Ujjain

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The famed historical Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple is in Ujjain

Ujjain is a city in Ujjain district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the fifth-largest city in Madhya Pradesh by population and is the administrative centre of Ujjain district and Ujjain division. It is one of the Hindu pilgrimage centres of Sapta Puri famous for the Kumbh Mela held there every 12 years. The famous temple of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is located in the center of the city.

Quotes[edit]

  • In Ujjain (Ozene of Ptolemy’s geography) where there had been an astronomical laboratory and on the meridian of which town the ‘world summit’-originally an Indian conception-was supposed to lie.
    • Thomas Arnold, The Legacy of Islam, p.93 [1]
  • From his Guru the student might pass, about the age of sixteen, to one of the great universities that were the glory of ancient and medieval India: Benares, Taxila, Vidarbha, Ajanta, Ujjain, or Nalanda. .... Ujjain was held in high repute for astronomy...
    • Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage
  • Ujjain, which used to be called Avantipura in the Sanskrit tradition, is located on the banks of the Shipra River. The Shipra flows into the Chambal River, which goes on into the Yamuna which flows into the Ganges. The most popular part of the Shipra River in Ujjain is along Ram Ghat where there are more small temples and shrines, mostly to Shiva, and is where many thousands of people gather during the Kumbha Mela festival to bathe in the river which is especially purifying at that time. Bathing in it is said to give liberation. Ram Ghat is also said to be where Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana did pinda, or the funeral rites for Lord Rama’s father, Dasaratha. Ujjain is sacred for Shaivites due to the Mahakal temple. It is sacred for Shaktas due to the Siddhi Devi temple, and it is special for Vaishnavas because Lord Krishna went to school here at the Sandipani Ashrama.
    • Knapp Stephen, Spiritual India Handbook (2011)
  • Ujjain becomes the sight of the huge Kumbha Mela festival every 12 years, starting on the full moon day in Chaitra (May-June) and lasts for a month. During the festival as many as three million pilgrims, and as of 2004 possibly 30 million, come from all over India to associate with other holy men and to bathe in the holy waters at the most auspicious time for spiritual purification. Besides this, there are a number of temples in this town that are worth visiting. Most of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
    • Knapp Stephen, Spiritual India Handbook (2011)
  • [He] took the city of Oojein, where he destroyed a magnificent temple dedicated to Mahakaly, formed upon the same plan with that of Somnat. This temple is said to have occupied three hundred years in building, and was surrounded by a wall one hundred cubits in height. The image of Vikramaditya, who had been formerly prince of this country, and so renowned, that the Hindoos have taken an era from his death...
    • About Sultan Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) conquest of Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Tarikh-i-Firishta by Firistha.
  • “When he advanced from the capital of Karra, the Hindus, in alarm, descended into the earth like ants. He departed towards the garden of Behar to dye that soil with blood as red as tulip. He cleared the road to Ujjain of vile wretches, and created consternation in Bhilsan. When he effected his conquests in that country, he drew out of the river the idols which had been concealed in it.”66
    • About Sultan ‘Alau’d-Din Khalji (AD 1296-1316) in Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own historians, Vol. III, p. 542.ff
  • “From thence he advanced to Ujjain-Nagari and destroyed the idol-temple of Mahakal Diw. The effigy of Bikramjit who was sovereign of Ujjain-Nagari, and from whose reign to the present time one thousand, three hundred, and sixteen years have elapsed, and from whose reign they date the Hindui era, together with other effigies besides his, which were formed of molten brass, together with the stone (idol) of Mahakal were carried away to Delhi, the capital.”
    • Iltusmish in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Tabqat-i-Nasiri, translated into English by Major H.G. Reverty, New Delhi Reprint, 1970, Vol. I, pp. 622-23
  • Among his “Victories and Conquests” is counted the “bringing away of the idol of Mahakal, which they have planted before the gateway of the Jami’ Masjid at the capital city of Delhi in order that all true believers might tread upon it.”
    • Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Tabqat-i-Nasiri, translated into English by Major H.G. Reverty, New Delhi Reprint, 1970, Vol. I, pp. 628
  • “In AH 631 he invaded Malwah, and after suppressing the rebels of that place, he destroyed that idol-temple which had existed there for the past three hundred years.... “Next he turned towards Ujjain and conquered it, and after demolishing the idol-temple of Mahakal, he uprooted the statue of Bikramajit together with all other statues and images which were placed on pedestals, and brought them to the capital where they were laid before the Jami‘ Masjid for being trodden under foot by the people.”
    • Vidisha and Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi, of Yahya Sirhindi, Translated from the Urdu version by Dr. Ãftab Asghar, second edition, Lahore. 1982.
  • …[He] also captured the city of Ujjain, and having destroyed the idol-temple of Ujjain which had been built six hundred years previously, and was called Mahakal, he levelled it to its foundations, and threw down the image of Rai Vikrmajit from whom the Hindus reckon their era… and brought certain other images of cast molten brass and placed them on the ground in front of the door of the mosque of old Dihli and ordered the people to trample them under foot…
    • About Sultan Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1210~1236) conquest of Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh). Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh by `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni. Also in Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231
  • “After the reduction of Gualiar, the King marched his army towards Malwa, reduced the fort of Bhilsa, and took the city of Oojein, where he destroyed a magnificent temple dedicated to Mahakaly, formed upon the same plan with that of Somnat. This temple is said to have occupied three hundred years in building, and was surrounded by a wall one hundred cubits in height. The image of Vikramaditya, who had been formerly prince of this country, and so renowned, that the Hindoos have taken an era from his death, as also the image of Mahakaly, both of stone, with many other figures of brass, were found in the temple. These images the King caused to be conveyed to Dehly, and broken at the door of the great mosque.”
    • Tãrîkh-i-Firishta. Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “…In the year AH 631, he invaded the country of Mãlwah and conquered the fort of Bhîlsã. He also took the city of Ujjain, and had the temple of Mahãkãl… completely demolished, destroying it from its foundations; and he carried away the effigy of Bikramãjît… and certain other statues which were fashioned in molten brass, and placed them in the ground in front of the Jãmi’ Masjid, so that they might he trampled upon by the people.”
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî. Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
  • News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave, with 400 troopers, to destroy all temples around Ujjain' A Rawat of the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men (1670).
    • Aurangzeb. Akhbarat, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189., quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • ..They have a place called Ujjayn with a large idol representing (Maha-kal). They take before him their needs in this lower world and the world beyond and from him learn charms (aza‘im). They do wonderful things saying that they all are from (Maha-kal’s) teaching... Some people come to worship him while for several days they refrain from food and humble themselves asking him for their needs. Some take an iron lamp and shaping its bottom like a spear place it on their palm and press it: until it has pierced the palm and made a hole in it. Then they light the lamp and kneel down on both knees before the idol with lamentation saying: “accept from us our visit to this house”
    • Gardizi, in (Minorsky 1948: 635). quoted from Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history. 141.
  • He (Iltutmish) sent, in A.H. 632 (1234 A.D.), the army of Islam towards Malwa and took the fort and city of Bhilsa. There was a temple there which was three hunqired years in building. It was about one hundred and five gaz high. He demolished it. From thence he proceeded to Ujjain, where there was a temple of Maha-kal, which he destroyed as well as the image of Bikramajit, who was king of Ujjain, and reigned 1316 years before his time. The Hindu era dates from his reign. Some other images cast in copp@r were carried with the stone image of Maha-kal to Dehli.
    • Minhaj-us-Siraj, in his Tabkat-i-Nasiri, (Elliot and Dowson Vol. II: 328). also in Jain, M. (2019). Flight of deities and rebirth of temples: Espisodes from Indian history. 141
  • He (Iltutmish) also captured the city of Ujjain, and having destroyed the idol-temple of Ujjain which had been built six hundred years previously, and was callled Mahakal, he levelled it to its foundations, and threw down the image... from whom the Hindus reckon their era.

External links[edit]

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