There are many amazing temples in India that have their own beliefs and customs. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India is the Mahakal Temple of Ujjain located in Madhya Pradesh. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the main Shiva temples of Hindus and is considered to be the holiest place of Lord Shiva.
This temple is situated on the banks of Rudra Sagar Sarovar. It is said that Lord Shiva settled in this linga as a self-proclaimed god, this linga has immense powers of its own and this linga was established by mantra-shakti.
Mahakal Temple of Ujjain is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Baba Mahakaleshwar built in the 6th century, if you are going to visit this temple, you must know some important things about Ujjain’s Mahakal before going here.
History of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
The present temple was built in 1736 by Shriman Ranajirao Shinde Maharaj, the general of Shriman Peshwa Baji Rao and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. After this, Shrinath Mahadji Shinde Maharaj and Shriman Maharani Bayajabai Raje Shinde also got many changes and repairs done in it.
Till 1886, during the time of Maharaja Srimanta Jayajirao Saheb Shinde Alijah Bahadur, many programs of the princely state of Gwalior were held in this temple.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple
The idol in Mahakaleshwar is also often called Dakshinamurti, as it is a south-facing idol. It was chosen as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas according to the Shiventra tradition.
The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is built in a holy place above the Mahadev shrine. Along with this, the idols of Ganesh, Parvati, and Karthikeya have also been installed in the west, north, and east. An idol of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva, has also been installed on the south side. It is said that this temple of Nagachandreshwar is opened for one day only on the day of Nag Panchami.
This temple has a total of five stories, one of which is also below the ground. The temple is built in a sacred garden, surrounded by huge walls near the lake. Along with this, brass lamps have also been installed at the lower holy place. Like other temples here, devotees are given offerings to the Lord.
The shrine of Mahakaleshwar temple is built in such a way that we see it touching the sky, it is a miracle in itself. The Mahakal temple of Ujjain also dominates the life of the city and reflects the traditional Hindu traditions even in the present times.
On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge festival is organized near the temple and Lord Shiva is worshiped till late in the night.
Sri Swapneshwar Mahadev Temple also comes within the range of Mahakaleshwar Temple, where devotees worship Shiva as Mahakala and ask them to fulfill their dreams.
Sadashiva Temple is a temple depicting empathy, where devotees sincerely pray to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Mahadev is Swapneshwar here and Shakti is Swapneshwari.
Mahakaleshwar Temple Timings
This temple is open from 3 am to 11 pm.
In Chaitra to Ashwin month – Morning Pooja: 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM, Aarti Shri Mahakal: 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM
In Kartik to Falgun month – Morning Pooja: 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM, Aarti Shri Mahakal: 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM
The temple was also repaired and decorated to a large extent in the 7th century by Harshavardhan and again during the Paramara period.
Mahakaleshwar Temple as Shakti Peetha
This sacred shrine is also included in the 18 Maha Shakti Peetha. Shakti Peetha is also a place of pilgrimage, where it is believed that the human body gets internal strength by going to that place. All Shakti Peethas are famous for their powers.
According to Shiva Purana, once Brahma and Lord Vishnu started arguing about the importance of creation. To test them, Shivji divided the type of Pillar, Jyotirlinga into three parts.
Lord Vishnu and Brahma divided their paths from below and from side to side respectively to know the end of the light. After this, Brahma swung that he got the end, while Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat.
Then Shivji appeared from the second pillar and cursed Brahma that Brahma would not find any place in divine worship while people would always worship Lord Vishnu. It is said that in these 12 Jyotirlingas, there is a small part of Shiva.
There are a total of 64 types of Jyotirlingas in the form of Shiva, but still, these 12 Jyotirlingas have a different identity. Each of the 12 Jyotirlingas has its own different name – which is based on the diverse manifestations of Lord Shiva.
After Indian independence, Mahakaleshwar Temple went under the hands of Dev Sultan Trust under the Ujjain Municipal Corporation. And today this temple comes under the Ujjain District Collector Office.
Interesting facts about Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Why is Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga of Ujjain called Mahakal? Kaala has two meanings in the scriptures, the first is time and the second is death. It is believed that this is the place where the time of the whole world was determined in ancient times. According to mythology, Lord Shiva’s lingam was established here by King Chandrasen and Gop Balak.
Fresh ash is consumed. You must have seen incineration in many temples, but during the Mahakal of Ujjain, Lord Mahakal is adorned with the consumption of fresh dead. And one has to book in advance to attend Maha Bhakla Aarti.
Unfinished journey to see Juna Mahakal – Visiting Juna Mahakal is also necessary to visit Mahakal’s temple or else the philosophy of Mahakal is considered incomplete. According to some stories, the Mughals tried to destroy Juna Mahakal. Fearing the Mughals, Juna Mahakal was replaced by another Shivalinga by the temple priests.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is divided into three sections – At present, there are three sections of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, out of which the lower section is Mahakaleshwar, the middle section is Omkareshwar and the upper section is Sri Nagachandreshwar Temple. Of these, darshan of Nagachandreshwar Shivling can be done once a year on the day of Nag Panchami.
Nandi Deep is also the center of attraction – Mahakala’s sanctum sanctorum has Dakshinmukhi Shivling which is present along with Mata Parvati, Lord Ganesha, and Karthikeya. Nandi Deep is also installed here which always burns.
There is only Mahakal in Ujjain – The important thing related to the Mahakal of Ujjain is that no one sitting in a royal or royal post here can spend the night. It is believed that no king followed Vikramaditya in Ujjain. It is believed that only one king can live in Ujjain and Mahakal is considered to be the king here, so no other king can stay here. Because of which no king has spent the night here since the King’s Supper. And even today, this practice is accepted even by the king, the chief minister and the prime minister and does not spend the night here.
The Mahakal temple is a great symbol of the faith of the people, that is the reason that no matter what the devotees are, they do not go back to fulfill it. And maybe this temple is the real feature that makes it different from the rest of India.