Ujjain, considered to be one of the holiest cities of India, is an ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Shipra River in the Malwa region. Ujjain is one of the four sites for the Kumbh Mela, the largest peace gathering on the planet that attracts millions of people to the festival. This makes Ujjain a region of high religious significance for the Hindus.
Ujjain is one of the most glorious cities of ancient India as it is also reckoned to be the educational hub of various Indian scholars. The immense wealth of Ujjain in terms of religion, architecture, and educational value makes this is a top attraction amongst not only Indian travellers but also foreign
First impressions don’t always impress. And that’s the case with Ujjain. But wander away from the chaotic station area towards the river ghats and some of Ujjain's famous temples, via the city's maze of alleyways, and you’ll discover an older, more spiritual side to Ujjain that has been attracting traders and pilgrims for hundreds of years. In the 4th – 5th centuries AD it was the second capital of the Gupta empire with the celebrated Sanskrit poet Kalidasa as one of its leading lights.
An undeniable energy pulses through the sacred sites here – not surprising given this is one of Hinduism’s seven sacred cities and also one of the four cities that hosts, every 12 years, the gigantic Kumbh Mela pilgrimage festival. An estimated 75 million people crowded into Ujjain during the month of its most recent Kumbh Mela in 2016.
The city is famous for the temple of Mahakaleshwar, one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, and a very sacred pilgrimage for the Hindus.
The old city is towards the North West part near the river. Most of the temples and bathing ghats are located here and offer a good chance to witness Indian culture and custom.
Mahakaleshwar temple is dedicated to the largely revered god - Lord Shiva. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and is designed just as intricately as the other 11 are. The temple, which is spread over five levels, evokes admiration and esteem for Lord Shiva, who reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain with all his magnificence.
Kal Bhairav temple is dedicated to god Kal Bhairav which is a fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. If ancient scriptures are to be believed, Kal Bhairav temple is said to be related with the Tantra cult, a secret religious sect who thrived upon black magic. There is a Shivalinga in this temple which, during Mahashivratri, attracts thousands of visitors to this religious site.
Ram Mandir Ghat is of immense religious significance to Hindus because it is one of the four locations where the Kumbh Mela takes place every 12 years.
The Kumbh Mela is a sacred mass pilgrimage of the Hindus where devotees gather to take a dip in a holy river. The Kumbh is held every three years in one of the four cities, Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. The last Kumbh Mela was held in Ujjain in 2016. The next Kumbh Mela in Ujjain will be held in 2028 while the next Kumbh Mela will be at Allahabad in 2019.
Best time to visit
October to March