In a land area of 18,441 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers three civil districts of Ujjain, Shajapur and Rajgarh.
The ancient city of central India, Ujjain is situated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River.
Males constitute 52 percent of the population and females 48 percent. Ujjain has an average literacy rate of 72 percent. Male literacy is 79 percent and female literacy is 66 percent.
Ujjain as an ecclesiastical unit in India came into existence on July 29, 1968 and was entrusted to the newly formed 'Missionary Society of St. Thomas the Apostle' (MSTA). Father John Perumattam, the first director general of the Society was appointed apostolic exarch of Ujjain and he was installed on Jan. 14, 1969. The apostolic exarchate of Ujjain was created by bifurcating the diocese of Indore. The three civil districts of Ujjain, Shajapur and Rajgarh formed the new ecclesiastical unit. The exarchate of Ujjain was erected as eparchy of Ujjain on Feb. 26, 1977, by Pope Paul VI . Msgr. John Perumattam was appointed its first bishop.
He was consecrated on May 15, 1977, and he took canonical possession of the office on July 3, 1977. On June 5, 1998, Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation and Father Sebastian Vadakel was nominated the second bishop of Ujjain. He was consecrated on Sept. 8, 1998, and he took canonical possession of the See on the same day.
The Syro-Malabar mission eparchy of Ujjain has made earnest efforts to reach the Good News to all the people in the eparchy and to share the love of Jesus with them in various ways. At present there are 41 mission stations with resident priests and religious sisters in the eparchy. Besides, there are a number of ecclesiastical institutions and apostolates that help in sharing the Good News with the people in the eparchy.
The summer months (April-June) are harsh with temperatures reaching up to 45ºC. In addition, hot winds (called loo) may blow in the afternoons, worsening the heat. The winter months (November-February) are pleasant and cool with daytime temperatures typically 20ºC, though it may drop to subzero in the night. The monsoon usually arrives in late June and the months of June till September receive moderate to heavy rainfall. There are periods of rainfall followed by long periods of bright sunshine and high humidity. The month of October generally is warm and with high humidity.
The economy of Ujjain is mainly dependent on the agricultural activities of the nearby villages. Two main crops are wheat and soybean. Cultivation in Ujjain is sensitive to changes in rainfall and failure of monsoon cycles can lay a devastating toll on agriculture and the local economy.
The soil is black and stony. Soybean, wheat, jowar and bajra are the main crops grown.
As a great Hindu religious center, Ujjain ranks equal to Benaras, Gaya and Kanchi. Over 75 percent of the population are Hindus. Saivism, Vaishnavism and their various cults and sects, Jainism and Buddhism, have a niche in this ancient city. However, Muslims are the second largest population here.
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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