Don't know why the Narmada river occupies such a fond place in my heart. Whenever I think of Her, I am off into some other world. Even the mighty Ganges leaves me cold. But mention the word Narmada and a frisson of joy courses through me, like that mighty river.
Should be something to do with the fact that:
- It flows west, the only major river in India to do so
- As a D8C8, I am totally ruled by Saturn, who looks west :-)
It is said that the mere sight of the river will make a pilgrim pure because of its sanctity.You can see how big that bana is. Did you notice the priest at the bottom left?!
The Narmada is closely associated with Lord Shiva. Naturally formed smooth stones called banas, made of cryptocrystalline quartz, are found in Narmada which are known as Shivalingas; the rare and unique markings on them are regarded by shaivaites as very auspicious. The Brihadeeswara Temple in Thanjavur has one of the biggest Bana Shivalingas.
MohanR, my good friend who's celebrating his b'day today, writes:
The river Narmada goes through Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. If you want to meet the river at Madhya Pradesh, please visit Omkareshwar temple on its shores near Indore. This is really a very powerful and picturesque spot. You will not find any problem in getting accommodation and food in this place. Actually the beauty of this great river is that it remains pristine pure even just before its sangam in the sea near Bharuch in Gujarat.What's the reason for this purity? The many crocodiles in the river ensure that all carrion is cleaned up, so much so that that the River Goddess is portrayed as riding a croc!
In case you want to meet this river at Gujarat, I suggest you to a place called Barkhal on its banks near Vadodara. From here Narmada takes only another 40-odd km towards Bharuch to meet the sea. Even here the water is pristine clean and nothing will happen if you happen to swallow this river water at this place.
The river is so old that it even has a dinosaur, whose bones were found in the Narmada basin, named after it.
And, of course, there's the Parikrama. Hope to do it sometime in Life, the old River Mother willing.