Ujjain – Shree Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling
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.