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Vikram Betaal - Siddhavat
Sitting in a taxi I watch the landscape roll by. The same road, which winds through villages on the west bank of the Shipra River, was probably taken by novelist E. Forster, who toured this area in a tonga in about In fact, the Scindia royal family had undertaken much restoration and modernization around that time—which means that today, a hundred years later, the city sports delightful squares which we might now consider old. The most spacious square is centred on a grand clock tower which must have been brand new when Forster dropped by.
Making enquiries, Forster relates that he heard rumours about one palace ruin and hired a tonga to take him there. The tongawalla tried to palm off every ramshackle structure along the road as old. Forster insisted they go on until finally, arriving at the River Shipra, he found a ruined palace on a tiny island, surrounded by beautiful if desolate pavilions. He assumed it was the Gupta court and returned feeling somewhat satisfied. Making my way to that very island, I find the road crosses a charming stone bridge.
It is not quite a ruin—so Forster exaggerated a bit. Visitors can walk through the arches into high-ceilinged cobwebbed halls provided they remove their shoes at the entrance as instructed by the watchman. As it turns out, the Muslim era palace built by a Malwa Sultan circa A. The watchman explains that this remote spot used to be the hangout for bandits, but after it was consecrated a couple of years ago, and guards employed, the bad men vamoosed.
Adjacent to the palace, I walk into an unlocked guest house built by the Scindias. It is in bad shape—windows broken, doors missing, walls covered in graffiti, floors waterlogged, and monkeys cavorting. Leaving the palace island, I begin my hunt for something that could actually date back to Gupta times— anything that Kalidas might have seen with his own eyes. So I prepare to travel further back in time.
I ask my taxi driver to take me to Behrugarh also spelt as Bhairogarh , which turns out to be a small hamlet right across the river from Ujjain. The temple is within walking distance of the district jail where I spot a few felons in white prison uniforms fixing a clogged ditch by the high prison walls. When I first set foot in Ujjain, one enthusiastic policeman at the railway station—who took it upon himself to offer free advice—told me the temple is a must-see.
As it turns out, the god, who is a particularly intimidating manifestation of Shiva, expects to be fed Royal Stag whisky—judging from the number of devotees who line up outside the impressive temple gates clutching ml bottles. Climbing into the pillared hall, I queue up to watch the priest transfer the beverage into a small plate, and then touch it to the lips of the stone idol, who proceeds to slurp it up.
The god apparently polishes off some bottles of hard liquor each day. Suitably inspirited, I explore Behrugarh village. Excavations have unearthed structural remains from the 3rd-2nd centuries B. Along the main road are cloth shops, but in a narrower side alley I make the discovery of the day—a batik workshop that employs about half a dozen people busy creating patterns on cloth with wax, before boiling it in dye.
Might Kalidas also have worn the colourful clothes from this village? If Behrugarh cloth was in fashion in Rome, he must have, I decide. Several rituals are in full progress in the temple yard where Brahmins chant mantras on behalf of the young couples hoping to be blessed with child. Not much else remains from those days—except for the temple tank in which Krishna washed his writing slate between classes. I imagine that Kalidas must have visited the ashram, maybe to lecture the students on literature.
When I ask for more information, a holy man who presides over the temple hall instructs me not to bother so much with looking for evidence from the past, but instead see to it that the children of the present treat the elderly with respect. It has a chessboard patterned floor and its foundations are said to date back to the first century B.
The poet was a worshipper— dasa —of the goddess, and hence his penname, Kalidas. Local legend has it that he used to be unable to write until he came here and Kali granted him a boon, turning him into one of the greatest writers of the world. I kneel before the deity, thinking that this is perhaps the only thing in Ujjain that Kalidas himself probably laid eyes upon. I take darshan, get my forehead red with vermilion powder, and feel a little sorry for Forster, who missed this experience.
Not far from the temple I find an interesting cave monastery, on the bank of the Shipra River. A few claustrophobic corridors tunnel through the cliff. One leads me to a subterranean chamber. Stone platforms line the walls and I get the feeling that Kalidas may have come here too—it is next to his favourite temple—and enjoyed philosophical debates with the resident ascetics.
Vikramaditya himself struggled with a vampire-like infestation hereabouts— at least according to the tales of Vikram and Betaal. To my enormous amazement, as I step out of the caves, I find myself face to face with a spooky, bigeyed stone effigy of that same Betaal, leaning against a wall in the outer courtyard. There are frequent buses from the two cities. There are budget hotels across the road from the railway station.
Many more hotels are located along Madhav Club Road where you find one of the best options: Food in Ujjain tends to be robust and vegetarian. In front of the railway station there are canteens that do a variety of meals. They are charming, though a bit crowded. Textiles are popular wares here, and there are plenty of retailers to choose from.
Stories , Wildlife. Video Stories , Wildlife. Heritage , Stories. Once in 12 years, the Kumbh Mela takes place at the temples and ghats along the Shipra River. It began in April and ends on May 21 this year. Ujjain Through the Eyes of E. Forster and Kalidas Retracing the travels of the literary giants. By Zac O'Yeah. December 26, Riverside Palace The 15th-century palace that E. Forster found while looking for the Gupta court still stands on an island on the River Shipra.
Behrugarh is a small village a few kilometres outside Ujjain where textiles have been made and exported since the days of the Silk Road. An idol at the Bharthari Cave. Dinodia Not far from the temple I find an interesting cave monastery, on the bank of the Shipra River. Stay There are budget hotels across the road from the railway station. Eat Food in Ujjain tends to be robust and vegetarian.
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2019 Navratri Start Date for Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
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Pick your preferred language. We speak English and 42 other languages. Built in , the property is within 1. Staff on site can arrange airport transportation. At the hotel, rooms are equipped with a closet, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. Guest rooms feature a safety deposit box. Speaking English and Hindi at the hour front desk, staff will be happy to provide guests with practical guidance on the area. We're sorry, but there was an error submitting your comment.
The temple is built around an ancient banyan tree that is said to the tree in the popular folklore of Vikram and Betaal. Ask the priest to tell the real story of Betaal which is totally different from the popular television and comic stories showing him hanging on King Vikramaditya's back asking him riddles won't spoil the story.
Sitting in a taxi I watch the landscape roll by. The same road, which winds through villages on the west bank of the Shipra River, was probably taken by novelist E. Forster, who toured this area in a tonga in about In fact, the Scindia royal family had undertaken much restoration and modernization around that time—which means that today, a hundred years later, the city sports delightful squares which we might now consider old.
2019 Karwa Chauth Vrat date and Puja timings for Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
This is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, dating back to 6th Century. The presiding deity, Shiva in the lingam form is believed to be Swayambhu, deriving currents of power Shakti from within itself as against the other images and lingams that are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti. When we visited this place it was Amawasya No Moon Night hence the sanctum sanctorium was closed for general public. The pilgrims rush was thin, hence we ere fortunate enough. All is well that ends well. Bhasmarti is main attraction for this temple. If you plan to visit the temple, have a considerable planning for Bhasmarti is needed. In case of online mode, Old hall has seating for around 50 tickets New Hall has seating for around tickets. Its preferable to take seating in new Hall as nearer the main Deity- Shri Mahakaal. Offline - you can book ticket a day before on reaching main temple.
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Township dating back to 1st, 2nd century BC unearth at Dangwada near Ujjain
Vikramaditya IAST: Often characterized as an ideal king, he is known for his generosity, courage, and patronage of scholars. Vikramaditya is featured in hundreds of traditional Indian legends, including those in Baital Pachisi and Singhasan Battisi. Many describe him as a universal ruler, with his capital at Ujjain Pataliputra or Pratishthana in a few stories. According to popular tradition, Vikramaditya began the Vikrama Samvat era in 57 BCE after defeating the Shakas , and those who believe that he is based on a historical figure place him around the first century BCE. However, this era is identified as "Vikrama Samvat" after the ninth century CE.
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