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Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling | उज्जैन महाकालेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग – Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling (Hindi:उज्जैन महाकालेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग, Sanskrit:उज्जैन Mahakaleshwar ज्योतिर्लिन्ग) is situated in the Mahakal forest in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, by the banks of the Kshipra river. The name Avanti or Avantika pleases Lord Shiva. It is considered as very holy and pure place.

Mahakala is the Lord of time and Death. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at Mahakal 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.

Mahakaleswar Temple - Abstract

Primary Deity and Significance:

Mahakaleshwar :Jyotirling

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the south. At the naval point of the earth south facing Mahakala is situated, the only Jyotirling of its kind. This fact has a special significance in the Tantric tradition. This is a unique feature upheld by tantric traditions to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas.

Important Festival(s):

  1.  Uma Sanjhi Mahotsava pradosh
  2. Shravan Mahotsava
  3. Narak Chaturdashi,
  4. Nagpanchami
  5. Mahashivaratri
  6.  Harihar Milan






Temple Opens at 3:30 am

4:00 am

6:00 am

Bhasma Arti

7:30 am

8:15 am

Naivedya Arti

10:30 am

11:15 am

Mahabhog Arti

6:30 pm

7:15 pm

Sandya Arti

10:30 pm

 11:00 pm

Sayana Arti 



  • Puranas narrate that it was first established by Prajapita Brahma

  • There is reference to the appointment of prince Kumarasena by king Chanda Pradyota in 6th c. BC for looking after the law and order situations of Mahakala temple.
  • The punch-marked coins of Ujjain, belonging to 4th-3rd c. BC, bear the figure of Lord Siva on them. Mahakala temple is also mentioned in several ancient Indian poetic texts.
  • After the downfall of the Gupta empire, several dynasties including the Maitrakas, Chalukyas, Later Guptas, Kalachuris, Pusyabhutis, Gurjara Pratiharas, Rastrakutas etc. dominated the political scenerio in Ujjain one after the other. However, all bowed down before Mahakala and distributed endowments and alms to the deserving.
  • During this period a number of temples of various gods and goddesses,Tirthas, Kundas, Vapis and gardens took shape in Avantika. Several Saivite temples including those of 84 Mahadevas existed here.
  • When every nook and corner of Ujjain was dominated by religious monuments housed by the images of their respective deities, the development and progress of Mahakala temple and its religiocultural milieu was not at all neglected.
  • Among many of the poetic texts composed during this period, which sung the significance and glamour of the temple,Harsacharit and Kadambari of Banabhatta, Naisadhacharit of Sri Harsa, and Navasahasamkacharit of Padmagupta are noteworthy.
  • It so appears that during rhw Paramara period, a series of crisis prevailed over Ujjain and the Mahakala temple.In the Eighth decade of Eleventh c. AD, one Gazanavide commander invaded Malwa, looted it brutally and destroyed many temples and images. But very soon the Paramaras rejuvenated every thing.
  • A contemporary Mahakala Inscription testifies the fact that during the later Eleventh c. and early twelfth c., the Mahakala temple was re-built during the reign of Udayaditya and Naravarman. It was built in the Bhumija style of architecture, very favourite to the Paramaras.
  • Remains available in the temple-complex and the neighbouring places authenticate this fact. The temples of this style had been either Triratha or Pancharatha in plan.A few Sanads issued by the Sultans of Malwa and Mughal emperors have come to light in Ujjain which testifies that during the mediaeval period these Islamic rulers contributed some donations to priests for conducting worship, lighting the lamps and offering the prayers to Divinity for the safety of their reign. Thus it is evident that these Islamic rulers also had a respect for Mahakalesvara and they issued financial assistance for the appeasement of Hindu subjects too.
  • Maratha regime was established in Ujjain in the fourth decade of Eighteenth c. The administration of Ujjain was assigned by Peshwa Bajirao-I to his faithful commander Ranoji Shinde, The diwan of Ranoji was Sukhatanakar Ramchandra Baba Shenavi who was very wealthy but unluckily issue less  On the suggestions of many learned Panditas and wel-wishers, he decided to invest his wealth for religious purposes. In this connection, he re-built the famous Mahakala temple in Ujjain during the 4th-5th decades of Eighteenth c. AD.
  • The present structure was built by the Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj Scindias in 1736 AD. Further developments and management was done by Shreenath Mahadji Shinde Maharaj also known as Madhavrao the First (14 January 1761–13 February 1794) and Srimant Maharani Bayzabai Raje Shinde (1827–1863).
  • In the regime of Maharaja Shrimant Jayaajirao Saheb Shinde Alijah Bahadur until 1886, major programs of the then Gwalior Riyasat used to    be held at this mandir. After Independence the Dev Sthan Trust was replaced by the municipal corporation of Ujjain. Nowadays it is under the Collectorate.


The temple had been very magnificent and magnanimous. Its foundation and platform were built of stones. The temple rested on the wooden pillars. There had been no sikharas on the temples prior to the Gupta period. The roofs of temples had mostly been flat. 

Every part of the temple was glutted with decorative motifs or images. Horizontally, the shrine from front to back was respectively divided in entrance, ardhamandapa, sanctum, antarala (vestibule) garbhagrha and Pradaksanapatha. Upper components of the temple rested on the strong and well-designed pillars and pilasters. Such temples, according to the contemporary Silpa-sastras contained the images of various god and goddesses, Nava Grahas (Nine planets), Apsaras (celestial damsels), female dancers, anucharas (attendants), Kichakas etc. The sculptural art of the temple had been very classical and multifarious. Besides the Saivite images of Nataraja, Kalyanasundara, Ravananugraha, Gajantaka, Sadasiva, Andhakasura-slayer, Lakulisa etc., the temples were adorned with the images of Ganesa, Paravati, Brahma, Visnu, Surya (Sun-god), Sapta Matrkas (Seven mother-goddesses) etc. These images had been very proportionate, well-decorated, sculpturally perfect and carved according to classical and Puranic texts.

The temple was enclosed by high ramparts attached with the entry-gates. At twilight the lively rows of glittering lamps enlightened the temple-complex. The whole atmosphere echoed with the sound of various musical instruments. The charming and well-decorated damsels added a lot in the aesthetic beauty of the temple. The echo of the Jaya-dhvani (Let the Lord be victories) of the assembly of the devotees was heard far and wide. Priests remained busy in worshipping the Deity and chanting eulogies. The Vedic hymns were recited and Stutis were sung, the painted walls and well-carved images projected the artistic heights of the day.

The temple is three-storeyed. In the lowest middle and uppermost parts are respectively installed the lingams of Mahakalesvara, Omkaresvara and Nagachandresvara. The pilgrims and the visitors can only have the glimse of Nagachandresvara on the festive of Naga Panchami. A very large-sized Kunda named Koti Tirtha also exists in the temple-complex. The Kunda is built in the sarvatobhadra style. The Kunda and its water both are treated as very celestial. On the path adjoining the stairs of the Kunda, may be seen many images representing the sculptural grandeur of the temple built during the Paramara period. In the east of the Kunda is a large-sized Veranda in which there is the entrance to the path leading to the garbhagrha. In the northern side of the verandah, in a cell, the images of Sri Rama and goddess Avantika are worshipped. In the southern side of the main shrine, there stand many small Saivite temples built during the shinde regime among these the temple of Vrddha Mahakalesvara, Anadi Kalpesvara and Saptarshi are prominent and are the remarkable pieces of architecture.


Sr. No. Name Position Telephone
1 Collector Ujjain District Collector And President 0734-2514000
2 Mahant Prakash Puri Member 0734-2556955
3 Mayor Muncipal Corporation, Ujjain Member 2551541,2513521
4 Commissioner Muncipal Corporation, Ujjain Member 5013106
5 CEO, Ujjain Development Authority Member 0734-2524448
6 Principal, Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya Ujjain Member 0734-2855451
7 Temple Administrator Administrator 0734-2559277
8 Pt. Shree Pardeep Sharma Member 09425916888
9 Shree Govind Sharma Member 09425092926
10 Pt. Shree Satyanarayan Joshi Member 09827304982


  • Through Air – the Nearest airport is Indore (53 K.m.) the Flights arrive here from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Gwalior.
  • Through Railways – Through railways the city of Ujjain is directly connected by railway line to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mumbai, Fouzabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Delhi, Banaras, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Howrah and many more important cities of India.
  • By Road – Ujjain is directly connected by road to Indore, Surat, Gwaliar, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaypur, Nasik, Mathura.


Legends of Mahakaleswar Temple

According to an episode narrated in Puranas, a five-year-old boy named Shrikar was enthralled seeing the devotion of King Chandrasena of Ujjain towards Lord Shiva. Shrikar took a stone and by considering it a linga started worshipping it regularly. Others thought that his worship as merely a game and tried to dissuade him in all ways. But all the efforts went in vain. On the contrary, devotion of Shrikar increased by every passing day. Pleased by the boy’s devotion Lord Shiva assumed Jyotirlinga form and resided in the Mahakal forest.

According to another popular legend related to Mahakal Temple, a demon by name, Dushana tormented the residents of Avanti. Shiva appeared from the ground and vanquished the demon. Then, upon the request of the inhabitants of Avanti, Shiva took up a permanent abode here as Mahakaleshwara Jyotirlinga.


On the banks of river Kshipra, the city of Ujjain exists in Madhya Pradesh. It is also known as Indrapuri Amaravati, and Avantika. Because of the number of golden towers of several temples, this town is also known as “Swarna Sringa.” One of the seven cities of deliverance or salvation, Avantika Nagar has 7 Sagar Teerthas, 28 teerthas, 84 SiddhaLingas, 25-30 SivaLingas, Ashtabhairav, Ekadasa Rudrasthana, temples for hundreds of deities, Jalakund and monuments are there.

Kala Bhairava Tem;ple

Kala Bhairava Tem;ple





Shiva mount silver Nandi in Mahakaleshwar temple ;

Shiva mount Silver Nandi



sabdipani ashram

sabdipani ashram

Simhastha(Kumbh Fair)

Simhastha(Kumbh Fair)

Significance of Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple:

  • The temple courtyard of Bhagwan Mahakaleshwar temple is very big. The temple is itself grand and beautiful. This Jyotirlinga is situated below the ground in a Garbha Griha.The linga is quite big in size and is encircled by a snake of silver. On one side of the linga there is the idol of Lord Ganesha, on the another side is the idol of Parvati and Kartikeya.

  • Great poets like Ved Vyas and Kalidas lauded the river Kshipra and the city of Ujjain in their literary work.
  • The Kumbha mela that is organised on the banks of the Kshipra river is very famous. All devotees take a holy water from the Kshipra river and seek blessings of Lord Mahakaleshwar.
  • The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south. This is a unique feature, upheld by the tantric shivnetra tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
  • According to belief, 33 crore Gods reside in Mahakal premises. Adorned by Hanuman, Shiva, Devi, Navgraha, Radha-Krishna, Ganesha temples, the premises evokes vibrant spiritual feelings. Mahakal is the only temple among Dwadash Jyotirlingas, which has so many temples in its premises.
  • To attend Bhasma Arti in Mahakaleshwar is desire for every Hindu devotee. Mahakal and Bhasma Arti are synonymous with each other. Bhasma means ash. Mahakaleshwar is the only Jyotirlinga temple,where the Bhasma Arti is performed.
  • The Mahakaleswar Temple is another famous tantrik center of Ujjain. So for tantriks, the Bhasma Arti is most important. It is said that the ash with which the Shiva linga is ‘bathed’ every morning must be that of a corpse that has been cremated the day before. (Note: the temple authorities assert that though it was once customary for the ash to belong to a ‘fresh’ corpse, the practice had long been discontinued.)
  • The belief goes that those who are fortunate to watch this ritual will never die a premature death.

  • Loard Krishna, his brother and his friend Sudama received their education living with Maharshi Sandipani in Ujjain.
  • Ashoka, the great had been here for 11 years and received his education here.
  • Ujjain witnessed the victory of Vikramaditya over the foreign invader Shaks and the commencement of ‘Vikram Samvatsar’ 2061years ago. Today, ‘Vikram Samvstsar’ is the oldest calendar in the Ujjain
  • Ujjain was the capital of renowned king Vikramaditya. His brother Bhrarthari became a disciple of guru Gorkha Nath of ‘Nath Sampraday’ and renounced the world and meditated in the cave.

Other Key Temples and sites nearby Mahakaleshwar Temple:

  • Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir
  • Harsiddhi Temple
  • Kal Bhairava temple
  • Mangalnath temple
  • Gopal Mandir
  • Navagraha Mandir
  • Pir Matsyendranath
  • Kaliyadeh Palace
  • Bhartrihari Caves
  • Durgadas Ki Chhatri

  • Vikram Kirti Mandir
  • Siddhavat
  • Ram Ghat
  • Gadkalika temple
  • Veda Shala
  • Sandipani ashram
  • Gomti Kund
  • Ram Mandir
  • Chintaman Ganesh Mandir
  • Navgrah Temple

There are 84 Mahadevas in Ujjain, In Hindi called Chaurasi Mahadeo. The Chaurasi Mahadeo(84 Mahadevas) are:

  • Agasteshwara Mahadeva
  • Gurihashwara Mahadeva
  • Dudeshwara Mahadeva
  • Damarukeshwara Mahadeva
  • Anadikalpeshwara Mahadeva
  • Swarnajaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Kapaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Swargadareshwara Mahadeva
  • Karkoteshwara Mahadeva
  • Siddheshwara Mahadeva
  • Lokapaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Kameshwara Mahadeva
  • Kutumbeshwara Mahadeva
  • Indradhamneshwara Mahadeva
  • Ishaneshwara Mahadeva
  • Apsareshwara Mahadeva
  • Kalakaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Nagachandreshwara Mahadeva
  • Pratihareshwara Mahadeva
  • Kukkuteshwara Mahadeva
  • Karkateshwara Mahadeva
  • Meghanadeshwara Mahadeva
  • Mahalayeshwara Mahadeva
  • Mukteshwara Mahadeva,
  • Someshwara Mahadeva
  • Anarkeshwara Mahadeva
  • Jateshwara Mahadeva
  • Rameshwara Mahadeva
  • Chyavaneshwara Mahadeva
  • Khandeshwara Mahadeva
  • Pantaneshwara Mahadeva
  • Anandeshwara Mahadeva
  • Kandhadeshwara Mahadeva
  • Indreshwara Mahadeva
  • Markandeshwara Mahadeva
  • Shiveshwara Mahadeva
  • Kusumeshwara Mahadeva
  • Akrureshwara Mahadeva
  • Kundeshwara Mahadeva
  • Lumpeshwara Mahadeva
  • Gangeshwara Mahadeva
  • Angarakeshwara Mahadeva

  • Uttareshwara Mahadeva
  • Trilochaneshwara Mahadeva
  • Vireshwara Mahadeva
  • Nripareshwara Mahadeva
  • Abhayeshwara Mahadeva
  • Prithukeshwara Mahadeva
  • Sthawareshwara Mahadeva,
  • Shuleshwara Mahadeva
  • Onkareshwara Mahadeva
  • Vishvareshwara Mahadeva
  • Kantheshwara Mahadeva
  • Singheshwara Mahadeva
  • Revanteshwara Mahadeva
  • Ghanteshwara Mahadeva
  • Durdureshwara Mahadeva
  • Prayageshwara Mahadeva
  • Shrisiddheshwara Mahadeva
  • Matangeshwara Mahadeva
  • Saubhageshwara Mahadeva
  • Rupeshwara Mahadeva
  • Sahastradhanukareshwara Mahadeva,
  • Pashupateshwara Mahadeva
  • Brahmeshwara Mahadeva
  • Jalapeshwara Mahadeva
  • Kedareshwara Mahadeva
  • Pishachamukteshwara Mahadeva
  • Sangameshwara Mahadeva
  • Duddhareshwara Mahadeva
  • Yageshwara Mahadeva
  • Chandradityeshwara Mahadeva
  • Karabheshwara Mahadeva
  • Rajasthaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Badaleashwara Mahadeva
  • Aruneshwara Mahadeva
  • Pushpadanteshwara Mahadeva
  • Abhimukteshwara Mahadeva
  • Hanumanteshwara Mahadeva
  • Shriswapneshwara Mahadeva
  • Pingaleshwara Mahadeva
  • Kayavarihaneshwara Mahadeva
  • Bilkeshwara Mahadeva
  • Trivishtapeshwara Mahadeva

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5 Responses to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling | उज्जैन महाकालेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग – Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

  1. Babulal Das November 9, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    very good

  2. durgesh upadhyay June 26, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    jai shree mahakaal
    jai 12 jotirling

  3. Ankit September 30, 2015 at 2:33 am #


  4. yadram swami June 5, 2016 at 2:25 am #

    That is a all the best place in world I like this very much and so much

  5. radhavendra Pathak December 17, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    Jay Shiv sambhu

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