Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, or the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, in India. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple is situated on the banks of the holy river Kshipra, and is considered to be one of the seven Mokshapuris, or the places that grant salvation.
The temple is famous for its unique and magnificent architecture, its rich history and legends, and its spiritual significance. It is also known for its Bhasma Aarti, or the ritual of offering ash to the deity, which is performed every morning with great devotion and reverence. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple is Famous Temple In Ujjain, You can visit during Ujjain Local sightseeing By cab or One day trip From Bhopal or Indore.
In this article, we will explore the various aspects of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, such as its location, timing/entry fees, how to reach, things to do/must see, significance, FAQs, and conclusion.
Location of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the heart of Ujjain city, near the Mahakal Chowk. The temple complex covers an area of about 5 acres, and has four gates in four directions. The main entrance is from the south gate, which leads to a spacious courtyard. The temple has three levels: the underground level houses the main shrine of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga; the ground level has the shrines of Omkareshwar and Nagchandreshwar; and the first floor has the shrines of Ganesh, Kartikeya, Parvati, and other deities.
Timing/Entry Fees Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
The temple is open for darshan (worship) from 4 am to 11 pm every day. The entry to the temple is free for all visitors. However, there are some special services and rituals that require a fee or a ticket. For example, the Bhasma Aarti requires a ticket of Rs. 500 per person; the Rudrabhishek requires a fee of Rs. 1100 per couple; and the Laghu Rudrabhishek requires a fee of Rs. 2100 per couple. These services can be booked online through the official website of Mahakaleshwar Temple (https://dic.mp.nic.in/ujjain/mahakal/).
How to Reach Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Ujjain is well connected by road, rail, and air to other major cities of India. The nearest airport is Indore Airport (IATA: IDR), which is about 55 km away from Ujjain. From there, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach Ujjain. The nearest railway station is Ujjain Junction (Station Code: UJN), which is about 2 km away from Mahakaleshwar Temple. From there, one can take an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw to reach the temple. Ujjain is also accessible by road from Indore (55 km), Bhopal (190 km), Ahmedabad (400 km), Mumbai (655 km), Delhi (775 km), etc.
Things to Do/Must See Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
There are many things to do and see in and around Mahakaleshwar Temple. Some of them are:
- Witnessing the Bhasma Aarti: This is one of the most important and unique rituals of Mahakaleshwar Temple. It is performed every morning at 4 am in the main shrine of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga. The ritual involves offering ash (bhasma) to the deity, which is obtained from burning cow dung cakes mixed with ghee and other herbs. The ash symbolizes the destruction of evil and ignorance by Lord Shiva. The ritual lasts for about an hour and is accompanied by chanting of mantras and hymns. Only a limited number of devotees are allowed to attend this ritual every day, so one has to book a ticket in advance through online or offline mode.
- Visiting Nagchandreshwar Temple: This is another unique feature of Mahakaleshwar Temple. It is located on the third floor of the temple complex and houses a beautiful idol of Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati and their son Ganesha. The idol is made of black stone and has silver ornaments. The temple is open only on Nag Panchami day (the fifth day of Shravan month as per Hindu calendar), which falls in July or August every year. On this day, thousands of devotees throng to this temple to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
- Exploring other shrines: Apart from Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga and Nagchandreshwar Temple, there are many other shrines in Mahakaleshwar Temple complex that are worth visiting. Some of them are Omkareshwar Temple (which has another Jyotirlinga), Ganesh Temple (which has a large idol of Ganesha), Kartikeya Temple (which has a six-faced idol of Kartikeya), Parvati Temple (which has a beautiful idol of Parvati), Kalbhairav Temple (which has a fierce idol of Kalbhairav), Annapurna Temple (which has an idol of Annapurna Devi), etc.
- Shopping for souvenirs: There are many shops and stalls near Mahakaleshwar Temple that sell various items related to Lord Shiva and Hinduism. One can buy souvenirs such as rudraksha beads, shivalingas, idols, paintings, books, CDs/DVDs,
- Enjoying the local cuisine: Ujjain is famous for its delicious and spicy food. One can enjoy a variety of dishes such as dal bafla (a baked wheat cake with lentil curry), poha (a flattened rice snack), jalebi (a deep-fried sweet), kachori (a stuffed fried pastry), sabudana khichdi (a sago dish), etc. There are many restaurants and eateries near Mahakaleshwar Temple that serve these delicacies. One can also try the prasad (offering) of Mahakaleshwar Temple, which is made of wheat flour, ghee, sugar, and dry fruits.
Significance of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is not only a place of worship, but also a place of immense spiritual and historical significance. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself resides in this temple as Mahakal, or the Lord of Time and Death. He is the protector of Ujjain and the destroyer of evil. According to Hindu mythology, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga was established by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, after he performed a penance to please Lord Shiva. It is also said that Lord Shiva appeared here as Mahakal to save his devotee King Chandrasena from a demon named Dushana. The temple has witnessed many events and legends related to Lord Shiva and his devotees, such as the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, the birth of Kartikeya, the visit of Adi Shankaracharya, etc.
The temple is also associated with the Kumbh Mela, or the largest religious gathering in the world. The Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years in four places in India: Haridwar, Prayagraj, Nashik, and Ujjain. It is believed that these places are where drops of nectar (amrit) fell from a pitcher (kumbh) during a celestial fight between gods and demons. Millions of pilgrims visit these places during the Kumbh Mela to take a dip in the holy rivers and attain salvation. The last Kumbh Mela in Ujjain was held in 2016, and the next one will be held in 2028.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is also one of the 51 Shakti Peethas, or the places where parts of Goddess Sati’s body fell after she immolated herself in her father’s sacrificial fire. It is said that her upper lip fell here, and hence the place is also known as Harsiddhi Peetha. There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Harsiddhi near Mahakaleshwar Temple, where one can see two huge lamps that are lit every evening.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is also a source of inspiration for many poets, writers, and artists. Some of the famous works that are based on or influenced by this temple are Mahakaleshwar Stotra by Adi Shankaracharya, Mahakal Samhita by Lakshmidhar Kavi, Mahakal Ki Mahima by Kalidas, etc.
Q: What is the best time to visit Mahakaleshwar Temple?
A: Mahakaleshwar Temple can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the festivals and occasions related to Lord Shiva, such as Maha Shivaratri, Shravan month, Nag Panchami, etc. These festivals are celebrated with great fervor and devotion in the temple, and one can witness various rituals and ceremonies. However, one should also be prepared for large crowds and long queues during these times.
Q: How can I book online services for Mahakaleshwar Temple?
A: One can book online services for Mahakaleshwar Temple through the official website of Mahakaleshwar Temple, One can register on the website and then choose the service they want to book, such as Bhasma Aarti, Rudrabhishek, Laghu Rudrabhishek, etc. One can also make online donations and buy online prasad through the website.
Q: What are the other places to visit near Mahakaleshwar Temple?
A: Ujjain is a city of temples and has many other places to visit near Mahakaleshwar Temple. Some of them are:
Ram Ghat: This is a sacred ghat (bank) on the river Kshipra, where pilgrims take a holy dip during the Kumbh Mela. It is also a place where many saints and sages meditate and perform rituals.
Bhartrihari Caves: These are ancient caves where Bhartrihari, a renowned poet and philosopher, is said to have lived and attained enlightenment. The caves have a serene and peaceful atmosphere and are surrounded by greenery.
Kalidasa Academy: This is a cultural center dedicated to Kalidasa, one of the greatest poets and playwrights of India. The academy has a museum, a library, an auditorium, and a garden that showcase the works and life of Kalidasa.
Vikram Kirti Mandir: This is a museum and an institute that displays the history and culture of Ujjain. It has exhibits related to astronomy, archaeology, art, literature, etc. It also has a planetarium that shows various celestial phenomena.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is a must-visit place for anyone who wants to experience the divine and ancient glory of Lord Shiva. It is a place where one can feel the presence of Mahakal, the Lord of Time and Death, and seek his blessings. It is also a place where one can witness the rich and vibrant culture and heritage of Ujjain, which has been a center of learning and spirituality for centuries. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is not just a temple, but a living legend that inspires millions of devotees across the world.
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