Ayodhya

 
 
hanumantemple_ayodhya.jpgWith little over 10 sq Km in area, lying on the banks of the river Ghagra or Saryu, this ancient city is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The holy book of Hindus- the Ramayana- says, the city was founded by Manu. Later, it became the capital of the descendants of the Surya dynasty. Lord Rama was the most celebrated King of this dynasty. Known as 'Kosaldesa' in ancient times, the place has been described as "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself", in the Atharvaveda. From the time immemorial, this place has been noted for the performance of various rituals and Yajnas, including 'Asvamedha Yajna'. From the epic and puranic ages, Ayodhya rose to prominence again in the 6th century B.C,the times of Buddha. Situated just about 10 Km from the district headquarters of Faizabad, Ayodhya is a city of temples of several religions. Various faiths have grown and prospered simultaneously and that also in different periods of time in the history. Jain traditions, for example, consider that five Tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya including Rishabhadeva, the first Tirthankar. Don't miss the remnants of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, that can still be found in Ayodhya.

Skand and some other Puranas rank Ayodhya as one of the seven most sacred cities of India. It was the venue of many an event in Hindu mythology, today preeminently a temple town, The illustrious ruling dynasty of this region were the Ikshvakus of the solar clan (Suryavansa). According to tradition, Ikshvakus was the eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu, who established himself at Ayodhya. The earth is said to have derived its name `Prithivi' from Prithu, the 6th king of the line. A few generations later came Mandhatri, in whose line the 31st king was Harischandra, known widely for his love of truth. Raja Sagar of the same clan performed the Asvamedha Yajna and his great grandson Bhagiratha is reputed to have brought Ganga on earth by virtue of his penance. Later in the time came the great Raghu, after whom the family came to be called as Raghuvamsa. His grandson was Raja Dasaratha, the illustrious father of Rama, with whom the glory of the Kausala dynasty reached its highest point. The story of this epic has been immortalized by Valmiki and immensely popularized by the great masses through centuries.

Ayodhya is preeminently a city of temples yet, all places of worship here, are not only of Hindu religion. At Ayodhya several religions have grown and prospered simultaneously and also at different periods of time in the past.

Places to visit

The Hanuman Garhi

Situated in the center of the town, this temple is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. Legend has it that Hanuman lived here in a cave and guarded the Janambhoomi or Ramkot. The main temple contains the statue of Maa Anjani, with Bal Hanuman seated on her lap. The faithful believe that all their wishes are granted with a visit to this holy shrine.

A massive structure in the shape of a four sided fort with circular bastions at each corner houses a temple of Hanuman and is the most popular shrine in Ayodhya.

Kanak Bhawan
This has images of Sri Rama and Sita wearing gold crowns. It is also known as Sone-ke-Ghar.

Ramkot
The chief place of worship in Ayodhya is the site of the ancient citadel of Ramkot which stands on an elevated ground in the western part of the city. Although visited by pilgrims throughout the year, this sacred place attracts devotees from all over India and abroad, on `Ram Navami', the day of Lord's birth, which is celebrated with great pomp and show, in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April).

Swarg Dwar
According to mythology, Lord Rama is said to have been cremated here.

Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat
The first of these ancient earth mounds is identified with a stupa built by the Emperor Ashoka, while the second is believed to be an ancient monastery.

Treta ke Thakur
This temple stands at the place where Rama is said to have performed the Ashvamedha Yajnya. About 300 years ago the Raja of kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahalyabai Hokar of Indore during 1784, at the same time the adjoining Ghats were also built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Saryu and placed in the new temple, famous as Kaleram-ka-Mandir.

Nageshwarnath Temple
The temple of Nageshwarnath is said to have been established by Kush the son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet, while bathing in the Saryu, which was picked up by a Nag-Kanya, who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush erected this temple for her. It is said that this has been the only temple to have survived till the time of Vikramaditya, the rest of city had fallen into ruins and was covered by dense forests. It was by means of this temple that Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of different shrines here. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great pomp and splendor.

Other places of interest
Rishabhadeo Jain Temple, Brahma Kund, Amawan Temple, Tulsi Chaura, Laxman Quila, Angad Tila, Shri Rama Janaki Birla Temple, Tulsi Smarak Bhawan, Ram ki Paidi, Kaleramji ka Mandir, Datuvan Kund, Janki Mahal, Gurudwara Brahma Kund Ji, Ram Katha Museum, Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan, are among other places of interest in Ayodhya.

About the City

Area : 10.24 Sq. km.
Population : 40642 (1991 census)
Altitude : 26.90 meters above sea level.
Season : October March.
Clothing (Summer) : Cottons
(Winters) : Woolens
Language : Hindi, Avadhi and English
Festivals : Shravan Jhoola Mela (July-August), Parikrama Mela (October-November), Ram Navmi (March-April), Rathyatra (June-July), Saryu Snan (October-November), Ram Vivah (November), Ramayan Mela.
Local Transport : Taxis/Tongas/Tempos/Buses/Cycle-Rikshaws.
STD Code : 05276

Accessibility

Air
For Ayodhya the nearest airports are Amausi Airport (Lucknow-134 km), Bumrauli Airport (Allahabad - 166 km)

Rail
Ayodhya is situated on the broad gauge Northern Railway line on Mughal Sarai Lucknow main route. Ayodhya/Faizabad are connected to various parts of the country by the following trains:

2167/2168 Saket Express (Bombay/Faizabad)
3307/3308 Doon Express (Calcutta/Dehradun)
3151/3152 Jammu Tawi Express (Calcutta)
3283/3284 Ganga Yamuna Express (Bhiwani/Delhi-Varanasi/Danapur)
2449/2450 Saryu Yamuna Express (Delhi/Varanasi)
9165/9166 Sabarmati Express (Varanasi/Ahmedabad)

Road
Connected by road to several major cities and towns. Some of the major road distances are: Lucknow (134 km), Gorakhpur (132 km), Jhansi (441 km), Allahabad (166 km), Sravasti (109 km), Varanasi (209 km) and Gonda (51 km).

Accommodation

Kanan Bhawan Dharamshala. Phone: 32024.
Birla Dharamshala, Bus Station. Phone: 32252.
Gujrat Bhawan Dharamshala, near Bus Station. Phone: 32074.
Jain Dharamshala. Rai Ganj.
Janaki Mahal Trust Dharamshala, Naya Ghat.
Pandit Banshidhar Dharamshala, Naya Ghat.
Ram Charit Manas Trust Dharamshala.
Quality accommodation is available at Faizabad town, just 7 km away
Hotel Shane Awadh, Civil Lines, Faizabad. Phone: 23586.
Tirupati Hotel, Civil Lines, Faizabad. Phone: 2233/22448.
Hotel Alka Raje, Rekabganj, Faizabad. Phone: 22027.
Abha Hotel, Moti Bagh, Faizabad. Phone: 22930.

UP Tourism Accommodation

Pathik Niwas Saket, near Railway Station, Ayodhya. Phone: 32435.
(Run by U.P. State Tourism Development Corporation)
 
Restaurants

Options are limited to local eateries/restaurants which offer largely vegetarian food.

Banks, Post and Telegraph

State Bank of India, Shrinagar Hat. Phone: 32053.
Central Bank of India, Shrinagar Hat. Phone: 32084.

Post Office


Sub-Post Office, Shringar Hat. Phone: 32025.
 
 

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