Ujjain located in the Malwa plateau on the banks of River Shipra, is a sacred devout centre in the state of Madhya Pradesh boasts of a rare combination of tradition and history. A bevy of lovely shrines that conjure up exquisite devoutness and sculptural grandeur are the foremost lures in this sleepy town. Earlier called Avantika, the city with rich cultural heritage is a proud house of many Hindu shrines. A devotional myth says that a drop of nectar which fell on the city during the ‘Samudra Manthan’ made this little city holy. Ujjain is accredited as one of the seven must visit devotional places for the Hindus.
This vital place is the proud owner of one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. The crowning glory of Jyotirlinga temple dedicated to Lord Maheshwara has a lofty pinnacle and allures the devotees with its legendary stories. The linga is said to have originated by itself i.e swambhu. People believe that the linga with immense powers will protect the city and the folk from all kinds of disasters and discomfort. The idol of the god is South faced and the shrine also encloses the idols of Ganesh, Parvati, Karttikeya and Nagchandreshwar. Only on the day of Nagarpanchami, the Nagchandreshwar temple is open for the public. Mahashivrathri is celebrated with great pomp and glory. This 5-storyed temple encompassed with majestic walls proudly stands beside a sparkling lake. The city with an old touch and traditional practices is praised greatly by the poet Kalidasa in the form of poems.
The city witnesses enormous gathering of devotees from far flung areas during the Maha Kumbh Mela. The remnants of the Buddhist idols and writings provide an evidence for the existence of Buddhist culture here.
The place with collection of temples, caves, palaces, Chatris, the evidences which exhibits the rise and fall of many kingdoms and holy river springs up the excitement of the ardent devotees and historians.
PLACES TO SEE
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir : This temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh is constructed of great artistic brilliance. The size of the idol is relatively bigger in size. The idol of Pancha-Mukhi Hanuman can be seen in this temple. Astrology and Sanskrit is taught here.
Chintaharan Ganesh : This ancient pillar temple is believed to be constructed in the paramara period. The idol of Lord Ganesh is believed to be self-originated. This Ganesh temple consists of idols of Riddhi and Siddhi as well. This temple is constructed on the Shipra River.
Pir Matsyendranath : This place is an important devotional centre for both Natha sect and Muslims. This spectacular spot lies at close distances to the Gadkalika Temple and Bhartihari Caves. Many rare and antique articals were unearthed from here during the recent excavations.
Bhartrihari Caves : These caves are of great historical significance as the famous poet and writer Barthrihari is believed to have meditated in these caves for many years after giving up worldly pleasures. Vairagyashatak, Nitishatak and Shringarshatak are some of his prime writings. These cavers are put up on the banks of the Shipra River.
Kaliadeh Palace : This palace is a man-made wonder which is spectacularly located amidst the great natural splendour. The river flowing on either sides of the palace offers a heavenly sight. The writings on the walls reveal the visit of the great Mughal rulers Jahangir and Akbar to this palace. The central dome is constructed in the Persian style. The other man-made channels with gushing waters add charm to the beauty of this place.
Harsiddhi Temple : This temple is one of the important devotional spots. The idols of Annapurna, Mahalakshmi and Mahasarasvathi is found in the temple. This ancient temple encloses an old well. This temple showcase the true Maratha art as it was renovated in the Maratha period. Navarathri is the main celebrated festival.
Siddhavat : This place is famous as an important religious centre due to the presence of the big banyan tree. Many devotees take a dip in the Holy waters of Shipra which is located close by to wrad off their sins.
Sandipani Ashram : This is the place where the great Lord Krishna and his close friend Sudama had their strict education under the great sage Sandipani. There is a stone which consist of numbers 1 to 100 inscribed on it. This is believed to have been written by the great sage himself. Gomti Kunda was the prime water source to the Ashram.
Gadkalika : This temple about 2 kms from Ujjain is the place where the great poet Kalidasa was transformed from a dull-head to a great scholar by the blessings of the Kalika Mata.
Mangalnath Temple : This temple located in a serene locale is believed to the place of birth of Mars planet Lord Siva is the main deity. This temple was regarded as an appropriate place to conduct the astronomical studies as it offered best view of planet Mars.
Gopal Mandir : This massive 19th century temple built by Bayajibai Shinde is located in the busy market place. This temple constructed in Maratha style consists of silver plated doors and marble flooring.
Navagraha Mandir : This temple is dedicated to the Nava grahas or the nine planets. This temple located on the Triveni Ghat is flocked by many devotees on full moon days.
Mahakaleshwar : This temple of great devotional spirit is a strong chain which connects modernity to the great historic past. This temple with lofty tower registers a highest point in the surroundings. Lord Shiva being the main god protects his devotees from all hardships.
Vedha Shala : This astronomical observatory constructed by Raja Jai Singh in the 16th century was a prime planet study place for the Hindu scientists. Some of the prime astronomical works such as Surya Siddhanta and the Panch Siddhanta were composed in Ujjain. Raj Jain Singh re-wrote the great works of Ptolemy and Euclid which was in Arabic to Sanskrit.
Kalidasa Academy : Inorder to keep the memory of the great poet Kalidasa alive, the government of Madhya Pradesh set up the Kalidasa academy. The Academy complex consists of a theatre, museum, library, lecture and seminary halls, mini stage for rehearsals, research facilities for scholars, and a large open air theatre. It is also a prime Sanskrit learning centre.
Ram Janardhan Temple, Ram Ghat, Harihara Teertha, Mallikarjuna Teertha, Ganga Ghat, Bohron Ka Roja, Begum Ka Maqbara, Bina Neev Ki Masjid, Maulana Rumi Ka Maqbara, and Digambara Jain Museum are the other prime attractions.
Maksi : Is famous for its Jain temples and is about 40 kms from Ujjain.
Nagda : Nadga, about 60kms away from Ujjain is popular for its industries and antique temples.
Agar : This is an ancient archaeological site about 60 kms from Ujjain.
Durgadas Ki Chhatri
Vikram Kirti Mandir
HOW TO REACH
By Air : Delhi, Bhopal and Mumbai has good number of flights from Indore which is about 55kms from Ujjain.
By Train : Good number of trains is available from Ujjain to Indore, Bhopal, Ratlam, Gwalior, Mandu, Dhar and Omkareshwar.
By Bus : Frequent government and private bus services run between Ujjain to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Kolkata, Chennai & Cochin.