About the Book
This book is a guide for the people interested in history, culture, religion and travel.
Book reveals Ujjain, a living legend. The city of Ujjain was the capital of legendary king Vikramaditya; it was the place of poet Kalidasa; it was hailed as the seat of Mahakal. It continued as a political seat under the Mughals and later under the Marathas. The city of Ujjain, the auspicious centre of Simhasta is still living in its full glory.
This book has a brief history of Ujjain followed by description of historical monuments with vivid illustrations.
Dr. Om Prakash Misra At present Dr. Om Prakash Misra is working as an expert in archaeology in Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, Bhopal. He was the Director, consultant in national monument authority, Delhi. Dr. Misra was awarded with Tagore scholarship by the Govt. of India 2013-14.
He was the Epigraphist in the Directorate of Archaeology, Archives and Museums, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal and retired in 2014. He has the credit of the Ph. D. and D.Litt. Degrees. He is also fellow of Royal Asiatic Society of London U.K. He is the author and co- authors of different publications on Ideology i.e. Mother goddess in Central India, Iconography of the Saptamatrikas, Masterpieces of Madhya Pradesh, Archaeological Excavations in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Discovering Vidisha. The Chambal Valley- A heritage treasure and Rock Art of S-Belt, Bounteous tree-Treasures of Indian Art and Culture, Krishna- smitri-Prof. K.D. Bajpai, Commemorative volume and Associate Editor of Puratan-journal (vol.6to16nos) and other books related to the district archaeological survey reports of the nearly 12-14 districts from the Department of archaeology M.P .
He was the Director for Archaeological Excavations in Madhya Pradesh i.e. Ninnore, Chhipaner, Godarmau, Kalyanpura, Kavathi, Chhotabarda, Chhalpakal, Maruchichili and Navalkhera etc. He also attended the excavations at Dangwada, Piplyalorka, Nandur, Atudkhas, Sarangpur, Besnagar and Veerapuram.
He was also the Curator of District Museums at Rajgarh and Hoshangabd for more than five years. Later he was also the Curator, State Museum, Bhopal and the In-charge of publication and publicity and Exploration and Excavations works and administration in the Directorate of archaeology, M.P.
Dr. Misra is a life member of South Asian Archaeology; Pune, Indian Institute of Public Administration, Delhi; Indian Archaeological Society, Delhi; Rock Art Society of India, Agra and Indian Art History Congress, Guahati etc.
Dr. Pukhraj Maroo
An I.A.S. officer of 1980 batch and served as the Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh. He was the Commissioner for Sagar, Chambal and Bhopal Divisions. He completed his Master Degrees in Hindi Literature (1973), Sociology (2006) and Doctor of Philosophy of the same subjects in (2004 and 2011). He has the credits of the research work on Tribal s of Sahariya and Baiga of Madhya Pradesh. His books on "Hindi Sahitya ke Itihas ke Punarlekhan ki Avashyakta"" 2009, the Chambal valley — a heritage treasure, 2010 and udan, collection of the gazals in 2011 has been published.
Once upon a time.....
The sun is setting colouring the water of Kshipra vermilioan red. The orchards of the city of Ujjain are silent but the chirpings of the birds reminds a stranger that the city is living. The music of evening performance of the Devadasi in the temple of Mahakala is resounded till far crossing the embankment of the river.
The temple is scented of sandal and flowers. The shadow of the danseaue has fallen on the pillars of the hall creating a panoramic view for the audience. The drummers are playing their beats in a harmony with the cymbal players. Visiters never forget here to take a glimpse of the temple performance while they come to worship the Mahakala.
Mendicants are in a hurry. They have to reach the temple to collect their daily alms. The roads are resounded with the tinkling sound of the manjiras placed in foot of the maidens returning home after taking their evening bath in Kshipra with pitchers in their hands. Water is dropping down from the wet plaits of their knee long hair. Let us look back some centuries earlier.
The market place is so busy. Both the shop keepers and the buyer are busy in their transaction. Somebody is buying silk of China, another is keen to collect some flowers, yet some other is searching polished earthern wear for her household. They are not astonished due to the presence of a Roman person among them, a foreigner keen to buy some ivory work as Ujjain is famous as a commercial center lying on Uttarapath, the northern highway of the country. He is watching curiously to the coin of Ujjain, having typical symbol of 'cross and balls'. In his langue, Ujjayini becomes Ojhene. To him Ojhene is a great emporium, full of wealth and pomp.
A sovereign turning to a saint...
There on the bank of Ksipra the imperial yoke is lying on the ground, as the emperor is submitting himself to Jain monkhood, living the pomp and pleasure of royality. It is a morning with a new sunlight illuminating new inspiration. This is the holy place of Ujjain, from where Chandragupta Maurya, the fonder of the Maurya dynasty, is starting for Sravanabelagola, cladding a single cloth as a Jain monk.
One evening of lyrics and poems.....
The pomp of the royal court is reflecting in the torches in hands of the doorkeepers. Plusibly nobles are gathered there to listen the poems of the court poet. The king is seated on the throne with a garland of flowers in his hand. He is waiting to put it on to his court poet after he complete his poem. The poet is so humble introducing himself as Kalidasa. This is the time to call for the clouds, to be the messenger to Yakshapriya, the lover of Yaksha.
living in exile. It is the moment to feel in heart the eternal love and estrangement. It is an evening of lyrics and poems.
Voices of the students....
At a long distance of the royal court From far away the voices of the students can be heard. Busy in studying Chaturveda, Dharmashastras, Nitishastra etc. they are the disciples of the Sandipani Ashram, the famous and pious seat of learning.
With a palmleaf in his hand poet louriet Bana is thinking of the beauty of the maidens of Ujjain, denoting them Malavi, the maidens of Malavadesa. He is writing Harshacharita, mentioning the graceful women of Ujjayini whom King Harshavardhan conquered as spoils of victory won by his brother.
The Chinese pilgrim....
The sun is setting leaving the Chinese travellar Hsuang Tsang alone. He is alone and he is in pain, watching the lonesome stupas of Ujjain which are very few in number. The fireflies are guiding him towards the monastary. Perhaps he is lamenting in his mind for the saddharma i.e. the Buddism which is suffering due to lack of popularity here in Ujjain.
Centuries are over....
Ujjain is not only the place of temple bells any more, music of kinginas and rababs from inns are attracting the passengers crossing the road. Ujjain is no more a place of Mahakala only, but a headquarter of the Mughals, a political seat of power. The Mughal subedars can be seen on the roads riding their horses. The people leave the road hearing the sound of the hooves of the horses on the road paved with stone.
Kshipra is flowing....
The white wings of the cooing doves sitting on the Chattris of the Maratha rulers are reflecting the moonlight. Taking bath in the holy river Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar is laying the first brick of the temple of Chintamani Ganapati. The crowd is witnessing the moment with hands folded and hearts full of respect. Time has come to welcome the amalgamation of religious customs of two regions in Ujjain. Having a religious bent of mind the Maratha ruler Ranoji Shinde of Ujjain inviting ascetics from Nasik to Ujjain's local religious festival as Nasik also has a legacy of Kumbha fair to be held in every twelve years and believes in the tradition of the Kumbha myth. The amalgamation is taking place in the auspicious moment of Simhasta. Hundreds of people are going to the river to take the pious bath on the pious day. The Maratha soldiers, the bargadars, siladars are watching the crowd. Following the footsteps of the Maratha soldiers some Maratha , laoni dancers are also present in the fair to give enjoyment to the common people. It is a fair of adaptation and assimilation.
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