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Ujjain

The Greenwich City of India

Ujjain is an ancient city situated in the Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh. It is the largest city in the district and the fifth largest city in the state. Contributing to the tourism facet of the state, Ujjain is considered a prominent sacred destination and one of the most important places of pilgrimage for the ardent believers of the Supreme Hindu God, Lord Shiva.

Located on the eastern banks of Kshipra river, Ujjain was the foremost city of Malwa plateau in the bygone time and was known by many names like Ujjaini, Avantika, Amravati, Pratikalpa and Kummudduity. Being the study and research hub of the past, Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna and his brother Balram and friend Sudama received education from Maharshi Sandipani. The city has a rich religious history and has been an eye to various important religious events of the time. The vibes at this place infuse hearts with something unique, pious and soul-satiating.

In the current scenario, the development of Ujjain has been emphasised under modern development scheme and consequently, the city is selected as one of the hundred cities to be developed as a smart city under Indian government’s Smart City Mission.

With a population of 515,215 people in an area of 152 kilometre square, the city of Ujjain attracts thousands of tourists every month. Pervaded with temples, fair-like marketplaces, the city of Ujjain promises to offer you a journey truly remarkable.

Here we become your guide as we take you to the land that is looked up to by millions of devotees and other tourists alike.

VIEW POINT

Mahakaleshwar Temple

The destroyer and the saviour

The tourism of Ujjain is dominated by the Mahakaleshwar Temple, an important Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. The legend says that Lord Shiva resides as the Mahakal- the one with the power to annihilate all living and non-living. He is believed to reside inside the Shivalinga at the temple in his most fierce form.

Being one of the oldest temples of India, Mahakaleshwar has been mentioned in various ancient scriptures and puranas. Devotees believe that praying to the south-facing idol of Mahakaleshwar, one can avoid the inevitable, untimely death and can provide strength to those stuck between life and death by bringing them to life.

Kal Bhairav Mandir

The unsolved mystery

Another temple that dominates the skyline of Ujjain is the temple of Kal Bhairav. Dedicated to the guardian deity of the city, Kal Bhairav, the temple is a unique mystery in itself that has remained unsolved even after multiple attempts by various bodies including Archaeological Survey of India.

The idol of the deity is believed to consume its prasad. Here, the prasad presented to Kal Bhairav is liquor which miraculously vanishes after being poured on the idol by the priest. Visit this place to witness this miracle and seek blessings from the Senapati of Ujjain

Pir Matsyendranath ki Dargah

The soulful slice of the city

Located on the route to Kal Bhairava and Bhartrihari Gufa, Pir Matsyendranath Dargah is one of the most beautiful and serene places in Ujjain. It was constructed in remembrance of the greatest leaders of the Natha sect of Saivism-Matsyendranath and is a great place to sit on the banks of Kshipra river while you think about life and shed a stock of worries from your shoulders.

Chintaman Ganesha Temple

Like father, like son

Built across the Kshipra river, Chintaman Ganesha temple is the biggest temple of Lord Ganesha in the district of Ujjain. Flanked by Riddhi and Siddhi, Lord Ganesha resides in the Chintaman form in this temple making him the reliever of all worries. Like Lord Shiva, son Lord Ganesha is also widely worshipped and celebrated in the city.

Jantar Mantar

Planets and moons, anyone?

Made by Maharaja Gal Singh II in the year 1725, Jantar Mantar or Ved Shala is an observatory that consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. Constructed with a motive of measuring time, this is the place that gives the city of Ujjain its sobriquet- the Greenwich of India.

activities

Bhasma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar

Make your morning divine

They say the best time to visit the Mahakaleshwar Temple is at 4 am when the temple opens with the grand bhasma aarti. Till 15 years back from now, fresh and burning hot ashes from the funeral pyre were used as the bhasma, but the tradition has undergone a change with the time. In present times, the aarti is performed with the bhasma made from cow dung, also known as vibhuti.

The people who have witnessed the old and original bhasma aarti believe that it was a different and extraordinary experience back then. Nevertheless, the regular event of the special aarti still remains grand and divine. People from far away states flock the temple to witness it.

Set your morning alarm!

Ujjain Kumbh Mela

Take that dip

Kumbh Mela is a grand fair, holding utmost significance in the religion of Hinduism. Inscribed on the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Kumbh Mela periodically takes place at four different places with different names. Ujjain Kumbh Mela is known as Ujjain Simhasta, during which millions of devotees gather to take a dip in the Kshipra river that is believed to wash their sins away.

The last Ujjain Simhasta took place in 2016 between 22nd April and 21st May and witnessed a visit of around 75 million people. The next Kumbha will be organised in 2028 between 9th April and 8th May. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that may be looked forward to.

how to get there

By Air: The nearest airport is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport at Indore (57.2 km).

By Rail: Ujjain Junction Railway Station connects you to the city.

By Road: Distance from some major cities:

Indore- 55.4 km 

Bhopal- 191.6 km

Mumbai- 641.2 km

when to visit

Ujjain remains accessible throughout the year, however October to March are the best months to visit Ujjain. Since summers in Ujjain are hot and dry like in the rest of the state, the post-monsoon weather is the most favourable for exploring the city.

Winters in Ujjain are pleasant offering delectable street food options.

Local cuisine

Food in Ujjain

A churn of Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisines

The cuisine of Ujjain consists of mainly Malwa food which is a churn of both Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisines. The most popular delicacy of the city is bhutte ka kees, prepared in ghee by grating corn along with milk. Chakki ki shaak, and daal baati are other popular Malwa dishes with which you can tantalise your tastebuds.

An evening in Ujjain is all about local snacks. You can taste the best dal kachori, samosa, pani puri and other savoured food items in this city. The place is also a heaven for the people with sweet tooth  as deserts like moong daal ka halwa, gajar ka halwa, rabri, gulab jamun, bhutta kis are prepared whole-heartedly to meet the expectations of the tourists as well as the locales.

Local Shopping

Shopping in Ujjain

Take a bit of Ujjain with you

Stone crafts, ethnic artifacts, dress materials, ethnic and modern jewellery and a lot of memories can be bought in Ujjain. The local bazaars remain busy throughout the year with tourists and locales. The best thing is that the bazaars are present near all the prominent points of the city.

The handicrafts made by the local tribal community are extremely popular among tourists. Sold near temples, these handicrafts clearly reflect the skills and the dedication of their creators. Other things popularly bought in Ujjain are leather goods like wallets, belts, bags etc. Pro tip: keep your bargaining game on point!

 

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