Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, shrines which are said to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, in Central India. The temple is situated on the banks of the holy river KShipra.
The presiding deity, Lord 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.
On 5 September 2019, A show premiered on History TV18 Mahakaleshwar : The Legends of Shiva showed about the working in Mahakaleshwar Mandir during the annual sacred Hindu festival Shivaratri.
As per the Shiva Purana, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu once had an argument over who was supreme in the creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as an endless pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga. Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma decide to travel along the pillar downwards and upwards respectively, to find the end of the light. Brahma lied that he had found the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity.
The Jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The Jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. There are 64 forms of Shiva, not to be confused with Jyotirlingas. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity – each considered different manifestation of Shiva.
At all these sites, the primary image is Lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. The twelve Jyotirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas in Uttrakhand State, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath at Parali in Maharashtra or at Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh, Nageswar at Dwarka in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra
The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be Dakshinamukhi, which means that it is facing the south. It is believed that Prasada (holy offering) offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other Hindu shrines.
The presiding deity of time Kala, Shiva, in all his splendor, reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its Shikhar soaring into the sky, an imposing façade against the skyline, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with ancient Hindu traditions.
On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night.
Devotees are not allowed to bring bags , mobile phones and cameras during the visit . Lockers and Cloak Rooms are there for devotees where they can keep their belongings.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple as a Shakti Peethams :
The shrine is revered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethams.
Shakti Peethas are shrines that are believed to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it. Each of the 51 Shakti Peethas of India has shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava. The Upper Lip of Sati Devi is said to have fallen here and the Shakti is called Mahakali here. Read more about Maha Kaleshwar Temple of Ujjain in Wikipedia