Ujjain: The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple, one of the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, was decked up with lights and flowers for the Diwali festival today. The temple performed a special Bhasma Aarti, a ritual in which the deity is worshipped with sacred ash, in the morning. The women of the priest family applied a paste of turmeric and sandalwood to the idol of Mahakal and then gave him a bath with hot water. They also adorned him with gold and silver jewelry and offered him a variety of delicacies such as Annakoot, or mountain of food.
Mahakal is revered as the king of Ujjain, the ancient city that is also known as the city of temples. The people of Ujjain celebrate all the festivals with great fervor and devotion at the Mahakal temple, which is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Diwali, Holi, Rakhi, and other festivals are celebrated in the temple premises during the Bhasma Aarti, which is held every morning before sunrise.
The Bhasma Aarti on the day of Diwali is considered to be very auspicious and special, as it marks the victory of light over darkness, and good over evil. A large number of devotees thronged the temple to witness the Bhasma Aarti and seek blessings from Mahakal. The highlight of the Aarti was the use of sparklers, or phuljhari, which added to the festive spirit and joy. The devotees also lit diyas, or earthen lamps, and candles around the temple, and exchanged greetings and sweets with each other.