Ujjain (ōjĪnˈ, ōˈjĪn) [key], city (1991 pop. 362,633), Madhya Pradesh state, central India, on the Sipra River. Many pilgrims visit Ujjain, which Hindus consider one of the holiest places in India. The town is comparatively new, but nearby is a ruined ancient city, which may have been inhabited in the late 2d millennium B.C. This city has been identified as the capital of the semilegendary kingdom of Avanti, which was described in Buddhist chronicles as one of the greatest Indian states. Later it was the central city of the Malwa kingdoms, and in the 8th cent. A.D. it became the center of Sanskrit learning. Muslims captured the city in 1235 and destroyed most of the Hindu temples. Akbar conquered it in 1562, and not until it became (c.1750) part of Gwalior was Ujjain restored to Hindu control. Today Ujjain is a district administrative headquarters and the seat of Vikram Univ. It has an agricultural and textile market; manufactures include metalware, strawboard, batteries, tile, confectionery, and hosiery.
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