Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Ujjain is one of the ancient and most beautiful cities of Malwa region located in central India. This beautiful city lies on the eastern bank of the Shipra River. This city is renowned as one of the seven sacred cities, which are called Sapta Puri of the Hindus. This city is famous as one of the four sites which host the famous Kumbh Mela. It is called Simhastha Mela here, a mass pilgrimage which lures large numbers of travellers from all over the country. In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom. 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 Maharishi Sandipani.
The nearest airport to Ujjain is Indore. There are number of daily flights from Indore to Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bhopal and Ahmadabad. Ujjain is well linked with a number of cities through railways.
The summer season starts from the month of March and ends in the month of June. The summer season is ruthless and the temperature soars up to a maximum of 45°C that generates hot winds known as the loo in the afternoon. Monsoon season in the city usually starts from the month of June to September which generally offers moderate rainfalls. Winter season falls between November and February. It is pleasant and cool during daytime with maximum temperature going up to 20°C. Nights become chilly with a minimum of 3°C.
Mahakal Temple: One of the twelve Jyotirlingas and one of the most famous and sacred Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva is the Mahakal Temple of Ujjain. Nestled aside Rudra Sagar Lake of Ujjain, the temple welcomes devotees from all sections of society to its holy abode. The Mahakal dominates the life of Ujjain and even amid busy daily routine; people ensure a visit to the temple and experience the unbreakable link between man and ancient Hindu traditions and practices. The 'shikhar' of the revered shrine adorned with soars sculptural attire soars in the sky creating an imposing façade against the city's skyline and raising primordial awe with its all-pervading majesty. Out of the five levels of the temple, one level is underground and all its way is lighted by brass lamps. Interestingly, the Shiva Linga of this temple is believed to be the only Jyotirlinga that faces towards the south.
Kaliadeh Palace: This beautiful tourist destination is located on an island in the river Shipra. Kaliadeh Palace has been constructed in the year 1458 AD by the renowned Sultans of Mandu. This palace has a Persian style of architecture. This palace is one of the well-known sights of Ujjain that represents the glorious past of the city.
Bhartrihari Cave: The Bhartrihari Caves of Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of the Shipra River, stands testimony to the life and saintliness of sage Bhartrihari. These caves were once the abode of the great scholar and poet whose greatness and expertise has been immortalized through the works of Shringarshatak, Vairagyashatak and Nitishatak. According to legends, Bhartrihari had been deeply hurt by the infidelity of his wife and had thus renounced all worldly pleasures to lead a life of austerity and recluse, joining the Natha cult. The road to the caves is scenic and a flight of steps lead to its front. Few sculptures dating back to 11th century A.D. can still be admired. At the entrance, an idol of Gokarnath can be seen. As one goes deep into the caves, idols of Bhartrihari and Shivling are noticed. Few pillars with stone carvings along with the Kaal Bhairav Temple and idols of Nava Yogis are present to awe-inspire visitors. The caves are located near the Gadkalika Temple of Ujjain.
Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir: It is a popular religious attraction in Ujjain dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Apart from being a religious centre, the temple serves as a place of learning astrology and Sanskrit as well. The main highlights of the temple include a huge red idol of Lord Ganesha and a bronzed idol of a five-faced idol of Lord Hanuman, highly admired by devotees and tourists alike.