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Ancient monuments in Ujjain

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Ancient monuments in Ujjain

Ujjain is an ancient city of central India, in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River. In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As per epic Mahabharata Ujjayani was the capital of Avanti Kingdom.


Following is a list of ancient monuments in Ujjain.

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, the sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in the city of Ujjain in the Madhya Pradesh state of India. It is a three-storey temple, on the side of the lake called Rudra Sagar.

The main deity, shiva in the lingam form 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. The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, facing the South. This is a unique feature, upheld by tantric tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Shiva is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami. The temple has five levels one of which is underground. The temple itself is located in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls near a lake. The shikhara or the spire is adorned with sculptural finery. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum.

Shrimant Ranojirao Shinde the founder of Scindia dynasty in northern India, renovated the Famous jyotirling temple of Shri Mahakaaleshwar, Harsidhdhi Mandir, Sidhdhha Vat ghat, Ram ghat, Mangalnath and many more in the city, which was capital of his Kingdom. Mahadji Shinde constructed Gopal Mandir, which was later on reconstructed by Maharani Bayzabai Raje Shinde. Shrimant Bayzabai also developed the city by developing Daulatganj. Maharajah Shrimant Jayaajirao Saheb Shinde (II) (1843 - 1886 A.D.) also developed Ujjain by developing Nai Sadak, Sarafa Bazar, Ghasmandi and other areas of the city. The last ruler of Scindia Dynasty Maharaja Jiwajirao Shinde constructed Chhatri Chowk, Madhav College, and Achyutanand Vyayamshala (with Pustake and Dingre). Jiwaji Rao Shinde also reconstructed Maharaj Vada in 1940 A.D. near Shri Mahakaaleshwar Temple which was originally built by Ranojirao Shinde in 1732 A.D. and further developments were made by Shreenath Mahadji Shinde from 1764 to 1794 A.D.

Bade Ganeshji ka Mandir

This temple, situated above the tank near the Mahakaleshwar Temple, contains a huge artistic sculpture of Ganesha, the son of Shiva. An idol of this size and beauty is rarely to be found. The middle of the temple is adorned by an idol of the panch-mukhi (five-faced) Hanuman. There is a provision for learning of Sanskrit and Astrology in the temple.

Chintaman Ganesh temple

Chintaman means "the assurer of freedom from worldly anxieties". This temple is built across the Shipra(Kshipra) river on the Fatehabad railway line. The Ganesh idol in this temple is supposed to be swayambhu - born of itself. Riddhi and Siddhi, the consorts of Ganesha, are seated on either side of Ganesha. The temple is considered to be of considerable antiquity. The artistically carved pillars in the assembly hall date back to the Paramara period. The temple is about 15 km from the main city. Every Wednesday people come for special darshana.

Harsidhhi Temple

This famous temple is said to have been built by famous King Vikramāditya. Vikramaditya is said to have visited Miyani, then known as Minalpur, a port city ruled by Prabhatsen Chavda of Chawda dynasty. Vikramadiya was blessed by the Devi. He requested Harsidhhi Mata, to come to his kingdom at Ujjain, where he would worship her daily. She is also known as Vahanvati Mata. This temple occupies a special place in the galaxy of ancient sacred spots of Ujjain. The temple is dedicated to Annapurna, seated between the idols of Mahalakshami and Mahasaraswati, the Annapurna is painted with a dark vermillion colour. The Shri Yatra, the symbol of power or shakti, is also enshrined in this temple. According to Shiva Purana, when Shiva carried away the burning body of Sati from the sacrificial fire, her elbow dropped at this place. There is an interesting legend in the Skanda Purana about the manner in which the Goddess Chandi acquired the epthet of Harsidhhi. Once whenShiva and Parvati were alone on mount Kailasha, two demons called Chanda and Prachanda tried to force their way in. Pleases Shiva bestowed upon her the epithet of Harsidhhi means 'one who vanquishes all'.

The temple was reconstructed during the Maratha period and has two pillars adorned with lamps, that are special features of Maratha art. There is an ancient well on the premises, and an artistic pillar adorns the top of it.

Kal Bhairava temple

The worship of the eight Bhairavas is a part of Saivite tradition, and the chief among them is Kala Bhairava. The Kal Bhairava temple is believed to have been built by King Bhadrasen, on the banks of the Shipra. Mentioned in the Avanti Khanda of the Skanda Purana. Important for the Tantric Kapalika and Aghora sects, of which Ujjain was a prominent centre. Beautiful paintings in the Malwa style once decorated the temple walls, only traces of which are visible. The village of Bhairogarh, famous for its printing, takes its name from the temple, and is located very near.

Mangalnath temple

Shiva or Mahadeva is the deity which is worshipped in Mangalnath temple. The Mangalnath temple is situated away from the bustle of the city and looks down upon a vast expanse of the Kshipra River. It is regarded as the birthplace of Mars (mangala in Hindi), according to the Matsya Purana. Famous for a clear view of the planet and hence suitable for astronomical studies.

Gopal Mandir

Constructed by Bayajibai Shinde, the queen of Maharajah Daulat Rao Shinde, in the 19th century. The door in the inner sanctum is believed to have been carried to Ghazni from the Somnath temple and from thence by Mahmud Shah Abdali to Lahore, from where it was rescued by Mahadji Scindia. For more information visit http://www.mangalnath.in/.

Other temples

  • Navagraha Mandir (Triveni) - A temple dedicated to the nine planets.
  • Ram Janardhan Temple.
  • Harihara Tirtha.
  • Mallikarjuna Tirtha.
  • Pir Matsyendranath

    This is very attractive spot on the banks of Shipra River, quite close to the Bhartrihari Caves and the Gadkalika temple. The shrine is dedicated to a leader of the Natha sect of Shaivism- Matsyendranath. It is also venerated by Muslims. Excavations here have yielded artifacts dating to the 6th and 7th century BC.


    Features an enormous banyan tree on the banks of the Shipra, considered sacred since the medieval ages. This banyan tree has got the same significance as that of akshayavata in Prayag and Gaya, Vanshivata of Vrindavan and Panchavata of Nasik. Thousands of people take dip in the Shipra River from the bathing ghats built here. According to one tradition, Parvati is believed have performed her penance here. It used to be a place of worship for the followers of the Natha sect. The little village of Bhairogarh near Siddhawat is famous for its tie-and-die printing for centuries. In ancient times, when the trade with other counties flourished, exquisitely printed cloth from Bhairogarh used to find its way to Rome and China.

    Bhartrihari Caves

    Bhartrihari, the step brother of Vikramaditya, is believed to have lived and meditated here after renouncing worldly life. His famous works, Shringarshataka, Vairagyashataka, and Nitishataka, were possibly written here.

    Kaliadeh Palace

    It is situated on the banks of Shipra River and a beautiful ancient site. It is believed that there was once a majestic Sun temple at this site. The Avanti-mahatmya of Skanda Purana has recorded a description of the Sun temple and two tanks, The Surya Kunda and the Brahma Kunda. Remains of old temple are scattered all around. A fragmented inscription of this place records building of the palace in 1458 AD, in the time of Mahmud Khilji. The central dome of the palace is a beautiful example of Persian architecture. Two Persian inscriptions record the visits of Akbar and Jehangir to this palace. The palace was broken by the Pindaris and was restored by Madhav Rao Scindia in 1920.

    Sandipani ashram

    Ujjain in ancient times, enjoyed the reputation of being a great seat of learning as early as the Mahabharata period. According to Puranic traditions, in the Ashrama of Guru Sandipani, Krishna and Sudama received their education. The area near the ashrama is known as ankapata, popularly believed to have been the place used by Lord krishna for washing his writing tablet. The numerals 1 to 100 found on a stone are believed to have been engraved by Guru Sandipani. the Gomti Kunda, referred to in the Puranas, was the source of water supply to the ashrama in the olden days. An image of Nandi, belonging to the Shunga period, is to be found near the tank. The followers of the Vallabha sect regard this place as the 73rd seat of the 84 seats of Vallabhacharya where he delivered his discourses throughout India.

    Durgadas Ki Chhatri

    Durgadas fought for the independence of Jodhpur after the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh and helped Ajit Singh to ascend the throne against the wishes of Aurangzeb. Durgadas died at Rampura in 1718 and his funeral rites were performed according to his wishes on the banks of Shipra River. The rulers of Jodhpur built the Chatri as Memorial to Durgadas, whose funeral rites were performed at this place in 1718. This structure built in Rajpur style of architecture, housed a statue of Durgadas which crumbled down.


    Gadkalika, situated about two miles from the present town, the deity in this temple is believed to have been worshiped by Kalidasa. The legend goes that he used to visit this temple regularly and it is by this devotion to the goddess Kalika that he acquired great literary skill. Believed to have been frequented by Kalidasa, this temple was renovated by Harshavardhan in the 7th century AD, and again during the Paramara period. The temple has been rebuilt in the modern times by the erstwhile Gwalior State.

    Other places

  • Vedh Shala - An observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1725. It is located at 23°10′16.5″N 75°46′0″E. It is still in use, and is one of the five the built (the others include the Jantar Mantar (Jaipur) and the Jantar Mantar (Delhi).
  • Ram Ghat.
  • Ganga Ghat.
  • Bohron Ka Roja.
  • Begum Ka Maqbara.
  • Bina Neev Ki Masjid.
  • Maulana Rumi Ka Maqbara.
  • Simhasan Battisi Mandir.
  • Bada Ganpati & Pancha Mukhi Hanuman
  • References

    Ancient monuments in Ujjain Wikipedia