गङ्गेच यमुने चैव गोदावरी सरस्वति । नर्मदा सिन्धु कावेरी जलेऽस्मिन् संनिधिं कुरु ॥

"Gange Cha Yamune Chaiva Godavari Saraswati, Narmada Sindhu Kaveri Jalesmin Sannidhim Kuru"

Meaning O Holy Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, and also Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri; Please be Present in this Water Near Me (and make it Holy).

Meaning While performing Puja -:

I call for the presence of divine waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. The rivers are goddesses and I pray to them for their blessings.

This shloka is also recited during taking bath in these sacred rivers. This article tells us more about "Narmada Parikrama"

My questions are About Holy Narmada River -:

1) What is the story of Narmada River and its origin from puranas ?

2) What is the significance Of "Narmada Parikrama" told in our scriptures ?

1 Answer 1


गतं तदैव मे भवं त्वदम्बुवीक्षितं यदा मृकण्डसूनुशौनकासुरारिसेवि सर्वदा । पुनर्भवाब्धिजन्मजं भवाब्धिदुःखवर्मदे त्वदीयपादपङ्कजं नमामि देवि नर्मदे

Meaning: Salutations to Devi Narmada O Devi, after I have seen Your Divine Water, my attachment to the Worldly Life has indeed vanished, ... Your Water, which is revered by the son of Rishi Mrikandu (The son of Rishi Mrikandu was Rishi Markandeya), Rishi Shaunaka, and the enemies of the Asuras (i.e. Devas), Your Water which is a Protective Shield against the Sorrows of the Ocean of Worldly Existence, caused by repeated Births in this Ocean of Samsara (Worldly Existence), O Devi Narmada, I Bow down to Your Lotus Feet, Please give me Your Refuge.

The word Narmada (नर्मदा) means ‘Magnificent Mother’. The holy river Narmada is the form or Rupa (रूप) of Goddess Narmada,who like Ganga (गंगा) removes the sins of those who bath in her waters.

NARMADA RIVER: River Narmada is one of the most sacred of the seven holy rivers of India. The river originate in a small reservoir named as Narmada Kund (नर्मदा कुंड) on the Amarkantak Hills (अमरकंटक). Also known as Rewa (रेवा) .There is less mention of the Narmada in Vedic literature but addressed in the Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabaratha, Vashistha Samhita and Shatapatha Brahmana. It is said that the Puranic name of Amarkantak was Riksh Parvat (ऋक्ष पर्वत). About some thousand years ago a Suryavanshi samrat established a town in the Riksh parvat valley and called it Mandhata. The queen of samrat gave the title Narmada to the river. 

There are various myths surrounding Goddess Narmada. One is that she was born from the body of Siva. Goddess Narmada was slim and beautiful. Gods and demons wanted to marry her; she had to flee and dodge the prospects. However, she was able to disappear then they were in the proximity. She played hide and seek with them and one inference of Narmada is her playful attitude of dodging. Finally she surrenders herself to Lord Shiva. The Lord was pleased in her absolute devotion and saranagathi. Siva blessed her and said, "May you become a holy river, and may your waters always be full! This is not such a story but is the spiritual philosophy of the concealing and revealing aspects of Shiva himself.

Another legend states that, once Lord Shiva meditated so hard that he started perspiring. Shiva’s sweat accumulated in a tank and started flowing in the form of a river – the Narmada. Another legend has it that two teardrops that fell from the eyes of Lord Brahma, yielded two rivers – the Narmada and the Sone. Legends have it that, even Ganga bathes in Narmada waters, in the shape of a black cow. This event is witnessed as a holy day.

Ancient world history records mentions her as ‘Nammadus’. ‘Narma’(नर्म) means ‘tenderness’ and Narmada is also described as the most sacred and best among the holy rivers in some scriptures. It is believed that merely by seeing the Narmada, a man is freed from all his sins and becomes pure. Adi Shankaracharya met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada on t

MAJOR TEMPLES: The banks of Narmada are have many temples and pilgrimage sites. Pilgrims perform a holy pilgrimage of a Parikrama or Circumambulation of the river. This is called the Narmada Parikrama. 

The Amarkantak (Neck of Shiva in Sanskrit language) or Teerathraj (the King of Pilgrimages) 1)Maheshwar, Omkareshwar 2) Mahadev Temple at Anusya. 3) Siddeshwar Mandir in the central portion of the river. 4)Surpaneshwar Shiva Temple. 5)Chaubis Avatar temple 6)Chausath Yogini (sixty four yoginis) with attendents of Durga  7)Narmada Udagam or the sacred source housing a stone state of 8)Goddess Narmada. 9) Bhrigu Rishi temple and Bhojpur Shiva temple in Bharuch 10) Shri Ram Janki temple 11) Vangeshwar Temple

So because of lots of pilgrimage sites on her banks, Yogies , sanits , and people perform Narmada parikrama.

MYTHOLOGY: According to mythology, Lord Shiva once sat on the peak of Amarkantak Hills in a beautiful trance that gave birth to a female form. He named her "Narmada" since she had inspired "Narma" or tenderness in his heart. He also blessed her with lifelong freedom. However, the Gods tried to capture her and she slipped through their fingers taking the form of the River Narmada. It is also believed that the river is often called Shankari, meaning daughter of Shankar, a name attributed to Lord Shiva. The river then had pebbles rolling on its river bed to take the shape of his emblem the Linga with the inscription "Narmada Ke Kanker utte Sankar" which means in Hindi that ‘pebble stones of Narmada gets a personified form of Shiva’. These lingam shaped stones are called Banalinga or as Banashivalingas (बाणलिंग , बाणशिवलिंग)

The other myth is of Narmada falling in love with the Sonbhadra, another river flowing on the Chhota Nagpur plateau. Hence it earned the name Rewa for flowing through its rocky bed.

The the banks of Narmada houses the ashrams of Bhirgu Rishi, Kapila Muni and Markandeya Rishi. Thirdly the Pandavas also resided along the Narmada riverbanks and gained benefits during their exile. Some of these details are found in the Mahabaratha.

Adi Shankara met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada (भगवत्पन्द) on the banks of river Narmada. He travelled north from his village in search of a Brahman realised Guru. Having passed through several hermitages, he came to the banks of Narmada.

Legends have it that the great Ganga visits the Narmada once a year in the guise of a black cow to cleanse herself of all her collected sins!

Rewa khnada of Skenda Purana describes stories of Narmada River.

See Rewa Mahatmya (रेवा माहात्म्य)

See more Info on Narmada River Here

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