Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mahakaleshwar - Abode of Lord Shiva

This is where one of the 12 Jyotirlinga (Shiva Lingam) resides, besides the Rudra Sagar Lake. It is one of the holiest destination of the Hindus on pilgrimage. This is the only South facing or dakshin muki temple among the twelve Jyotirlinga. The temple lies within the center of Ujjain city on Kshipra River in Malwa in MP.   

Besides the lingam there reside idols of many Hindu Gods including Nandi in the premises. Nandi Bull is the vehicle of Shiva as always portrayed alongside the Lord.  The temple overpowers the holy city of Ujjain and is an an architectural marvel. The fine carvings and sculptural finesse creates and aura of awe and majestic splendor.  

During ancient times the city was called Avantika and once ruled by Chandrasen an ardent devotee of Shiva. The city was protected by the Lord against warring neighbors who had an evil eyes on its treasures. There are numerous temples within and outside the confines of the Holy City. Those on long stay can visit the temples in order to explore the religious places of importance.

Madhya Pradesh destinations

The major tourism destinations in Madhya Pradesh are of course the tiger reserves Khajuraho Temples  and Pachmarhi Hill Resort. But then one cannot forget Amarkantak, Orchha and Mandu. For the religious kind Amarkantak, Sanchi, Omkareshwar, Chitrakoot, Maheshwar (Maheshwari Sarees), Bhojpur and Ujjain are a must visit.  

Major towns must visit are Jabalpur, Indore, Gwalior and Bhopal for food, commerce and sightseeing historical monuments. Jabalpur is the best conduit for the tiger reserves - Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and Satpura National Park. One can also reach Khajuraho & Panna tiger reserve via Bandhavgarh or from Satna/Katni. For sightseeing Jabalpur has the famous Mable Rocks, Dhuandhar Falls, Chausathjogini and the Madan Mahal Fort. 

There are many lesser known destination worth visiting in Madhya Pradesh but proper research should be done before moving in. Among Hill Resorts Pachmarhi takes the cake. It is a pristine forest with magical landscape - Valleys, forest clad mountains, ancient temples and numerous waterfalls.   

For those averse to making rigorous travel arrangement package tours to MP are best. The tour companies do all the work for for a hassle free holiday in Central India. Though English is in use everywhere a touch of Hindi Dialect would make things easier. In rural and distant areas banking and shopping would be limited. Hence it is better to pack oneself with the prerequisite before leaving.

Traveling in the state is safe but still it is better not to be on road during the night time. One should keep one's valuable in sight since minor theft can take place.