Ujjain is also Known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantika, Avantikapuri is an ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River (Hindi: क्षिप्रा) in the Malwa region of central India. The city is today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, and it is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.
In ancient times, the city was called Ujjayini. As mentioned in the Mahabharata epic and Buddhist literature, Ujjayini was the capital of the Avanti Kingdom. Traditionally exalted as one of the seven sacred cities (Sapta Puri) of the Hindus, Ujjain is one of the four sites that host the Kumbh Mela (also called the Simhastha Mela), a quadrennial mass pilgrimage that attracts millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the country. It is also home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines to the god Shiva. An ancient seat of learning, Ujjain is the place where Lord Krishna, along with Balarama and Sudama, received his education from Maharshi Sandipani. It is also known as the city of Temples.
In Indian mythology, the origin of the city is ascribed to the act of Sagar Manthan, which refers to the churning of the primordial ocean performed by the demigods and demons to discover a pot containing the nectar of immortality. The story goes that after the nectar was discovered, a fierce struggle ensued between the demigods and the demons to obtain the nectar for the attainment of immortality. During the chase, a drop of nectar spilled and fell on Ujjain, thus making the city sacred. According to legend, the river Kshipra that flows across Ujjain is regarded to have originated owing to the churning of the gods and goddesses.
On the day of Mahashivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple and worship goes on through the night.