States of India
Ayodhya, 6km from Faizabad, is one of Hinduism's seven holy cities. It's a major pilgrimage centre since it is not only the birthplace of Rama, it's also connected with many events in the Ramayana. The ancient city of Ayodhya, according to the Ramayana, was founded by Manu, the law-giver of the Hindus. For centuries, it enjoyed the pride of being the capital of the kings of the Surya or Ikshavaka dynasty, also known as the Raghuvansh, of which Lord Rama was the most celebrated king. With the death of the last king of the Raghuvanshis, Ayodhya fell into decadence. During the Gupta period (200-400 AD approximately). Emperor Vikramaditya. and some of his successors. tried to restore its past glory. Ayodhya has given its name to the region Avadh, which extends from Varanasi to Lucknow and figured very prominently between 17th and the 19th centuries. Nawabs of Avadh constructed many important structures in Faizabad, an adjoining city of Ayodhya.
Places To See :
Kanak Bhawan : Legends have it that Rani Kaikey had built it for Sita. Subsequentely it has been restored time and again by various kings. The Present temple was built by Rani Krishnabhanu Kunwari of Orccha in 1891. This has images of Sri Rama and Sita wearing gold crowns. It is also known as Sone-ke-Ghar.
The Hanuman Garhi : Situated in the centre 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.
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 splendour.
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).
Treta-Ke-Thakur : This temple stands at the place where Rama is said to have performed the Ashvamedha Yajnya(Yagya). About 300 years ago the Raja of Kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahalyabai Holkar 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.
Maniparvat : Stands about 65 feet high, & some scholars think it to be of Buddhist origin. According to legends, it was while Hanuman was carrying the hill bearing the Sanjeevani Booti (herb) for Lakshman's wounds from Himalayas on way to Lanka, a portion broke off and fell in Ayodhya & this is that very mound.
Jain Shrines : There are also several Jain temples at Ayodhya, as it is said to be the birth place of five Tirthankaras. Kesari Singh, the treasurer, of Nawab Faizabad, built five shrines to mark the birth place of these Trithankaras, which bear the date of Vikram Samvat 1781. The temple of Adinath is near the Swargdwar, while the Anantanath temple stands on the Gola Ghat & Sumantanath shrine is at Ramkot.
Tulsichaura : The Hindi version of the Epic Ramyana, "The Ramcharitmanas" is said to have been composed by Tulsidas, here.
Tulsi Smarak Bhawan : Built in memory of the poet Goswami Tulsidas, this monument is used for prayer meetings, religious seremons and discussions, and the singing of devotional songs (Bhajans and Kirtans). It also house the Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan where a large collection of literary works of Swami Tulsidas can be seen. A cultural centre of performing Arts, also function here. Ramkatha Museum: The Ramkatha Museum, set up at Ayodhya since 1988, in engaged in collection, preservation and conservation of antiquities retaled to the story of Rama, open 10.30 A.M to 4.30., weekly holiday : Monday.
Swarg Dwar : Swarg Dwar where, according to mythology, Lord Rama was cremated.
Main Ghats : Guptarghat, Rajghat, Ramghat, Lakshmanghat, Jankighta, Nayaghat.
Tanks : Sitakund, Suryakund, Vibhishankund, Brahmakund, Daturavan, Vidhyakund.
Hill-tops : Sugreev Tila, Angad Tila, Nal-neel Tila, Kuber Tila and Maniparvat.
Travel Information :
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.
Road : Ayodhya is connected several major cities and towns by National Highways.