Ujjain (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantika, Avantikapuri), is an ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River in the Malwa region of central India. The city is today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh, and it is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.
The city of Lord Mahakal, Ujjain is known by several names in Vedas and Puranas. The word ‘Avanti’ has repeatedly surfaced in the verses of Vedas. Another name Ujjayini has emerged in the sutra “Striyamwanti Kurubhyashcha” of great scholar Panini. The city was named after King Kartavirya Arjun’s son Avanti, which was later called as Avantika, Avantipuri, Avanti Nagri or Avantikapuri. The city was even called as Vishala due to its large area and Padmavati due to its grand palaces and prosperity.
In ancient times, the city had several names including Padmavati, Swarnashringa, kushshthali, Avantika, Amravati and Chudamani. it was also called ’Kanakshringa’ due to the golden designs on its buildings. It was named as ‘Kumudvati’ because flowers were found in abundance here. The city was called as ‘Pratikalpa’ as it was ruined and settled frequently.
According to the Brahmapuran, Ujjayini was described as the best city of the world. Equipped with all kinds of Bhogas, it was called as ‘Bhogavati’ while the city was also known as ‘Hiranyavati’ due to the prosperity.
The city was called as ‘Vikrampuri’ as it was the capital of King Vikramaditya, the founder of Vikram Samvat calendar while it was named Mahakalpuri or Shivpuri as world’s famous Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is situated here. The city has been named as Avanti in the epics like Vedas, Valmiki Ramayan and Mahabharat. The most popular name ‘Ujjayini’ is still in use with a slight modification as Ujjain.
Udyanani cha ramyani vananyupavnani cha
The city was prosperous due to its richness of gardens. In ‘Prakrit’ language, garden is called ‘Ujjain’ and thus the city was titled Ujjayini which was later renamed as Ujjain."