The Holy River Narmada

Tara Tandon By Tara Tandon, 3rd Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>India>Madhya Pradesh

The Narmada river could be the oldest river on earth. Rocks from the Precambrian and Paleozoic ages are found in a valley that she flows through. According to her devotees, she is a mother goddess who provides for them materially and spiritually; the giver of immortal bliss.

The Narmada river gives life to Madhya Pradesh

The holy river Narmada has been a good mother to the people of Madhya Pradesh, constantly providing and sustaining civilization since ancient times. She is often regarded as a living diety. Narmada is counted among Hindustan’s most sacred rivers, along with Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, and Kaveri. The Narmada river is India’s fifth largest river, and originates at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh , flowing west to Gujarat, and finally joining with the Arabian Sea.

The Narmada river as a Goddess

Narmada is a Sanskrit name meaning “one who gives bliss.” It is told that she was born of Lord Shiva, who is a prominent aspect of God in Hinduism. A very special stone that is produced from the Narmada river called a Shiva lingam. The lingam is ritually worshipped throughout India to honor the creative aspect of God.

Is Narmada the oldest river in the world?

According to geological studies, Narmada is the oldest river in the world. Narmada flows through the Gondwana plate where the oldest rocks in the world have been found, dating back to the Precambrian and Paleozoic ages. In the Puranas, (ancient narratives explaining the origin of the universe) she is mentioned many times and is described as surviving through all the four “yugas", or of cycles of creation and destruction. Therefore, it is said that the Narmada river is immortal, a quality belonging only to the source of everything.

Austerities and Pilgrimage to honor Narmada

One way of showing veneration to a holy place in India is by making parikrama, or clockwise circumambulation. To engage in Narmada parikrama is to walk 2,624 km in 3 years, 3 months, and 13 days. The pilgrims often start at the river’s place of origin in Amarkantak (MP) and flows west to Gujarat, joining with the Arabian Sea.

Narmada parikrama is an extremely austere spiritual practice where the “Parkammawasis,” (persons on parikrama,) carry just a few things with them, and make a vow to accept whatever is given to them as a blessing from Narmada Ma (Mother). Many walk barefoot and maintain celibacy the entire pilgrimage, along with not carrying any money with them. Parkammawasis greet one another and the people who live on the banks by saying, “Narmade Har,” which means that the Narmada is Lord Shiva. Oftentimes, temples are visited such as the Shri Omkar Mandhata temple in Omkareshwar.

Many pilgrims report having mystical experiences of direct communication with this Goddess, and it is said that she fulfills all their prayers and brings peace to souls who take refuge in her.


Ancient, Austerity, Devi, Goddess, Hindu, Hindu Deities, Hindu Gods, Hindu Philosophy, Hindu Religion, Hindu Ritual, Hindu Temples, Hinduism, India, Lingam, Madhya Pradesh, Narmada, Oldest River On Earth, Parikrama, Pilgrimage, Puranas, Sacrifice, Shiva, Spiritual, Temples, Yoga

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author avatar Tara Tandon
Wikinut is an experiment for me with variations in tone and subject matter. I just want to understand what people who come here like to read, so I'm trying lots of different things.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Apr 2012 (#)

Lots to learn from your article, Gray. Thanks - siva

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author avatar Retired
12th Apr 2012 (#)

Nice....I agree with SIva. Interesting information. :)

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author avatar pateluday
8th Jul 2012 (#)

The Vedas gave special status to all things good to mankind. River worship and animal worship is not hocus pocus but a value system devised to conserve this Earth. The more you venerate elements of nature and life support systems the more you care for them.

The tranquil confines of Narmada River Banks and the Hindu temples there are perfect places for those in for inner quest and worship.

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author avatar RS Patel
11th Jul 2013 (#)

yae NARMADHA JO Haddiyo ko SHIV LING Bana deti hee - Ganga Haddiyo ko gli deti hee*

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author avatar L j parmar
22nd Apr 2016 (#)

Narmade puraano me ullikhit hai ki Kaliyugme bhi inki mahimaa bani rahegi, shri Amrutlal Vegad ne is matajee ke bahot gun apni kitaabome kiye hai. Santvarya shri rang avadhootji ne 70-80saal pahle ki gayee apni 3-4parikramaao ke pustak leekhe hai_jab parikramma atyaant kasthkar huwa karti thi. Aapkaa runi rahunga yadi aap yatra ke pahle koi ooostak

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author avatar L j parmar
22nd Apr 2016 (#)

Pustak padhe.narmade hur.

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author avatar Vijay gandhi
24th Dec 2017 (#)

Narmade hare word's is so powerful that it's give you what needs you require immediately. So constant JAP narmade hare......

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