Ujjain is a holy city located on the banks of river Shipra, 56 km from
, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh
. Ujjain ranks equal to Benaras,
and Kanchi as a great religious center. The city is regarded sacred since time immemorial. Ancient Hindu scriptures call it as Avantika. Legend adds that the name was later changed to Ujjaini by king Shiva of Avanti, to commemorate his triumph over the demon king of Tripuri.
Ujjain is associated with the mythological legend of Sagar Manthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). It is said that in the race between gods and demons to take possession of the nectar - the potion of immortality, a drop spilled and fell on Ujjain, making it sacred. Apart from these legends, Ujjain has a long history to mention. The city was once ruled by Vikramaditya and
Ashoka. It is believed that it was here that
Kalidasa penned his immortal poetry. It was also a major religious center at that time.
Today the city is an interesting blend of the ancient and the modern. Mahakaleshwara Temple, Bhartrihari Caves,
the 17th century observatory and Triveni Ghat are some places worth visiting. Since most sites are away from the city center, auto-rickshaws or tongas would be ideal.
Ujjain has a tropical climate. September to March will be ideal for a tourist. Ujjain is a railway station on the
Western Railway. The city is well connected by road and rail with all major centers in the country. Indore is the nearest airport, 56 km away.