History of the temple
The Mahakaleshwar temple is situated at Ujjian, in Madhya Pradesh, India. This temple is one of the Dwdasa jyothorlingams in India. Ujjain is known as Avantika in the olden days and is famous for the number of temples. This place is referred to as Devabhumi, the abode of Gods. The Shiva lingam here faces the direction of south. This is the only Jyothirlingam to face south and the diety here is also called as Dakshinamurthy.
The temple is three storeyed structure.The Mahakaleshwar lingam is in the lower storey. The Omkareshwar lingam and the Nagachandreshwara lingam are in the middle and top storeys. The Nagachandreshwara lingam will be open for darshan on the day of Nagapanchami only. In the garbhagriha, the idols of Ganesha, Parvathi and Karthikeya are decorated on the walls. The Nandishwara is outside the garbhagriha, facing the Mahakaleshwar lingam.
The King Chandrasena, ruler of the Avantika, is a devotee of Lord Shiva. One day when the King is doing puja in the palace temple, a boy by name Shrikar, happened to listen to the King chanting in praise of Lord Shiva. Shrikar also went into the temple and started chanting along with the King. The soldiers dragged him out of the temple and left him on the outskirts near the river Shipra. The boy started to do penance from there.
The neighboring Kings attacked Avantika with the help of a demon Dhusan, who was blessed by Lord Brahma. Shrikar, learning about the attack, started praying to Lord Shiva for help.Another Saint Vriddha also joined in the prayers from the bottom of the river Shirpa. Lord Shiva pleased with their prayes, came out of the ground in the Mahakal avatar and killed all the enemies. Lord Shiva at the request of the devotees accepted to live there in the form of lingam. Thus the Mahakaleshwar temple came onto existence.
Must see Poojas
1. Bhasmati Aarti: The Bhasmati Aarti pooja is conducted at 4.00 A.M. The Shiva lingam will be smeared with hot chitabhasmam from the burial ground and the pooja is conducted. This is in the tantric way of pooja. At present ash from wood i used to perform the pooja. The pooja with the accopaniment of drums, creates an atmosphere of frenzy.
2. Mahakal Aarti: This aarti pooja is conducted at 7.00 P.M. During the pooja the atmosphere in the hall opposite the garbhagriha, becomes electrifying and fills all the devotees with a such a feeling of happiness, which cannot be described. It is to be felt and experienced.
Ujjain is well connected by trains from all over India. By road also it is easily accessible from Bhopal. The nearest air port is at Indore, 70 Km.from Ujjain. Auto rickshaws and taxis ars available for local transportation.
The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation is maintaining two guest houses in Ujjain, for the tourists. Shipra Residency is a good hotel. There are many budget hotels opposite the railway station and the town also.
Places of interest in Ujjain
There are innumerable temples in Ujjian. Some of them are mentioned here.
1. Harsiddhi temple
2. Kala Bhirav temple.
3. Gad Kalika
4. Chintamani Ganesh.
5. Bhartrihari caves.
6. Sandipani Ashram.
Ujjain is a pilgrims paradise. The Omkareshwar Jyothirlingam is also near by.