(Last Updated on : 13/03/2015)
The Shipra River also spelt, as Kshipra is a river that flows in the state of Madhya Pradesh
, which is located in central India. The Shipra originates in the Vindhya Range
from a hill called Kakri-Tekdi which is in the north of Dhar situated at a distance of 11km from Ujjain
. This river is 195km long, out of which 93km flow through Ujjain. It then flows in the south direction and touches Ratlam
across the Malwa plateau
to join the Chambal River
. The main tributaries of Shipra are Khan and Gambhi
r. It is a perennial river and is considered as sacred as the Ganga River
by the Hindus
. The word Shipra is used as a symbol of "purity" or "chastity" or "clarity" of soul, emotions, body, etc.
Legend of Shipra River
Legend has it that once Lord Shiva
went begging for alms, using the skull of Lord Brahma
as the begging bowl. Nowhere in the three worlds did he manage to get any alms. Ultimately, he went to Vaikunth, the abode of Lord Vishnu
and asked Lord Vishnu for alms. In return, Lord Vishnu showed Lord Shiva his index finger, which enraged the latter. Lord Shiva took out his trishul and cut Lord Vishnus fingers. Vishnus fingers began to bleed profusely and the blood accumulated in Brahmas skull and soon overflowed from it. The flow became a stream and finally a river – the Shipra.
The Puranas or ancient Hindu texts also put forward that the Shipra originated from the heart of Varaha, Lord Vishnus incarnation as a boar. Also on the banks of the Shipra is Sage Sandipani
or hermitage where Krishna
, Lord Vishnus eighth incarnation, had studied.
Religious Significance of Shipra River
Ujjain is in Malwa region. The holy city of Ujjain is located on the right bank of the Shipra River. The famous Kumbha Mela
takes place in the ghats of this city, once every 12 years, a yearly celebration of the river goddess Kshipra. There are hundreds of Hindu shrines along the banks of the Shipra River.
The Shipra River is one of the sacred rivers in India. It finds mention not only in ancient Hindu texts, but also in Buddhist
and Jain scriptures
. Every evening "Shipra Aarti", the offering of lit oil lamps to the river takes place. This was popular with the pilgrims. Thousands of small lamps are set afloat on the river on rafts of leaves and flowers. It is believed that the north-bound Shipra takes these offerings to the abode of Lord Siva in the Himalayas
Devotees come here with the belief that a dip in the river washes away their sins. All pilgrims take a ritual dip in the river before heading to Sabarimala
. Pilgrims also perform pitru tarpanam (offering to ancestors) before starting the trek to the shrine. People also come here to perform funeral rites for the departed souls.
The Shipra River is home to a variety of fish. A 10 km stretch of the river Shipra, where the fish congregate for breeding is declared as a sanctuary. Earlier there used to be plenty of water in the river. Now the river stopped flowing from a couple of months after the monsoon.