Ancient literature, as old as 6th century BCE, (Before Common Era), mentions the four great power centers as Vatsa, Kosala, Magadha, and Avanti.
The Avanti kingdom with its capital Avantika, later named Ujjaiyini, is believed to have a history of 5000 years. Located on the banks of river Kshipra, Ujjain played an important role in the education landscape of ancient India as it fostered linguistics, astronomy, astrology, arithmetic, classical arts and liberal thinking.
Ujjain was fortuitous to have been home to some of the greatest minds of our civilization, which in turn helped substantiate its intellectual aura. Works of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidas – who was a resident of Ujjain - are among the finest examples of classical liberal arts. Legendary figures from the Mahabharata - Sudama, Balram, and Krishna also studied under the Guru’s Guru, Sandipani at his ashram here, where learning and teaching in several disciplines were carried out. Samrat Ashok also completed a major part of his education in Ujjain.
Ujjain has always nurtured collaborative learning between multiple fields of study. The Navratnas from the court of Ujjain’s great emperor, Samrat Vikramaditya, who heralded the golden age of Sanskrit literature, exemplify this.