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Modi inaugurates Mahakal Lok corridor at Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain

UJJAIN, Oct 11: The newly built Mahakal Lok corridor of the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

Modi dedicated the first phase of the Rs 850 cr Mahakaleshwar temple corridor development project in Ujjain to the nation after performing puja at the Shiva temple. He was accompanied by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The development project will provide world class modern amenities to the pilgrims visiting the temple. The project decongests the area and restores the heritage structures. The temple is currently visited by 1.5 cr pilgrims a year.

The Mahakal Path (corridor), 900 metres in length, has 108 stambhs (pillars) made of intricately carved sandstones depicting the various dance forms of Lord Shiva. The statues and murals along the corridor tell the Shiva Purana stories of the creation, Sati, Daksha and others. Each statue and mural has a QR code that will give all the information about it.

The Plaza area spread over 2.5 hectares is surrounded by a lotus pond and contains the statue of Shiva along with fountains. There are shopping complexes, accommodation and emergency facilities for tourists.

The development project includes conservation of the Rudrasagar lake and a link from the temple to Kshipra river. Maharajwada, Mahakal Gate, Hari Phaatak bridge, Ramghat facade, musical fountain in Rudrasagar etc will also be developed under Phase II. Rudrasagar will have a musical fountain.

The idol at the ancient temple is considered as one of the 12 major Jyotirlingas worshipped across the country. Nandi seen in all Shiva temples is Shiva's vahan (transport).

What is Mahakal:

Lord Shiva is the God of death and time as in Sanskrit 'kal' or 'kala' means both death and time. Philosophically death and time are related as passage of time brings about the inevitable. Therefore Lord Shiva is also called Mahakal, who is interpreted as the conqueror of time and death (also Destroyer of everything; the other two of the trinities being Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Protector). Kal also came to be represented by the Devil in literature.

What is Jyotirlinga:

A Jyotirlinga is an idol representing Lord Shiva. It is the form of a fiery column of light. ‘Jyoti’ means radiance or light and 'Lingam' is the symbol of the Almighty or the phallus.

The 12 Jyotirlingas are in Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Uttrakhand, Bhimashankar at Pune in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Tryambakeshwar at Nashik in Maharashtra, Vaijyanath temple in Deoghar district of Jharkhand, Aundha Nagnath at Aundha in Hingoli district in Maharashtra, Rameshwar at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and Grushneshwar at Ellora near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Shiva Mahapura mentions 64 jyotirlinga shrines. Of them the above 12 are considered the most sacred and they are called Maha Jyotirlingams/Jyotirlingas.

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