Mahakaleshwar Shiv Mandir located on the banks of lake Rudra Sagar in Ujjain, is one of the most powerful consecrated places in India. This Shiva temple in Ujjain was built by Lord Brahma for the Mahakal – the fierce form of lord Shiva. Mahakaleshwar translates to the god of time. This is the only Shiva temple in India where the main deity, Lord Shiva, is facing the South direction, which is considered as the direction of death, thus depicting the Lord as the master of death.
The present structure was built by Maratha General Ranoji Shinde in the 18th century. The temple’s architecture is a blend of Maratha and Chalukya styles. The main attractions of the temple are the idols of Mahakaleshwar on the ground floor, Nagachandresvara on the top floor – which is opened only on Nag Panchami, and the Omkaresvara lingam on the second floor. The idols of Lord Ganesha, Parvathi, and Karthikeya are near the large Kunda made in the compound.
What is special about Mahakaleshwar Temple?
The important tradition at this temple is the Basma aarti or the ash ritual, which happens every day at 4 am. Earlier, the Basma aarti was done by using fresh ashes from the cremated grounds. Now, because of some backlash by an activist, they are using cow dung that is covered in cloth. This ritual is symbolic for washing off sins, and connecting with the lord. Witnessing this Basma aarti is a once in a lifetime experience.
If you are aspiring for salvation and want to feel beyond your physical nature, then the Mahakaleshwar temple is a powerful place that will shake the roots of your physical existence.
What is the story behind Mahakaleshwar Temple?
The Story behind the Mahakaleshwar temple has many versions. It is said that the King of Ujjain, Chandrasena, was a devotee of Lord Shiva. A young boy, Shrikhar, was passing by and heard that the king was praying in the palace. He wished to pray along with him, but he was not allowed into the premises and was sent away to the outskirts of Ujjain.
There he overheard King Ripudamana and Singhaditya plotting to attack Ujjain with the help of Dushanan, who was a demon blessed by Lord Brahma to be invisible. Shrikhar started praying to Lord Shiva to protect the city. Vridhi, a priest, listened to this young boy and joined him in prayer to the Lord.
The enemy kings attacked Ujjain and they almost conquered everything but Lord Shiva appeared in his fierce form and saved them. From that day on, Lord Shiva lives in the Ujjain temple in the form of a self-originated linga that derives power on its own.
The temple remains open from 3 AM-11 PM.
Thousands of devotees visit this temple every year. October to March is the best time to visit this divine place. Mahashivaratri is celebrated grandly here and it would be the perfect experience for a devotee.
This is all about Mahakaleshwar Temple. It is one of the popular tourist places in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. If you want to connect with the divine then Mahakaleshwar Temple is the perfect place for you.