Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple - A Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Mahakaleshwar Temple

Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple also known as Mahakal temple in Ujjain is a renowned Hindu temple in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, located on the banks of the River Shipra at Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This Shiv Temple (mandir) of Ujjain has always been included in the spiritual tourist destinations due to its magnificent history and glory. It is also famous in the country and abroad due to the Simhastha fair (Kumbh Mela) held once in 12 years.

There are two words contained in Mahakal, Maha and Kaal, in Sanskrit maha means “great” and Kaal means “Time and Death” and it is believed Lord Shiva is the God of death and time. Because of this, he is called Mahakaleshwar, and this temple is also known as Mahakal (Mandir) Temple.


The Legends of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

According to Hindu beliefs, the Mahakal lingam at this temple is self-manifested deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself and for this reason, Mahakaleshwar is known as Swayambhu.

The lingam of Mahakaleshwar Temple is also known as Dakshina Mukhi, which means that it is facing south. 

According to a legend from the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva pierced the world in the form of an infinite pillar of light called Jyotirlinga, and the places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light are regarded as jyotirlinga shrines. 

As per the various Puranas, Mahakal temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country where Lord Shiva exists in the form of Jyotirlinga. Hence worshiping the Lord here is said to absolve all of the sins.

Mahakaleshwar Temple Darshan Timings

The Mahakal Temple is open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., conducting various rituals throughout this time. Devotees have the opportunity to engage in different ceremonies, including morning, midday, and evening aarti. Notably, in contrast to some other temples that close for lunch in the afternoon, there is no interruption or break during the afternoon hours at this temple.

arshan4:00 AM11:00 PM
Bhasma Aarti4:00 AM6:00 AM
Morning Pooja7:00 AM7:30 AM
Evening Pooja5:00 PM5:30 PM
Shree Mahakaal Aarti7:00 PM7:30 PM

Bhasma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

Mahakaleshwar Temple is also famous all over the world for the Bhasma Aarti, which is performed every day at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga. The Bhasma Aarti begins every morning at 4:00 a.m. to wake up Lord Shiva. It is believed that in the past, the Bhasm Aarti was performed with the funeral ashes, but in present times, this tradition has changed and ash is prepared from cow dung.

Shri Mahakal Lok Corridor

To develop tourism, preserve ancient heritage, and provide world-class modern facilities to the pilgrims, the ‘Mahakal Lok’ project has been implemented in Ujjain. The first phase of this Mahakal Corridor project has been completed.

The length of the Shri Mahakal Lok Corridor is more than 900 meters. It is surrounded by the old Rudrasagar Lake, which is also a part of the development project. Once you enter the corridor, you will see 108 pillars, around 200 statues, and murals that display stories of Shiva.

The pillars, sculptures, murals, fountains, and parks are adorned with colorful lights and look very beautiful at night.  Apart from this, there is also a Bharat Mata Mandir where the Vande Mataram song is sung daily at 8 pm. Later the echo of the slogans of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram awakens the spirit of patriotism in the hearts of the tourists.

Mahakal Sawari

The ride of Shri Mahakaleshwar Baba (Mahakal Ki Sawari) is taken out in the month of Shravan – Bhado. One of the main attractions of the Mahakal Sawari is the salute ritual to Rajadhiraj (Mahakaleshwar Baba), given by a contingent of police force outside the temple at the beginning of the Sawari. During the Sawari the devotees leave the temple with a palanquin carrying the Mahakal idol on their shoulders. Devotees sing and dance and seek blessings from Mahakal Baba. The ride ends at Shipra Ghat where certain rituals are performed to worship Lord Shiva.

How To Reah Mahakaleshwar Temple Ujjain

Ujjain, where the Mahakaleshwar Temple is located, is well-connected by various modes of transportation. Here are different ways to reach the Mahakal Temple in Ujjain:

By Air: The nearest airport to Ujjain is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport in Indore, which is approximately 55 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other local transportation to reach Ujjain.

By Train: Ujjain Junction is a major railway station, and Ujjain is well-connected by trains from various parts of the country. You can check the train schedules and book tickets to Ujjain Junction.

By Road: Ujjain is well-connected by road with major cities in Madhya Pradesh and neighboring states. You can use buses, private taxis, or your own vehicle to reach Ujjain. The city is well-connected by national and state highways.