Ujjain city travel guide and information
Temple city Ujjain is an ancient city situated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, Located on the banks of the holy river Kshipra. Other names of Ujjain are Ujjaiyini, Avanti, Avantika or Avantikapuri. Ujjain, the fifth largest city in Madhya Pradesh by a population is also famous for its various temples and ghats.
A bit about Ujjain
Ujjain’s history has its significant value and importance attached to it. Initially, Ujjain’ name was Ujjaiyini. As per Mahabharata, Ujjaiyini was the capital of Avanti. Many historical persons are said to be related to this place. Ashoka The Great was the empire of Ujjain, at the time when he was the viceroy of the western kingdom of the Maurya Empire. Ujjain was under control of several empires, including the Shungas, Satvahnas, Guptas, and Parmaras. Then Parmaras shifted their capital to Dhar. Kalidas love for Ujjaiyini can be found through his romantic poem – Meghdut.
Also, said that Lord Krishna and Balram took their education here in Sandipani Ashram. Ujjain was the main education center of ancient India named as the Adhyapethe-foundation of Sanskrit learning, knowledge, ethics, learning science and art.
Also known as ‘Swarna Sringa’ because of the golden towers of several temples. Ujjain is also known and appear in various stories of the legendary king Vikramaditya. It is an epic collection of 32 stories, where 32 statues(apsaras) describing the king Vikramaditya.
Ujjain Hindu Fair- Simhasth (Kumbh Mela)
Ujjain is a holy city and has a historical importance of Mahabharat. Generally, Simhastha is celebrated once in every 12 years and is like no other festival in India. It held in four main places on the banks of Godavari (Nasik), Kshipra (Ujjain), Ganga (Haridwar) and the great Sangam of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati (Allahabad).
Simhastha or Singhastha in Ujjain was started in the 18th century and in Hindi it is called as ‘Kumbh Mela’. It is celebrated when Jupiter rises into the sun signs Leo which is in Hindu astrology called ‘Simha’. That is why it is called Simhastha. The main snaans (holy bath of Kumbh Mela) held on the full moon day (Purnima of Vaishak month according to the Hindu calendar). Last time it was held in 2016 at Ujjain.
Places To Visit in Temple city Ujjain:
As Ujjain is the city of temples, you can see many ancient temples. The most famous temples are Mahankaleshwar temple and Kalbhairav temple. Let’s see the list of Ujjain’s list of place to visit.
One of the famous Hindu temple and tourist attraction in Ujjain is Mahakaleshwar temple. The place is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirling across the country. Also, it is the sacred dwelling place of Lord Shiva.
The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh is situated near the Rudra Sagar lake. Here the deity of Mahakaleshwar is said to be ‘Dakshinmurti’ means facing to the south, which is unique from 12 Jyotirlingas. It opens at 4 A.M. for the ‘Bhasmarti’. It includes smearing of the lingam with the hot ashes from the burning coast of tributes.
To attend Bhasmarti one has to do online or offline booking, prefer to do it online as there will be a long queue to do the offline booking and take the printout of the same while attending the aarti.
Kal Bhairav Temple
Kal Bhairav Temple is situated near the Kshipra river, built 100 years ago by Raja Bhadrasen. A fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva is associated with destruction. The deity is often seen with angry eyes, frowning and naked, wearing garlands of skull and snake necklace.
Alcohol is offered to the deity and it is believed that God drinks alcohol. Lots of searches have been done. Around hundreds of years, this deity is drinking alcohol, but no one could understand where it actually goes. Leftover is given to pilgrims in the form of Prashad.
Chintaman Ganesh Temple
This place is most visited temples by pilgrims. It is supposed that Lord Ganesh idol enshrined is Swayambhu (born to self). This ancient temple in Ujjain is artistically presented to worship pilgrims. It is said that the deity here known as Chintaman Ganesh that means lord that free people from huge anxieties.
Bade Ganesh Ji Ka Mandir
It is situated near the tank of the Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple, which is known for the elephant-headed deity. The head dignifies the wisdom, foresight, and discretion. In the center of this temple is a unique statue of Lord Hanuman which has five faces. The five faces symbolize – strength, courage, loyalty, righteousness, and devotion. Apart from all this, this place is known as the center for learning Sanskrit and gaining astrology knowledge.
Harsiddhi Temple in Ujjain is said to be one of the Shaktipethe. As according to the beliefs that Goddess Parvati (Sati) elbow fell here. Along with that, the main attraction is the two pine-shaped iron lampstand which is 15 feet. And the red temple which symbolizes the potency of goddess Durga shows the great architecture by Marathas.
Shree Mangalnath Mandir
Mangalnath holy place Ujjain is situated on the side of river Kshipra. It is claimed to be the birthplace of Mars (Mangal). According to Puran, Mangal is the son of Prithvi that means Mars is generated from the Earth. Also, it is believed that Mangal has born by blood drop of Lord Shiva.
This temple is situated in the center of the world and the famous ‘Kark Rekha’ (Tropic of Cancer) passes from here which means the closest point to planet Mars. Pilgrims mostly visit here for removal of ‘Mangal Dosh’.
Other Places to visit in Ujjain:
It is named after the famous sage ‘Bhartrihari’ who was the great poet and scholar. Situated on the banks of the holy River Kshipra near the Gadkalika Temple in Ujjain. It is famous as the stepbrother (Bhartrihari) of king Vikramaditya meditated here after giving up all the relations and comfort of life.
Most popular place and the host of Kumbh, Ram Ghat is a must visit place in Ujjain, situated near Harisiddhi Temple. Ram Mandir Ghat serves for the devotee as a venue for Kumbh Mela which organized every 12 years. It is believed that taking a dip will attain salvation (Moksha).
This Kund can be found in Sandipani Ashram where it is considered that Lord Krishna collected water from all the rivers of holy places so that his old Guru can perform all the rituals peacefully.
Iskcon Temple is basically a renowned Vaishnav temple of Lord Krishna and Radharani. It is situated in Mahashewta Nagar Ujjain. This temple is a good example of architecture, creativity, art, and the beauty of the modern century. Devotees never go further without visiting this temple.
Rumi ka Makbara
People visit here to see the glorious past of Ujjain and beautiful architecture. It is the cemetery of Rumi which is hexagonal in shape. Maulana Rumi was a saint but some speak that he was a Turkish trader and other takes him to be the commander of an army unit.
How to reach Ujjain:
The nearest airport from Ujjain is Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport, Indore, which is just 70 Km from the Mahakal Nagri Ujjain.
By Raod, Ujjain is well connected with most of the cities of Madhya Pradesh. Or the best option is to reach Indore early morning and hire a cab for a day for Ujjain.
Ujjain is directly connected with Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi by train but if you can’t find any direct connection you can reach Indore by train and then hire a cab.
Best time to visit Ujjain:
Being one of the Jyotirlinga, Shivratri festival is considered to be the best time to visit Ujjain but you may visit it throughout the year. However, in summers the mercury rises above 45°C so place your trip accordingly.
Accommodation & Local travel in Ujjain:
You will find a lot of economical options on Airbnb in Ujjain. Also being a small town traveling is not an issue here and everything is nearby. You can book an autorickshaw for around INR 250-300 for sightseeing but auto wala skip many places if you don’t know the name of the places so make sure you have the list of places in Ujjain before you book a rickshaw.