Mahakaleshwar Mandir of Ujjain is one of the most ancient temples of Bharat. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The date and period of its existence is not known.
According to the Puranas, the temple was established by Brahma. The description of the earlier temple structure is found in the ancient treatises. In the first part of Meghaduta (Purva Megha), Kalidasa gives a fascinating description of the Mahakala temple. There had been no sikharas in the temples prior to the Gupta period.
The deity of time is Shiva, Mahakala; He dominates the life of not only the city of Ujjain but the entire Bharat. The current structure of the temple is simply beautiful, imposing and breathtaking. The structure is also massive. In spite of many attacks and attempts of destruction, the temple structure stands upright reigning over Hindu hearts. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be Dakshinamurti, facing the South. Large courtyard can accommodate many devotees at the same time.
Maratha General Ranoji Shinde built the structure that we see today. Members of his dynasty further contributed to the temple. Temple is an architectural marvel, mainly because of the seamless blend of many styles, representing the contribution of various dynasties to the structure; especially Maratha and Chalukyan. There is a tank close by which enhances the aesthetics of the place. This tank is called the Koti Thrirtha.
More than its architecture, the space and its pious vibrations are more significant for the devotees. There is life after death, thus death is not the end of the journey. Celebrations of death are part of the rituals here with the strong message of how to live a life. The temple and its architecture have the potential to contribute meaning to our life. We need to explore it.