Ujjain: Devotees thrilled about 'Mahakal Lok', eager to enter

Visitors from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Chindwada, and other parts of Madhya Pradesh among other states have been visiting the temple in the past few days, all thrilled to see the corridor from inside.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 01:41 PM IST
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Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): Devotees from Ujjain and other parts of the country are thrilled about the Mahakaleshwar Temple corridor development project and eager to enter the 'Mahakal Lok'.

Amid the festive atmosphere in Ujjain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening is slated to inaugurate the first phase of the Rs 856-crore mega project that is expected to significantly boost tourism in this holy city of Madhya Pradesh.

Devotees, both locals and those who have covered long distances in the past few days, are eager to enter the 'Mahakal Lok' corridor and pay obeisance to Lord Mahakal at the Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 'jyotirlings' in India.

Mohit Dwivedi, a senior manager in a private company in Kota, visited the Mahakaleshwar Temple with his family on Dusshera a few days ago.

"I had last come to Ujjain in 2019 before the Covid pandemic outbreak. And, though the new corridor is not open to the public yet, we got a glimpse of it from the other side. It's a nice change," he told PTI.

"We will visit again, once the corridor is opened to the public. This project will push tourism in a big way, not just in Ujjain, but neighbouring cities too like Indore," he said.

Visitors from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Chindwada, and other parts of Madhya Pradesh among other states have been visiting the temple in the past few days, all thrilled to see the corridor from inside.

Bihari Pawar, a Chindwda native, visited the famous temple along with his wife Sail Kumari and brother Umesh Pawar. Ujjain is located around 200 km from the state capital Bhopal.

"I have recently moved to Ujjain to work at a construction site here. So, my brother and wife decided to visit the Mahakaleshwar Temple. It is our first visit to Ujjain and thus our first visit to the temple too. It felt very pious, and we got the blessings of Baba Mahakal before the opening of the corridor," he said.

The new corridor measures over 900 m in length, and is dotted with 108 ornate sandstone columns bearing decorative 'Trishul' (tridents) on top and 'mudras' (symbolic hand gesture) of Lord Shiva on its faces, gushing fountains surrounded by sculptures of the deity and 53 illuminated murals depicting stories from Shiv Puran.

Besides this, there are 28 panels on seven pedestals bearing sculptures of 'Saptrishis' in a circle, and a massive 111-ft long Shiv Vivah mural at the lower deck of Rudrasagar lakefront, a senior official said.

Around 400 sculptors worked on carving sandstones to endow them with embellishments. For mega mural panels on the wall, machine-assisted cutting was also used to replicate motifs in less time, he said.

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 while offering aesthetic views along the way.

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, officials said.

Ujjain resident Dipu Sharma has been unable to contain his excitement about the Mahakal corridor in his hometown, and in the past several days, has travelled nearly every night to the old Hari Phatak overbridge near his house to catch a glimpse of the "dazzling new project" and take selfies.

The flyover, which has been decked up with flowers and lights, overlooks the corridor and offers a spectacular view of the corridor.

'Mahakal Lok' development also includes a mid-way zone, a park, a multi-storied parking lot for cars and buses, a florist and other shops, solar lighting, a facility centre for pilgrims, a water pipeline and sewer line, among other works.

A light and sound system has also been developed, and work on phase two of the project is currently underway, under which Rudrasagar Lake has been rejuvenated.

Nahar Patel and his group of friends came just for a day from Silvassa to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva in Ujjain on Dusshera.

"It is our first visit here and we saw the corridor from the Vikarn Tila located in Rudrasagar Lake. We wish to see the new corridor, it looks great from a distance," Patel said.

Chief Executive Officer of Ujjain Smart City, Ashish Kumar Pathak said, "About 1.5 crore people visit the temple every year. And, this annual figure is expected to double to about three crore after the opening of the 'Mahakal Lok'".

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