Day 1 UJJAIN
Start early to visit Ujjain’s prominent shrines like Harsiddhi, Mangalnath and Maharishi Sandipani Ashram on the ghats of the Shipra River. Time permitting, run through Ujjain’s other chief sights: Vedshala, Gadhkalika temple, Bhartrihari cave and samadhi of sage Matsyendranath.
Make time to head to Behrugarh where the practice of offering alcohol continues at the Kalbhairav temple. Behrugarh is also known for its workshops where the 2000-year-old craft of batik printing is practised. Adjacent to the jail, watch artists in dingy workshops make designs with molten wax before dyeing and creating vibrant bed sheets, dupattas, and other fabrics of beauty.
If you have just one night to spare, make it count by booking a slot for the bhasmarti at the Mahakaleshwar Temple online, well in advance. Overnight at a city hotel close to the temple.
Day 2 INDORE
After a relatively sleepless night attending the 4 a.m. bhasmarti, catch a few hours of rest before driving out to Indore. With a little over half a day in Indore, follow the Holkar legacy at Rajwada and Lalbaag Palace, and visit the Jain Kanch Mandir. This temple was built by pioneering trader Sir Seth Hukumchand Jain and is located next to his mansion, Shish Mahal at Itwaria Bazar. The temple’s stunning interior, of mirrors and multi-coloured glass, was executed by craftsmen from Jaipur and Iran.
Address: Jaisinghpura, Ujjain.
Website: www.mahakaleshwar.nic.in; www.mahakaleshwar.org.in
Address: Sana Enterprises, Off Kaliadeh Palace Marg, Near Bherugarh Jail, Ujjain.
Tel: +91 81204 76700, 98272 14700
Jain Kanch Mandir
Address: Hukumchand Marg, Itwaria Bazaar, Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar Cloth Market, Indore.
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