Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Lingam of the Mahakaleshwar temple is the largest among all other Jyotirlingas. Images of various Gods, Goddesses, Apsaras, and Kichakas adorn the walls and pillars of the temple.
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Mahakaleshwar Temple – Facts
|Deity||Lord Mahakaleshwar (Lord Shiva)|
|Location||Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh|
|Tours||Mahakaleshwar Omkareshwar Tour|
|Darshan Timings||4:00 AM to 11:00 PM|
|Best Time to Visit||October to March|
|Jyotirlingas in Madhya Pradesh||Mahakaleshwar Temple, Omkareshwar Temple|
What are the timings of the Mahakaleshwar Temple?
The temple opens at 4 AM and closes at 11 PM. The temple also performs various rituals during this time. The devotees can be a part of these rituals, such as the morning, afternoon, and evening aarti. Moreover, there is no afternoon break in between, unlike most temples which remain closed in the afternoon for lunch.
The timings are as follows:
|Darshan||4:00 AM||11:00 PM|
|Bhasma Aarti||4:00 AM||6:00 AM|
|Morning Pooja||7:00 AM||7:30 AM|
|Evening Pooja||5:00 PM||5:30 PM|
|Shree Mahakaal Aarti||7:00 PM||7:30 PM|
It is important to note that during the winter season, these rituals take place half an hour later than the given timings.
What are the sevas and poojas of the Mahakaleshwar Temple?
Some of the sevas and poojas of the Mahakaleshwar Temple are:
- Bhasm Aarti: This aarti is unique to the temple. The priest applies Vibhhoti (Bhasm) to the Shiva Linga every day at 4:00 AM. Only, pilgrims holding a VIP pass can enter the Sanctum or the Garbhagraha for the aarti. Women cannot witness Bhasma decoration during the aarti.
- Maharudrabhishek: In the abhishek, recitations of Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharva Veda is done in front of the deities of the Mahakaleshwar Temple.
- Laghurudrabhishek: This abhishek is done to resolve issues related to health and wealth. It is also done to remove the harmful effects of planets in the horoscope.
- Mahamrityunjaya Jaap: The Mahamrityunjaya abhishek increases longevity and immortality of the person. It is also known as the Rudra mantra and has miraculous effects in the lives of the people who perform it. Chanting this mantra helps relieve the individual from the cycle of death and rebirth. Hence, this mantra is also known as the Moksha Mantra.
What is the significance of Mahakaleshwar Temple?
The significance of the Mahakaleshwar Temple is that the Lingam of Mahakaleshwar is Swayambhu in nature. Sri Mahakaleshwar is the Lord of Time. He is also famous as the one who is capable of winning difficult situations. This is the only Lingam in the world which faces south, the direction of Death.
The Mahakaleshwar temple is also one of the eighteen Maha Shakti Peethas. Shakti Peethas are the sites where body parts of Sati Devi fell after the Sudarshana Chakra, in the Daksha Yoga episode of Hindu mythology, cut her body. Devotees believe that the Upper Lip of the Sati Devi fell here. Moreover, the Goddess is popular as Mahakali here.
What is the history of the Mahakaleshwar Temple?
As per the history of Mahakaleshwar Temple, Lord Brahma himself established the first temple at the site. The coins recovered at Ujjain have the mark of Lord Shiva on them. According to several poetic texts, in the Paramara period, invaders destroyed the temple. Later, Udayaditya and Naravarman, the rulers of the Malwa region, rebuilt it.
According to the ancient scripture, Sthalapuranam, King Chandrasena was a devotee of Shiva. A young boy named Shrikhar heard his prayers to the god and wanted to join him. However, people did not let him do it and sent him out of the city. Shrikhar heard the plans of rival kings Ripudhamana and Singhaditya to attack the city with the help of the demon king Dushan.
Asura Dushan had a blessing of invisibility from Brahma. So, Shrikhar and a priest named Vriddhi prayed to Lord Shiva for help. The enemies arrived at Avantika (now known as Ujjain) and started torturing the people. They banned all Vedic Dharmanushtan activities in the city. The people started praying to Lord Shiva for help.
Devotees also believe that when Dushan started attacking Avantika, the ground split near the statue of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva came out of it as Mahakaal. He burnt the demons with just one grunt. Adhering to the request of the people of Avantika, Lord Shiva then decided to stay there as the chief deity of Avantika.
What is the structure of the Mahakaleshwar Temple?
The Mahakaleshwar temple is a three-storied structure. The Lingam of Mahakaleshwar is worshipped on the first floor, which is actually under the ground level. On the second level, the Lingam of Omkareshwara is worshipped. The Nagachandeshwara Linga is worshipped on the third level. The third level is open to the public only on Naga Panchami.
What are the festivals celebrated at Mahakaleshwar Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Mahakaleshwar Temple are:
- Kumbh Mela: This Mela has the distinction of being the largest religious gathering on the planet. It takes place once every 12 years in Ujjain, Allahabad, Haridwar, and Nashik. Also, the festival continues for about one and a half months. The pilgrims and sages (sadhus) take a ceremonial dip in the River Ksipra. Religious discourses, Ramlilas, Raslilas as well as the grand procession of sadhus are the main features of the Kumbh Mela.
- Mahashivaratri: Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple to celebrate the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. It occurs on the 13th or 14th day of the Magha month (February / March) in the Indian calendar
- Karthik Mela: It occurs every year in the Hindu month of Karthik (November / December).
- Harihara Milana: The celebrations of this festival take place on Vaikuntha Chaturdashi, which signifies the meeting of two Lords – Lord Krishna as well as Lord Shiva at midnight.
How to reach the Mahakaleshwar Temple?
Here’s how to reach Mahakaleshwar Temple:
- Air: The nearest airport is Indore which is 53 km away from Ujjain.
- Train: Direct trains are available to Ujjain from major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Benaras, Kochi as well as Jaipur.
- Road: Bus services are available from cities like Indore, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, Udaipur, Nasik, and Mathura.
Route from Indore
Indore is about 53 km away from the Mahakaleshwar Temple. Plenty of options are available for one to travel to the temple from here. Here’s the Mahakaleshwar Temple route from Indore:
- Air: The nearest railway station is in Indore and one can hire cabs or take a bus to Mahakaleshwar Temple from there.
- Train: One can travel through trains such as the Ranthambhor SF express as well as the Malwa SF express to travel between Ujjain and Indore.
- Road: The fastest route to travel from Indore to Mahakaleshwar temple is via the Ujjain-Indore road. Also, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel using this route.
Where to stay near the temple?
The Temple Management has constructed two Dharmashalas for pilgrims to stay. The names of the Dharmashalas are Pandit Shree Surya Narayan Vyas Dharmashala and the Shree Mahakaal Dharmashala. Non AC dormitories, Non AC rooms, and AC rooms are available to pilgrims at reasonable rates.
Several budget hotels, 3-star, and 5-star hotels operate in Ujjain as this is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world.
What are some temples nearby?
Some of the temples near Mahakaleshwar Temple are:
- Harsiddhi Temple: It is located just 400 meters away from the Mahakaleshwar temple. This temple is one of the Shakti Peethas according to Hindu mythology. Devotees also believe that Sati’s elbow fell here when the Sudarshana Chakra, in the Daksha Yagna episode of the Hindu tradition, cut her body.
- Ram Janardhan Mandir: Raja Jai Singh constructed this temple in the 17th century. The specialities of the temple include the 11th-century sculpture of Govardhandhari Krishna, the 10th-century sculpture of Vishnu as well as the 12th-century idol of Trimurti.
- Kala Bhairava temple: Beliefs say that King Bhadra constructed this temple over the ruins of an old demolished temple. Further, this temple was of great significance during the Paramar period.
- Chintamani Ganesh Temple: The Goddess Riddhi and Siddhi are present on two sides of Lord Ganesh. Devotees also offer special prayers to the god every Wednesday in the month of Chaithra.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mahakaleshwar Temple
Yes, the Mahakaleshwar Temple is open all 365 days of the year.
The entry to the Mahakaleshwar Temple is free of cost.
No. There is no facility for online darshan available.
No. There is no facility for specially-abled and senior citizens.
The summers in Ujjain starts from April and continue until June. The summers here can be very hot and dry. Temperatures during the daytime often go up to 45 º C.
In Ujjain, winters start in October and continue until March. The temperatures during this time range from around 3 º C to 20 º C. The weather during this time is cold but pleasant.
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