Ayodhya, Information about Ayodhya, Travel to Ayodhya
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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 Saryu river. The name Ayodhya means which cannot be subdued by war. It covers an area of 10.24 square km. 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 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. According to legends, five Jain Tirthankaras were born here and it was 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, 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.

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, Kanak Bhavan, Swargdwar, Nageshwarnath Temple, Hanumangarhi, Treta Ke Thakur, Tulsi Smarak Bhawan and Ramkatha Museum. 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.

Ramkote
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. Presently, the area is occupied by buildings, mostly temples and maths. This place is visited by pilgrims throughout the year, but mainly during the Ram Navami, the birth of Lord Rama.

Shri Ramjanma Bhoomi
Shri Ramjanma Bhoomi is believed to be discovered by King Vikramaditya. It is the birth place of Lord Rama. On the auspicious day of Ram Navami, the devotees come here in large numbers.

Swargdwar
The strip of land from Sahastradhara to Nageshwarnath temple is commonly known as Swargdwar. The buildings on the Ghat facing the river were mainly built during the reign of Nawab Safa Jung and his Hindu minister Naval Rai, who is credited in particular for their construction. The buildings and the ghats offer a fine view. In recent years, the river bed has shifted northwards, leaving the Ghats, therefore the new Ghats were built around 1960 along the new bridge. It is popularly known as ‘pairi’ and offers an excellent view from the bridge. 

Nageshwarnath Temple
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. According to the legend, the Kush lost his armlet while bathing in the river Saryu, which was picked up by a Nag-Kanya, who fell in love with him. As she was devotee of Lord Shiva, Kush erected this temple for her. It is said that this has been the only temple to have survived till the time of king Vidramaditya. It was only through this temple that king Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the different shrines here. The present temple was built during the reign of Safdar Jung by Naval Rai in 1750. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great enthusiasm.

Nageshwarnath Temple, Ayodhya

Hanumangarhi
Hanumangarhi is one of the most important temples of Ayodhya. This temple is situated in the center of the town and approachable by a flight of 76 steps. As per the legends, the Lord Hanuman lived here in a cave and guarded the Ramkote. The present temple was built in the middle of 10th century, in the shape of a four sided fort with circular bastions at each corner. The temple houses an image of Lord Hanuman.

Tulsi Smarak Bhawan
Tulsi Smarak Bhawan was built in the memory of Goswami Tulsidas and is used for prayer meetings and religious discourses. It also houses the ‘Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan’, where a large collection of literary works on Swami Tulsidas can be seen.

Ramkatha Museum
The Ramkatha museum was established in Ayodhya since 1988. This museum is engaged in collection, preservation and conservation of antiquities related to the story of Lord Rama.

Kanak Bhavan
Kanak Bhawan is one of the finest temples in Ayodhya. It was built by queen of Tikamgarh, Vrishbhanu Kuvari in 1891. The main temple is built around an open inner court in which stands a small shrine of Rampada. The main idols installed inside the garbhagriha are of Sita and Lord Rama. The sanctrum is well decorated.

Treta Ke Thakur
The Treta Ke Thakur is a temple that stands at the place where Lord Rama is said to have performed the Ashvamedha Yajna. About 300 years ago the Raja of Kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahaylabai Holkar of Indore and the adjoining Ghats were also built at that time. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from river Saryu and placed in the new temple, known as the Kale Ram Ka Mandir.

Excursions

Faizabad
Faizabad is situated about 7 km. from Ayodhya. Faizabad was developed as a township nearly 220 years ago, during the reign of Safdar Jung, the second Nawab of Avadh, who laid its foundation by making it his army headquarters. Siraj-ud-daula, his successor settled at Faizabad after 1764 and built a fort known as Chhota Calcutta, now in ruins. In 1765, he built the Chowk and Tripaulia and subsequently laid out the Anguribagh, Motibagh, Asafbagh and Bulandbagh. During the reign of Siraj-ud-daula, Faizabad attained prosperity which it never saw again. The glory of Faizabad eclipsed with the shifting of capital from Faizabad to Lucknow by Nawab Asaf-ud-daula. The principal achievement of the period was the mausoleum of Siraj-ud-daula, known as Gulab Bari. It is a striking building of fine properties and stands in a garden surrounded by a wall, approachable through two large gateways. Siraj-ud-daula’s wife was well known as Bahu Begum, who married the Nawab in 1743 and continued to reside in Faizabad. The tomb of Bahu Begum is located at Jawaharbagh. It is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in Avadh, which was built at the cost of three lakh rupees by her chief advisor Darab Ali Khan. A fine view of the city can be had from top of the tomb. Most of the Muslim buildings at Faizabad are attributed to the Bahu Begum.

How to get here

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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Agra || Aligarh || Allahabad || Bareilly || Ghaziabad || Gorakhpur || Kanpur || Lucknow || Meerut || Moradabad || Shahjahanpur || Varanasi

Festivals of Uttar Pradesh
Magh Mela || Yoga Week || Jhansi Mahotsav || Taj Mahotsav || Holi || Kumbh Mela || Rama Navami || Ganga Dussehra || Mango Festival || Moharram || Janmashtami || Ganga Mahotsav || Diwali

Tourist Attractions in Uttar Pradesh
Agra Fort || Fatehpur Sikri || Itmad-ud-Daula || Kashi Vishwanath Temple || Sarnath || Sikandra || Taj Mahal || Varanasi Ghat

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Uttar Pradesh
Dudhwa National Park || Kukrail Reserve Forest || Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary || Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary || Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
|| Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary || National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary


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