Ujjain (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri), being considered as one of the seven holy cities of Hindu pilgrimage, is also considered as the sacred city for Hindus in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Located on the eastern banks of River Shipra, it offers a useful insight into Hindu culture and its rituals. Ujjain is the ideal place for religious tourism in India. The city is home to plenty of temples and places of worship as they are a reminder of the Hindu traditions. Visit Ujjain is an enriching experience in itself.
Monasteries and sculptures can be found sprinkled around Ujjain, leading to the belief that Buddhism thrived here in the 4th century. Ujjain’s image is not only restricted to the religious place. Apart from it, this city was a haven of the great poet and of astronomers. Besides this, Ujjain was ruled by many great rulers who have given their best to this historic city. The kings of the Gupta dynasty whose reign is considered as the golden rule of India belonged to Ujjain.
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The Simhastha Kumbh Mela is held after every 12 years which enhances the city’s importance as a tourist hub. Mahakaleshwar Temple is Ujjain’s primary tourist attraction. It is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself), deriving currents of power from within itself. It is dedicated to one of the twelve Shiva jyotirlingas and is visited by several devotees.
Following are famous tourist places in Ujjain, visited by many tourists throughout the year, most of which are of religious significance. When in Ujjain, do not miss these places to visit!!
- Mahakaleshwar Temple: – Dedicated to Lord Shiva and is supposed to be the most sacred abodes of him. It is situated on the side of Rudra Sagar Lake. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is south facing i.e. dakshinmurthi, it’s considered as a unique feature amongst the other 12 jyotirlingas also it is concentrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. In the south, there is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva and the images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are located in the west, east, and north of the sanctum sanctorum.
- Kal Bhairav Temple: – It is believed to have been built by Bhadrasen king centuries ago. Two main sects of Shiva’s devotees, the kapalika, and aghora, worship the Kal Bhairav.
- Harsiddhi: – Believed to have been built by King Vikramaditya. Legend says that the elbow (kurpara) of a goddess fell at the spot where the temple stands. In the temple, the idol of Annapurna is seated between the ones of Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Some locals believe that it was built by Lord Vishnu himself. The temple was originally situated on a hill-top, facing the sea.
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- Ram Ghat: – Extremely popular as one of the venues of Kumbh Mela, Ramghat bit a place where millions of pilgrims gather during the event. The renowned aarti and the ghat itself are considered to be as old as Kumbh-Mela itself
- Kaliadeh Palace: – Kaliadeh Palace is a delight for history buffs. This site is often referred as sun temple. It is believed to be there at the same place where it stands. In SkandaPuran, an ancient Indian text, there is mentioning of it and of two tanks.
- Bhartrihari Caves: – They lie on the banks of Shipra near the Gadkalika Temple. As cited in mythology, in this area, assumed brother of Vikramaditya, Bhartrihari stayed and was engaged in spiritual contemplation after he gave his material life.
- Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan Museum: – It is famous and situated close to Chamunda tower and houses a large number of historic mementos and articles. According to Hindu mythology, it’s the same area where Lord Krishna was taught along with Sudama and Balarama under the guidance of Maharishi Sandipani. The ashram of Sandipani is a testament of this legend.