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Mahakaal Temple

Description :-

The Mahakal Temple is a venerated Shiva temple comprising one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of time reigns in the Mahakal Temple in all his splendour. The Shivling in this temple is supposed to be the only Jyotirling which faces towards south and hence known as Dakshinmukhi or the south-facing ling. It is the most popular and important temple of Ujjain. Huge crowd of devotees assemble for darshan here on Shivratri (claimed to be the wedding day of Lord Shiva) every year.

The lingam at Mahakal Temple is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power (shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

As per the Hindu scriptures, the universe consists of three regions sky (aakash), earth (prithwi) and the nether world (patal). Mahakal is Lord of the earth. Out of the 12 Jyotirlingas, only Mahakal is known as the Lord of the earth and Lord of the death. The meaning of Mahakal is taken as Lord of Time and also Lord of death. Shanku Yantra is an important instrument in astronomical calculations. In Shanku Yantra, the Jyotirlinga of Mahakal temple is established as the centre of earth, from where the astronomical calculations for the entire world were taken care.

From the Shivapuran references, it appears that the temple was built eight generations before Nanda, the guardian of Lord Krishna. Perhaps at that time the Jyotirlinga was established. The temple was renovated during Parmar regime in the 11th century. In 1234, Sultan Iltutmish of Delhi attacked Ujjain and demolished the Mahakal temple. The present beautiful temple was constructed by Sukhtankar Ramchandra Baba Shenavi, a divan of Ranoji Shinde during Bajirao Peshwa regime in 18th century.

The Shikhar of the temple has been high and the premises been large from ancient times. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is situated below ground level in the main temple. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine.

The Mahakaleshwar temple is set upon a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls. It has five levels, one of which is the underground comprising the sanctum (Garbhagriha) wherein the Jyotirlinga is situated.

The unique feature upheld by tantric traditions to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas is its being the only Dakshin-mukhi Jyotirlinga (facing towards the south). Due to these considerations, worship of Shri Mahakal with vedic mantras proves fruitful for the devotee. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Kartikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchmi.