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Madhya Pradesh
Ujjain

Ujjain is also known by Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantika and Avantikapuri is one of the most ancient town in Central India near Kshipra River in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. In ancient days it was referred as Ujjayini. During the reign of Mahabharata, it was the capital of Avanti Kingdom. Ujjain is regarded as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus. It is one of the four sites that host the Kumbh Mela (also called the Simhastha Mela), a mass pilgrimage that attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the country. It is also home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the God Shiva. An ancient seat of learning, Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received His education from Maharshi Sandipani.

Its origin is ascribed to the myth of Sagar Manthan (churning of the primordial ocean to discover the pot of nectar). The story goes that after the nectar was discovered; there was competition between the Gods and the demons to have the nectar first so as to attain immortality. During this chase a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred. According to legend, the river Kshipra that flows across Ujjain is regarded to have originated due to the churning of the Gods and Goddesses. Apart from the myths, the city has a long and distinguished history; it has witnessed legendary rulers including the renowned king Chandragupta II, great scholars such as Brahmagupta and Bhaskaracharya, and literary gems like Kalidasa. Also known as Arin, Aryn or Ozein, it was used as the prime meridian by Hindu astrologers, and was placed as the center of the world in numerous ancient world maps.

Of the main temples of Ujjain the Mahakaleshwar Temple is one of the twelfth jyotirlingas in India, the lingam at Mahakaleshwar is believed to be swayambhu (born of itself) deriving currents of power (shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams which are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti. In ancient time, the astronomical calculations for the entire world were done taking Ujjain as centre of earth. In astronomical calculations, Shankuyantra is an important instrument. It is believed that in Ujjain, at the place of shankuyantra, the Jyotirlinga Mahakal is established.

Ujjain is one of the place where Maha Khubh Mela, which is the largest religious congregation on earth. The importance is given Bhagwata Purana. The next Maha khumb mela will be organized in Ujjain on 2016.

The Harsidhhi temple is one of the Shaktipeeths, situated at 52 places in India. It is dedicated to the Goddess Annapurna and houses the Shri Yantra, a symbol of "shakti" or power.

The Sandipani Ashram is where Puranic traditions say Shri Krishna received His education, along with Balarama and Sudama, in the ashram of Maharshi Sandipan

How To Reach

By Flight: A private airstrip, situated on Dewas road is being used as a pilot training institute. It has no commercial scheduled air services. The nearest airport is the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport at Indore (50 km away).

By Rail: Ujjain Junction Railway Station is an important railway station in Western railway zone. It is well connected to all major railway stations in India. Direct train services are available to Bhopal , Indore, Pune, Malwa, Delhi (Nizamuddin Exp), Mumbai (Avantika Exp), Kolkata (Shipra Express), Chennai (Jp Madras Expre) and many other cities.

By Road: Ujjain is well connected by state road transport public bus services. Regular bus services are available from Indore (55 km), Gwalior (450 km), Ahmedabad (400 km) and Bhopal (195 km) to Ujjain. Super fast and Deluxe A/C buses are also available in these routes.

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