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This article is about the municipality in Madhya Pradesh, India. For its namesake district, see Ujjain District.
Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantika, Avantikapuri
Ujjain City
Ujjain City
Nickname(s): The City of Temples
Ujjain is located in Madhya Pradesh
Location in Madhya Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 23°10′58″N 75°46′38″E / 23.182778°N 75.777222°E / 23.182778; 75.777222Coordinates: 23°10′58″N 75°46′38″E / 23.182778°N 75.777222°E / 23.182778; 75.777222
Country  India
State Madhya Pradesh
Region Malwa
District Ujjain
 • Body Ujjain Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Meena Jonwal (BJP)
 • Municipal Commissioner Sonu Gehlot
 • Total 152 km2 (59 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 515,215
 • Density 3,400/km2 (8,800/sq mi)
 • Official Hindi,
 • Other Malavi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 456001
Telephone code 0734
Vehicle registration MP-13
Climate Cfa (Köppen)
Precipitation 900 millimetres (35 in)
Avg. annual temperature 24.0 °C (75.2 °F)
Avg. summer temperature 31 °C (88 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 17 °C (63 °F)
Website ujjain.nic.in

Ujjain (/ˈn/; About this sound listen ) is a city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain district and Ujjain division.

An ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River, Ujjain was the most prominent city on the Malwa plateau of central India for much of its history. It started developing as an urban settlement around 700 BCE, and emerged as the political centre of central India around 600 BCE. It was the capital of the ancient Avanti kingdom, one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. It remained an important political, commercial and cultural centre of central India until early 19th century, when the British administrators decided to develop Indore as an alternative to it. Ujjain continues to be an important place of pilgrimage for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and followers of Shakta.[1]


Excavations at Kayatha (around 26 km from Ujjain) have revealed chalcolithic agricultural settlements dating to around 2000 BCE.[2] According to Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, Ujjain "was one of the earliest outposts in central India" and "showed traces of incipient urbanisation as early as about 700 BC."[3] Around 600 BCE, it emerged as the political, commercial and cultural centre of Malwa plateau.[4]

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 sq. km. 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.[5] According to F. R. Allchin and George Erdosy, these city defenses were constructed between 6th and 4th centuries BCE.[6] Dieter Schlingloff believes that these predate the first settlement in 600 BCE. [5] This period is characterized by structures made of stone and burnt-brick, tools and weapons made of iron, and black and red burnished ware.[6]

According to the Puranic texts, a branch of the legendary Haihaya dynasty ruled over Ujjain.[7][8]

In the Mauryan period, Ujjain remained the administrative centre of the region. From this period, Northern Black Polished Ware, copper coins, terracotta ring wells and ivory seals with Brahmi text have been excavated.[6] During the reign of his father Bindusara, Ashoka served as the viceroy of Ujjain.[9] Ujjain was subsequently controlled by a number of empires and dynasties, including the Shungas, the Western Satraps, the Satavahanas, the Guptas and the Paramara. The legendary king Vikramaditya, who originated the Vikram Samvat, is said to have ruled from Ujjain. The Paramaras shifted the region's capital to Dhar.[4]

The Jantar Mantar at Ujjain was commissioned by Jai Singh II (1688-1743) of Jaipur

During medieval times, Ujjain ultimately came under the Islamic rule, like other parts of north-central India. In 1235 CE, Iltutmish of Delhi Sultanate plundered the city, and destroyed its temples.[4] However, Ujjain continued to be an important city of the region. 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.[10]

During the last years of 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.[11][12] The struggle of supremacy between the Holkars of Indore and Scindias (who ruled Ujjain) led to rivalry between the merchants of the two cities.[13] 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.[14] 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."[13]

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.


Ujjain is located in the west-central part of India, and is north of the upper limit of the Vindhya mountain ranges. Located on the Malwa plateau, it is higher than the north Indian plains and the land rises towards the Vindhya Range to the south. Ujjain's coordinate are 23°10′N 75°46′E / 23.167°N 75.767°E / 23.167; 75.767 with average elevation of 494m metres (1620 ft).[15] Region is an extension of the Deccan Traps, formed between 60 and 68 million years ago[16][17] at the end of the Cretaceous period. The city is on the river bank of Shipra which falls into nearby flowing Chambal.


Harsiddhi Marg

According to the 2011 census Ujjain has a population of 515,215 of which male are 264,871 and female are 250,344 respectively with sex ratio is 945 per 1000 males and child sex ratio of girls is 929 per 1000 boys. The city has children between (0-6)are 58,972 and There were 30,573 boys while 28,399 are girls which forms 11.45% of total population of City.[18]

As iiteracy wise, total literates in city are 385,193 of which 210,075 are males while 175,118 are females and average literacy rate of city is 84.43 percent of which male and female literacy was 89.66 and 78.90 percent.[19]

Government and jurisdiction[edit]

Ujjain Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 29 Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. This constituency came into existence in 1951 as one of the 9 Lok Sabha constituencies in the erstwhile Madhya Bharat state. It is reserved for the candidates belonging to the Scheduled castes since 1966. This constituency covers the entire Ujjain district and part of Ratlam district. Currently, Dr. Chintamani Malviya of the Bharatiya Janata Party is member of parliament who won in the Indian general elections, 2014.[20]


Government Engineering College, Ujjain

Ujjain is home to the Vikram University. The degree colleges in the city include:

The city has several government and private schools, including St Paul's Higher Secondary School, Takshshila Junior College and Ujjain Public School.


The Government of Madhya Pradesh has allotted 1,200 acres for the development of a city near Ujjain which will be known as Vikramiditya Knowledge City. The 'Knowledge City' will be mainly used for the education sector and is a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor project. It will be built near Narwar village on Dewas-Ujjain Road[21]


Ujjain is considered one of the holiest cities in India, and is a popular pilgrimage centre.[22][23] Some of the notable sacred places in the city include:

The Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river.[24] At Ujjain, it is held once every 12 years. It is also known as Simhastha, when it falls during Jupiter's stay in Leo. The next Kumbh Mela will be held in Ujjain from 21 April 2016 to 22 May 2016.[25]



The nearest airport is in Indore which served by the state of the art Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport, about 8 km from the city. It is the busiest airport in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and also serves as a hub for international cargo.[26] The new integrated international terminal was inaugurated in February 2012.


Ujjain Station

Ujjain Junction is the main railway station of Ujjain which is 12 km to the east of Ujjain. The former name of this station was Avantikapuri. The main station of Ujjain 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.


Ujjain-Indore Highway

Ujjain depends on extensive network of auto rickshaws, city busses, private taxis & Tata Magic, that operate throughout the city connecting one part with another. UMC has recently introduced city buses with Public Private Partnership project as city was identified urban agglomerations with less than 1 million population under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission[27][28]

Notable people[edit]

Notable persons who were born or lived in Ujjian include:[29]


  1. ^ Jacobsen, Knut A. (2013). Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition: Salvific Space. Routledge. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-41559-038-9. 
  2. ^ P. K. Basant (2012). The City and the Country in Early India: A Study of Malwa. Primus. pp. 78–81. ISBN 9789380607153. 
  3. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar (2004). A History of India. Psychology Press. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-41532-920-0. 
  4. ^ a b c Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger, ed. (2012). Asia and Oceania: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 835. ISBN 9781136639791. 
  5. ^ a b Dieter Schlingloff (2014). Fortified Cities of Ancient India: A Comparative Study. Anthem. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9781783083497. 
  6. ^ a b c F. R. Allchin and George Erdosy (1995). The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States. Cambridge University Press. pp. 134–136. ISBN 9780521376952. 
  7. ^ Kailash Chand Jain (1972). "Malwa Through the Ages, from the Earliest Times to 1305 A.D". Motilal Banarsidass. p. 90. ISBN 9788120808249. 
  8. ^ Ahmad, S. H., Anthropometric measurements and ethnic affinities of the Bhil and their allied groups of Malwa area., Anthropological Survey of India,1991, ISBN 81-85579-07-5
  9. ^ William Woodthorpe Tarn (2010). The Greeks in Bactria and India. Cambridge University Press. p. 152. ISBN 9781108009416. 
  10. ^ Virendra Nath Sharma (1995). Sawai Jai Singh and His Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 212. 
  11. ^ ZUM
  12. ^ Historyworld
  13. ^ a b Amar Farooqui (1998). Smuggling as Subversion: Colonialism, Indian Merchants, and the Politics of Opium, 1790-1843. Lexington. pp. 62–63. 
  14. ^ R.S. Chaurasia (2004). History of the Marathas. Atlantic. p. 61. ISBN 9788126903948. 
  15. ^ http://dateandtime.info/citycoordinates.php?id=1253914
  16. ^ "Geochronological Study of the Deccan Volcanism by the 40Ar-39Ar Method". Archived from the original on 2006-02-25. 
  17. ^ The Deccan beyond the plume hypothesis
  18. ^ Census 2011
  19. ^ Census 2011
  20. ^ "Constituencywise-All Candidates". Eciresults.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  21. ^ Madhya Pradesh seeks DMIC approval for two infra projects business-standard.com
  22. ^ Brajesh Kumar (2003). Pilgrimage Centres of India. Diamond. p. 105. ISBN 978-81-7182-185-3. 
  23. ^ Plunkett, Richard. Central India. Lonely Planet, 2001. ISBN 1-86450-161-8
  24. ^ "Kumbha Mela - The world's most massive act of faith". archaeologyonline.net. 14 September 2015. 
  25. ^ Ramendra Singh (18 July 2015). "CM Chouhan’s invitation for Ujjain Simhastha". The Times of India. 
  26. ^ "Indore flying up and high above Bhopal". Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  27. ^ Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
  28. ^ Indian Express
  29. ^ Ebharat


External links[edit]