Welcome to Ujjain,
Ujjain (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri),is an district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River. Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus, and the Kumbh Mela religious festival is held there every 12 years. It is also home to Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva and is also the place where Lord Krishna got education.
Sculptures and monasteries have been found sprinkled around Ujjain, leading to the credence that Buddhism thrived here in the 4th century. Ujjain's relevance is not constrained to the small circle of a religious place. Apart from that, this city was a haven of astronomers, and great poets. Besides this Ujjain was ruled over by many greatest rulers who have given out their best to this historic city. The illustrious kings of the Gupta dynasty whose reign is considered as the golden rule of India belonged to Ujjain.
TheSimhastha Kumbh Mela 2016 Ujjain M.P. in India held after every 12 years enhances the city's importance as a tourist hub. Following are popular tourist places in Ujjain, visited by tourists throughout the year, most of which are of religious significance.
The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendour reigns eternal in Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its shikhara soaring into the skies, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupation's, and provides an unbreakable link with past traditions.
According to Hindu scriptures, the universe is seen as consisting of three regions-the sky, the earth and the nether. Mahakal is Lord of the earth. Out of the 12 Jyotirlingas, only Mahakal is known as the Lord of the earth and Lord of the death. The meaning of Mahakal is taken as Lord of Time and also Lord of death. In astronomical calculations, Shanku Yantra is an important instrument. It is believed that at the centre of earth Ujjain at the place of that shanku yantra the Jyotirlinga Mahakala is established. From this place the astronomical calculations for the entire world was done.
Ved Vyas sang glory of Mahakala in Mahabharat and so did poets like Kalidas, Banbhatt and Bhoja. In 11th century, the temple was renovated during Parmar regime. In 1234, Sultan Iltutmish of Delhi attacked on Ujjain and demolished Mahakal temple. From the Shivapuran reference, it appears that the temple was built eight generations before Nanda, the guardian of Lord Krishna. Perhaps at that time the Jyotirlinga was established. The Shikhar of the temple has been high and the premises been large from ancient times. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is situated below ground level in the main temple. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the south.
The present temple of Mahakaleshwar located near a lake is set upon a spacious courtyard and surrounded by massive walls. It has five levels, one of which is underground. The Shikhar is sculptural finery. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum. The present beautiful temple was constructed by Sukhtankar Ramchandra Baba Shenavi, a divan of Ranoji Shinde during Bajirao Peshwa regime in 18th century.
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is situated below ground level(Garbhagriha) in the main temple. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the south. This is a unique feature upheld by tantric traditions to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas. Due to these considerations, worship of Shri Mahakal with vedic mantras proves fruitful for the devotee. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Kartikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nagpanchmi.
To attend Bhasma Arti in Mahakaleshwar is desire for every Hindu devotee. Mahakal and Bhasma Arti are synonymous with each other. Bhasma means ash. Mahakaleshwar is the only Jyotirlinga temple,where the Bhasma Arti is performed. Amidst vedic chants and strotras and sounds of cymbals, conchs and damru, the Bhasma arti is performed every morning (Except the second day of Mahashivaratri).
The Harsiddhi temple is one of the 52 Shakti Peeths situated all over India. According to legend, Shiva married Sati, the daughter of Daksha, a Prajapati who was proud of his position and disliked his ascetic son-in-law. In an effort to put his son-in-law in his place, Daksha organized a yagna and deliberately did not invite Shiva. Hearing of the grand yagna, sati visited it by herself, ignoring her husband's advice, and, furious with her father for thus deliberately ignoring her husband, cast herself into the flames lit for the yagna. Her act led to Shiva's ganas going berserk with rage, and Shiva himself arriving at the scene and dancing the Tandava (the angry dance) with sati's body in his arms. While Shiva was later calmed down and amends made, it is believed that parts of Sati's body fell on earth as He danced, and each of these (totaling 52 in number) are revered as Shakti Peeths.
There is a small shrine just outside the temple dedicated to Mahamaya. This shrine is situated a little below ground level and is approachable by steps, but is closed to visitors. The importance of this shrine is a lamp which burns day and night and has been burning so for ages. The only person who enters the sanctum is the pujari who visits it several times a day for offering prayers to the goddess and maintaining the lamp.
One among the shaktipeeths of Hindu Mythology, Harsiddhi Temple, in Ujjain is the abode of numerous Goddesses of Hindu Pantheon. One among the fascinating aspect of this shrine is the structure which is made up of a rock smeared with turmeric paste and vermilion .The temple turns magnificient on the eve of the Navaratri festival, when hundreds of lamps on the 15 feet lamp stand being lit together.
Yet another characteristic feature of the marvelous shrine is the presence of Sri Yantra, or nine triangles that represent nine names of Goddess Durga. This lovely shrine also houses images of other goddess also. The famous dark vermilion image of Annapurna, the Goddess of Nourishment, and the idol of Mahasaraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom and Knowledge are significant for their typical Maratha architecture.
It is located on the suburban of Ujjain, Gadkalika Temple is devoted to Goddess Kalika. This pretty shrine holds an astonishing legend which states that, Kalidasa, the great poet had obtained his actual skills by his genuine devotion to this deity. Gadkalika temple is the temple where Kalidasa got his boon from Maa. The Maa with her beautiful eyes is a joy to behold. The present temple is not very old. It is believed that it stands in the same site where the older temple stood. During 7th century, Harshavardhana modernized the temple. The former Gwalior rulers rebuilt this holy shrine to its former glory. Digging which was held near the temple premises unearthed bricks, a part of the plinth and other sculptures that were affiliated to various periods.
Kal Bhairava Temple said to have been built by king Bhadrasen on the banks of Shipra River. This ancient temple is dedicated to Kal Bhairava, the chief among the eight Bhairavas. The worship of Kal Bhairava is a part of Shaivite tradition, mainly by the Kapalika and Aghora sects. The striking feature of the Kal Bhairava Temple is its exquisite paintings in Malwa style, only traces of which are noticeable.
Lord Kal Bhairava is the manifestation of Lord Shiva who is said to oversee the time ahead. It is also said that the "Time lost is lost forever", so one should make a good use of time in Life. The Kal Bhairava Temple is the place where Lord Kal Bhairava is being worshipped. This is a must see for the devotees of the Shaivaites.
Since time cannot be restored the people say that the Kal Bhairava should be worshipped. Time must be spent keeping in view that spiritual progress is necessary in lives of men. So, people go to the Kal Bhairava temple in order to worship Kal Bhairava, Kal Bhairava is also known as Khetrapala and he is regarded as the guardian of the temple that is why the keys of the Kal Bhairava temple is to be kept at the temple premise at night and no one should carry it elsewhere. Since Kal Bhairava is also the protector of the travelers, one should make a garland of Cashew nuts and give it to the God along with lighting a lamp so that he is pleased and save the traveler from any danger. This is to be done especially if the journey is at night. Since dog is the vehicle of the Lord, it is very auspicious to feed dogs which show our respect to Kal Bhairava. All the offerings to the Kal Bhirava Lord are to be done at the day of Kal Bhairava Ashthami, when the lord is being worshipped with care and dedication.
The Shaivites worship eight Bhairavas and the Kal Bhairava is the most important. It is thought that the temple of Kal Bhairava has been erected by the King Bhadrasen. This was done at the banks of the river Shipra, whose iridescent view rejuvenates the traveler and sanctifies him of his sins. The Kapalika and the Aghora sects usually worship Kal Bhairava. The temple of Kal Bhairava is therefore very important to them. Liquor is offered to the lord as a part of the worship and the temple exhibits beautiful Malwa style of architecture. The paintings on the wall of the temple are however only visible in part.
The temple is built across the Shipra on the Fatehabad railway line. The Ganesh idol enshrined here is supposed to be swayambhu - born of itself. The temple itself is believed to be of considerable antiquity. Riddhi and Siddhi, the consorts of Ganesha, are seated on either side of Ganesha. The artistically carved pillars in the assembly hall date back to the Paramara period. Worshippers throng to this temple because the deity here is traditionally known as Chintaharan Ganesh meaning "the assurer of freedom from worldly anxieties".
The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement, was founded in 1966 by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. ISKCON is a worldwide association of devotees of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; its members consist of 10,000 temple devotees and 250,000 congregational devotees.
Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan Temple, of the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) or Hare Krishna Movement is newest on the map of Ujjain.
Its beautiful idols and architect is a major attraction for tourists. A well maintained goshala is present just behind the temple. The ISKCON temple is situated 3 km from railway station, on Dewas road.
Siddhavata at Ujjain is well known for its sanctity as Akshayavata of Prayag, Vamshivata of Vrindawan and Panchavata of Nasik. Post funeral rites are performed here at the Siddhavata ghat of holy Shipra. Skanda-purana has referred to this place as preta-shilla-tirth. According to some opinion Parvati performed her penances here. This has also been a place of worship for the followers of Nath sect.
Shipra abounds in tortoises at Siddhavata. Old coins of Ujjain are found to bear the imprintof tortoises along the river. This is also indicative of the fact that the tortoises must have flourished here even in the ancient period. It is said that Banyan tree was once sought to be vanished by cutting it off and covering it with iron sheets but its offshoots pierced through the iron sheets and this tree regained its foliation.
Mangalnath temple is located on the bank of river Shipra. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mangalnath Temple is a greatly respected holy place situated in Ujjain. According to the Matsya Purana it is known as the birth place of Mars. Far away from the flurry of the city life, Mangalnath Temple is placed on a serene surroundings and it overlooks the vast stretch of water in the majestic Shipra River. The temple is situated at the place where the first meridian is said to pass the earth and so this place was a renowned spot for a clear view of the planet and consequently it turned to be an apt place for astronomical studies.
Gopal temple at Ujjain is dedicated to Lord Krishna in blue form. It is also known as Dwarikadhish Temple. Lord Krishna is the lover of milkmaids, the celestial herdsman and the great incarnation of Preserver of the Universe-God Vishnu.
Gopal temple was constructed by Bayajibai Shinde, the queen of Maharajah Daulat Rao Shinde, in the 19th century. The steeple structure in Marble proves the fantabulous example of the architecture of Maratha. There is an outstanding statue of God Krishna in silver form with the height of 2 feet. The idol of God Krishna is placed on a marble-inlaid altar with the silver-plated doors.
This silver door was stolen away by Mahmud Ghazni from the Somnath Temple and then it was again taken away to Lahore by Mahmud Shah Abdali-The Afghan invader. Then it was recovered by Mahadji Scindia and it has been installed now in Gopal temple.
This temple situated above the tank near the Mahakaleshwar temple, enshrines a huge artistic sculpture of Ganesh, the son of Shiva. An idol of this size and beauty is rarely to be found. The middle of the temple is adorned by an idol of the pancha-mukhi (five faced) Hanuman. There is provision for learning of Sanskrit and Astrology in the temple
The Ganesh idol enshrined here is supposed to be swayambhu - born of itself. Worshippers throng to this temple because the deity here is traditionally known as Chintaharan Ganesh meaning "the assurer of freedom from worldly anxieties".
In the middle of the Ganesha temple lies a unique idol of loyalty and faith, that of the monkey-god, Hanuman. Nowhere else but in this temple Hanuman is depicted with five faces. Known as Panchamukhi (five-faced), Hanuman here symbolises courage, loyalty, devotion, strength, and righteousness. The Ganesha temple is also an important centre of learning. This reflects on the status of temples in ancient Vedic times, circa 1500 b.c. when houses of prayer were study centres too. This practice is prevalent even today in the South Indian temple complexes where idols are worshiped and religious teachings are imparted.
In Ujjain, the Bade Ganesha Ji Temple is an institute for teaching astrology and Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language considered the root of other Indian languages.