Top 10 Things Ujjain Is Famous For

ujjain is famous for
| 5 min read

Ujjain has a long history of spiritual and cultural significance in India, tracing back to 700 BC when it was the Avanti kingdom’s capital. The location runs along the holy river Shipra, one of the most sacred in India, and today, the place is considered one of the seven holiest cities in India. It’s an important pilgrimage spot, hosting myriads of important religious events, including Kumbh Mela. It has many temples, many of which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, such as the famous Mahakaleshwar Temple. If you want to pay a visit or learn more about this place, there are some fascinating facts worth knowing. Read on to discover things Ujjain is famous for.

1. Mahakaleshwar Temple

Shri Mahakaleshwer Temple at ujjain - panoramio - Gyanendra Singh Chau…
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gyanendra_Singh_C... used under CC BY 3.0

Out of the 12 shrines in the country devoted to Lord Shiva (Jyotirlingas), Mahakaleshwar Temple, strategically located on the shores of the holy river Shipra in Ujjain, is the most revered. It is a famous pilgrimage site for the Hindus and the only place where the bhasm aarti (ash ritual) is held. The ash from funeral pyres, used as one of the offerings to Lord Shiva during the bhasm aarti, distinguishes others. The visually captivating event is held every morning around 4 am. The serene spiritual atmosphere, the intricate carvings of the sanctuary’s pinnacle (gumbaj), and the south-facing temple’s idol also add to this place’s uniqueness.

Mahakaleshwar Temple

Address: Jaisinghpura, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456006, India

Website: Mahakaleshwar Temple

Opening hours: 4am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

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2. Pind Daan

Pind Daan
Source: Pixabay

Pind Daan is a compulsory last rite ritual done for a deceased soul by his family members, according to the Hindu culture. The ceremony is vital for the dead to find salvation or moksha in the land of the beyond, and the Hindu priests or Brahmin pandits head it. It’s held on the banks of holy waters. Ujjain is known for its grand temples along the sacred River Shipra, including the Ram Ghat and the Siddhwat Temple, which are popular sites for this event. Seven Pinds — a mold of wheat flours, oat, rice, mixed dried honey, and milk are offered during the ritual — one for the departed soul and six for the ancestors.

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3. Pilgrimage center (Hinduism)

Source: Photo by Flickr user Nitin Badhwar used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The ancient city of Ujjain has many features that make it a popular pilgrimage site for the Hindus. According to Hindu beliefs, Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities (Saptapuris) that grant moksha. The place is home to the 12 Jyotirlingas and many other holy temples, and it sits along the holy river Shipra. In ancient times, the location used to be the seat of learning religious Hindu texts, and even today, it’s a place of interest for scholars who want to dig deep into Hindu mythology. It hosts the Kumbh Mela, a grand Hindu pilgrimage that converges at least 200 million faithful worldwide.

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4. Educational hub

Education in India
Source: PX Fuel

Since ancient times, Ujjain has been an educational hub. It has attracted the most proficient scholars worldwide, including Balrama and Krishna, who schooled at Sandipani Ashram. The wealth of Krishna’s wisdom and knowledge is attributed to the city’s rich educational status during that time. Fast forward to present times, the educational legacy of this location is very much alive. It has extended to other places in the state, with two-thirds of its population being educated. With myriads of schools of all levels, including specialized institutions of crafts, industrial arts, and polytechnics, this heritage is not going away any time soon.

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5. Vedh Shala Observatory

" Sun Dial "Jantar Mantar at the Ved Shala (Observatory), Ujjain - panoramio (4)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gyanendra_Singh_C... used under CC BY 3.0

Since the 4th century BC, Ujjain has been considered India’s Greenwich by Hindu scholars and astrologers. Vedh Shala Observatory was built to help them further study the movement and positions of celestial bodies. It was erected in the 18th century by Amber’s ruler — Raja Jai Singh, who also helped in translating Ptolemy and Euclid’s works from Arabic to Sanskrit. Nowadays, the observatory is a point of attraction for curious tourists interested in Indian astrology. Instruments (yantras) used in those days are now marked with plaques in English and Hindi to identify their uses. Some devices within the building are still used to carry out research even today.

Vedh Shala Observatory

Address: Chintaman Rd, Jabsinghpura, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456010, India

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5:30pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 1 - 3 USD

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6. Ram Mandir

Ram ghat, Ujjain
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shruti Lata used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ram Mandir is a temple situated by the holy river Shipra’s banks, with sophisticated architecture, beautiful paintings, and intricate sculptures dedicated to Lord Ram. It was initially built in the 17th century by Raja Jai Singh, and the Maratha paintings, which adorn the walls, were added during the Maratha era in the 18th century. Within, you will find many essential sculptures — including the Lakshman, Lord Ram, and Sita’s cast with Hanuman’s carve at their feet. Some of the arts in this sanctuary were produced earlier and installed later, such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesha, crafted in the 12th century, and the 10th-century Vishnu model.

Ram Mandir

Address: Ksheer Sagar, Malipura, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 456006, India

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7. ISKCON Ujjain Temple

Iskon Temple Ujjain - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gyanendrasinghcha... used under CC BY 3.0

ISKCON is one of the most vibrantly decorated temples in Ujjain dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is situated close to the Nanakheda bus stop and sees a host of dancing and chanting faithful every hour of the day. Balarama and Krishna’s incarnations, set within the three sanctums of the sanctuary, are beautified by expensive jewelry and eye-catching colors to behold. The surroundings of the complex features tastefully mowed lawns, and the white marble stone employed on the finishings of the exterior is picture-worthy.

ISKCON Ujjain Temple

Address: Hare Krishna Land, 33-37, Administrative Zone, Bharatpuri, Madhya Pradesh 456010, India

Website: ISKCON Ujjain Temple

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 1pm, 4pm - 9am (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: Free

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8. Gomti Kund

Kund at Maharshi Sandipani Ashram Ujjain - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gyanendrasinghcha... used under CC BY 3.0

Gomti Kund is a pond situated close to the renowned Sandipani Ashram and holds great significance to the Lord Krishna devotees. It’s believed that Krishna gathered the water in the pond from all the holy rivers for his teacher, Sandipani, to carry out his rituals. The water is said to be sacred. Hindus come to this place in their thousands every year to enjoy the calmness of the surroundings and collect the water in bottles to take home.

Gomti Kund

Address: Near Sandipani Ashram, Ujjain, India

Opening hours: 5am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 1 - 3 USD

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9. Kumbh Mela

Simhasth2016 Ujjain Snan1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Suyash Dwivedi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Kumbh Mela is celebrated to immortalize the most important events in Hindu Mythology — Samudra Manthan. The festival, held once every 12 years, welcomes Hindus from all religious spheres, from the Hermits who come out from their seclusion only during the event to the ordinary faithful. The ceremony is a colorful one, with many cultural activities, including the shining of swords and processions on elephant backs and chariots called Akharas. It’s rotated between four different locations — the banks of Shipra at Ujjain, the Godavari at Nashik, Sarasvati at Allahabad, River Ganga at Haridwar. Kumbh Mela is the largest religious gathering in the world where devotees soak themselves in the rivers with the belief that it will cleanse their sins.

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10. Shipra Ghat

Shipra River, Ujjain
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bernard Gagnon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Shipra River is the holiest in India, with notable mentions in archaic Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu scriptures. The city of Ujjain comfortably sits along this water body with many shrines and temples dotting its banks, also called ghats. The most ancient and revered ghat is the Ram ghat, which is 1.24 miles (2 km) long. It is the site of the famous Kumbh Mela. A Hindu ritual called Shipra arati occurs every evening where a plethora of oil lamps on flowers and leaves are set afloat the river. The sight is more intriguing during the grand Kumbh Mela.

Shipra Ghat/River

Address: Madhya Pradesh India

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Ujjain's significance

In ancient times, this city was known as the cultural, political, and commercial center. And although much of this significance was diminished during the British administration, its spiritual, education, and cultural importance is still felt even today. These form many of the things Ujjain is famous for.

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Ibrahim is a passionate writer with a keen interest in traveling. He not only travels to discover the world but also himself. And when it comes to writing, Ibrahim loves to keep it simple with a...Read more

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