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Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

Information about Ayodhya
Ayodhya is one of the seven most sacred cities of the Hindus in India and situated about 135 km from Lucknow, on the banks of the Gaghara river. The name Ayodhya means which cannot be subdued by war. It covers an area of 10.24 square km. Ayodhya is one of the seven holy Hindu cities. This holy city holds a place of pride among Hindus as it is the birthplace of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ayodhya is also believed to be the capital of Kosala, a

Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh

kingdom ruled by Lord Rama. Ayodhya is an equally important place for Jains and Sikhs. Ayodhya is a city of temples as there are about 300 temples here. Hindi, Avadhi, English are the main languages which are spoken in Ayodhya. The best season to visit this place is from October to March.

History of Ayodhya
According to the Ramayana, the ancient city of Ayodhya was founded by Manu, the law-giver of the Hindus. For centuries it was the capital of the decendants of the Surya Vansh. In the ancient times, Ayodhya was known as Kaushaldesha. The Atharvaveda described it as a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself. The ruling dynasty of this region was the lkshvakus of the Surya Vansh. According to tradition lkshvaku was the eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu, who established himself at Ayodhya. The earth is said to have derived its name ‘Prithvi’ from Prithu, the 6th king of the line. A few generations later came Mandhatri, in whose line the 31st king was Harishchandra, known widely for his love for truth. Raja Sagar of the same clan performed the Ashvamedha Yajna and his great grandson Bhagirath is reputed to have brought Ganga on earth by virtue of his penances. Later in the time came the great Raghu, after whom the family came to be called as ‘Raghu Vansh’. His grandson was Raja Dasharatha, the father of Lord Rama, with whom the glory of the dynasty reached its zenith. The 93rd generation from lkshvaku and the 30th from Lord Rama was Vrihadbala, the last famous king of the Lkshvaku dynasty of Ayodhya, who was killed during the Mahabharata war. The kingdom of Kosala again rose to prominence at the time of the Buddha, during 6th century B.C. Buddha preached his ‘Dharma’ in Ayodhya. Jains believe that it is the birth place of the first and fourth Tirthankaras. It was also the seat of the first Tirthankar Adinath. This city was also visited by Sikh Gurus, Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveler, also visited Ayodhya in the 7th century and described it in glowing terms. In recent years, Ayodhya has become the focus of intense political activity by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an organisation which wants to assert a form of militant Hinduism. In 1990, Violence between Muslims and Hindus flared in Ayodhya as the VHP and the BJP claimed that Ayodhya was Ramjanmabhoomi, the Rama's birth place. This place is beneath the Babri Mosque built by Babur, though deserted now for many years. The demands that a temple should be built on that spot caused widespread tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities in 1990-1991.

According to Hindu belief, Ram Chandra once reigned here at the capital of Rama. In view of the special significance of the site to Hindus, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study started on a project in 1978 to explore the town’s origins which is still continuing.

Excavations at Ayodhya
Little remains of the ancient settlement at Ayodhya. The ruins have a circumference of between 4 and 5 km, rising at some places to 10 meters above the ground. At later levels of the site some interesting finds have been made, including a jain figure from the 4th-3rd century B.C., possibly the earliest Jain figure found in India. Houses during this period were built in kiln baked brick, and various coins have been found from periods up to the 4th century AD. Some of the findings in this latter period suggest extensive trade with eastern India. The trenches excavated to date have not revealed any evidence of occupation between the 5th and 10th centuries AD, although both Fa-Hien and Hiuen Tsang are said to have visited it in the 5th and 7th centuries respectively.

Festivals of Ayodhya

Ram Navami and Shravan Jhoola Mela are the main festivals which are celebrated in Ayodhya. Ram Navami falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of Chaitra (March-April). The people from all parts of the country gather on the banks of Saryu river. The birth of Lord Rama is celebrated at midnight, when Ayodhya is filled with the sound of conches and bells. Shravan Jhoola Mela starts on the third day of the second half of Shravana (July-August) and lasts till the end of the month. The images of the Lord Rama, Lakshman and Sita are swung in the temples and then taken in Mani Parvat, where a big gathering joins in swinging these deities. The deities are later brought back to the temples.

Tourist Attractions in Ayodhya
The famous places in Ayodhya are Shri Ramjanma Bhoomi, Ramkote, Kala Rama, Kanak Bhavan, Swargdwar, Nageshwarnath Temple, Hanumangarhi, Treta Ke Thakur, Tulsi Smarak Bhawan and Ramkatha Museum. The Ramkote is the main place of worship in Ayodhya. The ancient citadel of Ramkote stands on an elevated ground in the western part of the city. Shri Ramjanma Bhoomi is believed to be discovered by King Vikramaditya. It is the birth place of Lord Rama. Nageshwarnath is considered to be the presiding deity of Ayodhya. The temple of Nageshwarnath is said to have been established by Kush, the son of Lord Rama. Other cities associated with Rama are Janam Sthana where the god was raise and Lakshmana Ghat where Rama’s brother committed suicide. Hanuman’s Fortress takes its name from the Hanuman and Sita temple and the massive walls surrounding it. The Guptar Ghat, Raj Ghat, Ram Ghat, Lakshman Ghat, Janki Ghat, Naya Ghat, Dantdhavan Kund, Vidya Kund are the main ghats in Ayodhya. There are also several Jain temples at Ayodhya.

How to reach Ayodhya
By Air:

The nearest airport are Amausi in Lucknow and Babatpur in Varanasi.

By Rail:
Ayodhya is situated on the broad gauge Northern Railway line on Mughal Sarai-Lucknow main route. Ayodhya is connected to various parts of the country like Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi and Delhi.

By Road:
Ayodhya is connected by road to several major cities and towns like Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Varanasi.


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