Mahakaleshwar Temple



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 Video In and Around Mahakaleshwar Temple
The temple of Lord Shiva is called as Mahakala of Ujjain which is known among the twelve celebrated Jyotirlingas in India. The glory of Mahakaleshwar temple has been very much vividly described in varoius puranas. Great Poet Kalidasa and many other sanskrit poets have eulogized this temple in emotive terms.

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The tradition of Mahakala in minds of the people is eternal Ujjain whic was used to be centre point of the calculation of the Indian time and Mahakala was considered as the distinctive presiding deity of Ujjain. Lord Shiva linga is worshipped throughout India as it symbolises Shiva's incarnate power on earth. On the other hand, a jyotirlinga is the swayamabhu which is self-manifested linga, which is found only in 12 places in India.

Significance of the temple
Mahakaleshwar Temple
This original temple was destroyed during the Muslim invasions, and later the temple was rebuilt recently by the Sindhias in the traditional Central Indian style. The Temple complex has five-storeyed structure at the south end of the city. The curved superstructure of this temple of Lord Shiva is adorned with motifs on all sides, rising above the colonnaded porches all around. It has old statues along the walls of the corridors in the temple and sculptures, while in the courtyard lie ruined ancient shrines. The storeys of the temple are ornamented with pierced railing, and the balconies have richly decorated roofs reminiscent of the Rajput style of architecture. The screens and pavilions around the temple are combined with marble colonnades leading to the linga within the sanctuary, making Mughal architecture come alive right in the heart of this Hindu temple. The Mahakaleshwar Temple is indeed a cherished site and a sculptural delight as well.

The presiding deity of this temple, Lord Shiva with all his splendour reigns eternal in Ujjain. The temple complex of Mahakaleshwar, with its shikhara soaring into the skies, an imposing façade against the skyline, seriously evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal i.e. Lord Shiva dominates the life of the city and its people. Although even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations it provides an unbreakable link with past traditions. It is one among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakal is believed to be swayambhu - born of it, which derives the currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

Mahakaleshwar Temple
The idol of Lord Mahakaleshwar is said to be dakshinamurti which is facing the South. This is a unique feature observed and upheld by tantric tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is engraved in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum. While to the south is the image of Nandi. One can also see the idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey of the temple complex which is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchami.

On the occasion of Mahashivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night. The Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain is located near a lake which has five levels, one of which is underground. The temple here itself is located in a very much spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls. The shikhara near the temple is adorned with sculptural finery. There are brass lamps which are lit up the way to the underground sanctum. It is believed that prasadam offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other shrines.

Mahakaleshwar Temple
The temple of Lord Shiva is three-storeyed. In the lowest, middle and uppermost parts of the temples are respectively installed the lingams of Mahakalesvara, Omkaresvara and Nagachandresvara. The devotees can have the glimse of Nagachandresvara on the festival of Naga Panchami. There is a large-sized Kunda named Koti Tirtha which exists in the temple-complex. This particular Kunda is built in the sarvatobhadra style. The Kunda and its water both being regarded as very celestial. Then there is a path adjoining the stairs of the Kunda which represents the sculptural grandeur of the temple built during the Paramara period.

In the east this auspicious Kunda is a large-sized Veranda in which there is the entrance to the path leading to the garbhagrha. While in the northern side of the verandah in the cell there are the images of Sri Rama and Goddess Avantika which are worshipped. In the southern side of the main shrine, there exists many small Saivite temples built during the Shinde regime, among these the temple of Vrenda Mahakalesvara, Anadi Kalpesvara and Saptarshi are prominent and are remarkable pieces of architecture.

Lord Mahakalesvara
The lingam of Lord Mahakalesvara is colossus. One can also have a look at the silver plated Naga Jaladhari which is inscribed and esoteric silver-plate covering the roof of the garbhagrha add extra grandeur to the shrine. Besides this Jyotirlinga, attractive and small-sized images of Ganesha, Kartikeya and Paravati can be seen in the garbhagrha. All around the walls classical eulogies in the praise of Lord Siva are exhibited. The Nanda Dipa always remains lit. In the exit-path, there is a wide hall in which a most attractive metal.

Time to Visit
The Puja-archana, abhisheka, arati and other rituals concerned are regulalrly performed all the year round in Mahakala temple. There are certain particular aspects of puja like the following:
Nitya Yatra
A Yatra which is to be conducted is narrated in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanada Purana. During this Yatra, after taking bath in the holy Sipra, the Yatri (Participator) respectively visits Nagachandresvara, Kotesvara, and Mahakalesvara, Goddess Avanatika, Goddess Harasiddhi and Agastyesvara for darsana.
Sawari (Procession)
Sawari (Procession)
On every Monday during the Sravana month upto the Amavasya in the dark fortnight of the Bhadrapada, even from the bright fortnight of the Kartika, then to the dark fortnight of Magasirsha, the procession of Lord Mahakala it taken throughout the streets of Ujjain.

The last Sawari during Bhadrapada is been celebrated with great pomp and show and draws attendance of lakhs of devotees. And the procession of Lord Mahakala on Vijaydasami festival and the huge celebration at Dashahara Maidan is also very attractive.

Harihara Milana
On the day of Vaikuntha Chaturdasi, Lord Mahakala visits Mandir in a procession to meet Lord Dwarakadhisa (hari) usually during the mid-night. Later then in a similar procession on that very night Dwarakadhisa visits Mahakal temple. This festival is the symbol of one-ness between the two great Lords.

Rituals of the temple
One of the rituals performed in this temple is the Bhasm Arti that involves smearing the linga with hot ashes from the burning ghats (cremation grounds). Shiva is believed to dwell in cremation grounds, and the ash-smearing ceremony is a homage to the Destroyer of the Universe himself.

This form of worship is symbolic of Death and Life being inseparable, an idea that is inherent to most of the Hindu schools of thought. The idol of MahakaleshwarTemple is also known as the Dakshinamurti as it faces the south (dakshin: south and murti: idol). Nearby tourist places to Mahakaleshwar Temple



Mahakaleshwar Temple

How to reach the Temple
  • Through Air - the Nearest airport is Indore (53 K.m.) the Flights arrive here from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Gwalior.

  • Through Railways - Through railways the city of Ujjain is directly connected by railway line to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mumbai, Fouzabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Delhi, Banaras, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Howrah and many more important cities of India.

  • By Road - Ujjain is directly connected by road to Indore, Surat, Gwaliar, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaypur, Nasik, Mathura.