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Mahakaleshwar Temple

Temple Dedicated To Lord Shiva - The Destroyer of Universe

Mahakaleshwar Temple, mentioned by the great poet Kalidasa in his works, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of the Universe. The Shiva linga is worshipped throughout India as it symbolises Shiva's incarnate power on earth. On the other hand, a jyotirlinga is the swayamabhu (self-manifested) linga, which is found only in 12 places in India.

Rituals Performed

One of the rituals performed in this temple is the Bhasm Arti that involves smearing the linga with hot ashes from the burning ghats (cremation grounds). Shiva is believed to dwell in cremation grounds, and the ash-smearing ceremony is a homage to the Destroyer of the Universe himself. This form of worship is symbolic of Death and Life being inseparable, an idea that is inherent to most of the Hindu schools of thought. The idol of MahakaleshwarTemple is called Dakshinamurtias it faces south (dakshin: south, and murti: idol).

Reconstruction of The Temple

The original temple was destroyed during Muslim invasions, and the temple was rebuilt recently by the Sindhias in the traditional Central Indian style.

It is a five-storeyed structure at the south end of the city. The curved superstructure is adorned with motifs on all sides, rising above the colonnaded porches.

Along the walls of the corridors in the temple rest old statues and sculptures, while in the courtyard lie ruined ancient shrines.

The storeys are ornamented with pierced balustrades, and the balconies have richly decorated roofs reminiscent of the Rajput style of architecture. Screens and pavilions are combined with marble colonnades leading to the linga within the sanctuary, making Mughal architecture come alive right in the heart of this Hindu temple.


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