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Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the Jyotirlingams, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Ajay Chhotu - HCL Group

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Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva.

Bhasma Aarti

'Bhasm' and 'Aarthi' are two words in Hindi which mean ash and offering of light in the form of wicks or camphor as part of the rituals to the God respectively. Mahakaleshwar is the main deity in Ujjain and people visit this temple from all parts of the world. Devotees offer their prayers and have a great belief on Lord Shiva in the Mahakaleshwar temple, Ujjain. The Jyothirlinga in this temple is the only one in the entire world that faces the South. The Bhasm Aarthi (also pronounced Bhasm Arathi) is one of the most principal rituals of the Mahakaleshwar temple.

Lord Shiva is known as the destructor of the universe and is believed to reside in the cremation grounds. Long ago, the Bhasm was brought from the ashes of Aghoras or Yogis and were offered to the God. The hot Bhasm was smeared along the Jyothirlinga. Now, the Bhasm (usually referred to as Vibhoothi) is obtained by burning the cow dung in a sacred fire. Conducted as the first ritual every morning Bhasm Aarthi is one of its kinds in the entire nation. The puja is a must watch for every devotee of Lord Shiva.

Timing, schedule and booking of Bhasm Aarthi

The Bhasm Aarthi lasts for 45 minutes to an hour. The Bhasm Arathi begins at 4 AM. Devotees are allowed to offer special poojas (which they have to book before hand) only after the Bhasm Aarthi is over. The Bhasm Arathi has to be completed before sunrise. Booking tickets have to be done one day in advance. The entry to the Mahakaleshwar temple during this time can be obtained in two methods. You can walk through without a cost. This will take you a lot of time. On the other hand, you can use the VIP ticket. In Ujjain, VIP ticket holders get a real VIP treatment for the money they pay.

Rules and other systems of Bhasm Arathi

If you wish to book for the Bhasm Arathi in Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, you need to follow the below rules or guidelines which are laid by the temple authorities. These rules are for an organized facility for the devotees in order to avoid confusion.

  • The booking has to be done one day earlier.
  • Application will be based on the number of seats available. The applications are available only till 12.30 PM.
  • The list of devotees that are getting their slot for Bhasm Aarthi the next day are announced at 7 PM and the letters are distributed between 7.30 PM and 10.30 PM. The selection happens on a first-come first-served basis.
  • The photo ID is compulsory and a PAN Card is not accepted for the same.
  • The devotees are allowed to take only water and are not allowed to sit in the corridor.
  • The Garbh Grah (Santarem) is closed right after Bhasm Arathi is performed. After this the devotees are not allowed into the Garbh Grah until the first bell.
  • The devotees are allowed to offer water to god and this act is called 'Jalabhushekam'

What is the importance of Bhasm Arathi

Since Lord Shiva is believed to reside in the cremation grounds and is the destructor of the universe, the deity in the Mahakaleshwar temple is offered with ash to please the god. The devotees have a staunch belief that the prayers reach the Lord during this Arathi because the Lord is very pleased with the Bhasm Arathi ritual.

Women are not allowed to perform the ritual and are neither allowed to view the ritual proceedings. Only 10 Naga Sadhus are allowed to perform the ritual. Devotees who book for Bhasm Arathi are allowed to view the proceedings of the ritual. However, they can offer their prayers in the form of water.

The Bhasm Arathi is also an important ritual for removing the sins of the person performing it on the Sowmwati Amavasya which is an auspicious new moon day. The Mahakaleshwar temple is very auspicious and is a favourite temple for many devotees of Lord Shiva. The Bhasm Arathi is not performed anywhere else in the world and it is one ritual which pilgrims to Ujjain should never miss.