Shree Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple in Ujjain (2024) | All You Need To Know



Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain

Shri Mahakaleshwar Temple also known as Mahakal temple in Ujjain is a renowned Hindu temple in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, located on the banks of the River Shipra at Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This Shiv Temple (mandir) of Ujjain has always been included in the spiritual tourist destinations due to its magnificent history and glory. It is also famous in the country and abroad due to the Simhastha fair (Kumbh Mela) held once in 12 years.

There are two words contained in Mahakal, Maha and Kaal, in Sanskrit maha means "great" and Kaal means "Time and Death" and it is believed Lord Shiva is the God of death and time. Because of this, he is called Mahakaleshwar, and this temple is also known as Mahakal (Mandir) Temple.

The Legends of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

According to Hindu beliefs, the Mahakal lingam at this temple is self-manifested deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself and for this reason, Mahakaleshwar is known as Swayambhu.

The lingam of Mahakaleshwar is also known as Dakshina Mukhi, which means that it is facing south. 

According to a legend from the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva pierced the world in the form of an infinite pillar of light called Jyotirlinga, and the places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light are regarded as jyotirlinga shrines. 

As per the various Puranas, Mahakal temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country where Lord Shiva exists in the form of Jyotirlinga. Hence worshiping the Lord here is said to absolve all of the sins.

History of Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain

As per the Varaha Purana, Mahakaleshwar is positioned at the central point (Nabhi) of the earth, identified as Ujjain.

Legend has it that King Chandrasena of Ujjain, a devoted follower of Lord Shiva, was engaged in prayer. During his worship, a young boy named Shrikhar sought to join him but was denied and sent to the outskirts of the city. There, Shrikhar overheard a conspiracy by enemy kings, Ripudamana and Singhaditya, to attack Ujjain with the assistance of a demon named Dushanan.

Seeking divine intervention, Shrikhar prayed to Lord Shiva for the city's protection, and a priest named Vridhi also joined in the prayers for Ujjain's safety. When the demons launched their assault and were on the verge of conquering the city, Lord Shiva manifested in his Mahakal form, intervening to save Ujjain. In response to the earnest pleas of his devotees, Lord Shiva chose to dwell in the renowned Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain in the form of a Shivlinga, marking the inception of a sacred and revered presence.

Mahakaleshwar Temple Darshan Timings

The Mahakal Temple is open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., conducting various rituals throughout this time. Devotees have the opportunity to engage in different ceremonies, including morning, midday, and evening aarti. Notably, in contrast to some other temples that close for lunch in the afternoon, there is no interruption or break during the afternoon hours at this temple.

4:00 AM
11:00 PM
Bhasma Aarti
4:00 AM
6:00 AM
Morning Pooja
7:00 AM
7:30 AM
Evening Pooja
5:00 PM
5:30 PM
Shree Mahakaal Aarti
7:00 PM
7:30 PM

Bhasma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

Bhasma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

Mahakaleshwar Temple is also famous all over the world for the Bhasma Aarti, which is performed every day at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga. The Bhasma Aarti begins every morning at 4:00 a.m. to wake up Lord Shiva. It is believed that in the past, the Bhasm Aarti was performed with the funeral ashes, but in present times, this tradition has changed and ash is prepared from cow dung.

To know more about bhasma aarti at Mahakal Temple like bhasma aarti rules and online booking website of Bhashm aarti visit:

The architecture of the Mahakal Temple

The Mahakal temple was constructed during the 4th and 5th decades of the eighteenth century A.D. It is a blend of the Bhumija, Maratha, and Chalukya styles of architecture. Apart from the Mahakal temple, there are three other temples in the premises that include a temple of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati and Nagchandreshwar. The Nagchandreshwar temple is available for pilgrims and visitors only during the festival of Nag Panchami.

The structure and glory of the Mahakal temple in Ujjain have been the center of attraction for Shiva devotees since ancient times.

Shri Mahakal Lok Corridor

Shri Mahakal Lok Corridor

To develop tourism, preserve ancient heritage, and provide world-class modern facilities to the pilgrims, the 'Mahakal Lok' project has been implemented in Ujjain. The first phase of this Mahakal Corridor project has been completed.

The length of the Shri Mahakal Lok Corridor is more than 900 meters. It is surrounded by the old Rudrasagar Lake, which is also a part of the development project. Once you enter the corridor, you will see 108 pillars, around 200 statues, and murals that display stories of Shiva.

The pillars, sculptures, murals, fountains, and parks are adorned with colorful lights and look very beautiful at night.  Apart from this, there is also a Bharat Mata Mandir where the Vande Mataram song is sung daily at 8 pm. Later the echo of the slogans of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram awakens the spirit of patriotism in the hearts of the tourists.

Mahakal Sawari

Baba Mahakal Shahi Sawari Ujjain 

The ride of Shri Mahakaleshwar Baba (Mahakal Ki Sawari) is taken out in the month of Shravan - Bhado. One of the main attractions of the Mahakal Sawari is the salute ritual to Rajadhiraj (Mahakaleshwar Baba), given by a contingent of police force outside the temple at the beginning of the Sawari. During the Sawari the devotees leave the temple with a palanquin carrying the Mahakal idol on their shoulders. Devotees sing and dance and seek blessings from Mahakal Baba. The ride ends at Shipra Ghat where certain rituals are performed to worship Lord Shiva.

The last ride is known as the royal ride of Mahakal or Baba Mahakal Ki Shahi Sawari. 

Maha Shivratri at Mahakal Temple, Ujjain

Although the Maha Shivratri is celebrated all over the country, the best of this festival in Ujjain is something you must experience. Mahakal is the only Shiva temple where Shiva Navratri is celebrated for nine days.

In these nine days, the Hindu priests impress lord Shiva with a special abhishek and mantra chanting. During the festival, Hindu priests also use Shringaar to represent different forms of Lord Shiva and highlight his features with utmost lucidity. 

On the last day of the Shiva Navratri, the festival is celebrated with great adour and special Panchamrit Abhishek and Bhasmarti Puja are performed at Mahakal temple. Devotees from all over the country come here to attend this ritual.

How To Reach Mahakal Temple Ujjain

 Ujjain, where the Mahakaleshwar Temple is located, is well-connected by various modes of transportation. Here are different ways to reach the Mahakal Temple in Ujjain:

By Air: The nearest airport to Ujjain is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport in Indore, which is approximately 55 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other local transportation to reach Ujjain.

By Train: Ujjain Junction is a major railway station, and Ujjain is well-connected by trains from various parts of the country. You can check the train schedules and book tickets to Ujjain Junction.

By Road: Ujjain is well-connected by road with major cities in Madhya Pradesh and neighboring states. You can use buses, private taxis, or your own vehicle to reach Ujjain. The city is well-connected by national and state highways.

For comprehensive details on nearby attractions, must-see places to visit in Ujjain, and accommodation options, including homestays and hotels near Mahakal Temple, visit