Mahakal Lok Corridor

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Mahakal Lok corridor built at the Mahakaleshwar temple.

    More about the news

    • The Mahakaleshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (representation of Lord Shiva) in India.
    • The Mahakal Lok corridor project:
      • The Mahakaleshwar Temple Corridor Development Project will provide better amenities for those visiting the temple. 
      • The corridor has around 108 aesthetically ornate pillars made of intricately carved sandstones that depict the Anand Tandav Swaroop (Lord Shiva’s dance form), 200 statues and murals of Lord Shiva and goddess Shakti.
      • It also has gushing fountains surrounded by artistic sculptures of the deity as well as 53 illuminated murals depicting stories from the  Shiv Puran.
      • First phase:
        • The first phase of the project is expected to significantly boost tourism in this city of Madhya Pradesh.
    • Mahakal Maharaj Mandir Parisar Vistar Yojna:
      • 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.
        • This will be developed in two phases by the Ujjain district administration.
      • This will include the 17 hectares of Rudrasagar lake.
    • Major temple upliftment projects:
      • After Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand, Mahakal temple is the third ‘jyotirlinga’ site to see a major upliftment exercise.
        • The Mahakal corridor is four times the size of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, which was inaugurated late last year.

    Significance of Mahakaleshwar temple in Hinduism

    • History:
      • 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.
    • Jyotirlingas:
      • Puranas say that Lord Shiva pierced the world as an endless pillar of light, called the jyotirlinga. 
      • There are 12 jyotirlinga sites in India, considered a manifestation of Shiva. 
        • Besides Mahakal, Somnath and Nageshwar in Gujarat, 
        • Mallikarjuna in Andhra Pradesh, 
        • Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, 
        • Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, 
        • Bhimashankar, Triyambakeshwar and Grishneshwar in Maharashtra, 
        • Viswanath at Varanasi, 
        • Baidyanath in Jharkhand, and 
        • Rameshwar in Tamil Nadu.
    • Characteristic features of the temple:
      • Mahakal is the only jyotirlinga facing the south, while all the other jyotirlingas face east. 
        • This is because the direction of death is believed to be the south. In fact, people worship Mahakaleshwar to prevent untimely death.
    • References of the temple:
      • The Mahakal temple finds a mention in several ancient Indian poetic texts
      • Meghadutam:
        • In the early part of the Meghadutam (Purva Megha) composed in the 4th century, Kalidasa gives a description of the Mahakal temple. 
          • It is described as one with a stone foundation, with the ceiling on wooden pillars. 
          • There would be no shikharas or spires on the temples prior to the Gupta period.

    More about Ujjain City

    • History:
      • The city of Ujjain was also one of the primary centres of learning for Hindu scriptures, called Avantika in the 6th and 7th centuries BC
      • Later, astronomers and mathematicians such as Brahmagupta and Bhaskaracharya made Ujjain their home.
    • Significance of the city:
      • Geography:
        • Also, as per the Surya Siddhanta, one of the earliest available texts on Indian astronomy dating back to the 4th century, Ujjain is geographically situated at a spot where the zero meridian of longitude and the Tropic of Cancer intersect
        • In keeping with this theory, it is believed that many of Ujjain temples are in some way connected to time and space, and the main Shiva temple is dedicated to Mahakal, the lord of time. 
      • Observatory:
        • In the 18th century, an observatory was built here by Maharaja Jai Singh II, known as the Vedh Shala or Jantar Mantar, comprising 13 architectural instruments to measure astronomical phenomena.

    Kashi Vishwanath Corridor 

    • About:
      • It is a 400-metre long corridor that will facilitate the pilgrims and devotees of Baba Vishwanath, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practised the age-old custom of taking a dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal and offering it at the temple. 
      • The architect of this project is Mr Bimal Patel who is also the architect for the Central Vista project.
    • Significance: 
      • It will provide easy access for the disabled and old age people with the provision of ramps, escalators, and other modern facilities.
      • Heritage Preservation 
      • Boost to Local Economy

     

    Source: TH