Ujjain, known as Avanti in the Buddhist period and as Ozene to the Greeks, is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and the traditional capital of King Vikramaditya, at whose court the "nine gems" of Sanskirt literature are said to have flourished.
A first meridian, separating a leeward from a windward region, passed through Ras Kumhari (Comorin) and was thus nearly identical with the first meridian of the Indian astronomers which passed through the sacred city of Ujjain (Ozere of Ptolemy) or the meridian of Azin of the Arabs.
The town, the name of which is usually derived from Dhara Nagari (the city of sword blades), is of great antiquity, and was made the capital of the Paramara chiefs of Malwa by Vairisinha II., who transferred his headquarters hither from Ujjain at the close of the 9th century.
There is a leather factory at Morar; cotton-presses at Morena, Baghana and Ujjain; ginning factories at Agar, Nalkhera, Shajapur and Sonkach; and a cotton-mill at Ujjain.
The railways, undertaken by the state, are: (I) from Bina on the Indian Midland to Goona; (2) an extension of this line to Baran, opened in 1899; (3) from Bhopal to Ujjain; (4) two light railways, from Gwalior to Sipri and Gwalior to Bhind, which were opened by the viceroy in November 1899.