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Types of Parikrama PDF Print E-mail

Several variants of Narmada Parikrama have developed over the years.

  • Mundmal Parikrama
  • Jalahari Parikrama
  • Hanumat Parikrama
  • Dandwat Parikrama
  • Markandeya Parikrama
  • Vayu Parikrama
  • Narmada Jal Yatra (Narmada Voyage)
  • Panchkoshi Parikrama

A brief description is as follows:

Mundmal Parikrama

This is the most popular form of Narmada Parikrama. It derives its name from 'a garland' as it involves a garlanding journey around Narmada. Generally commences either at Amarkantak (the source of Narmada) or at Omkareshwar and after a complete circumambulation, keeping Narmada to one's right hand side (Pradakshina) comes to finish at the point of start. This Parikrama is an on-foot march involving a riverside walking of at least 2624 K.m. in a period of 3 years, 3 months and 13 days. Usually people do this Parikrama in small groups.

Jalahari Parikrama

This form of Parikrama derives its name from Jalahari, the yoni shaped seat of Shiva Linga which makes a double channel around the Linga. It is a journey along both the banks of Narmada never crossing her. It involves to and fro journey on both the sides of the river. A Parikramawasi traverses same bank of Narmada twice which amounts to double the journey compared to Mundmal Parikrama. It does not involve crossing of Narmada at the gulf of Cambey or Amarkantak.

Hanumat Parikrama

This form of Parikrama derives its name from Hanuman, the monkey god. It is a kind of jumping parikrama in which one can cross Narmada as and when desired. This kind of Parikrama is popular among tourists.

Dandwat Parikrama

This is one of the difficult forms of parikrama involving at least 1000 Bhumi Namaskaar (Saluting the mother earth in Dandwat -lying face down prostrate on ground - in reverence and humility) every day. This is quite testing one and not very common. Very few people dare this form of Parikrama.

Markandeya Parikrama

It is the most extensive and time-taking form of Narmada Parikrama involving a circumambulation not only around Narmada but also around her tributaries. It owes its name to Markandeya- the ancient hermit who spent his life near Narmada. Narmada basin, one should note, is an elongated strip of land in central India. There are 41 major tributaries of Narmada of which 19 join her on right or northern bank whereas 22 join her on the left or southern bank. Walking and worshiping around Narmada covering these tributaries can be termed as Markandeya Parikrama.

Vayu Parikrama

This cannot be actually called a Parikrama in real sense but a mention of this event is necessary for its historical significance. Sri Anil Madhav Dave, a senior politician by profession but an amateur pilot has undertaken the first ever Vayu Parikrama (air-circumambulation) of Narmada in 2006. Sri Dave, who is an ardent Narmada devotee, undertook this pioneering parikrama to lay foundation of a massive movement for Narmada Conservation. Though not prevalent currently, possibilities of such Vayu Parikrama of Narmada cannot be ruled out in near future.

Narmada Jal Yatra (Narmada Voyage)

Flowing with Narmada is an experience in itself but on account of the rugged terrain including hills, forests, falls and rift valley a complete voyage along the entire length of Narmada was never contemplated. The Imperial Gazetteer of India mentions a maiden attempt of navigation by a British officer but he had to abandon his journey due to several difficulties. Sri Anil Madhav Dave, after his Vayu Parikrama (air-circumambulation) of Narmada in 2006, completed the first ever voyage on a raft along the entire length of Narmada from Amarkantak to Bharuch. This adventurous journey was undertaken to understand various facets of Narmada, from creation to cremation. Though not prevalent now, possibilities of a complete river voyage of this kind on Narmada cannot be ruled out in near future.

Panchkoshi Parikrama

Apart from the complete circumambulation of Narmada, several smaller Parikramas known as 'Panchkoshi Parikrama' are also regularly organised in certain segments of Narmada between Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad district and Hiranfall in Barwani district. These Panchkoshi Parikramas are in smaller circuits and culminate at the point of commencement after a journey of 5 days. These Parikramas being simpler and less time taking are more suitable for families and old people. These Panchkoshi Parikramas are organised as annual features according to Hindu Colander and Panchang. The schedule for 2009 is given below.

Panchkoshi Narmada Parikrama : Schedule 2009

Date/Period Place

22-26 Jan          Bandrabhan (Hoshangabad)

2-5 Feb             Shivpur Bhiladiya (Seoni Malwa)

20-24 Feb         Nabhikund (Nemawar)

22-26 Mar         Balagaon, Katargaon

5-9 Apr             Maheshwar (Khargone)

21-25 Apr         Navada Todi (Khargone)

5-9 May            Gondagaon, Timurni (Harda)

20-24 May        Vindhyawasini, Salkanpur (Sehore)

3-7 Jun             Dharampuri, Bilvamriteshwar (Dhar)

14-18 Sep        Narmadeshwar (Punasa)

30 Sep-4 Oct    Sitamata, Dharaji (Pipari-Bagli)

14-18 Oct         Gomukh, Omkareshwar

29 Oct-2 Nov    Narmada Omkar Mandhata

12-16 Nov        Bara Barda, Bakaner

28 Nov-2 Dec   Koteshwar (Nisarpur)


“Every great journey comprises of a few detours, a dozen slips and a hundred falls but one and only one comeback.”