Ujjain is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River, today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.
In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom, and has been the Prime Meridian for Hindu geographers since the 4th century BCE. 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 with Balarama and Sudama from Maharshi Sandipani.
Ancient monuments and tourist sites in Ujjain
The Mahakal Temple, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, is a famous and venerated Shiva temple. The Shivling in this temple is supposed to be the only Jyotirling which faces south and hence it is known as Dakshinmukhi or the south-facing ling. It is the most popular and important temple of Ujjain. Every year on shivratri (claimed to be the Birthday of Lord Shiva), there is a huge crowd of devotees for darshan. The same kind of public crowd can be seen in the month of Savaan, NagPanchami. On every Monday of "Savan", there is a huge procession for the Lord Shiva idol in the city attended by large numbers of devotees from across the India.
Mahakal derives its name from "kaal" meaning end of life - death; the word Mahakaal means Lord of Death.
Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan Temple, of the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) or Hare Krishna Movement, also has a guest house and restaurant, and is a major attraction for tourists, though it is very new on the map of Ujjain.
The temple of Chintaman Ganesh is the biggest ancient temple of Lord Ganesha in Ujjain.
The temple of Maa Wagheshvari is known for its tall idol of the goddess Wagheshwari and "Sinh (lion) - Dwar (gate)".
The Harsidhhi Temple is one of the Shaktipeeth, situated at 52 places in India.
The Sandipani Ashram is where tradition says Shri Krishna was educated with Balarama and Sudama from Maharshi Sandipani.
The Siddha Ashram, located between Ramghat and Narshinghat, is known for research in Ayurvedic medicine and Kundalini Shaktipat.
The Kaliyadeh Palace, located on the outskirts of the city, is one of the palaces belonging to royal Scindia family of Madhya Pradesh.
The Bhrathari caves is an ancient site which has some interesting legends associated with it.It is said that it holds tunnels which lead directly to 4 ancient dhams (char dham).these ways were later shut down by britishers.
The Observatory (Vedha Shala) built by a Rajput king, Raja Jai Singh II, in the 1720s, is one of the five such observatories in India and features ancient astronomical devices.
The Prashanti Dham is a holy place, where Sai Baba's Ashram is situated.
Jain temples: Jai Singh Pura Atishay Kshetra, Tapobhoomi, Avanti Parshwanath, Hanumant baag,Manibhadradham Bhairavgarh.
The Kothi Palace presents a sight worth watching in the evening.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan museum, located near Chamunda tower, holds many ancient objects.
The throne of Maharaja Vikramaditya, known as the "seat of judgment (salabanjika throne)" may be located in the Rudra Sagar lake.
Other temples are Harsidhhi (Durga Temple), Gadh Kalika, Kaal Bhairav, Triveni (Nav Graha Shani Mandir), Mangalnaath, Siddhhanath and Shiv Shakti.