Ujjain is the modern name for Ujjayini. Legend has it that in the hoary
past, the God like king Shiva of Avanti commemorated his victory over the
demon-ruler of Tripura or Tripuri on the banks of the Narmada by changing
the name of his capital, Avantipura to Ujjayini (one who conquers with pride).
The magnificence and awesome spectacle of the bathing ritual at Simhastha
defies description. Beginning on the full moon day in Chaitra (April), it
continues into Vaishakha (May), until the next full moon day. Ujjain turns,
amidst a riot of colours, into an India in miniature.
Places of Interest
Ujjain lay on the main trade route between North India and Deccan going
from Mathura via Ujjain to Mahismati (Maheshwar) on the Narmada, and on
to Paithan on the Godavari, western Asia and the West. The Northern black
polished ware - the NBP as it is often called which is technically the finest
pottery of the time, with a brilliantly burnished dressing almost of the
quality of a glaze in colour from jet black to a deep grey or metallic blue
and iron, found their way to the northern Deccan from the Gangetic plains
through Ujjain. The articles of export to the western Asia such as precious
stones and pearls, scents and spices, perfumes, silks and muslin, reached
the port of Brighukachcha from the remote north through Ujjain. All this
finds a detailed and interesting description in the Periplus of the Erythrean
Sea, an account of an unknown Greek merchant who made a voyage to India
in the second half of the first century AD. The Periplus talks of a city
called Ozene to the east of Barygaza (Broach) which fed all commodities
to trade like onyx, porcelain, fine muslin and quantities of ordinary cottons,
spikenard , costus bodellium to this important port and to other parts of
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir
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.
Chintaman GaneshThe 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
These caves are situated just above the bank of the Shipra near the temple
of Gadkalika. According to popular tradition, this is the spot where Bhartrihari,
who is said to have been the step brother of Vikramaditya, lived and meditated
after renouncing worldly life. He is believed to have been a great scholar
and poet. His famous works, Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak, and Nitishatak,
are known for the exquisite use of the Sanskrit meter.
Situated on the banks of the Shipra, the island-like site immediately conjures
up the natural beauty of ancient Ujjain which poets down the ages have waxed
lyrical. The glorious landscape of the flowing river on both sides of the
palace and the man-made tanks and channels, with water gurgling through
them, provide a spectacular backdrop to the imposing building.