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Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India

Located in the ancient city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India, the Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the main deities of Hinduism. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are shrines that are said to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the side of the holy river of Shipra and is a place of great religious and spiritual significance.

As part of a beautification programme of the premises, the Smart City Corporation of Ujjain embarked on a project to introduce façade lighting for the main temple. This was to run in conjunction with a second phase to add audio synchronisation. Lighting control specialist Gayatri Technosystems was appointed to the project.


The vision for the lighting design was to use decorative colour tuning LED (RGBW) fixtures to create a variety of moods, including a vibrant environment in the evenings. The brief required the lighting system to fulfil the function of illuminating the temple during festivities and days of national importance, such as Republic Day and Independence Day, and stipulated that the system needed to be operational every evening without requiring any human intervention – instead running on various timers and pre-set audio tracks. 


The RGBW lighting controls were installed first, with the additional audio synchronisation being completed two months later.

To ensure the desired effects could be achieved, Gayatri Technosystems specified several solutions from dynamic lighting control experts Pharos Architectural Controls. 

Three market leading solutions from Pharos now play an integral role in the temple’s lighting and audio system – the LPC 1 (Lighting Playback Controller 1), the VLC 50 (Video Lighting Controller 50) and the RIO A (Remote Input Output Audio). 


The LPC is an all-in-one control solution perfect for LED lighting installations. Two LPC 1s are now installed at the temple, allowing for the creation of dynamic, precise and fully-customisable pre-programmed lighting effects. The LPC 1 also offers the freedom of powerful real-time manual overrides, with the added advantage of a compact form factor that makes the solution highly flexible in any installation.

The VLC 50 is a powerful yet cost-effective architectural lighting control system for large LED pixel arrays. It provides a simple solution for playing video content across an array, and also offers a range of creative, generative effects. The VLC 50 delivers a capacity of 50 universes, or 25,600 channels.

Completing the control element of the system is the Pharos RIO A. This device has an audio output, supporting a linear timecode or up to 30 band spectrum analysis, and features installation-friendly connectors within a rugged DIN-rail mounting enclosure to add to its appeal.

Other elements of the lighting and audio system include loudspeakers and a 4-channel power amplifier from Electro-Voice, an 8 Channel DSP from Bosch, and wall washers and floodlights from Lighting Technologies.

Tony Symms, Regional Manager – Asia Pacific at Pharos Architectural Controls, said: “The Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple is a highly important cultural and religious site in India. The use of dynamic lighting and synchronised audio has undoubtedly enhanced the visitor experience, and allowed the temple to celebrate and mark special occasions and festivals. It is very rewarding to know that Pharos has played a key role in this successful adaptation of such a historic site.”

Thanks to the new façade lighting scheme, the Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple has been transformed into an illuminated beacon that draws you in as darkness falls. The dynamic scheme has no doubt enhanced visitor experience, but more importantly the temple is now inclusive of the wider culture of India.