The spiritual town of Ujjain has its own unspoken charm. One of the seven spiritual centers of Hinduism and home to one of the twelve Shiva Jyotirlingams in India, Ujjain is a town of immense spiritual significance. Here’s a walk-through of the ancient town, dating as far back as 600 Century B.C.
My first opportunity to explore Ujjain happened during a 6 month stay in Indore in 2011. Only 56 km from Indore, Ujjain is a road trip through several hair pin bends running through dense teak forests, peculiar to this region.
The town of temples, Ujjain is the center stage of several spiritual and historic incidents, each with a unique story in itself.
The Story of Ujjain
The beautiful city of Ujjain is built upon the banks of Kshipra River and was the capital city of the ancient Avanti Kingdom. Flowing out of Ujjain, the Kshipra river becomes a part of River Saraswati, cutting Indore City into two halves
The Avanti Kingdom has its historic roots back to the Mahabharata era. Ujjain was also known by the name Ujjaini in its earliest years.
The city continued to be the capital under Mauryan Dynasty and it was only in the 19th Century that Indore became the choice of capital city under the British administration.
Ujjain attracts travelers from all parts of the country, especially to visit the Kal Bhairava and the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temples.
The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
I have been fortunate to have traveled six out of the twelve Shiva Jyotirlingas across India. The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one among them.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain is one of the spiritual sites where the Shiva Lingam is believed to have self-manifested or the Swayambhu.
Scientifically, the Swayambhu Temples are believed to draw and emit energies from the earth,(bhu), which are between the frequency of 30 Hz to 300 Hz; same as that of the human brain-wave frequencies.
Between argument of ‘the logic of science’ and ‘the faith of spirituality’, the choice rests upon the seeker!!
Shree Kal Bhairava Temple
The Kal Bhairava is the enraged form of Shiva. The Kal Bhairava form of Shiva is significant to the Tantric philosophy. The temple has a large front entrance and was originally constructed by King Bhadrasen.
Kal Bhairava temple is guarded by hundreds of gray langurs which often surround the visitors from all sides when they walk in with the offerings inside the temple. What’s the offering?
The Kal Bhairava is offered with alcohol, one of the five elements of Tantric practice – Panchamakara; Madya (alcohol), Maasa (Meat), Matsya (Fish), Mudra (Grain) and Maithuna (procreation).
The Kal Bhairava form of Shiva destroys fear and protects one from the enemies – both within and without.
The Mangalnath Temple
The Mangalnath Temple signifies one of the twelve zodiac signs, the Mars, or the lord Mangalnath.
Among the 12 zodiac signs, the Mars is considered the most aggressive and influential in its qualities. As per the Hindu astrology, it is believed to have significant impact on the life of an individual, especially marriage.
The Mangalnath Temple is considered to be the birthplace of the Mars or the Mangal graha. The Mars is represented with the bright red color and so is this temple premises.
The garbha graha or the center of the temple has a silver Shivalingam which is offered red flowers and vermilion.
The ‘Tropic of Cancer‘ passes exactly through the temple center. The tropic lines are closest to the sun rays due to the inclined axis of the earth, due to which the tropical regions of the earth are the most dry and hot regions.
This also explains in a literal sense the ‘aggressiveness’ of the Mars planet which in turn influences the human lives. Astrology may not always connect the facts in such ways.
With all its spiritual galore, does it mean that Ujjain is a town that fall from the heavens??