Welcome to the Omkareshwara Temple in Madikeri! This is not just any temple, it’s a temple with an interesting history and architectural style that is sure to grab your attention. The temple was built in 1820 by King Lingarajendra II as an act of penance after he killed a Brahmin. As the legend goes, the Brahmin’s spirit became a Brahmaraksha and started to haunt the king in his dreams. In order to put an end to this, he was advised to build a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Omkareshwara Temple was born.
However., the temple has a fusion of Islamic and Gothic styles that will leave you in awe. The temple’s central dome is reminiscent of a typical Muslim Dargah, and the four turrets surrounding it add to the charm. The entrance door has a copper plate with the temple’s history inscribed on it, and the windows have bars made of panchaloha with alphabets ‘lim’ placed in between them.
As you enter the temple, you’ll notice a water tank with different varieties of freshwater fish. The tank also has a mandapa in the center that is connected through a walkway. The fish are a special attraction for kids visiting the temple. The holy Shiva Lingam is installed near the entrance door, and the temple has a simple structure that creates a peaceful environment.
The temple is open all days of the month. You can visit anytime between 6:30 AM to 12 Noon and 5 PM to 8 PM. There are various pooja schedules that you can plan your visit around, including Abhisheka, Ganga Pooja, and Maha Pooja. Don’t forget to check out the Satyanarayana Pooja every full moon day of the month and the Ganahoma at Kote Ganapathi temple every 1st Tuesday of the month.
Getting to the temple is easy as Madikeri is well-connected to the rest of Karnataka. You can take private or KSRTC buses from Bangalore, Mysore, Virajpet, or Mangalore. If you’re driving, it takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes from Bangalore and 3 hours from Mysore to reach Madikeri. Once you reach Madikeri, you can hire an auto-rickshaw or taxi to take you to the temple.
Overall, the Omkareshwara Temple is a must-visit destination for its unique architecture, interesting history, and peaceful environment. Don’t miss out on this gem in Madikeri!