If you are looking for a place that combines history, spirituality, and culture, then you should visit Bhartrihari Caves in Ujjain. These are ancient caves that are named after a famous poet and sage who lived here in the 11th century. These caves are also associated with King Vikramaditya, the legendary ruler of Ujjain.
Bhartrihari Caves are located near Gadkalika Temple, on the banks of the Shipra River. They are one of the major tourist attractions of Ujjain, which is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. Ujjain is also known for its temples, festivals, and heritage. Visit during Ujjain Local sightseeing and One day trip From Indore and Bhopal
Here are some details about Bhartrihari Caves that will help you plan your visit.
Location of Bhartrihari Caves:
Bhartrihari Caves are situated in Gonsa locality, about 4 km from Ujjain Junction railway station. They are easily accessible by road, rail, or air.
Timing/Entry Fees Bhartrihari Caves:
Bhartrihari Caves are open from 6 AM to 9 PM and there is no entry fee to visit them. However, you may have to pay a nominal fee for parking your vehicle or using the facilities such as changing rooms or lockers.
How to reach Bhartrihari Caves:
The nearest airport to Ujjain is Indore, which is about 55 km away. You can take a taxi or a bus from Indore to Ujjain. The nearest railway station to Ujjain is Ujjain Junction, which is about 2 km away from Bhartrihari Caves. You can take an auto-rickshaw or a cycle-rickshaw from the station to the caves. Alternatively, you can also drive your own vehicle or hire a car from Indore or other nearby cities.
Things to do/Must see Bhartrihari Caves:
There are many things to do and see at Bhartrihari Caves. Some of them are:
- Explore the caves and learn about their history and significance. The caves have very narrow entrances, which can be tricky to access. Inside the caves, you will find stone pillars, rooms, idols, and images of Hindu deities. You will also see a stone statue of Bhartrihari in a sitting posture, a trident of Lord Shiva, and a holy ash called Dhuni.
- Pay your respects to Bhartrihari, who was a renowned poet and sage. He was the stepbrother of King Vikramaditya and the author of three famous works: Shringarshatak (a collection of 100 verses on love), Vairagyashatak (a collection of 100 verses on renunciation), and Nitisatak (a collection of 100 verses on ethics). He gave up his royal life and became an ascetic after being betrayed by his wife. He meditated in these caves for 12 years and attained enlightenment.
- Witness the evening aarti (worship ceremony) at the caves, which is a beautiful sight of lights, music, and devotion. You can also join the chanting of hymns and mantras and feel the positive vibrations.
- Visit the nearby attractions such as Gadkalika Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Kalika; Harsiddhi Temple, which is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas (powerful places of Goddess Parvati); Mahakaleshwar Temple, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (self-manifested forms of Lord Shiva); and Kal Bhairav Temple, which is dedicated to the fierce form of Lord Shiva.
- Enjoy the local cuisine and culture of Ujjain. You can taste some delicious snacks such as kachori (deep-fried pastry), poha (flattened rice), jalebi (deep-fried sweet), and lassi (yogurt drink). You can also shop for some souvenirs such as religious idols, beads, rudraksha (sacred seeds), or handicrafts.
Significance of Bhartrihari Caves:
Bhartrihari Caves are not only a tourist attraction but also a place of great religious and historical significance. Some of the reasons why this place is important are:
- It is associated with King Vikramaditya, who was a legendary ruler of Ujjain and a patron of arts and sciences. He was famous for his justice and wisdom and his stories are part of Indian folklore.
- It is one of the four places where the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years. The Kumbh Mela is based on a legend that says that when gods and demons fought over a pot of nectar of immortality, some drops of it fell on four places on earth: Haridwar, Prayagraj, Nashik, and Ujjain. These places are believed to have acquired special powers due to this event.
- It is a place where many saints and sages have visited and meditated over centuries. Some of them are Adi Shankaracharya (the founder of Advaita Vedanta philosophy), Ramanujacharya (the founder of Vishishtadvaita philosophy), Guru Nanak (the founder of Sikhism), Kabir (a mystic poet), Tulsidas (the author of Ramcharitmanas), and Swami Vivekananda (a spiritual leader).
Q: When is the best time to visit Bhartrihari Caves?
A: The best time to visit Bhartrihari Caves is during the months of October to March when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. However, if you want to witness the Kumbh Mela, you have to visit during April or May when it occurs once in 12 years.
Q: What are some tips for visiting Bhartrihari Caves?
A: Some tips for visiting Bhartrihari Caves are:
Dress modestly and respectfully as this is a religious place.
Avoid carrying valuables or expensive items as there may be crowds or pickpockets.
Follow the rules and regulations of the cave authorities such as maintaining cleanliness or not littering.
Be careful while exploring the caves as there may be slippery rocks or low ceilings.
Respect the sentiments and beliefs of other devotees and do not disturb them.
Bhartrihari Caves in Ujjain are a place that offers a unique blend of history, spirituality, and culture. It is a place where you can learn about the life and works of a famous poet and sage who renounced his royal life for spiritual pursuits. It is also a place where you can witness one of the largest religious gatherings in the world that happens once in 12 years. If you are looking for a memorable and meaningful trip, you should definitely visit Bhartrihari Caves in Ujjain.