Mahakaleshwar Temple, located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mahakal lingam at this temple is believed to be Swayambhu (self-manifested), obtaining currents of Shakti (power) from within itself. Mahakaleshwar is also one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas in India.
Another factor that makes Mahakaleshwar one of the most revered Jyotirlingas in India is the fact that the Mahakaleshwar idol is Dakshina Mukhi, facing south, unlike all the other Jyotirlingas. Considered no less than a Hindu pilgrimage, the Bhasma-Aarti of Mahakaleshwar Temple is hugely popular amongst the devotees.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple complex is a spacious courtyard with sculptural finery and sophistication that is influenced by Maratha, Bhumija and Chalukya styles of structural design and is complete with impressive lingam sculptures of Mahakaleshwar. It also has the inscriptions of Omkaresvara and Nagachandresvara and images of Ganesha, Kartikeya and Parvati. The temple, which is spread over five levels, sees a huge throng of devotees during the Maha Shivaratri festival.