Ujjain Ghat - Ujjain
Ujjain - Land of Gods
Situated on the western side of Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of River Shipra, Ujjain is one of the most important holy cities in India. It was earlier called Avantika, but after King Shiva defeated Demon King of Tripuri, he renamed it to Ujjainyini(One who conquers with pride). Ujjain is the proud possessor of a very glorious history. It boasts about being ruled by the likes of King Vikramaditya and King Ashoka. However, even the holy lands of Ujjain had to witness the sad saga of invasion and destruction in the 13th century. By 17th century, Marathas took over the entire area and triggered the era of cultural renaissance, giving Ujjain a modern look. They also reconstructed many temples thus regaining and preserving the lost charisma of the city. Today Ujjain is a striking amalgamation of legacy of bygone era and contemporary architecture.
Attractions - Historical and Sacred
Ujjain is one of the many holy cities in India and the major places to visit in the town are temples. However you will also find magnificent museums and palaces as well. Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir and Mahakaleshwar are two important temples in the city.
The Maha Kumbh Mela
Ujjain is most famous for the Holy Kumbh Mela that is held here every twelve years. The festival is celebrated on the banks of River Shipra which is considered a very sacred river. According to Hindu mythology, after the ocean churning by Gods and Demons, there was a mad tussle between them for the nectar that came out of the ocean. The Demons violently chased Gods for the nectar. And in this catch me if you can game, few drops of nectar fell on earth at Haridwar, Nasik, Prayag and Ujjain. Kumbh Mela is held at all these places at different times. During the fair, the city is crowded by overwhelming number of pilgrims and sadhus (Saints). Majestically slow and soothingly decorated elephants tread the fair ground adding extra flavour of spirituality to the town. A Visit to Ujjain during Kumbh Mela is really an experience of divinity.
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir is situated near the tank of Mahakaleshwar Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha who is believed to be the God of health and prosperity. The temple is famous for the massive and grand statue of Lord Ganesh that is there in the temple. It is one of the largest statues of Lord Ganesha in India. There is also a Panchmukhi image of Lord Hanuman in the middle of the temple. Visit the temple and secure the blessings of both Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman simultaneously.
Mahakaleshwar is a glorious temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the 12 Jyotirlingas has been consecrated here which makes it one of the most important temples of Lord Shiva. The temple is divided into 5 levels. One of these levels is underground. The way to this section of the temple is lit up with Brass lamps. The Shikhara is impressively decorated with sculpted finery which gives the temple an out of this world charm.
Vikram Kirti Mandir
Vikram Kirti Mandir serves as the cultural center to immortalize the memory of King Vikramaditya. The center also has the Scindia Oriental Research Institute that has more than 18,000 rare manuscripts in different fields, an archaeological museum, an art gallery and an auditorium. It was established on the occasion of second millennium of Vikram era. Visit the art gallery that has numerous old paintings of Rajput and Mughal Era. The archaeological museum showcases inscriptions, copper plates and fossils that were found in Narmada valley. The most interesting is a huge elephant skull which is sure to leave you spell bound.
Bhartrihari Caves have, over the time become a great tourist destination. The caves are situated just above the banks of River Shipra near Gadhkalika Temple. The caves are famous as the place where the step brother of King Vikramaditya meditated after renouncing all worldly possessions and relations. The name of the saint was Bhartrihari, thus the caves too got this name. It is said that Bhartrihari was a great scholar and a talented poet.
The historical palace is situated at a distance of 8 km from the town on an island in Shipra river. The palace was built by Mandu Rulers in the year 1458. Kailadeh Palace was built in Persian style of architecture. The palace took the brunt of time and huge portion of the palace collapsed. It was then mended by Maharaja Madhav Rao Scindia I in 1920. The palace is set in very calm environment that further adds to the surrounding natural beauty.
Where to Put Up
There are good number of hotels to choose from in Ujjain. Most of them are budget hotels and are government approved. They provide you with all the basic facilities. The main hotels in the city are Hotel Shipra, Hotel Ashray and Yatri Niwas run by government.
The nearest airport is at Indore which is around 55 km from here. From there you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Ujjain.
Ujjain has its own rail head. There are regular trains from all major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Almost all cities of Madhya Pradesh are connected to Ujjain by frequent state transport buses.
Shared autos called tempoes ply inside the city and are the major players. You will also find fair number of auto rickshaws which are bit expensive than the earlier option but is a better way of roaming inside the city.