Mahakaleshwar Temple - Ujjain
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga - A Hindu temple in the city of Ujjain and one of the 12 Jyotirlingas that is considered as the sacred abode for Lord Shiva. Ujjain is also known as the city of temples as it was one of the centers of Hindu beliefs and devotion.
The Mahakal Mandir of Ujjain is situated on the side of the holy river KShipra.
What is a lingam or Shivling?
As per Shiv Purana, there was once an argument between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu over who is supreme in the creation of this world. To test them, Lord Shiva pierced the 3 worlds in an endless form of light and asked both of them to find the ends. Both Brahma and Vishnu went in two different directions to search for the end of the light.
Brahma came back and lied that He found the end while Vishnu accepted His defeat and that he could not find the end. On listening to this, Lord Shiva cursed Brahma that He will not be worshipped in any of the ceremonies whereas Vishnu will be worshipped till eternity.
The lingam or Shivling thus denotes the endlessness of Lord Shiva.
Here is a sneak peak of the temple
History of the Mahakal Mandir
As per the Puranas, King Chandrasena who was the ruler of Ujjain and a pious devotee of Lord Shiva was attacked by rival kingdoms. The attack was so severe that the entire city was plundered. They attacked the devotees of Lord Shiva and also looted the treasures.
On seeing this, Lord Shiva Himself took the form of Mahakal and destroyed the attackers and restored the city. The people of Ujjain requested Lord Shiva to stay in the city and bless them. Shiva agreed and he took the form of the lingam and resided in the city thereby protecting the people.
Kalidasa, the greatest poet of all times mentioned various rituals and ceremonies of the temple in his book Meghadutta.
When to Visit
Though a visit to the temple can be made anytime in the year, however, it is preferred to visit during October to March since the weather is relatively pleasant.
How to Visit
Ujjain is just about 70kms from Indore, MP. The best way to reach is by road.
Alternatively, there are many trains that directly reach Ujjain.