The Shipra starts her journey in the Vindhya Range from a hill called Kokri Tekdi situated at a distance of 11km from Ujjain. This river is 195km long, out of which 93km flow through Ujjain. It then touches Ratlam and Mandsaur, before joining the river Chambal. The main tributaries of Shipra are Khan and Gambhir.
The Shipra has been mentioned not only in ancient Hindu texts, like the Puranas, but in Buddhist and Jain scriptures as well. Legend has it that once Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of the Universe, went begging, using the skull of Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe, as a begging bowl.
Nowhere in the three worlds did he manage to get any alms. Ultimately, he went to Vaikunth, or the seat 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, or trident, and cut Lord Vishnu’s fingers. The Preserver’s fingers began to bleed profusely, and the blood accumulated in Brahma’s skull and soon overflowed from it. The flow became a stream and finally a river – the Shipra. The Puranas, or ancient Hindu texts, also suggest that the Shipra originated from the heart of Varaha, Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as a boar. Also on the banks of the Shipra is Sage Sandipani’s ashram, or hermitage where the blue god, Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s eighth incarnation, had studied.