The early history of Ujjain is lost in the midst of antiquity. By the 6th century B.C. Avanti with its capital at Ujjaini, is mentioned in Buddhist literature as one of the four great powers along with Vatsa, Kosala and Magadha.
Modern Ujjain is situated on the banks of the river Shipra, considered since times immemorial as sacred. The town has a number of temples, ashrams and various mega religious ceremonies observed at different times of the year, including twelve- yearly Simhastha. Obviously, the place is a pilgrimage for Hindu devotees and a rare pictorial site for tourists, showcasing unique blend of ancient architect of temples and mesmerizing religious conventions The belief in the sacredness of Shipra has its origins in the ancient Hindu mythological tale of churning of the Ocean by the Gods and the Demons,with Vasuki, the serpent as the rope. The ocean bed yielded the coveted vessel of Nectar, leading to wild scramble for immortality with the demons chasing the Gods across the skies. A few drops of nectar were spilt in the fight, falling at Hardwar, Nasik, Prayag, and Ujjayini. So the piousity of the waters of the Shipra.
Ujjain is the modern name for Ujjayini. Legend has it that the God like king Shiva of Avanti commemorated his victory over the demon-ruler of Tripura or Tripuri on the banks of the Narmada and changed the name of his capital, Avantipura to Ujjayini (that is, one who conquers with pride).
Prominent sites include Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir Chintaman Ganesh, Pir Matsyendranath, Bhartrihari Caves, Kaliadeh Palace, Harsiddhi Temple, Gopal Mandir, Navagraha Mandir (Triveni), Mahakaleshwar, The Vedha Shala (Observatory) and Sandipani Ashram.
Nearest airport is Indore (55 km), which is connected by flights with Delhi, Gwalior, Bhopal and Mumbai. The town is a railway station on the Bhopal-Nagada sector of the Western Railway and one can also find regular bus services from Indore, Bhopal, Ratlam, Gwalior, Mandu, Dhar and Omkareshwar.
The uniqueness of Ujjain makes it a tourist site worth visiting throughout the year.
As for hotels, one can stay at Shipra Residency and Hotel Avantika (Yatri Niwas)
Must see places : Mahakaleshwar Temple, Bade Ganeshji Ka Mandir, Chintaman Ganesh, Pir Matsyendranath, Bhartrihari Caves, Kaliadeh Palace, Durgadas Ki Chhatri, Harsiddhi Temple, Siddhavat, Kal Bhairava, Sandipani Ashram, Gadkalika, Mangalnath, Gopal Mandir, Navagraha Mandir (Triveni), The Vedha Shala (Observatory), Vikram Kirti Mandir, Kalidasa Academy, Ram Janardhan Temple, Ram Ghat, Harihara Teertha, Mallikarjuna Teertha, Ganga Ghat, Bohron Ka Roja, Begum Ka Maqbara, Bina Neev Ki Masjid, Maulana Rumi Ka Maqbara, and Digambara Jain Museum are some of the other prominent places of interest in Ujjain.