It is said that no offering to the Gods in the innumerable temples is complete without a dip in the holy waters of the Shipra River, Ujjain. The mythological story about the river is also quite unique. My Panchkroshi yatra had left my feet very sore and I was dying to have my feet up but when I looked at the serene Shipra River, for a moment all my worries evaporated. I could see thousands of devotees taking a dip getting all drenched with their clothes on. There were not many facilities for proper changing of clothes but it did not stop them at all. I did my little puja that I had to perform and sat on the banks as the sun set painted the skyline with its warm colors.
Everything in this world, animate or inanimate has their stories to tell. Similarly, the Shipra River has its own legends. People believe that the river has originated from the blood of the Vishnu God, which had over flown from the skull of Lord Brahma that Lord Shiva had carried to ask for alms. Related stories circulate and are widely believed in. For me, the holy place of Ujjain sitting in the right bank of this equally holy river was like food for soul. As I sat on the bank looking at the devotees, my own life reflected in front of my eyes. Though clearly I am no atheist but performing elaborate pujas back in Hyderabad is not something that I do and is not very practical for me too. But in Ujjain, I feel blessed by just being in this land of ancient Gods and Goddess and consequently, I feel at peace with myself.
The Shipra River, Ujjain is also famous for the Kumbh Mela that takes place on its banks every 12 years. Originating in the Kakri Badi Hills in the Vindhya Range and despite being one of the perennial rivers, it does go dry after the monsoon season, yet the faith associated with the river would continue to have a string of devotees coming to its banks. With a lighter heart I went back to the hotel and the following day, I had to visit the Vedha Shala, Ujjain.