Regarded as one of the seven sacred cities for Hindu community, Ujjain is an ancient city located on the banks of Shipra River in Madhya Pradesh. The temple town is located on the banks of the Shipra River and was known as Ujjayini in ancient times. It is mentioned in Hindu epic Mahabharat, as the capital city of Avanti Kingdom. It is believed that two parts of the Skanda Purana were composed in the city.
The origin of Ujjain is connected to Sagar Manthan or (Churning of the ocean of milk) myth in Hindu mythology. Gods and the demons churned the ocean to collect Amrit which would grant immortality. While fleeing with the pot ofAmrit, four drops fell at four different places. Besides Ujjain , Allahabad, Haridwar and Nashik are the places whereAmrit fell. The Shipra River is also said to have originated as a result of the Sagar Manthan.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple, one of the 12 Jyotirling shrines of Lord Shiva is a must visit. Lord Krishna ( Hindu god and mythic figure) received education along with Balaram and Sudama from Maharishi Sandipani here in Ujjain.
Ujjain is a mix of the old and the new. The city’s heritage co-exists with the modern buildings.
Legend has also has it that Ujjain is one of the saptapuris, or the seven holy cities of India that grant moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Ujjain hosts the world famous Simhasth, or the the Kumbh Mela as it known here, every 12 years.
A brief history of Ujjain.
The earliest reference of the city, then known as Avantika, can be found from the time of Gautam Buddha.
The city of Ujjain has a rich history and has been ruled by many rulers like Vikramaditya, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya and Kalidasa. The city is mentioned in Buddhist literature as one of the four great powerful kingdoms along with Magadha, Kosala and Vatsa.
The city lies on the main trade route that connects North India to the Deccan that goes from Mathura to Mahismati (Maheshwar) via Ujjain.
Ashoka the Great, before he became emperor, lived near Ujjain as viceroy of the western provinces of the Mauryan Empire.
The city was invaded by forces led by Iltutmish in 1235 AD. The city became the capital of Malwa under the reign of Akbar. The city became the seat of power of the Scindias during the end of the 18th century. Later, Gwalior became the capital of the Scindias and Ujjain remained a part of the state of Gwalior till India got independence in 1947.