Believed to be older than River Ganga, River Narmada is one of the most sacred rivers of the seven holy rivers of India (other six being Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sindhu, Kaveri and Godavari). She is worshipped as a living Goddess in the country and flows through parts of Gujarat and central India. Her mere divine sight is said to purify a person of all his sins. She finds a mention in ancient Hindu texts and is believed to be the daughter of Lord Shiva. Great saints liks Bhrigu, Atri, Vyas and Shukdev are said to have meditated on the holy banks of this river and achieved great spiritual powers here. Such is the divine charm of this river.
[ Sacred River Narmada ]
There are many places of pilgrimage on the banks of this holy river – Chandod, Karnali, Omkarnath besides Shuklatirth and Kabirvad which I have visited and am describing them in a 2 part series, this being the first.
Shuklatirth is a small holy village situated about 65 kms from Vadodara and 16 kms from Bharuch. Located on the banks of Narmada river, this is the most important place of Hindu pilgrimage in the Bharuch district of Gujarat and is believed to be over 2000 years old. Here, one can find many old temples of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and various other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. In the main Temple, there lies a beautiful old idol of chaturbhuj(four hands) Shukla Narayan, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, in white marble believed to have floated up from the Narmada river.
One can easily reach here by car or bus. It is a very serene and tranquil place and I had visited it the last time I travelled here, but since I visited Kabirvad this time, I had to give this temple a miss due to time constraints.