Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is situated in the city of Ujjain, state of Madhya Pradesh, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is said to be located on the side of the lake Rudra Sagar. The present structure of the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is said to be built in the year 1736 AD by General of Srimant Peshwa Baji Rao and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of the Hindu Pad Padshahi – Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj (Scindia). Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the twelve Jyotrilinga temples, the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotrilinga Temples are:
- Somnath Temple
- Mallikarjun Temple
- Mahakaleshwara Temple
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Vaidyanath Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple
- Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
- Rameshwaram Temple
- Nageshwar Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple
The mythology says that Lord Brahma (the god of creation) and Lord Vishnu (the god of Harmony) had a tough argument on who holds the superiority in creation. To test Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva penetrated the three worlds as an endless pillars of light, called Jyotrilinga. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu was assigned separate directions, one to the upward direction and the other towards the downward direction to find the end of the light in either directions.
Lord Vishnu admitted His Vanquishment whereas Lord Brahma lied that he found the end of the light. Hence, Lord Shiva appeared to be the second pillar of light and proclaimed that Lord Vishnu would be worshipped by all till the end of the eternity and cursed Lord Brahma that He will not be worshipped in any etiquette.
The presiding deity of this Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is Lord Mahakaleshwar (Lord Shiva) in the form of Lingam, which is believed to be Swayambhu (self-manifested). The deity of Mahakaleshwar Temple is known to be by the name Lord Dakshinamurti, facing the south direction. Each Jyotrilinga temples takes different manifestation of Lord Shiva and the idol of Lingam is considered as a presiding deity in every Jyotrilinga temples. Lingam represents the beginning less and endless, which symbolizes the infinite nature of Lord Shiva.
The other deities of this temple are Lord Omkareshwar Mahadev, Lord Ganesh, Goddess Parvati and Lord Karttikeya and Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. There deity of Lord Nagchandreshwar is also found here, and the shrine is open for Dharshan only on the Nag Panchami day. Mahakaleshwar Temple is considered as one of the Shakti Pitha Temples. The Shakti Pitha is a place of worship to goddess Shakti also called goddess Sati, the main deity. It is said that the four major Shakti Pithas are created from the limbs of Goddess Sati‘s corpse.
The body part or ornament of Goddess Shakti that fell to the earth, is the place where the Adi Shakti temples are built. And it is said that the upper lip of Goddess Sati have fallen here and the form of goddess sati here is called as Mahakali. The Vimanam (the tower above the sanctum sanctorum) are adorned with the wonderful sculptures.
The temple remains open from morning 04.00 am till night 11.00 pm.
Mahashivaratri – February or March
Ujjain is directly connected by road to Indore, Surat, Gwaliar, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaypur, Nasik, and Mathura.
Nearest railway station is Ujjain. It is directly connected to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mumbai, Fouzabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Delhi, Banaras, Kochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Howrah and many more.
Nearest airport is Indore (53 Km). Flights are available from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Gwalior.
- Chaturbhuj Temple
- Chintaman Ganesh Temple
- Devi Jagadambi Temple
- Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Pashupatinath Temple
- Lakshmi Narayana Temple
- Dakshin Kali Temple