Ujjain is one of the most preferred destinations for pilgrims because one Jyotirlinga out of the twelve is situated here. It is one of the seven holy destinations of India. This city is also named as “Avantika”, “Vishala”, “Kumudwati”, “Pratikalpa” and Kushasthali etc. in the famous Purans of Hindus. This city is situated at a height of 491.74 meter from sea level at Malwa Plateau in India. It is at the eastern bank of river Kshipra.
History of Ujjain
India is a land of saints. Different saints have taken birth on this land and similarly many have taken birth in Ujjain. In ancient times the presently known Madhya Pradesh was divided into three regions. These regions are known as Malwa, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand. Among those three Malwa is said to be most holy and religious one. It is also said that Lord Krishna and Balrama has taken there teachings from Malwa region. Maurya Ruler Ashoka’s son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra had born here. Out of the nine gems of Vikramaditya, Kalidas, Varahmihir, Shanku and Ghatakarpar are from Ujjain.
Talking about Ujjain history and not discussing about Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga makes it incomplete. It is believed that Mahakaleshwar Temple was present since Dwapar Yug (A name of an era in Hindu mythology), even before the birth of Lord Krishna. The temple was discovered during the rule of King Pradyot. In Year 1234 (Approximately), Iltutmish, a Mughal Emperor demolished this temple. In 18th century, Ranoji Shinde a Maratha commissioner reconstructed the temple.
- The famous Kumbh mela of is organized here after every twelve year at bank of river Kshipra.
- The city is also known as Greenwich of India as tropic of cancer passes through it.
- The famous temple Mahakaleshwar is divided into three parts. On the upper most part is Nagchandreshwar Mandir which is opened once in a year on Nag Panchami. In second part is Omkareshwar Mandir and lower most part has the Mahakelshwar Jyotirlinga.
- The famous Hindu calendar Vikram Samvat is established here in Ujjain which is used for many time based calculations like sun rise, sunset, Solar and Lunar Eclipse and festival dates. Nepal has accepted Vikram Samvat as their official calendar.
Places to visit in Ujjain
Ujjain is not only a sacred city of Mahakal. But it also has many other sacred destinations which make this place even more divine. Such Places are:
- Koti Tirth Kund: Kund is a kind of small reservoir of water. This Kund is situated in the Mahakaleshwar temple complex and has its own religious importance.
- Kal Bhairav Mandir: This temple is famous for the fact that the statue of Lord Bhairav drinks alchohol which is offered by the devotees.
- Ram Ghat: is at the bank of river Kshipra. Evening Aarti at Ram Ghat attracts everyone in Ujjain.
- Jantar Mantar: It is one of the five observatories in India. It is used for calculations related to time and calendar making.the five main instruments here are Surya Ghadi (Clock of Sun), Nadi Valaye Yantra (calculate equinotical days) , Digansh Yantra (observes celestial objects), Bhitti Yantra and Shanku Yantra (Conical Instrument).
- Gadh Kalika Devi Mandir: This temple is situated at a distance of 2 Km from the city Ujjain. It is famous for the time of poet Kalidas who is a devotee of goddess Gadfh Kalika Devi.
- Sandipani Ashram: The name of this ashram was because of Maharishi Sandipani. It is the main “Gurukul (A name of school in ancient India)” of India. It is said that Krishna and Balrama has taken their teaching from Maharishi Sandipani in this Ashram.
- Cintaman Ganesh Mandir: This place is also situated at a distance of 6 Km. approx from Ujjain. In Hindu month of Chaitra (In March or April) a fair is organized here every year. Near this temple a small water reservoir is situated known as Ban Ganga.
- Harsiddhi Devi Temple: This temple is famous from the time of rule of King Vikramaditya. He is a devotee of Harsiddhi Devi. Also many mythological stories are related to this temple are famous in Ujjain.
There are many other places too which makes this place a hub of pilgrims. Mahakaleshwar Temple compound has many other temples too. The nearest Airport to reach Ujjain is Indore Airport which is about 60 Km from Ujjain. Nearest railway station for reaching Ujjain is Ujjain Railway Station. This city has great accommodation facility. One can get accommodation according to his / her budget. One can visit many other cities and town of near Ujjain such as Indore (60 Km from Ujjain), Omkareshwar (150 Km from Ujjain), Maheshwar (150 Km from Ujjain), Mandu (150 Km from Ujjain) and Bhopal (200 Km from Ujjain). Omkareshwar and Maheshwar are also two major pilgrim destinations.
Ujjain has its own religious importance. Despite this region is ruled greatly by many Mughal emperors, this city still contain the many mythological and historical importance which makes it a”Divine Destination.”
Indore lies in western region of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. It is often considered as the industrial capital of state due to its rapid growth and economic growth. It is also considered as the tourism hub as it is surrounded by some magnificent holy and heritage tourism destinations like Ujjain, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Mandu etc. Indore city itself is a historic city of Malwa region and tourists often do Indore sightseeing to explore this city. Their are many popular places to visit in Indore that tourist can visit during city tour. Here we have tried to some of the those popular places:
- Rajwada: It is a 7-storyed historical palace of Hokar rulers built in 1749, in Indore city. Rajwada is a eminent tourist attraction of city. It is 250 years old heritage building in which first 3-stories are made of stone and remaining structure is of wood. It is located at city center in surrounded by busy wholesale markets.
- Lalbagh Palace: It is a historical site made under Holkar dynasty rule, built over 4 acres of land at 72 acres area of Lal bagh. It lies in south-west of Indore city and easily accessible from all places and hotels. Lalbagh is close to RTO. Visiting time 10:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs, Monday Closed. It is a heritage building where we can visit to museum also to witness the royal past of Holkar dynasty and know more about the past of this region.
- Kanch Mandir: It is another popular place to visit during Indore city tour. Kanch mandir in Indore is a “Glass Temple” or temple in which glass has vital presence in decoration. It is a Jain temple built by Seth Hukumchand Jain in year 1903. He was a successful trader in that time and had his mansion named “Sheesh Mahal” means “Glass Palace”, just adjacent to temple. Although it is a Jain Temple but at the same time is a popular tourist attractions thus visited by tourists from all religions to appreciate its beauty and understand its features. It is open for visitors till 5:00 PM(17:00hrs) so visitors are requested to visit it before sun-set.
- Krishanpura Chattri Bagh: It is best place to visit for heritage tourism lovers. It is a place where royal Holkar royal family members were cremated and in their memory, cenotaphs were built. Chatri-bagh is located near the Khan River, and is characterized by a number of chhatris or memorial canopies. It was built in the later half of the 19th century at Krishnapura. The architecture style used is same as the Maratha architecture style. The basic elements of Hindus as well as the Mugals are also used here. Chhatri is a fine example of the architecture of the later Holkars. Built as an memorial of royalty .It was built at the place where Krishna Bai ( death in 1849 A.D.) was cremated. These dome shaped cenotaphs, with pyramidal spires on top, are built on the burial sites of the Holkars.
- Deoguradia: It is also called Devguradia. It is a popular hindu temple, dedicated to lord Shiva, located in the village called Devguradia thus its name is derived from it. It is approx. 8kms from Indore city on village at Nemavar road. It is a monolithic rock temple, built in 7th century thus very popular among local visitors.
- Gomatgiri: It is a pious hillock and a holy place for Jain religion devotees at outskirt of Indore city in eastern direction. Here 21ft. high statue of Gomateshwar is built with 24 other marble temples. This statue is a replica of Bahubali statue, built in Shravanabelagola in South India.
- Central Museum: It is also popularly known by the name of Indore museum. It is open for visitors from 10:00 am to 17:30 hrs and can be visited during Indore local sightseeing. It is open from visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. Location of Central museum is close to General Post Office building, near residency area. It has collection of ancient & medieval Jain & Hindu sculpture from Madhya Pradesh, of Gupt & Parmar reign. Monday Closed for visitors.
- Annapurna Temple: It is a popular temple, dedicated to Goddess Annapurna. As per Hindu mythology it is goddess who fulfills food requirement of human beings. In its first look, it seems to be a South India temple. It lies in south-west of Indore city and easily accessible by cabs and city bus service.
- Kamla Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya: It is zoological park in Indore city where we can find variety of wildlife species in captivity. It is children’s favorite place to visit in Indore. It lies in south-eastern part of Indore city.
- Meghdoot Garden: It is a famous natural park at outskirts of Indore city. It is spread over a large area and offers sometime to spend in natural surrounding thus during weekends, we can find large number of visitors in this park. It lies in north-east of Indore city and well connected by road.
- Khajrana: It is a popular holy place to visit in Indore, laying in north-east of Indore city. It is famous Lord Ganesha temple built by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar during her ruling period thus a popular sacred place for Indore citizens. It is very popular among Indore citizens.
- Gandhi Hall: It is a heritage building, constructed in year 1904. Its was originally named as King Edward Hall and after independence, it was renamed as Gandhi Hall in 1948. Gandhi hall in Indore has 4-faced clock tower building is mainly used for book/painting exhibition & sales. Although its name is Gandhi hall but it is no way associated with Mahatma Gandhi. It is close to Indore Railway station at city center and tourists often visit it from outside and capture its architectural beauty in their cameras.
- Patalpani Fall: It is a seasonal fall, located at a distance of 35 kms from Indore city. Patalpani is a popular picnic spot for Indore citizens and during monsoon period we can find beautiful waterfall scenery in this fall. Its height is approx. 250-300 feet and region is surrounded by forested vegetation.
- Tincha Fall: It is a water-fall in Berchha region, about 25 kms from Indore city. This fall lies in south-east of Indore city and well connected by road. Height of this fall is approx. 300 ft. Best time to visit Tincha fall is from July to October month as during monsoon period, its beauty is at its peak.
- Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a popular nature tourism destination around Indore city. It lies in 20 kms south-east of Indore city and popular for birding and mammals sightseeing. Some of the prominent wildlife attractions in Ralamandal wildlife sanctuary are Sambar, Leopard, Black buck, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Wild boar etc. It was established in year 1989.
- Pipliyapala Regional Park: It is a popular nature tourism lake site on the southern part of Indore city where tourists can spend their valuable time during local sightseeing of Indore. Here boating is the popular activity to do during sightseeing.