Simhastha was held at Mahidpur instead of Ujjain in year 1897 due to famine

Bhopal, January 15, 2016 (Ataullah Faizan):   Simhastha is always held at Ujjain, but in year 1897 it was not held there. Instead, it was held at Mahidpur. It was 118 years ago in year 1897 that Ujjain was gripped by severe famine . In the year of Simhastha, people had started migrating from Ujjain due to dearth of food and water. Kshipra river had also dried up due to which holy baths were not possible. It was also difficult to arrange food and water for saints and seers. The then princely state was feeling helpless in making arrangements for Simhastha. Through Holkar Raja, administration of Scindia State gave message to saints and seers that it would be difficult for them to perform Simhastha rituals at Ujjain due to famine.

At that time, road to Mahidpur from Indore was via Unhel. Mahidpur was ruled by Holkars. A large deposit of water was present in a portion of Kshipra river at Gangwadi area of Mahidpur. Holkar ruler made arrangements for Simhastha Snan of saints and seers at Gaganwadi. Due to it, Simhastha Mela was held at Gangwadi and saints and seers took holy dip in Kshipra there. It was for the first time in the history during that year that Ramghat and entire Simhastha presented a completely deserted look while Simhastha was held 60 kms away at Mahidpur. From year 1919, Simhastha returned to its original place Ujjain.