Omkareshwar Temple in Madikeri, Coorg

By the time we reached the Omkareshwara Temple in Coorg, it was raining very heavily. Jayanta offered to baby-sit Ridi in the car. He anyway, is never too keen to visit temples, unless of course they are architectural wonders. This one certainly wasn’t. The staff back at the Orange County Resorts had confirmed it. But they, ever so good-naturedly mentioned that we should visit the temple if we could make some time for it. Well, we had to do it, for we had Ma with us. And like a typical god-fearing Indian, Ma has to go and bow before every God that India worships. I think we have some thousand Gods in India, so imagine her devotion!! But let’s not get into that….

I hoped out of the car to give Ma company and ‘unearth’, too, first-hand, why the place is important. My first discovery was that the temple was dedicated to lord Shiva and that Omkareshwara is another name for Shiva (All right, first a thousand Gods and now, their many names. Am a proud, practicing, devout Hindu, but beyond a point, it is beyond me. You know what I mean?) The temple was curiously built too – it had touches of Gothic and Islamist designs. In a Hindu temple!! By now I was divinely confused!

But once inside the temple premises, and all my amusement vanished. There inside, Shiva resided in His most popular form, the Linga. Since it was almost evening, the priest was hurrying hither thither, getting the essentials ready for the evening puja. The lighted diya and the muted hymns of the priest were enough to bring to fore my religious self. There I was, offering flowers to the Lord, praying for the well-being of all my dear ones. Ma, of course, got ritually driven. Quietly finished her prayers, made her offerings, touched the Lord’s feet, rang the temple bell. Isn’t it even more pious and de-stressing to watch your mother prepare for a Puja. Not only does it reconnect you to your roots, it also tightens your ties with her.

I liked the Omkareshwara Temple for one more reason. It has been maintained very well, and you will not squirm to walk bare-feet at the temple premises. The pond adjacent to the temple gives a wonderful look to the place. Couldn’t help concentrate on taking both the temple as well as its still reflection in the water.

And I agree with our resorts staff. Do visit the temple if you can squeeze in some time. You will like it there.