Popular Mahakaleswar temple, Ujjain

Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain, MP. www.mouthshut.com
.mahakaleshwar, Ujjain, MP. www.indianmirror.com
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlingams  is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.   Located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, it is  believed  to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva and is famous for one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. Here, the god is in  Swayambhu form with inherent all pervading powers. The Lingam here is not ritually installed, so  the energy here is quite self-absorbing. The temple is on the side of the Rudra Sagar lake.  

Great Tamil  Shivait saints Tiru Gnana Sambandar, Sundarar, Tiru Navukkarasar in the Tevaram divine hymns  refer this shrine to the same as Tiru oonjai Maakalam, oonjai  is the  Tamil name for Ujjain in those days. So, in the 7th century CE itself this temple was well known across India.
Mahakal Temple Ujjain at Ujjain Madhya Pradesh, Indiaen.wikipedia.org/
Shiva Purana has it, to solve the challenge between Brahma and Visnu over their supremacy, Shiva took the form of a huge column of fire - towering inferno -  jyotirlinga,  en-composing the three worlds and told them who ever came to me first, telling he has seen my crown or my paatha - feet, he would be  the victor.  While Brahma took the form of bird to fly high to see Shiva's crown, Vishnu took the form of Varaha to see his paatha.. Having failed in his attempt, Vishnu told Shiva that he could not see his paatha. Whereas Brahma lied to Shiva that he had seen his crown and his witness was Tazampoo ( a fine smelling flower) that had fall off his Sirasu (head)'. Infuriated Shiva cursed Brahma that  there won't be any temple dedicated to him  and, as for Tazhampoo, he was unfit for worship in any temple. Hence Vishnu will be worshiped for eternity. The  lesson here is one should be humble and be free from pride and presumption. It also shows the infinite nature of Shiva who has  neither  beginning nor end.
Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites takes the name of the presiding deity. Of the famous shrines such as  Somnath in Gujarat,   Kedarnath in the Himalayas, Viswanath at Varanasi in UP Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain  is a popular pilgrimage center.

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is referred to as  Dakshinamurti, as he is  facing the south.  The idols of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are  in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum respectively. The Nandi is to the south and the idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev  in the sanctum  is above the Mahakal shrine. This was done as per temple Sastras. In this five-storied structure, only on the day of Nag Panchami,  the Nagchandreshwar shrine on the third floor is open for darshan. .  The temple tower is beautifully adorned and the big court yard and the massive walls with an adjacent lake enhance the majesty of this unique temple. There is a sanctum in the under ground  as well which is lit with brass lamps.

The temple of Mahakaleshwar, with its sky-piercing ornamental tower  offers an awe-inspiring sight. Shiva's eternal bliss in this place of veneration is felt near the vicinity of this temple. Hence this temple and the presiding deity Shiva, the cosmic dancer, who assumes the form of a huge column of fire here,  dominates the lives of the people here. Here they come  for his blessing with humility and humbleness. The shrine of Shiva is not for the hot headed dishonest people who deviate from the path of Dharma and their  commitment to duty.

Maha Shivaratri, is celebrated on a grand scale and the worship continues through out night. A huge fair is held near the temple. Shri Swapaneshwar  Mahadev temple, on this temple premises is unique. He blesses the people to make their dreams  become a reality. Mind you only your good dreams. He  positively helps the hardworking people to achieve their goals.
This temple is one of the most visited places of worship in this region.


.. During the raid on Ujjain by Delhi  Sultan Shas-ud-din Iltutmish in 1234-5, the temple was razed to the ground.

.. Srimant Peshwa Baji Rao and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of the Hindu Pad Padshahi---Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj (Scindia) in 1736 rebuilt the temple for the benefit of the local people. 

 .. Madhavrao Shinde the First (1730–12 February 1794) and Srimant Maharani Bayzabai Raje Shinde (1827–1863) made additional constructions.