Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Also known as Mahakal, the temple is situated beside Rudrasagar Lake in the ancient city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. This historical place has even been cited by the famous poet Kalidas in his works. The Linga in this temple is also called Dakshinamurti as it is the only one that faces South. Out of the twelve Jyotirlinga's, only Mahakal is known as the Lord of earth and death. The Linga in this temple is also known as Swayambhu as it derives powers from within, quite unlike the other Lingas where the powers are manifested by mantras or hymns.
Mahakaleshwar Temple is a massive structure displaying a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture.
There are also images of Parvati, Ganesh, Karttikeya and Nandi in the sanctum. There is also an underground sanctum, the paths of which are lighted by brass lights. An idol of Nagchandreshwar rests on the third storey of the temple. This temple is opened only on Nag Panchami.
The ancient city of Ujjain was previously called Avantika. Students used to come here to study holy scriptures. The King of Ujjain, Chandrasen and many of the residents of his kingdom were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva. The rival kingdoms of Ujjain attacked it and were successful to capture the kingdom with the help of a demon named Dushan.
The devotees of Lord Shiva started offering him prayers upon which he appeared and defeated the demon and protected his devotees. Since then, Lord Shiva resides in a Lingam in his light form as Mahakal.
If you fondle the desire of witnessing a Bhasm Arti then Mahakaleshwar is the place for you. Bhasm Arti is the symbolic representation of both life and death. Mahashivratri, Shravan Mahotsav and Nagpanchami are some of the occasions which draw thousands of devotees from all corners of the globe. The savari or procession of Mahakal is also a prime medium of attraction for the devotees in this place.
By Road: Mahakal Temple is located in the heart of the city. This place is easily accessible by all means of road transport. Buses ply from cities like Ahmedabad (400kms), Bhopal (183kms), Gwalior (450kms) and Indore (55kms) to Ujjain regularly.
By Rail: Mahakaleshwar Temple is just 2kms away from the railway station. This rail head is one of the most important junctions of the Western railway zone and is well connected to all the major cities in India.
By Air: The airport at Indore is the nearest to the Mahakal temple as it is just 55kms away from the place. It is in turn well connected to other major airports in the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai etc.
If you are in pursuit of peace of your soul and mind, Mahakal Temple in Ujjain is the right place for you.