JOURN EY FROM THE ANCIENT TIMES TO MODERNISATION, HOLY LAND OF AYODHYA
who doesn’t know it? Everyone from kids to elder is actually aware of this place. Not everyone might have explored this place so we are here to give you the detailed information on how to plan the trip. But we are very sure that you all know through the television series of Ramayana and Mahabharata. one of the major holy cities of Hinduism in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh is the birth place of Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana. The epic describes the Lord Rama's fourteen-year exile, his victory over the evil and return with his wife Sita in the Ayodhya. This return is since then celebrated as Diwali, which is the leading festival of millions and millions of Hindus throughout the world. People across the nations are very well aware of this place because of its religious significance and history. There has been lot of historic events including Hindu-Muslim disputes about building of a temple and mosque. Ayodhya is a very well connected city that has routes from major and neighbourhood cities and states. The most important and significant factor of Lord Rama's existence can be compared with the existence of all the places as it is suggested in Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas, here. Ayodhya certainly deserves some attention for anyone interested in Hindu mythology and history. Also, you should know that Ayodhya is significant not just for Hinduism but also for many other religions that have prospered here at different points of time.. A section of Hindus claim that the exact site of Rama's birthplace is where the Babri Masjid once stood in the present-day Ayodhya. It's the most disputed place in India. No one is allowed to carry a camera or phones while visiting there. Attached is the picture of Hindu-Muslim riot happened in 1992 for the demolition of Babri Masjid by Hindu nationalists. Actually the event of Babri Masjid is one of the most disputed one, which continued for years.
Also, there are a lot of other major reasons and significance which make this city holy and important. Did you know that Buddha is said to have resided here for a time being. Its later importance as a Buddhist centre can be gauged from the statement of the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian in the 5th century CE that there were 100 monasteries there. Not just it, this place is also known for f other monuments, including a stupa which was t founded by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. The numerous Vaishnava shrines and bathing ghats are of no great age. Close to the modern town are several mounds marking the site of ancient Ayodhya that have not yet been adequately explored by archaeologists. But, now as people are getting more aware Ayodhya is becoming more known day by day. Especially, every year during Diwali lakhs of people go to this place to witness and celebrate Diwali for its authenticity. This place should be included in your bucket list and plan your itinerary well.
Best time to explore and experience Ayodhya:
October to March, the winter season is the best time to visit Ayodhya. Temperatures during this season range from 20°C in the day to 5°C during the night. During January to March, the peak months of winter, it may get colder than usual and one must carry appropriate warm clothing. The climate is perfect to stroll around and go sightseeing in the city; since there is not much heat, and if you don’t feel tired from the heat then off course you can spend more time seeing things around and enjoying and wandering in the city exploring the hidden gems. And the best part is Diwali also falls in the winter season so you must experience the authentic celebration too. So plan your trip accordingly.
July to September, the monsoon season and the temperatures remain between 32°C in the day to 22°C by night. The weather remains calm and pleasant, with cold winds and a decent amount of rainfall. The monsoons are a recommended time to visit Ayodhya as the climate is pretty amazing during that time, if you are okay with a bit of rain. Although humidity still persists, it is still very pleasant during monsoons and is a great time to go sightseeing if you like rains. You must try the street food and enjoy the pouring vibes of the holy city.
April till June, is summer weather and the temperatures soars yup 42 degrees, making the weather excessively hot. You might even face the heat waves if you go out. So that’s why its not recommended to move outside. You might fall sick. you can always wear light colored, thin clothes to save yourself from the scorching heat. This isn’t the best time to visit Ayodhya due to the hot and humid climate. Yet, Ram Navmi, the birthday of Lord Ram falls in one of the March-April months, bringing large crowds in.
Places to explore in the pious land of Ayodhya:
Ram Janmabhoomi, it’s the birth place of Ram. According to the Indian epic Ramayana, Ram, Lord Vishnu's seventh manifestation, is said to have grown up along Ayodhya's river Sarayu. The Ram Janmabhoomi is a highly revered site for Hindu devotees. After so much conflict of Babri masjid case, finally the Ram Janmabhoomi land was handed over to a trust by the Supreme Court of India to build the Ram Temple. The groundbreaking ceremony for laying of the foundation stone for the Ram Temple of Ayodhya was performed on 5 August 2020 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The proposed design of the temple is grand and magnificent.
Hanuman Garhi, It is believed that Lord Hanuman lived at the temple site guarding Ayodhya. Also, did you know that its must to visit here, before visiting the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The hilltop temple hones a 76-staircase pathway to the entrance. Housed within the panoramic view of the surrounding hills is a 6-inch-tall idol of Hanuman. The main temple has an interior cave adorned with the numerous statues of Lord Hanuman along with his mother, Maa Anjani. Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti, which celebrate the birth of Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman respectively, attract thousands of devotees to the Hanuman Garhi.
Kanak Bhawan, Constructed in 1891, this temple is also known as Sone-ka-Ghar. It is a holy site dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Rama and his wife, Goddess Sita. Kanak Bhawan also family known as Golden Palace as there are three golden-crowned idols of the two gods under a silver roof in the sanctum. It is believed that this shrine was gifted to Rama and Sita by the former's stepmother, Kaikeyi. Currently, this Bundela-styled temple is currently managed by the Sri Vrishbhan Dharma Setu Trust Private Limited.
Gulab Bari, the name itself justifies as the garden of roses. It is situated in Vaidehi Nagar. It is the tomb of the third Nawab of Faizabad (Oudh or Awadh), Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula and his parents. is situated in Vaidehi Nagar. It is the tomb of the third Nawab of Faizabad (Oudh or Awadh), Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula and his parents. This ancient and historical place is so pleasing to eyes, and it listed under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, Gulab Bari is currently preserved as a part of national heritage.
Treta Ke Thakur Temple, this ancient temple preserves the idols including that of Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Bharat and Sugreev. These statues are said to have been sculpted out of a single black sandstone. It was constructed 300 years into the past, by Kullu, the king of the time. It is said that this structure stands on the very same ground of the famous Ashwamedha Yagna performed by Lord Rama. It is open to the public only once a year on a day marked as the Ekadashi. This day is observed on the Shukla Paksha's eleventh day during the month of Karthika according to the Hindu calendar. Colourful celebrations alongside preserved traditional customs are carried out on this day. So make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Choti Chawni, it is a huge magnificent structure in Ayodhya completely crafted out of white marble. So now you know, apart from Taj Mahal you can also witness this place for witnessing the white wonderland. The heritage caves are 34 in number, 12 to the south are Buddhist, 17 in the centre are Hindu and 5 in the north are Jain, therefore making it a significant and elaborate architectural brilliance. Also, there are Kailasha Temple in the caves which adds more beauty to it. So its a must visit place at least once in a lifetime.
Sita Ki Rasoi, it is believed to be an ancient kitchen used by goddess Sita herself. Built quite close to the Ram Janmabhoomi, this sacred site is now a temple housing some exhibit vessels. One among the two kitchens revered in Sita's name, this Sita Ki Rasoi is a basement kitchen. You can find some stunning pieces of embellished idols of Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan and their wives Sita, Urmila, Mandavi and Srutakirti. Worshipped as the Goddess of Food, Sita is also known as Goddess Annapurna. That’s why, the temple follows this tradition by offering free food.
Tulsi Smarak Bhawan , it is built in the memory of 16th-century saint-poet Goswami Tulsidas. Tulsidas composed the Ramcharita. It is Located on the eastern end of the National Highway at Rajgang Crossing in Ayodhya, the Smarak was built in 1969, Sri Vishwanath Das, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh of the time. Do you love literature ? This you must visit this place as is a storehouse of rich literature, the Smarak also houses a research centre called the ‘Ayodhya Research Sansthan’. It is used to study and add signification literary, cultural and spiritual information about Ayodhya. The centre also exhibits Ramayana art and craft and has a daily recitation of Ramkatha.
Bahu Begum ka Makbara , is also known as the “Taj Mahal of the East”. The unique mausoleum dedicated to the Queen Bride Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano, wife and queen of Nawab Shuja- ud- Daula. It is the tallest monument in all of Faizabad and is known for its non-Mughal architectural brilliance. has three domes, intricately designed interiors and marvellously done walls and ceilings. Built in 1816, in the memory of the Queen where she was buried after death, the shrine costed a grand total of three lakh rupees. Now, the premises are a protected site under the Archaeological Survey of India and its a must visit place in your trip to Ayodhya.
Key highlights of Ayodhya:
1. Raja Mandir
2. Ram Katha Park
3. Moti Mahal
4. Dashrath Bhavan
5. Guptar Ghat
6. Mani Parbat
7. Bahu Begum ka Maqbara
8. Tulsi Smarak Bhawan
9. Sita Ki Rasoi
10. Choti Chawni
11. Treta Ke Thakur Temple
12. Gulab Bari
13. Nageshwarnath Temple
14. Kanak Bhawan
15. Hanuman Garhi
16. Ram Janmabhoomi
Local food to try in Ayodhya:
Chaat, is an all-time favourite street food of the people there rich in colours and flavours. It is available in the sweet and sour as well as tangy and spicy varieties. You can enjoy chaat with aloo tikki, paani puri, kachori, samosa and papdi chaat. And you can find it in all the lanes too.
Laddoos are a must try if you have a sweet tooth. It is majorly eaten during the festive season or any sort of celebration.
Rabri , is again a sweet dessert which is popular in both Mathura and Ayodhya. Rabri is made after thickening the milk by boiling it until the volume decreases to one-third of the original. It is garnished with chopped or slivered dry fruits like cashews and almonds.
Veg biryani, as because of religious significance hardly you can find non vegetarian options. veg biryani makes for a flavoursome and filling lunch. The appetising amalgamation of aromatic rice and spices make veg biryani an irresistible choice. It is usually served with raita.
Dahi Vada, is also a renowned snack available in Ayodhya. A plate of this dish is a party for the palette as it combines the piquancy of mint and tomato chutneys with fried vadas immersed in fresh curd.
Kachori, a must have snack seasoned with red chilli powder, salt, black pepper and a selection of other spices. Different variations of kachori are enjoyed in Ayodhya with chaat or zesty pudina chutney.
Accessible routes for Ayodhya:
By Air : Lucknow International Airport is the nearest Airport from Ayodhya. People can also reach from Gorakhpur, Prayagraj and Varanasi Airports.
By Train : Faizabad and Ayodhya are major railway stations of the district and are well connected to almost all major cities and towns. By Rail route Ayodhya is 128 kms. from Lucknow, 171 kms. from Gorakhpur, 157 kms. from Allahabad and 196 kms from Varanasi. By Rail route Ayodhya is 135 kms. from Lucknow, 164 kms. from Gorakhpur, 164 kms. from Prayagraj and 189 kms from Varanasi.
By Road : Services of Uttar Pradesh Transport Corporation buses are available 24 hours a day, and it is very easy to reach here from all places. The city is about 130 k.m. from Lucknow, 200 k.m. from Varanasi, 160 k.m. from Prayagraj ,140 k.m. from Gorakhpur and about 636 k.m. from Delhi. Buses are frequently available from Lucknow,Delhi and Gorakhpur. Buses are also available from Varanasi, Prayagraj and other places as per their schedule. And apart from this, if you love long drives then you can also go for self drive too.