Ujjain is a very sacred city for Hindus on eastern bank of river Kshipra. It is about 70kms north to Indore city and western region of Madhya Pradesh state. In history, Ujjain was known by many names like Ujjaini, Avantika, Amravati, Pratikalpa and Kummudduity. It is also site for the triennial Kumbh Mela, which comes to Ujjain every 12 years. It was an important city in the Kingdom ruled by Ashoka’s Father, when it was known as Avanti. Later it was so attractive to Chandragupta II [380-414 AD], one of the Gupta kings, that for long period he ruled from here rather than his actual capital, Patliputra. His court supported the ’nine gems’ of Hindu literature including the important poet Kalidas. Later Ujjain became a center for much turmoil & although it was, for a time, capital of the Malwa region it passed between the Rajputs & Mughals before eventually falling to the Scindias of Gwalior.
Ujjain was a excellent center for study & research. Here Rishi Sandipini ashram (hermit) was the place where Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balrama studied. During that time Ujjain was capital of Avanti kingdom. It was a major center of mathematics, astronomy and sanskrit. Many well known mathematicians and sanskrit scholars worked here. In the 3rd century BC, Ashoka took over as the viceroy of Ujjain. During his rule, according to historian Dr. Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty, Ashoka’s “son Mahendra & daughter Sanghamitra invented the missionary cult & carried the message of Buddha from Ujjain to Ceylon” The successor to Ashoka’s mauryan Empire were the Sakas. They had invaded India from the north & were of Scythian-Parthian-Iranian origin. When they absorbedlocal customs so rapidly that, apart from introducing the cult of Sun worship, they gave a major boost to traditional astronomical studies. Due to its prosperity & glowing account it got name Ozein from Egyptian geographer Ptolemy & Oz by American Author Lyman Frank Baum.
When Akbar, the greatest of the Great Mughals came here, he assessed its inherent strengths & set up his silver mint in Ujjain. The Mughal Empire then began to crumble, burdened by age, weakness & attacks by ambitious rivals. A vaccum was building up in Ujjain & it was soon filled by the strong Maratha general, Ranoji Scindia, who made this his capital in 1735. During the reign of the Scindias, an official of the dynasty Ramachandra Baba Shenvi had the Mahakal Temple rebuilt on the site of the old one.
PLACES TO SEE
The spire of the Temple, crowned with gold Kalash, dominates the City. A corridor leads into a partially-covered yard built around the temple tank. In this covered space there are small shrines. The first one is dedicated to Ram, Sita & Lakshman. The second holds a Shivling named Koteshwar Mahadev, the third is one to the goddess Annapurna, she who fills with food. In the centre of the temple floor you will find a pear shaped Yoni encircled with a protective golden fence & rising from a silver Lotus, stands the Mahakaleshwar Shivling. It is guarded by a hooded snake sculpted in silver & a pot, suspended above, drips water to cool the meter-high Shivling. & In an alcove in the wall behind is an image of Parvati.
Bade Ganesh Ka Mandir:
Temple is placed near the reservoir of the Mahakaleshwar Temple, Bade Ganesha Ji Ka Mandir houses a gigantic statue of the elephant-headed God of Wisdom and Prosperity, Ganesha. This temple enshrines a huge, red Ganesh in the foyer, flanked by his two wives. Inside the shrine is a bronzed idol of a five-faced, Panchmukhi Hanuman Lord that has inscribed Lord Ram’s name on his heart.
Harsiddhi Ma Temple:
The most visually prominent features of this complex of temples are the two Deepstambhs or ‘Light Pillars’: cone shaped pillars imbedded with a number oil-lamps designed to hold flaming wicks. This is an archietectural element of Maratha temples & was constructed when the Marathas renovated this place of worship. The temple is on elevated plinth & the idol of Harsiddhi Ma has been painted bright red, the colour of power & strength. There is an interesting belief woven around the goddess. When Siva called Goddess Chandni to destroy 2 demons Chand & Prachand & she did so, so in the gratitude Siva gave her the title of ‘Harsiddhi’, or The one who vanquishes all.
Mahadev, or great god, is one of the many names of Siva. This single celled temple, on a raised plinth, holds an image of Nandi looking at a small multi-faceted Shivling.
There are 3 peep holes for visitors to look down into the shrine. The idol is wraped in red & an eternal flame burns to one side. The idol is worshipped as the elbow of the goddess Sati, Fallen from the skies after her body was dissected to prevent the destruction of the universe.
The Ved Shala(Observatory):
Popularly known as the Jantar Mantar, this is one of five observatories built by Jai Singh, Maharaja of Jaipur, who was also the Mughal governor of Ujjain. It was constructed between 1725 & 1730 & is the only one of the three surviving observatories of Jai Singh still in use.
The word ‘Chintamani’ means ‘Free of Worry’ & this, according to his devotees, is what is guaranteed by the red idol worshipped in this temple. This is rather unusual temple. Its tower & domes crown a gallery of beautifully carved pillars belonging to the Parmar period.
As per descriptive board, the temple is about 150 years old is on the Triveni Ghat, or confluence of three rivers. The Mysterious & unseen Saraswati is also supposed to mingle with the waters of the Shipra & khan.
Shri Gopal Temple:
‘Gopal’ is another name for Lord Krishna & this temple, dedicated to his worship, was built 250 years ago by Maharani Baijabai Scindia.Built in the Maratha Style which was strongly influenced by the Rajasthani form of archietecture, the temple has balconies with curved domes& an entrance with a scalloped arch.
Here are the White Marble Tombs, or Mazars, with silver doors of the 39th, 40th & 47th Syednas, or spiritual heads, of the prosperous trading community of Bohra Muslims.
Dedicated to the 64 aspects of the Mother Goddess, this temple depicts them in a largely non-representational form: 64 red faces, most of them virtually indistinguishable from each other.
Mangal Nath Temple:
‘Mangal’ is the planet Mars, worshipped on Tuesdays. Devotees throng this temple on the third day of the week, climb up the long flight of steps, reach the base of the plinth of the temple, walk clockwise around it, then stop to look up at the image of a Ram, vehicle of Mangal.
This is a recorded fact that, Lord Krishna & Sudama received regular instructions in the ashram of Guru Sandipani. Ankpata is the area near the ashram believed to be used by Lord Krishna to wash his writing tablet. The Numericals 1 to 100 foundon the stone are said to have been engraved by Guru SandiPani. The Gomti Kund referred to in the Puranas was the source of water supply to the ashram in the olden days.
The temple sits on a plinth in the all around. A golden lion gazes into the sanctum of this single-celled temple. The idol of Kalika is a red head wearing a silver crown. Legend has it that the genius of Kalidas blossomed only after he worshipped in this temple.
Pir Or Peer Matsyendra Nath:
Close to the Bhartrihari caves, this attractive spot is dedicated to the memory of one of the great leadersof the Nath Sect of Shaivism Matssyendranath. Since Muslims as well as the followers of the Nath sect call their saints ‘pir’, the ancient site of Pir Matsyendranath is venerated by both.
Situated just above the bank of the Shipra, this is the spot where Bhartrihari lived & mediated after renouncing worldly life. Said to have been the step brother of legendary king Vikramaditya, he is believed to have been a great scholar & poet. His Famous works include Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak & Nitishatak.
Temple of Kal Bhairav:
The worship of the eight bhairavas is a part of the Saivate tradition & chief among them is Kal Bhairav. The Temple Of Kal Bhairavon the bank of the shipra, built by the king Bhadrasenis a prominent centre of kapalika & Aghora sects. Beautiful painting in the Malwa style once decorated the temple walls, traces of which are still visible.
The Kaliadeh palace was built by Mahmud Khilji in 1458, while the tanks around were built by sultan Nasirud-din khilji (in the 16th century) to help reduce the heat of his body as he was in the habit of taking mercury, which is very heating. The Palace was damaged by the Pindaris & restored by Madhav Rao Scindia in 1920.
This enormous banyan tree on the banks of the river Shipra has been vested with the same religious sanctity as the Akashyavat in Prayag & Gaya, Vanshivat of Vrindaban & the Panchavat of Nasik. The bathing Ghat built here is used by scores of pilgrims to take a holy dip in the sacred Shipra. Bhairogarh: It is famous for its tie & die painting for centuries. In Ancient time this exquisitely printed cloth used to find its way to countries like China & Rome. Happily, this is still a village where they create bright wonders in the old, traditional, ways.
The Ram Ghat, where the flights of steps lead down to the lapping waters of the sacred river, is where the Great Kumbh Bathing Festival is held once in twelve Years. There is also a daily festival at Ram Ghat & though it is not as awesome as the Kumbh it is, in many ways more touching, more beautiful. It is called ‘The Aarti’.
It is made by Sawai Raja Jaisingh of Jaipur. He was the king of Jaipur. When he was appointed as governor of Ujjain under emperor Muhhamed Shah of Delhi. He was a efficient king and a good astronomer. On order to emperor Muhhamed Shah to build observatories based on same plan as Samakand observatory built by Mirza Ulooq Beg, Jaisingh made it in Ujjain, Jaipur, Delhi, Varanasi & Mathura. It is later renovated by Gwalior Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia in 1923. Here we can see Samrat Yantra, Nadhi Valay Yantra, Bhitti Yantra, Digansh Yantra, Shanku Yantra etc.
When India became independent in 1947, the British Indian province of Central Provinces and Berar formed Madhya Pradesh. Boundary changes followed; the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport is Indore (70 Kms).
Ujjain is on the Bhopal – Nagda sector of the Western Railway. It is connected to Delhi, Mumbai & Ahmedabad in Gujarat Directly. Tourists & devotees can reach Ujjain, directly by train by taking train to Ujjain station. But if they don't find direct train, they may reach Indore railway station or Dewas railway station.
Regular bus service connects Ujjain with Indore (60kms), Bhopal (200 Km), Gwalior (500 kms), Ratlam & Mandu (150 Km). Being close to Indore, most of the tourists are reaching Ujjain by own vehicle or taxi vehicle. We are operates regular Ujjain taxi service through which, tourists from any other destination can easily reach Ujjain, do the sightseeing and return back.
CLIMATE & WEATHER
Here at Ujjain, we can observe all the seasons i.e. Winters, Summers and Monsoon season. Here, winters can be experience from November to March months during which temperature remains in between 3°C to 20°C. Peak winter time is December & January months but climate remains clear, bright sunny weather and fog can't be seen. Similarly Summer season can be experienced in Ujjain from April to July month in which temperature range is 35°C to 46°C. Just after summers, monsoon season comes in which we can experience the temperature from 20°C to 33°C. Ujjain has a subtropical climate. Like most of north India it has a hot dry summer(April-June) followed by monsoon rains (July-September) and a cool and relatively dry winter. The average rainfall is about 1,370 mm (53.9 in). It decreases from east to west. The south-eastern districts have the heaviest rainfall, some places receiving as much as 2,150 mm (84.6 in), while the western and north-western districts receive 1,000 mm (39.4 in) or less.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Ujjain is a pilgrimage destination and remain accessible throughout the year. Thus it can be visited in anytime of the year. One can visit Ujjain temples in summers, winters, rainy season. Still festival season i.e. October & November is considered as the best time to visit in which most of the Hindu festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Diwali occurs. Similarly, as Lord Shiva is mainly worshiped here, so Shivratri festival time is also considered as good time. From tourists point of view, most of the tourists visit Ujjain from October to March time due to good climatic condition. During Monday, we can experienced more devotees rush in Ujjain Mahakaal temple. In order to attend Bhasm arti in Ujjain, we recommend its online advance booking to ensure your registration and carry your original ID document, during visit to Mahakaaleshwar temple. Here camera use is not allowed so do not carry camera during visit to this particular temple complex.
Although Ujjain is a small town but still we can find number of Ujjain hotels in this township. As large number of tourists and devotees are visiting this town, hotels count is increasing day by day. Here we can find Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department hotels i.e Hotel Avantika, Hotel Shipra, Hotel Ujjaini as best place to stay. Similarly their are private hotels also like Hotel Imperial, Hotel Kalpana Palace, Hotel Shanti Palace etc. More luxury hotel options are available in Indore city. Those who don't want to stay in hotel but want cheap lodge on hours basis, then this option is also easily available in which we can take rooms on hour basis to take bath and rest, before going to temples.
NEXT TO UJJAIN
After visiting Ujjain, one can visit to Indore city, Omkareshwar, Hanumantiya Island, Maheshwar, Mandu, Bhopal city. These destinations are easily accessible by taxi option.