Knowing the Mystries of Bharthari Caves in Ujjain

Khushi Sharma

Ujjain a city steeped deep into history and spirituality has been a destination for pilgrims and seekers of knowledge from a while ago. Nestled within this ancient city lies a hidden gem tucked away on the outskirts the Bharthari Caves, a site shrouded in mystery and allure. As a curious student, eager to explore the lesser-known facets of India’s cultural history I embarked on a journey to explore these caves. Intent is to unravel its hidden stories and discover the essence of ancient allure. 

Here I am going to unveil the mystery and take all of you on very interesting cave expedition full of astonishing facts and stories of the place.

 Arrival in Ujjain

Journey begins with the bustling streets of Ujjain, where the fragrance of incense sticks and sounds of temple bells filled the air. Known for rich cultural heritage and a significant pilgrimage site, Ujjain served as the perfect backdrop for the adventure. Now comes the time to set out towards heart of the city Bharthari Caves, located approximately 5 to 6 km from the city center.

Historical Background of Bharthari Caves

Before venturing into the heart of the city, it was essential to understand the historical significance of the Bharthari Caves. Named after the sage Bharthari, the caves are believed to have been his abode during period of self-imposed exile for 12 years. He retreated to these caves to pursue a life of asceticism and meditation. Bharthari was the younger brother of the renowned King Vikramaditya. He was a revered poet and philosopher. The evidence of human habitation has been found dating back to the 6th century BCE (Gupta period).

Bharthari, a revered figure in Indian literature, philosophy, and spirituality, left an indelible mark on these Caves. His renowned work, “Vairagya Shatak,” reflects the essence of renunciation and detachment, themes that perfectly resonate within the silent corridors of the caves.

Exploring the Caves

Upon reaching Bharthari it left me awe-struck. Situated amidst rocky terrain, the caves exuded an ancient charm that hinted at stories they held within. 

On approaching towards the entrance to Bharthari Caves, the air seemed to change, laden with a sense of mystery. Caves have been revered as sacred site by devotees and pilgrims. Pilgrims often visit the caves to pay homage to Bharthari and seek blessings for health, prosperity, and spiritual fulfillment. The place was full of devotees reached there with curiosity in their heart and sparkle of astonishment in their eyes after having the glimpse of caves. 

One of the striking features was the simplicity of the caves, in stark contrast to the ornate temples dotting landscape of Ujjain. The quietude within these rock walls served as reminder of the ascetic life that Bharthari is said to have led. These caves are divided into multiple chambers, each holding its own secrets and stories within them.

After navigating through the interconnected chambers, I couldn’t help but to appreciate marvel of timeless beauty encapsulated in these ancient rock-cut structures.

Mysteries Unveiled

After interacting with the locals knowing their stories and beliefs about the caves many mysterious things have come to my knowledge adding a good touch to exploration. Many shared anecdotes passed down through generations, highlighting the significance of various stories about Sage Bharthari and that place. 

Story of reason behind asceticism of Bharthari

There are many interesting stories about the asceticism of Bharthari. People say he had two wives but became enamoured with beautiful Pingala and married her. 

One day  Guru Gorakhnath reached court of Raja Bharthari was honoured in grand manner as per scriptural authorities. Pleased with his service, Guru offered him a fruit that when eaten will always keep young, youthful and virile.

Raja Bharthari at receiving divine fruit decided to give that to his lovely Pingala he wished her to always remain beautiful. Pingala had her heart on Kotwal (Chief guard) of kingdom which Bharthari was unaware of. She decided to give fruit to Kotwal thinking that he will continue to fulfil her desires for long time.

But Kotwal was in love with a prostitute and gave the fruit to her thinking that his wants and needs will be fulfilled by her. The prostitute thought that if she eat this fruit, the hellish existence that she lived in would haunt her forever and thought that king is the most deserving contender for this miraculous fruit as he would take care of all his subjects for a long time.

Prostitute surrendered the fruit to him. Raja was bewildered and asked how she came into possession of fruit. Once the mystery was unravelled, Raja realizing betrayal of his wife developed vairagya (dispassion) at once and handed over his entire kingdom to Vikramaditya.

He went away to do penance in cave on the banks of holy Kshipra river and it was here that the great king turned ascetic sat for tapaha for 12 years. Seeing the shakti (energy) of his tapas it is said that Indra, king of the Devas became fearful suspecting Bharthari wanting to snatch his title and kingdom. Indra used his thunderbolt to strike cave where sage was meditating causing stone to fall. Sage using his tapobala held stone in his hand

At end of cave is the statue of Bharthari and near the statue if looked carefully, is another cave that is believed to be the way to the Char Daams from here.

 Journey provided not only glimpse into past but also opportunity for self-reflection. It underscored the importance of preserving our cultural heritage and the need for continued exploration and documentation of such lesser-known sites.

Final Thoughts

My exploration of Bhartari Caves in Ujjain was a journey of self-discovery and cultural immersion. The ancient caves, with their historical significance and spiritual ambiance, offered a unique perspective on India’s rich tapestry of traditions. The experience served as a testament to the importance of unearthing and preserving these hidden gems that contribute to the mosaic of our cultural heritage. As I left Bhartari Caves, I carried with me not only memories of a captivating adventure but also a deepened appreciation for the historical treasures that lie scattered across the landscapes of India

Expedition into Ujjain, proved to be a transformative experience. From spiritual ambience to  encounters with locals and the quest for hidden truths, every aspect of the journey contributed to a deeper understanding of this historical site. The Bhartari Caves stand as a testament to the confluence of history, spirituality, and the enduring human quest for meaning.

EBNW Story on Google News

Published at :

EBNW Story is managed by students of Saksham Sanchar Foundation. If you like the efforts to make #BrilliantBharat, you can encourage them through donation - Thank you