Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the Twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is situated on the side of the Rudra 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 Twelve Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is consecrated in the Sanctum above the Mahakal Shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Kartikeya 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. The temple has five levels, one of which is underground. The temple itself is located in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls near a Lake. The Shikhar or the spire is adorned with sculptural finery. Brass Lamps light the way to the underground sanctum. It is believed that Prasada (Holy Offering) offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other Shrines. The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendor, reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain.
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