Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is situated on the side of the Rudra Sagar lake
The temple complex was destroyed by Sultan Shas-ud-din Iltutmish during his raid of Ujjain.
The present structure was built by the General of Srimant Peshwa Baji Rao and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of the Hindu Pad Padshahi---Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj in 1736 AD. Further developments and management were done by Shreenath Mahadji Shinde Maharaj also known as Madhavrao Shinde the First and Srimant Maharani Bayzabai Raje Shinde .
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 office of Ujjain district.
Bhagwan Mahakaleshwar Temple is located near a lake and has a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls. The temple has five levels, one of that is underground. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum or Garbha Griha where the Jyotirlinga is situated. 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 while on the other side, idols of Goddess Parvati and Kartikeya are installed.
The shikhara of the temple is adorned with sculptural finery. The temple of Lord Mahakaleshwar is very big, beautiful and grand. This Jyotirlinga is big in size and is encircled by a silver snake. On one side of the Shiv Linga there's the idol of Lord Ganesha and on the other side the idol of Parvati and Kartikeya.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Ujjain
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, the 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.
There are arrangements for pilgrims to have darshan standing in a queue, which begins at 3 am for the morning aarti. The ambience in and around the temple is quite clean and orderly even when crowded.
Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple is best visited around noon when the crowds have thinned.