Mahakal Corridor

Ujjain, Oct 09: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate the expanded and freshly built Mahakal Corridor in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain, which has been constructed on the basis of “Shiv Leela” (108 murals and 93 statues illustrating stories relating to Lord Shiva).

What is the Mahakal corridor?

The Mahakaleshwar Corridor’s first phase, which is claimed to be costed 350 crore rupees to build, will be formally inaugurated by PM Modi.

After the first-ever Cabinet meeting in Ujjain on Tuesday, CM Chouhan declared that the freshly built corridor would be called Mahakal Lok.

The first stage of the project entails improvements to the grounds of the Mahakal temple, and the Rudrasagar lake, including the construction of a bridge, the banks of the lake, the Mahakaleshwar Vatika, Dharmshala, ann kshetra (food hall), a preaching hall, and a lotus pond.

Once the renovation is completed, the temple will have an almost eight-fold increase in space.

The entrance roads to the complex have been divided, the parking lots have been upgraded, and the entry and departure points for visitors to the temple have been made hassle-free as part of infrastructure improvements. At the entrance plaza, ticketing kiosks have been constructed for visitors.

The entrance to the temple complex is connected via a pedestrian passageway. According to the media, this region is dotted with monuments and murals that tell stories about Lord Shiva. Along this path, restaurants and retail establishments can be found.

The crowded adjacent markets have been removed, and shop owners have been given permission to operate in designated commercial districts.

Background and significance of the Mahakal temple

Lord Shiva is referred to as Mahakaleshwar, which is Sanskrit for the “Lord of Time.” The temple, which is now situated next to the revered river Kshipra, was originally built by Lord Brahma in accordance with Hindu mythology.

One of the twelve jyotirlingas—the holiest dwelling places of Shiva—is the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga in Ujjain. According to chronicles, the Mahakal Lingam in the temple is thought to be Swayambhu (self-manifested), and distinct from any other jyotirlinga in the nation, the idol of Mahakaleshwar faces south.

Mahakal Corridor

The bhasma-aarti is the first ceremony performed in the morning at the temple to awaken the deity, anoint him, and offer the first fire offering for him. It attracts hundreds of devoted followers around the nation. The temple is regarded as one of India’s 18 Maha Shaktia Peeth.

The Maratha general Ranoji Shinde constructed the temple in its current configuration in 1734 CE. The Dev Sthan Trust used to take after the temple prior to Independence. Following Independence, the municipal corporation of Ujjain took its position. The management of the temple is currently under the control of the Ujjain district collectorate office.

Mahakal Corridor

Initiation of the temple revamp

The plan to expand and improve the Mahakal complex, which includes the temple and the surrounding lands, was unveiled by the Madhya Pradesh government in 2017.

The current size of the temple complex, which spans 2.5 hectares and includes Rudrasagar Lake, will be increased to more than 40 hectares. The estimated cost of the renovation plan is Rs 705 crore.

According to a media source, the project, dubbed the Mahakal Maharaj Mandir Parisar Vistar Yojna, is being carried out in two phases and is anticipated to boost city foot traffic from 1.50 lakh to three crores.

The project’s initial phase is now completed.

What about the second phase?

The eastern and northern fronts of the temple will be expanded as part of the second phase, which is estimated to cost Rs 310.22 crore. Various portions of the city of Ujjain, including Maharajwada, Mahal Gate, Hari Phatak Bridge, Ramghat façade, and Begam Bagh Road, are also being renovated.

The complex of the Mahakal temple will be connected to structures in Maharajwada, and a historical Dharamshala and Kumbh museum will also be developed.

Mahakal Corridor

Under the City, Investments to Innovate Integrate, and Sustainable (CITIIS) program, the Agence Française de Development (AFD) is providing funds for the second phase’s development.

‘Mahakal Lok’ will consist of

  • The Mahakaleshwar temple is one of the 12 ‘jyotirlingas’ in the country and gets devotees throughout the year.
  • The Rs 856 crore worth of this expansion project is being conducted in two phases. In the first phase, works worth Rs 351 crore have been completed and will be inaugurated by PM Modi while the second phase will be completed in 2023-24.
  • Under this initiative, the temple premises which used to be around 2.82 hectares has been increased to 47 hectares
  • The corridor built in the Mahakal temple complex has been named Shri Mahakal Lok and a 200-meter-long walkway has been made for walking in the Mahakal corridor
  • In the first phase, Mahakal Plaza, Mahakal Corridor, and Mahakal Theme Park have been developed and constructed.

Mahakal Corridor

  • A 900-meter pedestrian walkway has been built to connect the plaza to the Mahakal temple
  • It has a mural wall 25 feet high and 500 meters long based on Shiva Purana stories such as the Act of creation, the Birth of Ganesha, the Story of Sati, and Daksha among others.
  • There are 108 Shiva pillars with different postures that depict the Anand Tandav Swaroop (A dance form) of Lord Shiva.
  • The Plaza area spread over 2.5 hectares will be surrounded by a lotus pond and will contain the statue of Shiva along with fountains.
  • The city will be decked up with colorful flags on lamp posts. The Hari Phatak flyover has been decked up with lights and turned into a selfie point for locals.