About Ujjain

About Ujjain

Meaning of Ujjain

According to numerology analysis it stands for association and the union of couples and symbolizes the partner in relationships.

Information about Ujjain

Ujjain is an ancient city besides the Kshipra River in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated about 60 kms. from Indore. Ujjain is one of the greatest cities of ancient India and one of the seven sacred cities of Hindus in India. It is also one of the four towns where the Kumbh Mela is held and plays as a host up to a million pilgrims who gather on the place every twelve years. Various people came here to bath in the Kshipra river and worship at the temples on its banks. According to Hindu astronomers, it is also the city from where the Tropic of Cancer pass. This explains the presence of the observatory (Vedha Shala) built by the Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1725. Even today, the Ephemeris tables (predicted positions of the planets) are published here. Ujjain is also known for industry and crafts.
It is also home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. An ancient seat of learning, Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received his education from Maharshi Sandipani. It is also known as the city of Temples. According to legend, the river Kshipra that flows across Ujjain is regarded to have originated owing to the churning of the gods and goddesses.


Various mythological tales, revolve regarding the origin of the city and its selection as a site for Maha Kumbh Mela. It is believed that the origin of Ujjain is ascribed to Sagar Manthan (churning of ocean in greed of several gems and immortal drink) performed by gods and demons. But when the vessel of Immortality drink (Amrit) appeared from the bed of ocean, a struggle between gods and demons started and as a result of this fight and chase, few drops of Amrit fell on the earth at four places, namely, Nasik, Haridwar, Prayag and Ujjain. Therefore, Kumbh Mela is organized at all these four places after an interval of 12 years. The upcoming Mela will be held in 2028.
It all happened at Ujjain and that is the reason for its sacredness. In the ancient times and in the great Hindu epics, the Upanishads and the Puranas Ujjain was known as Avantika. According to the legend, the Lord Siva commemorated his victory over the demon ruler of Tripuri by changing the name of his capital to Ujjaiyini. Ujjaiyini means one who conquers with pride.
Various dynasties like the Sakas, Guptas, Paramaras, the governors of the Slave Dynasty of Delhi, Mughals and Marathas ruled over this prosperous city. It is also said to have been the seat of the viceroyalty of Ashoka during the reign of his father at Pataliputra (Patna) in 275 BC. Chandragupta II also transferred his capital from Pataliputra to Ujjain. The emperor Asoka’s sons were born here, and it was from here that they set out to preach Buddhism. The poet Kalidasa, wrote some of his works here and even the god Krishna is believed to have studied here. Kalidas described the city as the “town fallen from Heaven to bring heaven to earth.” Ujjain was also situated on a trade route to Mesopotamia and Egypt and consequently trade flourished.

People and culture of Ujjain

Being a popular pilgrim destination, Ujjain is thronged by large number of tourists round the year. Whether it is Ram Ghat at Kshipra River or the busy market area, every nook of the city reflects the hue of culture in its own. Ujjain is not only the land of Saivism followers but various other religious sects like Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Jainism also found a niche here. There are various Shakti temples too and people believing in Tantric rituals are also quite common.

Festivals of Ujjain – Simhasth or Kumbh

The city of Ujjain lives to its fullest glory during the period of Kumbh Mela, which is regarded as one the largest religious gatherings in the world. Kumbh is a Sanskrit word for Pitcher and referred to as the Kalash in Hindu customs.It is also a zodiac sign in Indian astrology for Aquarius, the sign under which the festival is celebrated. Mela means 'a gathering'.
During this fair, millions of pilgrims from all over the country gather here for a dip in the holy river. Kartik Mela is held in the month of November. This fair lasts for a month and draws large crowds from surrounding village.

Shopping in Ujjain

Ujjain is known for its dyers and printers of Bherugarh, a suburb of the town. The Chipas produce the most exquisite and colourful block-printed cloth for saris, tapestries, hangings, bed-sheets and floor coverings.

Tourist Attractions in Ujjain

There are a reasonably large number of places in Ujjain. Some places which can be visited in Ujjain are the Mahakaleshwar temple, Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir, Ghats, Kaliadeh Palace, Observatory and Maharaja Scindia’s Palace. The other famous temples are Chintaman Ganesh, Harsidddhi Mandir and Gadkalika.

Mahakaleshwar Temple

The Mahakaleshwar Temple with its soaring Shikhar (tower) dominates the skyline and life of Ujjain. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and houses the lingam of Lord Shiva. This temple is also an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. This temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, and believed to be swayambhu (born of itself), deriving its Shakti or power from within itself. The myths surrounding the jyotirlinga go back to the 2nd century BC and were clearly developed in order to explain and justify linga worship.

Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir

Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir is located close to the tank near Mahakaleshwar Temple. This temple enshrines a large sculpted image of Ganesh.

Kaliadeh Palace

The Kaliadeh Palace is situated about 8 km from the city centre. The Kaliadeh Palace is built on the banks of the Shipra river. This once imposing building was built by Mahmud Khilji in 1458. Akbar stayed here in 1601.


The Vedha Shala (observatory) was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur. This observatory is very small as compared with Jai Singh’s Jantar Mantars in Delhi and Jaipur and contains only five instruments.

How to get here

By Air: The nearest airport is located in Indore, about 53 km from Ujjain.
By Rail: Ujjain is located on the Bhopal–Nagda sector of the Western Railway.
By Road: Ujjain is connected with Indore, Ratlam, Gwalior, Mandu, Dhar, Kota and Omkareshwar.