MP Trip: #1: Temple story of Ujjain

Ujjain is a city that will take you back to your childhood history book. The great king Chandragupta II or Vikramaditya, his Navratna Shava and Kalidas all the names will come back into your mind in the name of Ujjain. The great poet Kalidas portrayed Ujjain as ‘the town fallen from Heaven to bring Heaven to Earth’. It’s true that the spiritual charm of this city is unquestionable. It is called as the Temple city of India. You can’t imagine how much temples one city can have until you don’t visit Ujjain. You will find temples in your every 10 minutes of walk. But, the temples are not small. Those are big, famous and beautiful.

A trip to Ujjain:

Madhya Pradesh is the heart of incredible India. It is the combination of wildlife, ancient architecture, forts, heritage sites and temples. I started my MP trip from the temple city, Ujjain. The city consists of numbers of great temples that includes Shree Mahakaleswar temple, Bade Ganesh Ji temple, Mangalnath Temple, Kalbhairav temple and Harsiddhi temple.

The Temple story of Ujjain:

From my Ujjain trip, I realised that it is a great place and pilgrimage for the religious people. But, I’m not so religious. So, I focused more on the activities of the people inside and outside the temple. Why so many people come to visit the temples, how they worship God with their offerings and what the priests do inside the temples, these all are the subjects of my observation. The picture is the most beautiful way to portray the stories inside and outside the temple.

Activities in the temple:

After completing our Pooja at Mahakaleswar temple, we visited Mangalnath Temple. It is the place where the zero meridian of longitude and the Tropic of Cancer intersect. This is why it was considered the navel of the earth, and is called the “Greenwich of India”. This is also the birthplace of Mangal. The view of Shipra River is awesome from this temple.

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preparing ash for Arti.

The man was refining the ash from the crushed cow dung. The ash is used for Aarti of Lord  Shiva in the temple.

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Blessing.

The lady was taking blessing from the priest of Bajrangbali Mandir in the campus of Mangalnath temple.

Then we visited Kal Bhairav Temple where liquor is offered to Lord Shiva.

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Kal Bhairav temple.
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A shop near Kalbhairav temple.

The liquor of numerous brands is sold as one of the main offerings of Lord Shiva. People buy liquor with the pooja thali and offered to God. The miraculous thing is that the idol of Lord Shiva or Kal Bhairav drinks liquor in front of the devotees. And this is the only Hindu temple in India, where liquor is used as Prasad of God.

After having lunch we spent some time at Mahakaleswar Mandir. Photography is strictly prohibited in this temple. Here, you can find one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Mahadeva. The main temple is surrounded by many small temples of Goddes Parvati, Lakshmi, Ganesha. Nabagraha and other jyotirlingas. Darshan of Mahakal temple is a pilgrimage tour.

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The priest giving prasad to the devotees.

The priests of the temple give their blessing by painting the name of Mahakala or the image of trisul (trident shape weapon of Shiva) or the Mangal tika (the red and yellow lines on the forehead) on the forehead of the devotees by Kumkum (red) and Chandan (yellow). They also bind colourful thread in the name of the God/ Goddess. Yes, you have to pay them in return for their blessing. But, that is not mandatory and it depends on the devotee to the devotee.

Blessing of the priest.

This is a new experience for me and I followed that custom in the temple. This is the glimpse of my Mahakal visit that was captured by mobile phone as the camera was not allowed at the temple premises.

There was a paid darshan ticket for a quick visit at Mahakaleswar temple. The most attractive thing of this temple is Bhasmarati that happens at 4’oclock of each morning. In this ritual, the aarti of Mahakal Jyotirlinga is done with the bhasma or ashes come from the Hindu burning ghat. You have to book a free online ticket for experiencing this awesome ritual.

Next day, the morning, we visited Harsiddhi Mata and Bara Ganesh Ji temple.

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Harsidhhi Mata Mandir parikrama.

Mandir parikrama is a common ritual of every Hindu temple. Parikrama or Pradakshin of the temple refers to circumambulation of sacred places to imbibe their energy with the path along which it is performed.

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The beggers sitting outside the temple.

The beggers are the part of an Indian temple. No matter which temple you have visited in India, you’ll always get at least one beggar outside the temple.

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The monk.

The monks are also part of any religious place. Ujjain and Mahakaleswar temple is the place of performing Tantrik rituals. I found this monk outside the Mahakaleswar temple.

This is basically a photo story of the temples of Ujjain. If you want to know more information about Ujjain temples, you can check this link.

If you are interested to know more stories and to see more pictures of Ujjain and my Madhya Pradesh trip, please keep following my blog by subscribing your Email. You’ll get updated of the new stories of my amazing MP trip series.

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Sayanti aka Shinevictoria lise Recent comment authors
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Wow, brilliant storytelling and your captures are deeply moving! The colors alone take one on a journey. Thank you for sharing