River Narmada is one of the most sacred rivers in our country and is worshipped as a Goddess. Amarkantak is the place from where the Narmada river originates. It rises from the Maikal ranges at the height of 1057 meter above the sea level. Amarkantak is located in the Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh in India. Narmada river mainly flows in the central India. The total length of the Narmada river lies approximately 1,289 kms. The river flows from the eastward direction to the westward into the Arabian sea. It merges into the ocean at the point called 'Bharonch'. It is the largest west flowing river in India.
Narmada is one of the sacred rivers of India. People living along the banks of the river consider her to be holier than the Ganges. Thousands of pilgrims circumambulate the river during the annual Naramada parikrama. It is said that by taking a bath in the holy Narmada river, man can be freed from all the sins of his life. The water of Narmada river purifies a man and help him in attaining salvation. Among the people in India, Narmada River is considered as the mother and the giver of peace. The Narmada finds mention in ancient texts of India as one of the seven most sacred rivers in India. The river is considered as the Goddess and is worshiped in India. There are numerous thirthas on the banks of the river, the most important among them are Mahewswar and Omkareshwar tempes.
There are many stories that describe the origin of the river. According to the legends, Narmada river came down from the sky as by the order of the Lord Shiva. Some also says that the Narmada river also sprangs from the perspiraation of the Lord Shiva, while performing the tandava (Lord Shiva's cosmic dance). Naturally formed Shiva lingams or banas are found in the river. These stones are considered very sacred by devout Hindus Narmada means 'Giving Pleasure'. In Sanskrit Narma means 'pleasure' and da refers to 'to give'. In some parts of India Narmada is also known as Narbada.
Adi Shankaracharya met his guru Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of river Narmada.