Ujjain – Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple

Shree Mahakaleshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakala 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.1mahakaleshwar-ujjain

Note: Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee cordially invites all devotees to the forthcoming
Simhasth (Mahakumbh) 2016

Contact Info

Shri Kavindra Kiyawat

President – Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee, Ujjain.

Office: 0734-2550563

Shree R.P. Tiwari

Administrator – Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee, Ujjain.

Off Tel 0734 2559277

Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple

E-mail: office@mahakaleshwar.nic.in

Tel.: 0734-2550563

Dharmshala: 0734-2551714, 0734 2585873

Web: mahakaleshwar.nic.in


When did the Mahakala temple first come in existence, is difficult to tell. However, the event may be assigned to the Pre-historic period. 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. According to these texts, 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. Possibly due to this fact, Kalidasa in Raghuvansam described this temple as ‘Niketana’. The palace of the king had been in the vicinity of the temple. In the early part of the Meghadutam (Purva Megha), Kalidasa gives a fascinating description of the Mahakala temple. It appears that this Chandisvara temple might have been a unique example of the then art and architecture. It may be ascertained that how splendid had been the temple of the main Deity of that town which possessed multi-storeyed gold-plated palaces and buildings and the superb artistic grandeur. 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. Thecharming 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.

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. This fact should specifically be underlined that 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. The main feature of identification of such temples had been its star-shaped plan and the sikhara. So far as the sikhara is concerned, urusrngas (mini-spires), generally of odd numbers, gradually decreasing in size in rows between the well-decorated spines (haravali or lata) rose up at the cardinal points from the Chityaas and the Sukanasas ultimately surmounted by the Amalaka. 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 worshipping and the conduct of rituals continued in some way or the other. Prabandha Chintamani, Vividha Tirtha Kalpataru, Prabandha Kosha all composed during 13th-14th c. reveal this fact. Similar mention is made in Vikramacharit and Bhojacharita composed in 15th c. AD. According to the epic Hammira Mahakavya, Hammira, the ruler of Ranathambor worshipped Lord Mahakala while his stay in Ujjain.

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 issueless. 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 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.

The lingam of Mahakalesvara is colossus. The silver plated Naga Jaladhari and the inscribed and esoteric silver-plate covering the roof of the garbhagrha add extra grandeur to the shrine. Besides Jyotirlinga, attractive and small-sized images of Ganesa, Kartikeya and Paravati can be seen in the garbhagrha. All around the walls classical eulogies in the praise of Lord Siva are exhibited. The Nanda Dipa always remains lit. In the exit-path, there is a wide hall in which a most attractive metal quoted stone Nandi, in the sitting humble pose may be witnessed. The courtyard just opposite to the Omkaresvara temple add much to the magnanimity of the temple-complex. Just adjoining to this temple, there are two pillared projections facing the east and adding a lot to the architecture of the temple. The temple of Mahakalesvara is a planned admixture of the Bhumija, Chalukya and Maratha styles of architecture. The sikhara with the mini-srngas is very peculiar. In previous years its upper part has been covered with gold plate.

As seen earlier, the present temple of Mahakala was built during the 4th – 5th decades of Eighteenth c. Simultaneously the religious-minded nobles of Maratha community also built many a temples in the temple-complex. During this period many ancient traditions such as worship abhisheka, arati, sawari (procession) in the Sravana month, Harihara-milana etc, were also revived. These are still continuing with joyful ceremony and devotional enthusiasm. The Bhasmarti in early morning, Mahasivaratri, Pancha-Krosi Yatra, Somavati Amavasya etc. are special religious occasions interwoven with the rituals of the temple. Proper repairs and rejuvanation of the temple-complex is done at the time of the Kumbha Parva. In the year 1980, a separate mandapam was constructed to facilitate the visitors. In 1992, Madhya Pradesh Government and Ujjain Development Authority exclusively contributed special repairs and made provisions for the stay of pilgrims. The same process is also being followed at the time of the forthcoming Simhastha.

Pooja Info

The Puja-archana, abhishekaarati and other rituals are regulalrly performed all the year round in Mahakala temple. Some particular aspects are as under –
1 Nitya Yatra:Yatra to be conducted is narrated in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanada Purana. In this Yatra, after taking bath in the holy Sipra, the Yatri (Participator) respectively visits Nagachandresvara, Kotesvara, Mahakalesvara, goddess Avanatika, goddessHarasiddhi and Agastyesvara for darsana.
2 Sawari (Procession): On every Monday of the Sravana month upto the Amavasya in the dark fortnight of the Bhadrapada and also from the bright fortnight of the Kartika to the dark fortnight of Magasirsha, the procession of Lord Mahakala passes through the streets of Ujjain. The last Sawari in Bhadrapadais celebrated with great pomp and show and draws attendance of lakhs of people. The procession of Mahakala on Vijaydasami festival visiting the celebrations atDashahara Maidan is also very attractive.
3 Harihara Milana: On Baikuntha Chaturdasi, Lord Mahakala visits Mandir in a procession to meet Lord (hari) during the mid-night. Later on in a similar procession on that very night Dwarakadhisa visits Mahakal temple. This festival is the symbol of one-ness between the two great Lords.

BHASM Arti – is important and great to watch.

POOJA info

Type of Puja Amount in Rs.
1 General Puja 51.00
2 Shiv Mahimn Path 101.00
3 Rudrabhishesk Vaidik Puja 151.00
4 Shiv Mahimn Strot 251.00
5 Rudrabhishek (11 Avartan) Rudra Patha 501.00
6 Laghu Rudraabhishek (121 Paath) by 11 Brhamin 1500.00
7 Maha Rudraabhishek 11000.00
8 Mahamrutyunjay Jaap (1.25 Lakh jaap) 15000.00
9 Bhanga Shringar 500.00

Important days

Mahakaleshwar Parva Panchanga

No Month Fortnight Tithi Particulars
1 Chaitra Dark Fifth Ranga Panchami, Phaga and Dhvaja – Pujana
2 Chaitra Bright First New Samvatsara celelbration and Panchanga – Pujana
3 Vaisakha Dark First Jaladhara for continuous two months
4 Vaisakha Bright Third (Akshay – Trtiya) Jala-mataki Phala-dana
5 Jaishtha Dark Naksatra Parjanya Anusthana for eleven days
6 Ashada Bright Guru Purnima Special Srngara on the advent of month. Chaturmasa Begins
7 Sravana Dark Every Monday Sawari
8 Sravana Dark Amavasya Dipa-pujana
9 Sravana Bright Naga-Panchami The Darsana of Naga Chandresvara
10 Sravana Bright Purnima(the full-moon day) Raksha-sutra Parva, Bhoga and Srngara
11 Bhadrapada Dark Every Monday uto Amavasya Sawari
12 Bhadrapada Dark Eighth (astami) Janmastami celebrations after evening arati
13 Asvani Dark Eleventh(Ekadasi) Uma-Sanjhi festival begins
14 Asvani Bright Second (dvitiya) Final day of Uma-Sanjhi festival
15 Asvani Bright Tenth (Dasmi) Vijaydasmi Parva, Sami Pujana and Sawari
16 Asvani Bright Full moon day Sharadotsava and distribution of Ksira in midnight
17 Kartika Dark 14th day (Chaturdasi) Annakuta
18 Kartika Dark Amavasya Lighting of lamps on the Deepavali festival
19 Kartika Bright Every Monday Sawari (Procession)
20 Kartika Bright Baikuntha Chaturdasi Harihara-milana (Processions)
21 Margasirsha Dark Every Monday Sawari
22 Pausha Bright Dhana-Samkranti (Ekadasi) Annakuta
23 Magha Dark Basant Panchami Special Puja
24 Phalguna Dark Mahashivaratri Mahotsava, Special Pujana and Abhisheka
25 Phalguna Bright Second (Dvitiya) Darsana of five-forms of Siva (Pancha Swarupa)
26 Phalguna Bright Full-moon day Holika festival after Sandhya arati


Saurastra Somanatha
Sri Saila Mallikarjuna
Ujjaiyini Mahakalesvara
Mandhata (Omkaresvar) Omkaramamalesvara
Parali Vaidyanatha
Dakini Ksetra Bhimasankara
Setubandha Ramesvara
Daruka Vana Nagesvara
Varanasi Visvanatha
Gautami Tata (Nasik) Trambakesvara
Himalaya Kedaranatha
Shivalaya (Ellora) Ghrshnesvara
Main places to visit in Ujjain
1 Mahakaleshwar
2 Kaalbhairav
3 Harasiddhi
4 Vedshala
5 Sandipani Asrama
6 Chintamani Ganesh
7 Triveni Navagraha
8 Mangalnath
9 Siddhavath
10 Gopal Mandir


How to reach

1              Airway: Nearest airport is Indore (53 K.m.). Flights arriving from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gwalior.

2              Railway: Ujjain is directly connected by railway line to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mumbai, Fouzabad, Lucknow,Dehradun, Delhi, Banaras, Kochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Howrah and many more.

3              Roadway : Ujjain is directly connected by road to Indore, Surat, Gwaliar, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Udaypur, Nasik, Mathura.


Temple and private accommodation is available

More info on

Dwadasa (12) Jyotirlinga

  Mahakaleswar – Live DARSHAN

Jai Mahakal

Om Nama Shivaya

One thought on “Ujjain – Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple”

  1. Om namaha sivaya. great temple and one feel divinity in the lord’s presence. huge shiva ling and got blessed to spend 30 minutes inside mandir. Bhasm arti is great to watch and get holy feeling.

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