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Historical Significance of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain

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Introduction to mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga:

The purpose of this blog is to focus on the historical significance of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. The city of Ujjain, a historical town, was earlier known as Ujjaiyani.  In scriptures, it is also referred to as Avintikapuri. 

It is situated on the banks of the holy meandering river Kshipra.

At the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, a steady stream of pilgrims throughout the year is witnessed and the same, during the time of ‘Simhastha’ swells to a great extent and the entire administration then remains on its toes. 

Mahakaleshwar Temple or Mahakaleshwar Mandir or Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga:

Ujjain is considered as one of the holy and sacred cities by Hindus. Mahakaleshwar Mandir or Mahakaleshwar temple or Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas is situated in Ujjain in the State of Madhya Pradesh in India.

Simhastha in the Mahadev Ujjain city:

At the sacred city of Ujjain, the famous Kumbha Mela is held every 12 years. At Mahadev Ujjain city, the 12 yearly Kumbha Mela is known as ‘Simhastha’. 

The legend has it that during the legendary churning of the mighty ocean, Gods and demons(Devta & Asuras) fought for the divine nectar of immortality. While this competition was going on, drops of nectar fell on four places, one of them being the Ujjain city.

The Ujjain Mahakal or the  Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga or Ujjain Temple witnesses a large congregation of ardent devotees, who come to the sacred place of Ujjain to propitiate Lord Shiva during the famous Simhastha or Singhastha.

Simhastha, at the Mahakal Jyotirling Ujjain city is held at the interval of 12 years for the reason that Jupiter (Brihaspati) takes 12 years to transverse to complete the zodiac.

Holy Four Sites of Kumbh Melas in India:

The holy four sites where the 12 yearly Kumbh Mela is held are Prayagraj, Haridwar, Trimbakeshwar-Nashik and Ujjain. Large congregations of devotees are seen at these Kumbh Melas.

River Ganges at Haridwar; Rivers Ganges and Yamuna at Prayagraj; River Godavari at Nashik and River Shipra at Ujjain flows where lakhs of devotees take holy dip in these sacred rivers. 

King Harshavardhana, the emperor of Kannauj( 606-647 AD) is stated to have initiated the tradition of organizing Kumbh Melas.

Different Ujjain Mandir Names:

The temple, Ujjain Mahakal is adorably known by different Ujjain Mandir names, namely- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain Temple, Mahakaleshwar Mandir, Mahakaleshwar Temple Ujjain, Ujjain Jyotirlinga, Mahakal Jyotirlinga, Ujjain Shivling, Mahakaleshwar Mahadev, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Mahakal Jyotirling Ujjain, Lord Mahakaleshwar, Mahakaleshwar Temple Madhya Pradesh, and Mahakaleshwar Mahadev Ujjain. 

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga- A revered temple since time immemorial:

mahakaleshwar jyotirling temple photo

The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga has been a revered place since time immemorial. For Hindus, the Ujjain Mahakaleshwar temple is held in high esteem.  Mahakaleshwar Lingam Ujjain is one of the significant pilgrimage sites.

Mahakaleshwar Mahadev Ujjain finds mention in the ancient Indian epic -Mahabharata. 

In addition to this, Mahakaleshwar Mandir or Ujjain Jyotirlinga or Mahakal Jyotirlinga or the Ujjain Shivling also find mention in Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana. 

The Mahakal Shiva lingam symbolizes the infinite nature of Shiva. 

The well renowned ‘Bhasma Aarti’, Aaradhna and Rudra Abhishek are performed by temple priests of the temple Ujjain. Mahakal Jyotirlinga is one of the popular shrines in India.

Mahakaleshwar Mahadev-Swayambhu:

At Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple or at the Mahakal Jyotirling Ujjain, the Lord Mahakaleshwar is Swayambhu- Which means that the Mahadev Ujjain derives power from within itself. 

Needless to say that the Mahakaleshwar Mandir is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Devotees of Mahakal Mahadev long for benefits visiting Mahakaleshwar Shivling.

Other names of the ancient city of Ujjain:

In ancient times, the Mahakaleshwar Shivling Ujjain city was known as Ujjaini. In ancient times, the Mahakaleshwar Mahadev Ujjain city was also called Avintikapuri. 

The holy city of Ujjain or Ujjaini or Avintikapuri is famous for the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple where lakhs of devotees come for pilgrimage to seek blessings of Lord Shiva for longevity and good health and thereby draw benefits visiting Mahakaleshwar Shivling for their families and friends.

Distance of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga from Indore:

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain is at an approximate distance of 60 kms from Indore Airport. Indore is a renowned industrial city of Madhya Pradesh and has been rated as the first under the Swachhta Abhiyan Scheme. 

The journey from Indore Airport to Ujjain Shivling or Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga takes approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes covering a distance of roughly 60 kilometers by road. Mahakal Jyotirlinga is barely 2 kms by road from Ujjain Railway Station.

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Story or Mahakaleshwar Shivling Ujjain Story:

As per the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga story, once the King Chandrasen, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva was worshiping. In the meantime, a child aged 5 years called Sreeker was passing through. 

Inspired by the King’s worship of Lord Shiva, the child picked up a stone on his way back home. 

He started worshiping the stone as Lord Shiva and offered flowers and whatever other items he could gather for worship. 

In the meanwhile, his mother insisted him to take meals but Sreeker continued his worship. At this, his mother got infuriated and threw the stone, the symbolic Lord Shiva.

Sreeker started weeping and called Lord Shiva again and again and later fainted and fell on the ground. Lord Shiva became pleased by seeing his devotion. 

As soon as the child came to his consciousness, he saw that in front of his eyes a grand Shiva temple with radiant Jyotirlinga was erected. Sreeker merrily continued his worship. 

Later, King Chandrasen also assembled there. There Lord Hanuman appeared who declared that in Sreeker’s 8 generation Nandgop will be born and Lord Vishnu will bless him.

As per another Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga story, King Chandrasen worshiped Lord Shiva and prayed to help him annihilate his enemies. Shiva appeared as Mahakal and annihilated the enemies. 

As per yet another temple Ujjain Mahakal  Jyotirlinga story, Ravana, a devotee of Lord Shiva, tried to take the sacred Shiva lingam to Lanka, but Shiva crushed it and the fragments became the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga.


Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the ancient city of Ujjain previously called by names- Ujjayini and Avintikapur.

Ujjain temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is on the banks of the sacred river Kshipra.

Mahadev temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas where people pray to Lord Shiva for their long and happy life.


Q.1. What is the significance of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga?

Ans. 1. This is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas where people worship Lord Shiva to prevent untimely death.

Q.2. What are the key rituals at Mahakaleshwar Temple?

Ans.2. Important key rituals at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga are – Bhasma Aarti, Rudra Abhishek, Shringar Darshan, Panchamrit Abhishek and Nada-aradhana.

Q.3. What is the best time to visit Mahakaleshwar Temple?

Ans. 3.  The best time to visit Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is from October to March.

Q.4. What accommodations are available for pilgrims?

Ans.4. Affordable hotels are available near Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Ujjain temple. 

Q.5. What are the other attractions near Mahakaleshwar Temple?

Ans.5. Devotees visiting Ujjain temple also prefer to visit Bade Ganesh Temple Ujjain, Shree Chintaman Ganesh Temple Ujjain, Harsiddhi Temple Ujjain, and Siddhavat temple Ujjain.

Q. 6. Why is Mahakaleshwar Mandir said to be a Jyotirlinga?

Ans.6. Jyotirlinga means – Column of light. According to Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light which is represented by Jyotirlingas. 

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