Ujjain is situated on the Right Bank of Riverbank or River Shipra. It is a very holy city for the Hindus a site for the triennial Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu scriptures, it was originally called Avantika. There is an interesting tale behind the sanctity of the city. Its origin is ascribed to the mythological legend of Sagar Manbthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). The story goes that after the nectar was discovered, there was a chase between the gods and the demons to have the nectar first and thus attain immortality. During this chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred. Apart from mythological legends, the city has a long and distinguished history. It was governed by the likes of Vikramaditya and Ashoka. Kalidas wrote his soul stirring poetry here.
Location: Right Bank of River Shipra
Original Name: Avantika
Attractions: Kumbh Mela, Mahakaleshwara Temple
Today, Ujjain represents an interesting blend of an age-old legacy and the modern day lifestyle.
This temple of Lord Shiva with its lingam is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. It is also known as the shrine of Mahakaleshwara. The temple has an idol of Omkareshwara Shiva consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal Shrine. The temple also mages of Ganesh, Parvati, Kartikeya and Shiva's Bull, Nandi.
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir:
There is a sculpted image of Lord Ganesh, ion this temple, close to the tank near Mahakaleshwar.
A temple of considerable antiquity and a popular place of pilgrimage, the idol here is believed to be self-formed.
According to legend, the caves on the banks of the river Shipra near Gadkalika Temple are where the great scholar-poet Bhartrihari lived and meditated.
Another Important shrine with the image of Goddess Annapurna.
The specialty of this temple is its intricate paintings in the Malwa style.
The stars and the skies seemed fascinating in the 17th century too. That would perhaps explain the number of observatories that we have in India. Even this 17th century observatory has a planetarium and a telescope.
Vikram Kirti Mandir:
This Mandir has the Scindia Oriental Research Institute, an archaeological museum and an art gallery. Actually, a cultural center, it is dedicated to the memory of King Vikramaditya - the much honored King of Ujjain.
A sanctum inlaid with marble and silver plated doors constitute the main attraction of this temple.
The ruling planets have always had an important place in the Indian rituals and tradition. This temple is dedicated to the nine ruling planets (Navagraha means nine planets) It is located on the Triveni Ghat of the Shipra river.
Having one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, obviously, Mahashivratri is a big event here. Thousand of pilgrims flock to the fair grounds near the famous Mahakaleshwar temple and fast and worship throughout the night.
Simhastha Kumbh Mela:
It is a mammoth fair, held once in twelve years at Simhastha. The magnificence and awesome spectacle of the bathing ritual defies description.