Ujjain: The Holy City of Incredible Temples

The holy city of Ujjain is a perfect place for a spiritual journey. One of the oldest cities of India, Ujjain is located in the Malwa region, on the Eastern bank of the Kshipra River in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Ujjain is one of the seven holy cities of India, and is known by a variety of names like Avantika, Bhagvati, Udeni and Ujjain. This magnificent city is rich in culture, history and spirituality.

According to Hindu mythology, when the nectar of immortality was discovered, there was a struggle between the gods and demons about who would use the nectar first to attain immortality. During this struggle, a drop of that nectar fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred to the Hindus. Ujjain has also been the Prime Meridian for Hindu geographers since the fourth century.

The importance of this city does not merely rest on mythology alone. The city has great historical significance, as it has been the home of great Indian scholars such as Bhramagupta and Bhaskaracharya and literature gems like Kalidas. Moreover, Ujjain was the residence of the great king Asoka during the times of the Mauryan Empire.

Every year Ujjain attracts thousands of pilgrims. Apart from all the magnificent temples and monuments, the pilgrims are gigantically attracted to the Kumbh Mela. Ujjain is one of only four sites that host this event. Millions of Hindu pilgrims arrive in Ujjain to attend this massive festival and is said to be the largest religious congregation on Earth. The pilgrims regard the Kumbh Mela as an opportunity to purify their souls by bathing in the holy river and serving the saints. This massive festival is held only once in four years.

Ujjain has many interesting monuments and temples that would appeal to the visitors. One of them is the Mahakal temple, a famous and venerated Shiva temple. It derives its name from the word “kaal”, meaning death. The interesting fact about this temple is that the “Shivling” in this temple is supposed to be the only Jyotirlinga which faces south and hence is known as Dakshinmiukhi. Every year on the day of Maha Shivratri, huge crowds of devotees throng the temple for “darshan”. The Temple also attracts a huge crowd of devotees on the day of “Naaagpanchmi” in the month of Saavan.  On every Monday of Saavan, the idol of Lord Shiva is taken out in a grand procession through the city.

There are many other temples in Ujjain as well, like the Harsiddhi temple, dedicated to goddess Annapurna; the Kal Bhairav temple on the banks of Kshipra; the Chintaman Ganesha temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The Sri Radha Madan Mohan Temple is a major tourist attraction of Ujjain. It even has a guest house and restaurant. Ujjain has shown changes along with changing times and now has a fully operational mall called “Treasure Bazaar”.

Ujjain experiences a warm sub-tropical climate. The monsoons may be the best time to visit as the temperature can touch extremes during both the summers and the winters, making it rather uncomfortable.

The beautiful city of Ujjain can truly offer you a one of a kind spiritual experience.