Ujjain and Mandu over a weekend from Bangalore !
Sounds crazy no ? But that’s how it was.
10 days back the idea of visiting Mahakal in Ujjain with my husband, struck me. I was there last in 2004 and again after 12 years my thought kytoons took me to the same temple lane. We decided to go, despite the fact that there are no direct flights even to Indore from Bangalore. Ujjain is some 50 plus kilometers from Indore which is the nearest airport.
Anyway, took morning Indigo flight and reached Indore at around 9 am or so via Nagpur on Saturday, 5th March. While my husband was collecting the luggage, my eyes were wandering around looking at the MP Tourim ads. Oh, Mandu is near Indore ! My travel bug in the brain started to hum.
Went to check for the cab to Ujjain and added Mandu as well to the conversation. Took the cab to Ujjain and thought of leaving the next day’s travel plan on to the next day. Afterall we had come for Mahakal and to attend Bhasmarti which happens in the temple early in the morning around 4 am.
We hadn’t even done the online booking for the bhasmarti and hence first thing required after reaching Ujjain was to go the temple and do the booking for the next day that is Sunday morning.
Post lunch at our hotel in Ujjain , we went around seeing the Ujjain city basically temple tourism from one to another.
Ujjain places of interest
This is the city of king Vikramaditya,the king known for his justice. This is the city where Krishna Sudama studied and their guru Sandipani’s Aashram is there. This is the city where the only dedicated temple in the world for mangal grah (Mars) exists. This is the city where every 12 years, kumbh (religious congregation) is organized. This is the city which has more than 100 shiv temples besides Mahakal which is one of the most important 12 jyotirlings in India. This is the city where Rajasthan’s Dal bati becomes Dal Baafle and the north indian food tastes nice at much lesser cost compared to Bangalore.
Infact, there are more and enough reasons to visit this city called Ujjain with such rich mythological history and importance. Avoid trying to look for any proof or logic to things though. For ex the kal bharav murti (idol) drinking wine and whiskey is weird but such places are all about the energy. So many people sitting together and trying to focus on one thing early in the morning during bhasmarti is miracle per se for a country like ours which is so sensitive and from politics to religion to daily life, logic is rare.
Mahalkal darshan was superfast, I did try to say something in God’s ears but not sure if he could hear me amidst of all garlands, so many people & so many requests.
Traveling to Mandu from Ujjain
At 10 am on sunday, we started for Mandu from Ujjain with total of 7 hrs in hand. Hand the return flight in the evening.
The bumpy ride to Mandu made me regret the decision of chosing history & architecture over street food of Indore. “Do people really visit Mandu or we are mad to come all the way from Bangalore to travel on these government forsaken roads”. I kept thinking. Ironically every bad stretch of road ended with a sign board saying “ road aapki safar aapka” The distance can be covered in 1.5-2 hrs but we took some 3 hrs .
As we entered Mandu, I was taken aback by the very sight of it.Gosh !! What is MP tourism doing?? This is so much like Hampi ..
Such a photogenic place and a fine example of Afgan arhchitecture.
Interestingly the inspiration for Tajmahal too comes from the tomb of Hoshni shah at ruined city of Mandu, in Dhar district of MP. Hoshni Shah wasn’t buried here , though. He was buried in Narmadanagar now called as Hoshangabad after him.
In 2.5 hrs literally we finished Jahala mahal, rani roopmati pavilion, Baaz Bahadur’s palace & Jama Mazjid. Weekend seemed more productive than any working day of the week. Reached Bangalore Sunday night feeling quite contended.
These unplanned travels , eating kachori & samosa on paper along the roadside places where we would never go otherwise, meeting variety of people we would never meet otherwise , traveling on roads which seem familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. All these things make me a fatalist.
Every travel trip seems to serve as a life template designed somewhere above my level. Where we would be, where we would eat our meal and with whom we would meet… only God knows.
Travel experience does teach a lot and I have just started.