Ujjenī.-The capital of Avanti. In the Buddha's time,There was an old trade-route from Ujjenī to Benares and the merchants of the two cities showed healthy rivalry not only in trade, but also in matters of culture.
Before succeeding to his father's throne at Pātaliputta, Asoka reigned for several years as Viceroy at Ujjenī, and it was during this period that Mahinda and Sanghamittā were born.
Mahinda spent six months in Dakkhinagiri Vihāra in Ujjenī, prior to his visit to Ceylon .
The Jātakas speak of Ujjenī as having been the capital of Avanti from very ancient times. E.g., in J.iv.390, where Avanti Mahārāja rules in Ujjenī as capital of Avanti. But in the Mahāgovinda Sutta (D.ii.235), Māhissatī is mentioned as the capital of Avanti. Perhaps Māhissatī lost its importance later and gave place to Ujjenī, for we find Māhissatī mentioned just before Ujjenī among the places passed by Bāvarī's pupils on their way to Sāvatthi (Sn.v.1011).