Table of contents for Omkareshwar - Mahakaleshwar - Devas
Mahakaleshwar is the place that I have been longing to go for past 3 and half years. This time lord did take my call and I was blessed with his darshan. I was so fortunate that on Friday night after coming from Omkareshwar I did manage to enter Garbagriha of Mahakaleshwar which is rare as far as outsiders are concern. I used to fantasize of being inside the garbagriha and doing pooja and this happened to me.
During my 2.5 days of stay in Mahakal premises I managed to Get Darshan 5 times , inside Garbagriha 4 times and Aarti 4 times. This is very rare, even local people in MP don’t manage to get this fortune as many times.
This was the best trip of my life.
Day 3 :- July 9 2011 Saturday
On day three we decided to do sight seeing of Ujjain City. Before going to our trip,let me tell you something about UJJAIN.
UJJAIN :- is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of theKshipra River (Hindi: क्षिप्रा), today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.
In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom, and has been the Prime Meridian for Hindu geographers since the 4th century BCE. Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus, and the Kumbh Mela religious festival is held there every 12 years. It is also home to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. It is the only city in the world to have all three charachteristics i.e. Kumbh, Saptapuriand Jyotirlinga. Not even Kashi or Haridwar or any other religious place has all these three charachteritics. It is also the place where Lord Krishna got education with Balarama and Sudama from Maharshi Sandipani.
Early Morning I took darshan of Lord Mahakal and started for sight seeing.
The temple is situated on the side of theRudra Sagar lake. The presiding deity, Shiva in the lingam form is believed to be Swayambhu, deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams that are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.
The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south. This is a unique feature, upheld by the tantric shivnetra tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvatiand Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami.
After that we booked Tata Magic which I found very comfortable for local sight seeing. Normally local sight seeing done in autorickshaw costs around 150 -200 rs and also there are local sight seeing buses which cost 37 Rs per head. But Rickshaw walas skip lot of temples and bus transport does it very fast. We wanted to do sight seeing at ease. So we booked Tata Magic which I found very comfortable for local sight seeing.
He charged us Rs. 600.
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir – This temple situated above the tank near the Mahakaleshwar temple, enshrines a huge artistic sculpture of Ganesh, the son of Shiva. An idol of this size and beauty is rarely to be found. The middle of the temple is adorned by an idol of the pancha-mukhi (five faced) Hanuman. There is provision for learning of Sanskrit and Astrology in the temple.
Navagraha Mandir (Triveni) – Situated on the Triveni Ghat of the Shipra, the temple is located away from the old site of Ujjaini town. It is dedicated to the nine planets, attracts large crowds on new moon days falling on Saturdays. Its religious importance has increased in recent years though there is no known reference to it in the ancient texts.
Chintamani Ganesh – The temple is built across the Shipra on the Fatehabad railway line. The Ganesh idol enshrined here is supposed to be swayambhu – born of itself. The temple itself is believed to be of considerable antiquity. Riddhi and Siddhi, the consorts of Ganesha, are seated on either side of Ganesha. The artistically carved pillars in the assembly hall date back to the Paramara period. Worshippers throng to this temple because the deity here is traditionally known as Chintaharan Ganesh meaning “the assurer of freedom from worldly anxieties”..
Bhartrihari Caves – These caves are situated just above the bank of the Shipra near the temple of Gadkalika. According to popular tradition, this is the spot where Bhartrihari, who is said to have been the step brother of Vikramaditya, lived and meditated after renouncing worldly life. He is believed to have been a great scholar and poet. His famous works, Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak, and Nitishatak, are known for the exquisite use of the Sanskrit meter.
Gadkalika – Situated about 2 miles from the city of Ujjain, the deity in this temple is believed to have been worshipped by Kalidasa. The legend goes that he was an idiot and it is by his devotion to the goddess Kalika that he acquired great literary skills. Emperor Harshavardhan had this temple renovated in the 7th century AD. There is further evidence of renovation during the Paramara period. The temple has been rebuilt in the modern times by the erstwhile Gwalior State.
Pir Matsyendranath – This is an extremely attractive spot on the banks of the Shipra quite close to the Bhartihari Caves and the Gadkalika Temple. It is dedicated to the memory of one of the great leaders of the Natha sect of Saivism-Matsyendranath. Since muslims as well as the followers of the Natha sect call their saints ‘pir’, the ancient site of Pir Matsyendranath is venerated by both. Excavations at this site have yielded some antiquities which date back to the 6th and 7th century BC.
Kal Bhairava – The worship of the eight Bhairavas is a part of Saivite tradition and the chief among them is Kal Bhairava, believed to have been built by King Bhadresen, on the banks of the Shipra. There is mention of a Kal Bhairva temple in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanda Purana. Worship of Kal Bhairava is believed to have been a part of the Kapalika and Aghora sects. Ujjain was a prominent centre of these two sects. Even today, liquor is offered as a part of the ritual to Kal Bhairava Beautiful paintings in the Malwa style once decorated the temple walls, only traces of which are visible. Your yatra to Ujjain is incomplete unless you visit Kalabhairav temple.
Kaliadeh Palace – Situated on the banks of the Shipra, the island-like site immediately conjures up the natural beauty of ancient Ujjain which poets down the ages have waxed lyrical. The glorious landscape of the flowing river on both sides of the palace and the man-made tanks and channels, with water gurgling through them, provide a spectacular backdrop to the imposing building. The central dome of the palace is a beautiful example of Persian architecture. Two Persian inscriptions found in one of the long corridors of the palace record the visits of Emperor Akbar and Jehangir to this palace. The palace was broken down in the time of the Pindaris and was restored by Madhav Rao Scindia in 1920 to its present glory. The Sun Temple was also restored by the family.
Siddhavat – This enormous banyan tree on the banks of the Shipra, has been vested with religious sanctity as the Akashyavat in Prayag and Gaya, Vanshivat of Vrindavan and the Panchavata of Nasik. Thousands of pilgrims take a dip in the Shipra from the bathing ghat built here. According to one tradition, Parvati is believed to have performed her penance here. It used to be a place of worship for the followers of Natha sect. One legend has it that some Mughal rulers had cut off the Banyan tree and covered the site with iron sheets to prevent its roots from growing. But the tree pierced the iron sheets and grew and flourished. The little village of Bhairogarh near Siddhavat is famous for its tie and dye painting for centuries. In ancient times when trade with other countries flourished, exquisitely printed cloth from Bhairogarh used to find its way to Rome and China.
Mangalnath – This temple is situated away from the bustle of the city and can be reached through a winding road. The temple looks upon a vast expanse of the Shipra waters and fills the onlooker with an indescribable sense of peace. Mangalnath is regarded as the birth place of Mars, according to the Matsya Purana. In ancient times, it was famous for a clear view of the planet and hence suitable for astronomical studies. Mahadev or Shiva is the deity which is worshipped in the temple of Mangalnath.
A 6000 year old shivalinga called Sarveshwar Mahadev on which Lord Krishna’s Guru Sandipani used to do pooja
Sandipani Ashram – The fact that ancient Ujjain apart from its political and religious importance, enjoyed the reputation of being a great seat of learning as early as the Mahabharata period is borne out by the fact that, Lord Krishna and Sudama received regular instruction in the ashram of Guru Sandipani. The area near the ashram is known as Ankapata, popularly believed to have been the place used by Lord Krishna for washing his writing tablet. The numerals 1 to 100 found on a stone are believed to have been engraved by Guru Sandipani. The Gomti Kunda referred to in the Puranas was the source of water supply to the ashram in the olden days. An image of Nandi, belonging to the Shunga period, is to be found near the tank. The followers of Vallabha sect regard this place as the 73rd seat of the 84 seats of Vallabhacharya where he delivered his discourses throughout India.
Harsiddhi Mata Temple was our last Destination
Harsiddhi Temple – This temple occupies a special place in the galaxy of ancient sacred spots of Ujjain. Seated between the idols of Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati, the idol of Annapurna is painted in dark vermilion colour. The Sri Yantra, the symbol of power or shakti, is also enshrined in the temple. According to the Shiva Purana, when Shiva carried away the burning body of Sati from the sacrificial fire, her elbow dropped at this place. There is an interesting legend in the Skanda Purana about the manner in which the Goddess Chandi acquired the epithet of Harsiddhi. Once when Shiva and Parvati were alone on Mount Kailash, two demons called Chand and Prachand tried to force their way in. Shiva called upon Chandi to destroy them which she did. Pleased, Shiva bestowed upon her the epithet of ‘one who vanquishes all’. The temple was reconstructed during the Maratha period and the two pillars adorned with lamps are special features of Maratha art. These lamps, lit during Navaratri, present a glorious spectacle. There is an ancient well on the premises, and an artistic pillar adorns the top of it.
We were again here on Sunday where towers of lamp were lit.
Finally we were at Dharamshala after 6 hours. We had Prasad from Dharamshala and then slept.
In the evening we visited more temple while shopping
Gopal Mandir – This huge temple is situated in the middle of the big market square. It was constructed by Bayajibai Shinde, the queen of Maharajah Daulat Rao Shinde in the 19th century. It is a beautiful example of Maratha architecture. The sanctum sanctorum is inlaid with marble and doors are silver plated. The door in the inner sanctum is said to have been carried to Ghazni from the Somnath temple and from thence by Mahmud Shah Abdali to Lahore. Mahadji Scindia recovered it and now it has been installed in this temple.
Again in evening I attended 7.15 aarti and did pooja at Mahakaleshwar Temple. My personal view is that one has go Ujjain at least once in life time and visit Lord Mahakaleshwar. And If he is staying in Ujjain has to visit Shayayan aarti which starts at 10.30 pm . Its 20 min long aarti with lot of playing drums and damroos . The sound of these damroos make you dance with joy.
No doubt my wish is to visit Ujjain again. Finally I would like to appreciate Mahakaleshwar Temple Trust for managing the temple so efficiently. The security people and pundits are very polite and always keep smile on their faces whatever may be situation. I have never appreciated any temple trust, but I do appreciate Mahakal Trust. Its written on Temple walls that “ MAHAKAL KE DARBAR MEIN SAB EK HAIN “ and they prove it. And also to people of MP and Especially Ujjain ,.I found them quite honest and open.
Next day on Sunday we had gone to Dewas . That is coming in next post.
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