The city of Ujjain is well-known for its temples and for its role as the host of the Kumbh Mela, every twelve years. Ujjain tourism sees a sharp spike during the Kumbh Mela with millions of people descending upon the city on the banks of the river Shipra. Ujjain has religious as well as historical significance and people from all over the country come here for various reasons. The city has been around since 600 BC when it was an important political centre. Today, this Madhya Pradesh city continues to be an important place of pilgrimage for many people who worship Shiva.
Ujjain tourism is more often than not, a pilgrimage for the many people who come here. However, people who are fascinated with the different architectural elements of temples and the different styles of construction will find plenty to keep them busy here. Ujjain is home to 108 temples, so that’s a lot of exploring to do!
Ujjain has been founded on the banks of the river Shipra and is located on the Malwa plateau. The city is also famous for the tropic of cancer that passes through the Mahakal Temple. In fact, as early as 4BC, it has been used as the first meridian of longitude in Hindu geography.
Ujjain’s climate is humid subtropical. Summers can be intensely hot, and they begin in March and continue until late June. Sometimes temperatures can go as high as 45 degrees which makes it extremely difficult to travel. Monsoon is from late June to late September and there are thunderstorms and downpours. Although it cools down the temperature, it can become difficult for moving around in the city. Winters are cool and dry, and mostly comfortable.
Ujjain tourism destinations are deeply connected with the religious nature of the city. More often than not people come here to visit the temples and be a part of something larger. The culture here is rooted in religion. Since it is considered to be a temple town, much of tourism in Ujjain highlights its spiritual elements.
Ujjain is one of the oldest cities in India and according to history, it was the home of King Ashoka as well. Visitors to the city who are looking to enjoy Ujjain tourism will nevertheless be directed to some of the famous temples here such as the Mahakaleshwar Temple. This temple has five levels, one of which is underground. People come to this Shiva temple to take in the glory of Shiva and to feel a deeper connection with a higher power. There are also images of Ganesh, Parvati, Kartikeya and Nandi in this temple. There’s an idol of Nagchandreshwar which is open for viewing only on the occasion of Nag Panchami.
Further along, there’s the Hara Siddhi temple which is another sacred spot and a must-visit destination for many temple goers. Dedicated to goddess Annapurna who is seated between Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, has been painted a dark red colour. The temple has distinct Maratha features and is often on the itinerary of those who want to see the many different facets of temples in Ujjain.
Some of the other temples here include Chintaman Ganesh Temple located near Mahakaleshwar Temple’s tank. There is a huge sculpture of Lord Ganesh here and people from all over the country come here to pay their respects to this beloved god. At the centre of this temple, there’s a statue of Hanuman with five faces. Each of these faces represents courage, loyalty, strength, righteousness and devotion. This is truly a spectacular statue and visitors are often awed by it.
Another temple that people that people definitely try to visit when they come to Ujjain is the Ram Mandir. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. The idols depict him seated with his wife Sita on one side and his brother Laxman on the other side. This temple is indeed one of the most beautiful temples in terms of architecture. It must not be missed during your visit to this holy city. Everything here – from the sculptures to the paintings are unique and noteworthy.
If you are looking for a more tranquil experience and want to stay away from the throngs that usually crowd temples, the park in Vikram University could very well serve your purpose. The university itself is quite famous and was established in 1957. The park is full of greenery and is lined with shady trees. It is the perfect place to enjoy a moment of solitude where you can sit back and relax and watch life go by.
Some of the other temples here are Mangalnath temple, ISKCON Ujjain Temple, Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir, Gadkalika Temple, Gopal Mandir and of course the famed Kal Bhairava temple. For a more erudite experience, head over to the Jantar Mantar or the Vikram Kirti Mandir Museum. There’s much you can learn about astronomy and gaze at stars at the former. At the latter though, you can brush up your knowledge of the Maurya age. Bibliophiles will be fascinated by the many ancient manuscripts here. While anyone with even a modicum of love for history will love to look at the coins, copper plates and even fossils that were unearthed in the Narmada Valley.
If you are making plans to visit Ujjain, do take a moment to check the SOTC website for some excellent offers and deals on Ujjain tour packages.