex of temples and is adorned with spectacular carvings. There is a particularly impressive one of a god in a very martial stance. There are also some interesting smaller carvings on the door-posts of a minor shrine.
The Omkar Mandhata temple is one of the oldest shrines in India and houses one among the 12 jyothirlingas in India. Situated in the confluence of Narmada and Kaveri rivers, the temple enshrines nagara style architecture with frescos and carvings. The temple is flanked by balconies with engraved columns of distinct shapes. While the Parikrama Path is the access to many places of reverence like Omkar Math, Ananda Mai Temple and the Ramakrishna Mission among others. Chand-Suraj Gate is set in massive walls of dressed stone with carved corbel projections to support the topping stones. It seems that this is all that it remains of an old temple because there are sculptures of the fearsome goddess Chamunda and another of the benign Ganesh. Many visitors find Siddinath Temple as the most impressive one on the island. Its unroofed pillars rise from a plinth richly sculpted with a frieze of elephants and equestrian warriors. Other places that are worth seeing include Mahakaleshwar temple, Sangam, Ashapuri Temple, Arjun-Bhim Gateway, among others.
At the dawn of civilisation, Maheshwar was a glorious city. At that time it was Mahishmati, capital of king Kartivarjun. This magnificent temple town, which is situated on the banks of the river Narmada, finds mention in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. It was during the reign of Holkar queen of Indore Rani Ahilyabai, the town was restored to its ancient position of importance by the Holkar queen Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Well known for its temples and mighty fort-complex, today, Maheshwar is also known for its distinctive handwoven sarees called Maheshwari exquisitely woven ‘Maheshwari’ sarees. Some of the places that are worth seeing include Rajgaddi and Rajwada. A life-size statue of Rani Ahilyabai sits on a throne in the Rajgaddi within the fort complex. Some other fascinating relics and heirlooms of the Holkar dynasty can be seen in the other rooms which are open to the public. Within the complex is an exquisite small shrine which is a starting point of the ancient Dussehra ceremony which is carried out even today. The image on this day is installed reverently in a splendid palanquin and carried down the steep fort road to the town below to receive the yearly homage of the people of Maheshwar.
Ujjain has been a place of great importance in ancient as well as medieval India. The early history of Ujjain is lost in the midst of antiquity. Ujjain lies on the main trade route between North India and Deccan going from Mathura via Ujjain to Mahismati (Maheshwar) on the Narmada, and on to Paithan on the Godavari, western Asia and the West. Due to its majestic temples, it is an attractive tourist destination. Some of the famous ones include the Mangalnath Temple where devotees throng on the third day of the week and always stop to have a look at the image of ram, vehicle of Mangal. Even though this is known as the Temple of Mars, the principal idol is that of Siva.
The Sandipani Ashram is a small complex of buildings set in a garden having a legendary history. The faithful believe that this is where the seer Sandipani taught Lord Krishna, his brother Balram and their friend Sudama. While the Bhartrihari Caves is believed to be the place where Bhartrihari, the step brother of Vikramaditya lived and meditated after renouncing worldly life. His famous works, Shringarshataka, Vairagyashataka, and Nitishataka, were possibly written here. Situated just above the bank of the Shipra River, Bhartrihari Caves is a predominant tourist place in Ujjain. Apart from these there are numerous other places that would make your visit to Ujjain worthwhile.