Mahakal Lok Ujjain

Mahakaleshwar Temple Corridor The first phase of the Rs 856-crore Mahakaleshwar Temple corridor, located in Ujjain.

Two grand gateways, a majestic colonnade of 108 ornate pillars made of intricately carved sandstones, gushing fountains and a running panel of over 50 murals depicting stories from Shiv Puran are among the major highlights of the ‘Mahakal Lok’ in Ujjain.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 856-crore Mahakaleshwar Temple corridor on October 11.

The over 900-metre-long corridor — ‘Mahakal Lok’ — billed as one of the largest such corridors in India skirts around the old Rudrasagar Lake which has also been revived as part of the redevelopment project around the ancient Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 ‘jyotirlings’ in the country that gets devotees throughout the year.

Two majestic gateways — Nandi Dwar and Pinaki Dwar — separated by a short distance, have been erected near the starting point of the corridor, which winds its way to the entrance of the ancient temple and offers aesthetic views along the way.

Sources in the Madhya Pradesh government said the ambitious project that began in 2017 seeks to “emphasise and re-evoke the ancient glory of the historic city of Ujjain” through use of ancient temple architecture while providing all amenities to visitors and using latest technology to enhance its physical and cultural value.

So, while 108 pillars with ornamental elements on top bearing trishul-style design dot the corridor at regular intervals, CCTV cameras and public address system have been harmoniously incorporated in them, they said.

“The project cannot restore that ancientness that was ages ago, but we have attempted to re-evoke that glory through old, aesthetic architecture used in construction of pillars and other structures in the corridor, and also horticultural species mentioned in Kalidas’s AbhigyanShakuntalam have been planted in the corridor.

Ujjain, located on the banks of old Kshipra River, is an ancient city that was earlier also known as Ujjaini and Avantika, associated with the legend of King Vikramaditya.

The Mahakaleshwar Temple is considered one of holiest places on earth by the Hindus, and lakhs of people converge here from all parts of the country.

“Mahakal temple is not just a religious centre of Ujjain, but it is linked to social, cultural and economic spheres of the city too”.

The ornate columns, the aesthetic-looking fountains, and depictions of various elements from Shiv Puran in murals enhancesviewers experience.

The mega project after completion will expand the temple complex area from 2.87 ha earlier to 47 ha, and the holding capacity will be significantly enhanced.

The pedestrian portion has cobbled stone on ground. The corridor project also includes a huge pavilion — Triveni Mandapam, a gushing fountain with a sculpture of Lord Shiva at the centre, and other fountains adjoining Rudrasagar Lake. About 190 sculptures, showing various forms of Lord Shiva, and other deities, dot the lakefront of the corridor.