It would be one of the most unique experiences to visit the Jyotirlingas in India. These self manifested temples of Lord Shiva are very powerful and hold a lot of importance amongst its devotees. One such temple is the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga. This temple is located beside the Rudra Sagar Lake in Ujjain district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Furthermore the temple is also one of the Maha Shakti Peethas in India.
So if you are in Madhya Pradesh the Mahakaleshwar Ujjain should be there in your list of must visit temples. If you are a true devotee of Lord Shiva then you certainly cannot miss out on visiting the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain. Keep on reading this article as here I will mention everything that you need to know about the temple. By the end of the article you will have all the information about the Mahakaleshwar Mandir in hand to plan a successful trip there.
Location: Mahakal Mandir, Jaisinghpura, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga timing: 3 am to 11 pm
From Chaitra to Aswin (summer timings)
Morning Pooja (Dadyodak Aarti) – 7 am to 7:30 am
Mid day Pooja (Bhog Aarti) – 10 am to 10:30 am
Evening Pooja (Sandhya Aarti) – 5 pm to 5:30 pm
Shri Mahakal Aarti- 7 pm to 7:30 pm
Closing time Pooja (Shayan Aarti) – 10:30 pm to 11 pm
From Kartik to Falgun (winter timings)
Morning Pooja (Dadyodak Aarti) – 7:30 am to 8 am
Mid day Pooja (Bhog Aarti) – 10:30 am to 11 am
Evening Pooja (Sandhya Aarti) – 5:30 pm to 6 pm
Shri Mahakal Aarti- 7:30 pm to 8 pm
Closing time Pooja (Shayan Aarti) – 10:30 pm to 11 pm
Bhasma Aarti –
4 am all year long
Entry fee: No entry fee is required. VIP Darshan is Rs. 250
Pooja offerings in Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
General Pooja Rs. 100
Shiv Mahimna Path Rs. 200
Rudrabhishek Vaidik Pooja Rs. 300
Shiv Mahimn Strot Rs. 500
Bhanga Shringaar Rs. 500
Rudrabhishek and Rudra Path Rs. 1000
Laghu Rudrabhishek by 11 Brahmin Rs. 3000
Maha Rudrabhishek Rs. 15,000
Mahamrityunjay Jaap Rs. 15,000
How to reach Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga:
The nearest Airport is in Indore that is the Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport which is 51 km away from the temple. You can take a bus to reach the temple from the Airport.
Ujjain Junction, Vikram Nagar, Pingleshwar and Chintaman are the nearest railway stations to reach the Mahakaleshwar Temple. You can get trains from Omkareshwar as well to reach Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in about 3 hours.
You will get buses from major cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Bhopal etc. You can also take taxis, hire a car or drive your own vehicle to reach the temple.
About Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
One of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain is one of the most revered shrines. The Mahakaleshwar Mandir is located just beside the River Shipra. Here the deity is believed to be Swayambhu or self manifested. Furthermore it is believed that the shrine derives its power from within itself and establishes on its own unlike other shrines which are established by the people. The temple holds a lot of relevance for its devotees. In Sanskrit the word Maha literally means great and Kaal literally means Time and Death. It is believed that Mahakaleshwar Bhagwan is the god of time and death.
Legend of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
The legends of Mahakaleshwar are based on various myths and theories. One of them is that it is believed that once Ujjain was ruled by King Chandrasen. He was an avid follower of Lord Shiva. Shrikar, a young boy was highly moved by seeing the king’s devotion towards Lord Shiva and he wished to be a part of the cavalry but he was rejected. At the same time some opposing neighboring rulers were planning to attack Ujjain. Shikhar along with Vridhi, a local priest, started praying to Lord Shiva. Furthermore Lord Shiva was impressed with their devotion and hence decided to protect the city in a lingam form. After that incident the king established the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple.
Another legend about the Mahakaleshwar Temple is that when Devi Sati’s father Daksha humiliated her and Lord Shiva, she sacrificed herself into the fire. Upon hearing that Lord Shiva was furious, he performed the Dance of Death or Tandava. Therefore he is called the Mahakaleshwar or Mahakal which means God ahead of time and death. Also the Mahakaleshwar Ujjain is considered as one of the Shakti Peetha where the body part of Devi Sati has fallen. It is believed that the upper lip of Devi Sati fell here in this location.
Furthermore there is another legend that says once there was a demon named Dushan. Once he hurt the devotees of Lord Shiva and upon hearing that Lord Shiva lost his temper and broke the Earth into two halves. And therefore he came to be known as Mahakaleshwar.
History of Mahakaleshwar Temple
The temple was destroyed by Illtutmish during 1234-1235 when he invaded Ujjain. It is believed that the Jyotirlinga was dismantled and thrown into the pond or Kotiteerth Kunda. However the present day structure of the temple was built by Maratha General Ranoji Shinde in 1734 CE. Later the administration of Ujjain was assigned to the commander of Bajirao, Ranoji Shinde. Sukhatanakar Ramchandra Baba Shenavi a wealthy diwan of Ranoji Shinde re-built the Mahakaleshwar Temple during the 18th century. Furthermore after the independence of India in 1947 it came under the Municipal Corporation of Ujjain. At present the Collectorate Office of Ujjain district takes care of the temple.
Architecture of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is constructed following the Bhumija, Chalukya and Maratha style of architecture. Located near a lake the temple is set up with an extended courtyard surrounded by walls. Furthermore the structure is 5 storied with one underground level. The presiding deity of Mahakaleshwar is underground which is the garbhagriha of the temple. Unlike any other Jyotirlingas the deity here faces the south that is Dakshin Mukhi.
Furthermore on the middle and upper parts of the temple you can find the Omkareshwara and Nagachandresvara lingams. The idol of Nagachandresvara is only open for public viewing on the occasion of Nag Panchami. Besides the Jyotirlinga you will find small images of Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya and Devi Parvati.
Moving on, there is a large Kunda known as the Koti Kunda on the centre of the temple premise. This Kunda is considered celestial. On the east of the Koti Kunda you can find a large Verandah which further leads to the entrance of the path to the Garbhagriha. The roof of the Garbhagriha is covered in a silver plate that further elevates the look of the temple. In the northern side of the temple there is a cell where Goddess Avantika is also worshipped along with Lord Rama. You can find eulogies praising Lord Shiva on the walls of the temple.
Furthermore in the South there is an image of Nandi which is the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The Sikhar of the temple is brilliantly carved and is an example of finest artistic and architectural mastery.
Bhashma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
One of the prime attractions in the Mahakaleshwar Temple is the Bhashma Aarti. This Aarti takes place every day before dawn breaks at 4 am in the morning. According to the rituals of this Aarti Lord Shiva is worshipped with sacred ash which is specially brought from the Ghats. Furthermore the ash is applied on the Shiva lingam. Previously the tradition was to conduct the Bhasma Aarti with the ashes from the funeral pyre but later that custom changed. At present the ash that is used is made from cow dung. What makes this even more special is that this is the only Jyotirlinga where an Aarti like this is performed. So whenever you are visiting here make sure you are surely attending the Aarti. Also keep in mind that you will have to follow a dress code for men that is Dhoti and saree for women.
Mahakaleshwar Bhasma Aarti booking
You can book your tickets for the Bhashma Aarti from the online website of the temple. They usually have a limited number of slots for each day. Furthermore the Aarti is very popular so the tickets are usually booked many days in advance, make sure you are booking the Bhashma Aarti tickets in advance. Visit their website and submit valid ID proof like Pan Card, Aadhar card and passport sized photograph along with mobile number. Select dates and then proceed with the payment. Carry the hard copy or printed tickets while you reach the venue.
Phone number 0734-2550563
Mahakaleshwar Bhashma Aarti Offline Booking
The temple also provides offline tickets for attending the Bhasma Aarti. For that you will have to carry your valid ID proofs and reach the counter one day in advance by 7 pm. You will receive a confirmation via a message sent on your mobile for the Aarti. Furthermore from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm you can collect the confirmation tickets from the counter.
Festivals in Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
This is a ritual where the participatory or the Yatri takes a holy bath in the Holy water of River Shipra. Later he visits the idols of Mahakaleshwar, Nagachndresvara, Kotesvara, Goddess Avantika, Goddess Harsiddhi and Agastyesvara.
This is like a grand procession where the idol of Lord Shiva passes through the streets of Ujjain in a grand procession on a palanquin on every Monday of Shravan – Bhadoo month. However the last Sawari that happens in the fortnight of Bhadrapada grabs the most attention. Furthermore the procession of Vijaya Dashami is another one that is celebrated with much grandeur. Many devotees take part in this procession.
Mahakaleshwar Ujjain is the only temple where the Shiva Navartri is celebrated unlike any other temple that celebrates Maha Shivaratri at a different time. This Shiva Navratri is celebrated for 9 days. Furthermore there are special Poojas, chanting and rituals that are performed on all 9 days. Various Shringaars are done on the deities to represent various forms of Lord Shiva. Also, special pujas like special Panchamrit Abhishek and Special Bhasma Aarti are also conducted during this time. Many devotees especially visit the temple to attend this special festival at the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Mandir.
It would be one of a kind of a divine experience to visit the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple at least once in this lifetime. I am sure you will be completely engulfed with this divine experience. Also do not forget to attend the Bhashma Aarti as it is something that you won’t find in any of the other 11 Jyotirlinga Temples in India. Do let me know if this article was helpful for you in knowing all the information about the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple.