One of the oldest cities in India, Ujjain, is located in Madhya Pradesh. It was earlier known as Ujjayini and is situated on the banks of the river Kshirpa. It was the capital of Avanti Kingdom and finds its name mentioned in the Mahabharata. The festival of Kumbh Mela is held here every 12 years and it also houses the famous Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga which is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Here is a guide to this spiritual town.
Chintaman Ganesh Temple
The Chintaman Ganesh Temple is one of the most sacred temples of Ujjain and is visited by hundreds of devotees every day in order to get the divine blessings of Lord Ganesha. Chintaman is an ancient Hindu word that means 'relieving tension'.
It is believed by the devotees that Lord Ganesha gives complete relief to each and every devotee who visits this temple. The River Shipra flows by the temple premises. There is a belief by the common people here that the Ganesh idol in the temple is Swayambhu. Riddhi and Siddhi are seated on the either sides of the deity as they are his consorts.
The decked up idol of Lord Ganesha.
Photo Courtesy: Anshul_sharma
The Kal Bhairav Temple in Ujjain is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu culture. It is said that the temple is associated with the cult of tantra. The Kal Bhairav is believed to be one of the fierce manifestations of Lord Shiva. The temple is the sacred place for hundreds of devotees who visit the place on a daily basis and one can easily spot Sadhus with ash-smeared bodies around the temple premises.
Within the temple premises, there is a banyan tree, and under that tree there is a Shivalinga. The Shivalinga is located just opposite to the statue of Nandi, the bull. A lot of myth is associated with this temple. There is a belief among the devotees that one who wishes something from the core of their heart always gets their result fulfilled. A massive fair takes place on the temple ground on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri.
Devotees at the temple.
Photo Courtesy: LRBurdak
The Mahakaleshwar Temple is regarded as one of the most auspicious temples of the Hindus in the sacred town of Ujjain. It has a broad courtyard surrounded by huge walls. There are five levels inside the temple, and one of the levels is situated underground. Dakshinamurti is the name given to the idol of Mahakaleshwar, and the deity faces the south.
It is regarded as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. The idol in this temple is of Omakareshwar Shiva and the deity is consecrated in the sanctum just above the Mahakal shrine. A huge fair takes place in the temple premises on the auspicious day of Mahashivaratri.
View of the temple.
Photo Courtesy: Ssriram mt
The Vedha Shala is a famous observatory in Ujjain that was built by Maharaja Sawai Raj Jaisingh of Jaipur in the year 1719. Ujjain was one of the centres of astronomical studies in ancient India. It lies on the south-eastern part of the town and it consists of four monuments. The observatory houses a planetarium and a telescope, and is considered as a hot spot for tourists. The third monument among the four is known as the Dignasha Yantra and the positions of the stars, and planets are calculated with the help of this monument. The sun dial is very famous in this observatory as the instrument is used mainly for finding out the declination of any kind of celestial body from the celestial equator.
View of the Vedha Shala.
Photo Courtesy: Bernard Gagnon
How to Reach Ujjain
By Air: The nearby airport to the city of Ujjain is the Sevi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore, which is located at a distance of 55 km from the city. The Indore airport is well connected to other important cities in India via private and public domestic airlines.
By Rail: The Ujjain Railway Station is the main railway station which is well connected to all the main rail stations of India. Tourists can also avail direct trains from Ujjain to Indore, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bhopal and Malwa and several other major towns.
By Road: The city is well linked via state road transport public buses. Regular buses are also available from Bhopal, Indore, Ahmedabad and Gwalior to Ujjain. Apart from regular buses, the visitors can also avail deluxe AC and superfast buses in these routes.
So when are you heading to Ujjain?
Photo Courtesy: Bernard Gagnon