“The holy birthplace of Lord Rama.”
Ayodhya, also known as Saket, is an ancient Indian city and the birthplace of Bhagwan Shri Ram, as well as the setting for the great epic Ramayana. Ayodhya was the ancient Kosala Kingdom’s capital. Ayodhya (Awadhpuri) has been regarded as the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Mokshdayini Sapt Puris) for Hindus due to its belief as the birthplace of Bhagwan Shri Ram. This religious town, beckoning tourists with its serene ghats, is additionally the birthplace of 4 of Jainism’s 24 Tirthankaras (religious teachers).
Ayodhya has been surrounded by controversy for a couple of decades now, with monkeys galore, the excitement of visiting tourists, and a general spiritual aura. It was the site of the 1992 Indian riots in response to the Babri Masjid debacle. The alleged construction of the mosque on Ram Janmabhoomi Temple became a source of contention between Hindus and Muslims. In 2005, a terrorist attack occurred at the Ramlila Temple site in Ayodhya.
Despite the controversy, Ayodhya features plenty of color and spirituality for tourists to figure out, and it’s emerged as a giant spiritual center. The land of multi-faith temples, Ayodhya’s traffic-free streets are intriguing enough to warrant a visit.
Best Time: Oct-Mar
PLACES TO VISIT IN AYODHYA
“राम मंदिर हर हिन्दू की आस्था और विश्वास है, जो राम से बिमुख है वही जीवन में निराश हैं ॥“
The Ram Janmabhoomi, which translates to “Ram’s Birthplace,” is thought to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Lord Ram.
The Supreme Court of India handed over the Ram Janmabhoomi land to a trust to build the Ram Temple after it had been a contentious site for decades. Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the start for the laying of the inspiration stone for the Ram Temple of Ayodhya on August 5, 2020. The temple’s proposed design is grand and magnificent.
The famous Babri Masjid once stood on the Ram Janmabhoomi site. It is believed that the Mughals demolished a Hindu shrine to construct this mosque near Lord Ram’s birthplace. In 1992, a group of Hindu nationalists demolished the Babri Masjid, sparking a series of violent riots across India. In October 2019, a Supreme Court bench of five judges ordered that the land be transferred to a trust for the construction of the Ram Temple. A separate 5-acre plot of land was also given to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.
“दुनिया रचने वाले को भगवान कहते हैं, और संकट हरने वाले को हनुमान कहते हैं|”
Hanuman Garhi, located in Sai Nagar, is a 10-century temple dedicated to the Hindu God Hanuman. As it is customary to visit Hanuman Garhi before visiting the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, it is one of the most important temples in Ayodhya. Lord Hanuman is said to have lived at the temple site guarding Ayodhya.
The 76-staircase pathway to the temple’s entrance is honed by the hilltop temple. A 6-inch-tall Hanuman idol is housed within a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. The main temple has an interior cave with numerous statues of Lord Hanuman and his mother, Maa Anjani. Thousands of devotees flock to the Hanuman Garhi on Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, which commemorate the births of Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman, respectively.
Timings: 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Time Required: 2-3 hrs
Entry Fee: Free
“Blessings from god can ever be enough.”
The Nageshwarnath Temple, named after the local deity Lord Nageshwarnath, is located next to the Theri Bazaar in Ayodhya. It is thought to have been built by Kush or Kusha, Lord Rama’s son. Although this sacred site has been well-kept since 750 AD, the current temple is said to have been rebuilt in 1750 by Safar Jung’s minister, Naval Rai. According to legend, Kush met a Shiva devotee named Naga Kanya when he lost his arm ring in the local bath.
He built this Shaiva temple for Naga Kanya after learning that the latter had fallen in love with him. During Mahashivaratri and Trayodashi, also referred to as Pradosh Vrat or Pradosh Vratam in Southern India, the Nageshwarnath Temple attracts an outsized number of devotees. The Shiva Barat, or procession of Lord Shiva, is a major draw here.
Timings: 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Aarti Timings: 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM
“Rose speaks a beautiful language, the language of love.”
The Gulab Bari, also known as the Garden of Roses, is located in Vaidehi Nagar. It is the tomb of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula, the third Nawab of Faizabad (Oudh or Awadh), and his parents.
The Gulab Bari’s 18th-century structure features pure Nawab-styled architecture furthermore as a various range of rose species, fountains, and lush greenery. Gulab Bari is now protected as part of national heritage after being listed under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
Timings: 4:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Entry Fee: None
TRETA KE THAKUR
“Every corner of Ayodhya is full of beauty.”
The Treta Ke Thakur Temple, located along Ayodhya’s Naya Ghat, houses numerous idols, including those of Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Bharat, and Sugreev. These statues are said to have been carved from a single block of black sandstone.
Treta Ke Thakur is thought to have been built 300 years ago by Kullu, the king of the time. It is said that this structure stands on the same grounds as Lord Rama’s famous Ashwamedha Yagna. Ahilyabai Holkar, the Maratha queen of the time, renovated the temple further in the 1700s.
It is only open to the public once a year, on the day known as the Ekadashi. According to the Hindu calendar, this day is observed on the eleventh day of the Shukla Paksha during the month of Karthika. This day is marked by colorful celebrations as well as the preservation of traditional customs.
Timing: Treta Ke Thakur is open for 24 hours on the day of the Ekadashi. It usually takes place during November.
Image Source: Google