Mahakaleshwar is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is situated on the side of the holy river Shipra.

Legends sanctified Ujjain as the “seed city”. It is believed that the germs of all living beings who survived the Flood are preserved in the central image of Mahadeo in the great Mahakal temple. Sanctity is attached to birds and beast and fish and all living creatures.

Maha Kaal means both ‘the death of death’ and ‘time’ also meaning ‘immortality’ and ‘infinity’. Lord Shiva graciously agreed to abide forever in Ujjain in his form as Mahakaleshwar, the Lord of Eternity.

One of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at the Mahakal is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself), deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the South. This is a unique feature, upheld by tantric tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine.

The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchami.On the day of Mahashivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night.


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