Ujjain Knowledge Guide
Excavations at Kayatha (around 26 km from Ujjain) have revealed chalcolithic agricultural settlements dating to around 2000 BCE. Chalcolithic sites have also been discovered at other areas around Ujjain, including Nagda, but excavations at Ujjain itself have not revealed any chalcolithic settlements. Archaeologist H. D. Sankalia theorized that the chalcolithic settlements at Ujjain were probably destroyed by the Iron Age settlers.According to Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, Avanti, whose capital was Ujjain, "was one of the earliest outposts in central India" and showed signs of early incipient urbanisation around 700 BCE. Around 600 BCE, Ujjain emerged as the political, commercial and cultural centre of Malwa plateau.The ancient walled city of Ujjain was located around the Garh Kalika hill on the bank of river Kshipra, in the present-day suburban areas of the Ujjain city. This city covered an irregular pentagonal area of 0.875 km2. It was surrounded by a 12 m high mud rampart. The archaeological investigations have also indicated the presence of a 45 m wide and 6.6 m deep moat around the city. According to F. R. Allchin and George Erdosy, these city defences were constructed between 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Dieter Schlingloff believes that these were built before 600 BCE. This period is characterised by structures made of stone and burnt-brick, tools and weapons made of iron, and black and red burnished ware.According to the Puranic texts, a branch of the legendary Haihaya dynasty ruled over Ujjain.
In the 4th century BCE, the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta annexed Avanti to his empire. The edicts of his grandson Ashoka mention four provinces of the Mauryan empire, of which Ujjain was the capital of the Western province. During the reign of his father Bindusara, Ashoka served as the viceroy of Ujjain, which highlights the importance of the town. As the viceroy of Ujjain, Ashoka married Devi, the daughter of a merchant from Vedisagiri (Vidisha). According to the Sinhalese Buddhist tradition, their children Mahendra and Sanghamitra, who preached Buddhism in modern Sri Lanka, were born in Ujjain.From the Mauryan period, Northern Black Polished Ware, copper coins, terracotta ring wells and ivory seals with Brahmi text have been excavated at Ujjain. Ujjain emerged as an important commercial centre, partially because it lay on the trade route connecting north India to the Deccan, starting from Mathura. It also emerged as an important center for intellectual learning among Jain, early Buddhist and Hindu traditions. After the Mauryans, Ujjain was controlled by a number of empires and dynasties, including local dynasties, the Shungas, the Western Satraps, the Satavahanas, and the Guptas.Ujjain remained as an important city of the Guptas during the 4th and the 5th centuries. Kalidasa, the great Indian classical poet of the 5th century who lived in the times of the Gupta king Vikramaditya wrote his epic work Meghadūta in which he describes the richness of Ujjain and its people. In the 6th century CE the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited India. He describes the ruler of Avanti as a king who was generous to the poor and presented them with gifts. Bharthari is said to have written his great epics, Virat Katha, Neeti Sataka, the love story of Pradyot Princess Vasavadatta and Udayan in Ujjayini, as the city was called during his times. The writings of Bhasa are set in Ujjain, and he probably lived in the city. Kalidasa also refers to Ujjain multiple times, and it appears that he spent at least a part of his life in Ujjain. Mrichchhakatika by Shudraka is also set in Ujjain. Ujjain also appears in several stories as the capital of the legendary emperor Vikramaditya. Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara (11th century) mentions that the city was created by Vishwakarma, and describes it as invincible, prosperous and full of wonderful sights.
The Paramaras (9th-14th century CE) shifted the region's capital from Ujjain to Dhar. In 1235 CE, Iltutmish of Delhi Sultanate plundered the city, and destroyed its temples. With the decline of the Paramara kingdom, Ujjain ultimately came under the Islamic rule, like other parts of north-central India. The city continued to be an important city of central India. As late as during the times of the Mughal vassal Jai Singh II (1688-1743), who constructed a Jantar Mantar in the city, Ujjain was the largest city and capital of the Malwa Subah.
During the 18th century, the city briefly became the capital of Scindia state of the Maratha confederacy, when Ranoji Scindia established his capital at Ujjain in 1731. But his successors moved to Gwalior, where they ruled the Gwalior State in the latter half of the 18th century. The struggle of supremacy between the Holkars of Indore and Scindias (who ruled Ujjain) led to rivalry between the merchants of the two cities. On 18 July 1801, the Holkars defeated the Scindias at the Battle of Ujjain. On 1 September, Yashwantrao Holkar entered the city, and demanded a sum of 15 lakh rupees from the city. He received only 1/8th of this amount; the rest was pocketed by his officers. A force sent by Daulat Scindhia later regained control of Ujjain. After both Holkar and Scindias accepted the British suzerainty, the British colonial administrators decided to develop Indore as an alternative to Ujjain, because the merchants of Ujjain had supported certain anti-British people. John Malcolm, the British administrator of Central India, decided to reduce the importance of Ujjain "by transferring a great part of that consequence it now enjoys to the Towns of Indore and Rutlam cities, which are and will continue more under our control."After the independence India, Ujjain became a part of the Madhya Bharat state. In 1956 Madhya Bharat was fused into the State of Madhya Pradesh.
The Ujjain Simhastha is a mass Hindu pilgrimage, and one of the fairs recognised as Kumbh Melas. During the Simhastha, Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. At Ujjain, it is held once every 12 years, on the banks of Kshipra river. It is also known as Simhastha, when it falls during Jupiter's stay in Leo of Simha. The latest Simhastha was held in Ujjain from 22 April 2016 to 21 May 2016.
Ujjain does not have any airport but has an airstrip on Dewas road which is used for air transport purposes. In 2013, the Government of Madhya Pradesh started a Ujjain-Bhopal air services as a joint venture with Ventura AirConnect. Due to very low booking, the ambitious project was scrapped. The main reason for the failure of the plan was due to improper timing of flights. The nearest airport is the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport at Indore (57.2 km).
Ujjain Junction is the main railway station of Ujjain, and it is directly or indirectly well-connected to all the major railway stations in India. It lies on the Ratlam–Bhopal, Indore–Nagda and Guna–Khandwa route. To the west it is connected to Ratlam Junction, to the north it is connected with Nagda Junction, to the east it is connected with Maksi Junction, Bhopal Junction, and to the south it is connected to Indore Junction BG, Dewas Junction Harda BG.C&W Training Centre/Ujjain/WR There are five railway stations in the Ujjain city and its suburbs:
Dewas Gate Stand and Nana Kheda Bus Stand are the two bus stands in the city that provide service to destinations located in the states. A large number of state run private buses are available for Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, Khajuraho, Harda, Indore, Bhopal, Pune, Mumbai, Kota, Mandu, Jhalawar and various other locations. The city has a well connected road network including Indore Road, Badnagar Road, Dewas Road, Agar Road, Nagda Road and Maksi Road. There are three state highways; 18 connects to Ahmedabad, 17 connects to jaora and 27 connects to Indore.Other regional highways passing through the city are: Indore – Ujjain Road via SH 27 Kota / Agar – Ujjain Road via SH 27 Bhopal / Dewas – Ujjain Road via SH 18 Ratlam / Barnagar – Ujjain Road via SH 18 Jaora / Nimach – Ujjain Road via SH 17 Maksi – Ujjain Road (Connects to NH 3) Harda - ujjain Road (Connects To Via NH 47)And SH 18