Tucked away in one of the most remote regions of India lies a holy city nestled between the sacred rivers of Narmada and Kaveri. Omkareshwar. An island, aptly named for its ‘Om’ shape, teeming with temples, wandering sadhus, holy cows and regular people going about their daily lives.

Dominating the highest point of the island sits a 25 metre tall Shiva statue, who benevolently gazes down over the cacophony of noise and colour that makes up the lives of the island’s citizens.

From morning til dusk, the daily life of India can be experienced all in one place: along the ghats lining the Narmada River. Friends and families chat and squabble, women launder clothes and lay out colourful saris to dry in the sun, children play, pilgrims worship and give offerings to the gods and everyone comes together to bathe and swim. From the ghats, fishermen can be heard calling to each other from their boats, the produce of which is immediately sold fresh within the bazaars.

No one knows exactly how or why Omkareshwar was originally constructed, which only adds to the allure and mysticism it exudes. Many saints and people seeking spiritual guidance used the island as a site for their meditation and penance. Today, sadhus still roam the city in search of the divine, whilst archakas (Hindu priests) perform their daily rituals at the temples, singing prayers and chants over loudpeakers, the sounds of which penetrate every corner of the island. It is the coming together of ancient, holy and modern lives which makes Omkareshwar such a unique and indescribable experience.