The first phase of the Mahakaleshwar Corridor, which cost Rs 350 crore, is complete and will be inaugurated by PM Modi on October 11.
- The temple in its present form was built by the Maratha general Ranoji Shinde in 1734 CE.
- Before Independence, the Devasthan Trust used to look after the temple.
- This was replaced by the municipal corporation of Ujjain post-Independence.
- The collectorate office of Ujjain district now manages the administration of the temple.
What is the Mahakal corridor?
- Mahakal Maharaj Mandir Parisar Vistar Yojna is a plan for the expansion, beautification, and decongestion of the Mahakaleshwar temple and its adjoining area in Ujjain district.
- Under the plan, the Mahakaleshwar temple premise of around 2.82 hectares is being increased to 47 hectares, which will be developed in two phases by the Ujjain district administration.
- This will include the 17 hectares of Rudrasagar Lake.
First phases of the Mandir Parisar Vistar Yojna
- One of the aspects of the Vistar Yojna’s first phase is a visitor plaza with two entrances or Dwaars: the Nandi Dwaar and the Pinaki Dwaar.
- A 900-metre pedestrian corridor has been constructed, connecting the plaza to the Mahakal temple, dotted with 108 murals and 93 statues depicting stories related to Lord Shiva, such as Shiv Vivah, Tripurasur Vadh, Shiv Puran, and Shiv Tandav Swaroop.
What is the second phase of the plan?
- It includes expansion of the eastern and northern fronts of the temple.
- It also includes development of various areas of Ujjain city, such as Maharajwada, Mahal Gate, Hari Phatak Bridge, Ramghat façade, and Begam Bagh Road.
- The second phase is being developed with funding from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) under the City Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustainable (CITIIS) programme.
Significance of the move:
- Mahakaleshwar, which means the ‘Lord of time’, refers to Lord Shiva.
- As per Hindy mythology, the temple was constructed by Lord Brahma and is presently located alongside the holy river Kshipra.
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain is one of the 12 jyotirlingas considered the most sacred abodes of Shiva.
- The temple’s Mahakal Lingam is believed to be Swayambhu (self-manifested) and unlike any other jyotirlingas in the country, the idol of Mahakaleshwar faces south.
- A circulation plan to reduce congestion has also been developed, keeping in mind the entry of visitors into the city and their movement up to the temple.