Places to Visit in Ujjain

The ancient city of Ujjain is one of the holiest cities of India and is a popular destination for many pilgrimages. There are as many as 108 temples in Ujjain. Some are spectacular, some a little less so, but there is the sense of devotion here that strikes visitors anew. Ujjain is located on the banks of the Shipra river and historically, it dates back to 600 BC. Ujjain tourist places apart from temples include palaces, the Jantar Mantar observatory and several other interesting places.

Ujjain is also one of the sites of the Kumbh Mela, a magnificent event that attracts millions of people during the days that it is held. While Ujjain is indeed popular with temple goers, it is nonetheless the sort of place that is completely imbued with spirituality. In fact, the poet Kalidasa is said to have remarked that it is a town that has fallen from heaven to make heaven on earth. If you are making plans to visit Ujjain, then do check the SOTC website for excellent offers and deals on Ujjain packages.

Here are some of the must-visit places in Ujjain.

This temple is one of the top places to visit in Ujjain. It is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus and is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The temple design itself is impressive as it is inspired by Maratha and Chalukya styles of design. There are also several religious inscriptions carved inside. The temple is spread over five levels and every year a number of festivals and celebrations take place. Also, every day there is a Bhasm Aarti which begins before dawn and it is an important ritual that should not be missed.  

Of the many temples in Ujjain, the Chaubis Khamba Temple is certainly interesting and should be included in your itinerary. It goes back to the 9th or 10th century. At the entrance itself you can see the images of the guardian goddesses of the temple – Mahalaya and Mahamaya whose names are inscribed on the footsteps of the temple.

Among the many Jantar Mantar observatories established in India, the one in Ujjain is said to be the oldest. Also known as the Vedh Shala Observatory, it was constructed in 1719 by Maharaja Jai Singh to aid astrologers and astronomers with their studies. Jantar Mantar is an excellent tourist spot – the perfect combination of history and science. What’s more, if you enjoy stargazing, you will love the observatory here. Astronomical research is still carried out at this Jantar Mantar!

One of the famed Ujjain tourist places is the Kaliadeh Palace which is located on an island on the Shipra river. Constructed in the 15th century, the Palace is surrounded by water on both sides. This monument has religious as well as historical significance. It is said that Emperor Akbar and Jahangir had visited this monument during their lifetime and the proof is present in the Persian inscriptions that can be found here.

One of the interesting places to visit in Ujjain are the Bhartrihari Caves which are situated on the banks of the Shipra river and adjacent to the temple of Gadkalika. There are numerous legends associated with these caves, and one of them is that Bhartrihari, a renowned poet who was also the step-brother of Vikramaditya, used to meditate here. These very caves were his home after he renounced all the pleasures of worldly life. There is a serenity about these caves which makes it easy to understand why they were chosen for meditation.

Ram Mandir Ghat is one of the most important places to go in Ujjain. It is one of the locations where the Kumbh Mela takes place. During the Kumbh festival, millions of people come here to take a dip in the holy waters here. People ardently believe that taking a dip here will wash off their sins. But people also come here to see the ethereally beautiful sunset over the Ghat.

The Kumbh Mela is a carnival like no other and it is one of the most significant places to visit in Ujjain. It is held every three years in one of the four cities of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. Ujjain’s last Kumbh Mela was in 2016 and the festival is held on the banks of River Shipra. It is a widely celebrated festival, colourful and vibrant and something that depicts India in its entirety.

For those who are curious about cults and tantriks, the Kal Bhairava Temple could well be an eye-opener. The Tantra cult thrives on black magic and there are a number of practising tantriks today as well. There is a famous Shivalinga here which brings several devotees to the temple to pay their respects during Mahashivaratri.

One of the most remarkable places to visit in Ujjain is the Kalidasa Academy. It is spread over 3,374 hectares and is a cultural institution which was set up in 1977 by the Madhya Pradesh Government. People come here to learn Sanskrit or to translate the ancient Sanskrit scripts and gain a better understanding of Kalidasa’s poems. The academy also sees several interesting festivals and events celebrated here such as the Kalidasa Festival and the Nandi Festival to name a few.

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