1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ujjain

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UJJAIN, or Ujain, a city of central India, in the state of Gwalior, on the right bank of the river Sipra, with a station on the branch of the Rajputana railway from Ratlam to Bhopal. Pop. (1901) 39,892. Ujjain, known as Avanti in the Buddhist period and as Ozene to the Greeks, is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and the traditional capital of King Vikramaditya, at whose court the “nine gems” of Sanskirt literature are said to have flourished. It marks the first meridian of longitude in Hindu geography. It is heard of first as the residence of Asoka (afterwards emperor), when viceroy of the western provinces. It was sacked by the Mahommedans in 1235. Under Akbar it became the capital of Malwa, and during the last half of the 18th century it was the headquarters of Sindhia. It contains few old buildings, though relics of antiquity are often found on the abandoned site of the old city. It is now a centre of the trade in Malwa opium, with a wealthy colony of Bohra merchants. The principal institutions are the Madhava College (called after the present Maharaja), two state hospitals, and a dispensary belonging to the Canadian Presbyterian mission. A great religious festival is held here every twelfth year.