Ayodhya

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Ayodhya, also known as Saket,[1] is an ancient city of India, the birthplace of Lord Rama[2][3][4][5] and setting of the epic Ramayana. It is adjacent to Faizabad city at the south end in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and also one of the seven cities (Sapta Puri) considered holy by Hindus[6]. Ayodhya used to be the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom.

In the Atharvaveda, Ayodhya was described as 'made by Gods and prosperous as Heaven itself'. Ayodhya is one of seven holy places for Hindus in India, with Varanasi the most sacrosanct. A Kṣetra is a sacred ground where Moksha can be obtained. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as sources of Moksha: Ayodhya, Mathura, Māyā (Haridwar), Kāsi (Varanasi), Kāñchī, Avantikā (Ujjain), and Dvārāvatī (Dvārakā).[7] Kshetra is a sacred ground, a field of active power, a place where 'Moksha', final release can be obtained. The Garuda Purana enumerates seven cities as giver of Moksha, They are Ayodhya, Mathura, Māyā, Kāsi, Kāñchī, Avantikā and Dvārāvatī.[8]

The present-day city is identified as the location of Saketa, which was an important city of the Kosala mahajanapada in the first millennium BCE, and later served as its capital. The early Buddhist and Jain canonical texts mention that the religious leaders Gautama Buddha and Mahavira visited and lived in the city. The Jain texts also describe it as the birthplace of five tirthankaras namely, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinath and Anantnath, and associate it with the legendary chakravartins. From the Gupta period onwards, several sources mention Ayodhya and Saketa as the name of the same city.

Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Rama, Ayodhya (Awadh) has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Saptapuri) for Hindus. It is believed that the birth spot of Rama was marked by a temple. The temple was demolished by Muslim invaders, the demolition is often said to be on the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur and a mosque erected in its place. The five judges Supreme Court bench heard the title dispute cases from August to October 2019. On 9 November 2019, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, vacated the previous decision and ruled that the land belonged to the government per tax records. It further ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple. It also ordered to the government to give alternate 5 acre land to Sunni Waqf Board to build the mosque.

Etymology and names[edit]

The word "Ayodhya" is a regularly formed derivation of the Sanskrit verb yudh, "to fight, to wage war". Yodhya is the future passive participle, meaning "to be fought"; the initial a is the negative prefix; the whole, therefore, means "not to be fought" or, more idiomatically in English, "invincible".[9] This meaning is attested by the Atharvaveda, which uses it to refer to the unconquerable city of gods.[10] The 9th century Jain poem Adi Purana also states that Ayodhya "does not exist by name alone but by the merit" of being unconquerable by enemies. Satyopakhyana interprets the word slightly differently, stating that it means "that which cannot be conquered by sins" (instead of enemies).[11]

"Saketa" is the older name for the city, attested in Buddhist, Jain, Sanskrit, Greek and Chinese sources.[12] According to Vaman Shivram Apte, the word "Saketa" is derived from the Sanskrit words Saha (with) and Aketen (houses or buildings). The Adi Purana states that Ayodhya is called Saketa "because of its magnificent buildings which had significant banners as their arms". [13] According to Hans T. Bakker, the word may be derived from the roots sa and ketu ("with banner"); the variant name saketu is attested in the Vishnu Purana.[14]

Ayodhya was stated to be the capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom in the Ramayana. Hence it was also referred to as "Kosala". The Adi Purana states that Ayodhya is famous as su-kośala "because of its prosperity and good skill".[13]

The cities of Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Yogyakarta (Indonesia), are named after Ayodhya.


History[edit]

File:Ayodhya Nagri.jpg
Gold carving depiction of the legendary Ayodhya at the Ajmer Jain temple

The earliest of the Buddhist Pali-language texts and the Jain Prakrit-language texts mention a city called Saketa (Sageya or Saeya in Prakrit) as an important city of the Kosala mahajanapada.[15] Topographical indications in both Buddhist and Jain texts suggest that Saketa is the same as the present-day Ayodhya.[16] For example, according to the Samyutta Nikaya and the Vinaya Pitaka, Saketa was located at a distance of six yojanas from Shravasti. The Vinaya Pitaka mentions that a big river was located between the two cities, and the Sutta Nipata mentions Saketa as the first halting place on the southward road from Shravasti to Pratishthana.[17]

Ancient Sanskrit-language epics, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata mention a legendary city called Ayodhya, which was the capital of the legendary Ikshvaku kings of Kosala, including Rama.[18] Neither these texts, nor the earlier Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas, mention a city called Saketa. Non-religious, non-legendary ancient Sanskrit texts, such as Panini's Ashtadhyayi and Patanjali's commentary on it, do mention Saketa.[18] The later Buddhist text Mahavastu describes Saketa as the seat of the Ikshvaku king Sujata, whose descendants established the Shakya capital Kapilavastu.[17]

Fourth century onwards, multiple texts, including Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha, mention Ayodhya as another name for Saketa.[19] The later Jain canonical text Jambudvipa-Pannati describes a city called Viniya (or Vinita) as the birthplace of Lord Rishabhanatha, and associates this city with Bharata Chakravartin; the Kalpa-Sutra describes Ikkhagabhumi as the birthplace of Rishabhadev. The index on the Jain text Paumachariya clarifies that Aojjha (Aodhya), Kosala-puri ("Kosala city"), Viniya, and Saeya (Saketa) are synonyms. The post-Canonical Jain texts also mention "Aojjha"; for example, the Avassagacurni describes it as the principal city of Kosala, while the Avassaganijjutti names it as the capital of Sagara Chakravartin.[20] The Avassaganijjutti implies that Viniya ("Vinia"), Kosalapuri ("Kosalapura"), and Ikkhagabhumi were distinct cities, naming them as the capitals of Abhinamdana, Sumai, and Usabha respectively. Abhayadeva's commentary on the Thana Sutta, another post-canonical text, identifies Saketa, Ayodhya, and Vinita as one city.[20]

According to one theory, the legendary Ayodhya city is the same as the historical city of Saketa and the present-day Ayodhya. According to another theory, the legendary Ayodhya is a mythical city,[21] and the name "Ayodhya" came to be used for the Saketa (present-day Ayodhya) only around the fourth century, when a Gupta emperor (probably Skandagupta) moved his capital to Saketa, and renamed it to Ayodhya after the legendary city.[14][22] Alternative, but less likely, theories state that Saketa and Ayodhya were two adjoining cities, or that Ayodhya was a locality within the Saketa city.[23]

As Saketa[edit]

Archaeological and literary evidence suggests that the site of present-day Ayodhya had developed into an urban settlement by the 5th or 6th-century BCE.[16] The site is identified as the location of the ancient Saketa city, which probably emerged as a marketplace located at the junction of the two important roads, the Shravasti-Pratishthana north-south road, and the Rajagriha-Varanasi-Shravasti-Taxila east-west road.[24] Ancient Buddhist texts, such as Samyutta Nikaya, state that Saketa was located in the Kosala kingdom ruled by Prasenajit (or Pasenadi; c. 6th-5th century BCE), whose capital was located at Shravasti.[25] The later Buddhist commentary Dhammapada-atthakatha states that the Saketa town was established by merchant Dhananjaya (the father of Visakha), on the suggestion of king Prasenajit.[17] The Digha Nikaya describes it as one of the six large cities of India.[17] The early Buddhist canonical texts mention Shravasti as the capital of Kosala, but the later texts, such as the Jain texts Nayadhammakahao and Pannavana Suttam, and the Buddhist Jatakas, mention Saketa as the capital of Kosala.[26]

As a busy town frequented by travellers, it appears to have become important for preachers such as Gautama Buddha and Mahavira.[24] The Samyutta Nikaya and Anguttara Nikaya mention that Buddha resided at Saketa at times.[17] The early Jain canonical texts (such as Antagada-dasao, Anuttarovavaiya-dasao, and Vivagasuya) state that Mahavira visited Saketa; Nayadhammakahao states that Parshvanatha also visited Saketa.[20] The Jain texts, both canonical and post-canonical, describe Ayodhya as the location of various shrines, such as those of snake, yaksha Pasamiya, Muni Suvratasvamin, and Surappia.[20]

It is not clear what happened to Saketa after Kosala was conquered by the Magadha emperor Ajatashatru around 5th century BCE. There is lack of historical sources about the city's situation for the next few centuries: it is possible that the city remained a commercial centre of secondary importance, but did not grow into a political centre of Magadha, whose capital was located at Pataliputra.[27] Several Buddhist buildings may have been constructed in the town during the rule of the Maurya emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE: these buildings were probably located on the present-day man-made mounds in Ayodhya.[28] Excavations at Ayodhya have resulted in the discovery of a large brick wall, identified as a fortification wall by archaeologist B. B. Lal.[16] This wall probably erected in the last quarter of the 3rd-century BCE.[29]

File:Muladeva coin Kosala.jpg
Coin of ruler Muladeva, of the Deva dynasty minted in Ayodhya, Kosala. Obv: Muladevasa, elephant to left facing symbol. Rev: Wreath, above symbol, below snake.

After the decline of the Maurya empire, Saketa appears to have come under the rule of Pushyamitra Shunga. The 1st century BCE inscription of Dhanadeva suggests that he appointed a governor there.[30] The Yuga Purana mentions Saketa as the residence of a governor, and describes it as being attacked by a combined force of Greeks, Mathuras, and Panchalas.[31] Patanjali's commentary on Panini also refers to the Greek siege of Saketa.[32]

Later, Saketa appears to have become part of a small, independent kingdom.[33] The Yuga Purana states that Saketa was ruled by seven powerful kings after the retreat of the Greeks.[30] The Vayu Purana and the Brahmanda Purana also state that seven powerful kings ruled in the capital of Kosala. The historicity of these kings is attested by the discovery of the coins of the Deva dynasty kings, including Dhanadeva, whose inscription describes him as the king of Kosala (Kosaladhipati).[34] As the capital of Kosala, Saketa probably eclipsed Shravasti in importance during this period. The east-west route connecting Pataliputra to Taxila, which earlier passed through Saketa and Shravasti, appears to have shifted southwards during this period, now passing through Saketa, Ahichhatra and Kanyakubja.[35]

After the Deva kings, Saketa appears to have been ruled by the Datta, Kushan, and Mitra kings, although the chronological order of their rule is uncertain. Bakker theorises that the Dattas succeeded the Deva kings in the mid-1st century CE, and their kingdom was annexed to the Kushan Empire by Kanishka.[36] The Tibetan text Annals of Li Country (c. 11th century) mentions that an alliance of king Vijayakirti of Khotan, king Kanika, the king of Gu-zan, and the king of Li, marched to India and captured the So-ked city. During this invasion, Vijayakirti took several Buddhist relics from Saketa, and placed them in the stupa of Phru-no. If Kanika is identified as Kanishka, and So-ked as Saketa, it appears that the invasion of Kushans and their allies led to the destruction of the Buddhist sites at Saketa.[37]

Nevertheless, Saketa appears to have remained a prosperous town during the Kushan rule.[37] The 2nd century geographer Ptolemy mentions a metropolis "Sageda" or "Sagoda", which has been identified with Saketa.[33] The earliest inscription that mentions Saketa as a place name is dated to the late Kushan period: it was found on the pedestal of a Buddha image in Shravasti, and records the gift of the image by Sihadeva of Saketa.[36] Before or after the Kushans, Saketa appears to have been ruled by a dynasty of kings whose names end in "-mitra", and whose coins have been found at Ayodhya. They may have been members of a local dynasty that was distinct from the Mitra dynasty of Mathura. These kings are attested only by their coinage: Sangha-mitra, Vijaya-mitra, Satya-mitra, Deva-mitra, and Arya-mitra; coins of Kumuda-sena and Aja-varman have also been discovered.[38]

Gupta period[edit]

Around the 4th century, the region came under the control of the Guptas, who revived Brahmanism.[39] The Vayu Purana and the Brahmanda Purana attest that the early Gupta kings ruled Saketa.[18] No Gupta-era archaeological layers have been discovered in present-day Ayodhya, although a large number of Gupta coins have been discovered here. It is possible that during the Gupta period, the habitations in the city were located in the areas that have not yet been excavated.[40] The Buddhist sites that had suffered destruction during the Khotanese-Kushan invasion appear to have remained deserted.[41] The 5th-century Chinese traveller Faxian states that the ruins of Buddhist buildings existed at "Sha-chi" during his time.[42] One theory identifies Sha-chi with Saketa, although this identification is not undisputed.[43] If Sha-chi is indeed Saketa, it appears that by the 5th century, the town no longer had a flourshing Buddhist community or any important Buddhist building that was still in use.[33]

An important development during the Gupta time was the recognition of Saketa as the legendary city of Ayodhya, the capital of the Ikshvaku dynasty.[39] The 436 CE Karamdanda (Karmdand) inscription, issued during the reign of Kumaragupta I, names Ayodhya as the capital of the Kosala province, and records commander Prithvisena's offerings to Brahmins from Ayodhya.[44] Later, the capital of the Gupta Empire was moved from Pataliputra to Ayodhya. Paramartha states that king Vikramaditya moved the royal court to Ayodhya; Xuanzang also corroborates this, stating that this king moved the court to the "country of Shravasti", that is, Kosala.[45] A local oral tradition of Ayodhya, first recorded in writing by Robert Montgomery Martin in 1838,[46] mentions that the city was deserted after the death of Rama's descendant Brihadbala. The city remain deserted until King Vikrama of Ujjain came searching for it, and re-established it. He cut down the forests that had covered the ancient ruins, erected the Ramgar fort, and built 360 temples.[46]

Vikramditya was a title of multiple Gupta kings, and the king who moved the capital to Ayodhya is identified as Skandagupta.[45] Bakker theorises that the move to Ayodhya may have been prompted by a flooding of the river Ganges at Pataliputra, the need to check the Huna advance from the west, and Skandagupta's desire to compare himself with Rama (whose Ikshvaku dynasty is associated with the legendary Ayodhya).[46] According to Paramaratha's Life of Vasubandhu, Vikramaditya was a patron of scholars, and awarded 300,000 pieces of gold to Vasubandhu.[47] The text states that Vasubandhu was a native of Saketa ("Sha-ki-ta"), and describes Vikramaditya as the king of Ayodhya ("A-yu-ja").[48] This wealth was used to build three monasteries in the country of A-yu-ja (Ayodhya).[47] Paramartha further states that the later king Baladitya (identified with Narasimhagupta) and his mother also awarded large sums of gold to Vasubandhu, and these funds were used to build another Buddhist temple at Ayodhya.[49] These structures may have been seen by the 7th century Chinese traveller Xuanzang, who describes a stupa and a monastery at Ayodhya ("O-yu-t-o").[50]

Decline as a political centre[edit]

Ayodhya probably suffered when the Hunas led by Mihirakula invaded the Gupta empire in the 6th century. After the fall of the Guptas, it may have been ruled by the Maukhari dynasty, whose coins have been found in the nearby areas. It was not devastated, as Xuanzang describes it as a flourshing town and a Buddhist centre.[51] However, it had lost its position as an important political centre to Kanyakubja (Kannauj).[52] At the time of Xuanzang's visit, it was a part of Harsha's empire, and was probably the seat of a vassal or an administrative officer. Xuanzang states that the city measured about 0.6 km (20 li) in circumference. Another 7th-century source, Kāśikāvṛttī, mentions that the town was surrounded by a moat similar to that around Pataliputra.[53]

After the fall of Harsha's empire, Ayodhya appears to have been variously controlled by local kings and the rulers of Kannauj, including Yashovarman and the Gurjara-Pratiharas. The town is not mentioned in any surviving texts or inscriptions composed during 650-1050 CE, although it may be identified with the "city of Harishchandra" mentioned in the 8th-century poem Gaudavaho. Archaeological evidence (including images to Vishnu, Jain tirthankaras, Ganesha, the seven Matrikas, and a Buddhist stupa) suggests that the religious activity in the area continued during this period.[54]

Early medieval period[edit]

According to Indologist Hans T. Bakker, the only religious significance of Ayodhya in the first millennium CE was related to the Gopratara tirtha (now called Guptar Ghat), where Rama and his followers are said to have ascended to heaven by entering the waters of Sarayu.[55][56][57]

In the 11th century, the Gahadavala dynasty came to power in the region, and promoted Vaishnavism. They built several Vishnu temples in Ayodhya, five of which survived till the end of Aurangzeb's reign. Hans Bakker concludes that there might have been a temple at the supposed birth spot of Rama built by the Gahadavalas (see Vishnu Hari inscription). In subsequent years, the cult of Rama developed within Vaishnavism, with Rama being regarded as the foremost avatar of Vishnu. Consequently, Ayodhya's importance as a pilgrimage centre grew.[56]

In 1226 CE, Ayodhya became the capital of the province of Awadh (or "Oudh") within the Delhi sultanate. Muslim historians state that the area was little more than wilderness prior to this. Pilgrimage was tolerated, but the tax on pilgrims ensured that the temples did not receive much income.[58]

Mughal and British period[edit]

Under Mughal rule, the Babri mosque was constructed in Ayodhya. The city was the capital of the province of Awadh (later Anglicised to "Oudh"), which is also believed to be a variant of the name "Ayodhya."

After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 CE, the central Muslim rule weakened, and Awadh became virtually independent, with Ayodhya as its capital. However, the rulers became increasingly dependent on the local Hindu nobles, and control over the temples and pilgrimage centres was relaxed.[58] Saadat Ali Khan, Nawab of Awadh, bestowed the riyasat (principality) of Ayodhya on his loyal Brahmin soldier Dwijdeo Mishra of the Kasyapa gotra, for quelling revenue rebels in Mehendauna in Eastern UP.[59]

Ayodhya was annexed in 1856 by the British rulers. The rulers of Awadh were Shia, and the Sunni groups had already protested against the permissive attitude of the former government. The British intervened and crushed the Sunni resistance. In 1857, the British annexed Oudh (Awadh) and subsequently reorganised it into the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.[58]

In the 1850s, a group of Hindus attacked the Babri mosque, on the grounds that it was built over the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama.[60] To prevent further disputes, the British administrators divided the mosque premises between Hindus and Muslims.[61]

Independent India[edit]

Ayodhya dispute
Archaeology of Ayodhya
Babri Masjid
Demolition of the Babri Masjid
Ram Janmabhoomi
2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack
Organizations
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha
Vishva Hindu Parishad
Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas
Bharatiya Janata Party
Liberhan Commission
Nirmohi Akhara
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Sunni Waqf Board
People
Babur
Ashok Singhal
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
L. K. Advani
Kalyan Singh
Murli Manohar Joshi
Uma Bharti

A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party to reclaim the Babri mosque site for a Rama temple. In 1992, a right wing Hindu nationalist rally progressed into a riot, leading to the demolition of the Babri mosque.[62] A makeshift temple at Ram Janmabhoomi for Ram Lalla, infant Rama.[63] Under the Indian government orders, no one was permitted near the site for 200 yards, and the gate was locked to the outside. Hindu pilgrims, however, began entering through a side door to offer worship.

In 2003, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out an excavation at the mosque site to determine if it was built over the ruins of a temple. The excavation uncovered pillar bases indicating a temple had been in existence under the mosque.[64][65] Besides Hindus, the Buddhist and Jain representatives claimed that their temples existed at the excavated site.[66]

On 5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple in Ayodhya. All five were killed in the ensuing gunfight with security forces, and one civilian died in the bomb blast triggered as they attempted to breach the cordon wall.

On 30 September 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled that one-third of the disputed land should be given to the Sunni Muslim Central Board of Waqfs, one-third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the Hindu party for the shrine of "Ram Lalla" (infant Rama). The court further ruled that the area where the idols of Ram are present be given to Hindus in the final decree, while the rest of the land shall be divided equally by metes and bounds among the three parties.[67][68] The judgment, along with evidences provided by the Archaeological Survey of India, upheld that the Babri Masjid was built after demolishing the Hindu temple, which is the birthplace of Rama, and that the mosque was not constructed according to the principles of Islam. The final verdict by the Supreme Court on the case ruled the disputed land in the favour of Hindus for the construction of Ram Mandir and ordered an alternative piece of land be given to the Muslim community for the construction of a mosque.[69][70]

In a judgement pronounced by a 5 judge bench of the Supreme Court of India on 9 November 2019, the land was handed over to the government to form a trust for the construction of a temple. The court instructed the government to allot a prime plot of 5 acres in Ayodhya to the Sunni WAQF board to construct a Masjid.[71]

Some South Koreans have identified the "Ayuta" mentioned in their ancient Samgungnyusa legend with Ayodhya. According to this legend, the ancient Korean princess Heo Hwang-ok came from Ayuta. In the 2000s, the local government of Ayodhya and South Korea acknowledged the connection and held a ceremony to raise a statue of the princess.[72][73][74]

Origins[edit]

Ayodhya is on the right bank of the river Sarayu, 8 km from Faizabad. This town is closely associated with Rama, seventh incarnation of Vishnu. According to the Ramayana, the city is 9,000 years old and was founded by Manu, the first man (first woman was Shatarupa) in the universe according to the Vedas.[citation needed] Other sources hold that it was founded by its namesake, King Ayudh. It was said to be the capital of the Solar dynasty, of which Rama was the most celebrated king. At the time it was known as Kaushaldesa.

File:(1) Ayodhya Ram Paidi Uttar Pradesh India 2013.jpg
Ram Paidi ghat on Sarayu river, Ayodhya.

Skanda Purana and other puranas list Ayodhya as one of the seven most sacred cities of India, as it has been the backdrop for much of Hindu scripture. Today it is predominantly a religious destination with its historical significance and sacred temples. The Atharvaveda described Ayodhya as "a city built by God and being prosperous as paradise itself."

Its first ruling king was Ikshvaku, of the Solar dynasty and eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu. The sixth king of this line, Prithu, is linguistically the etymology of earth, or "Prithivi". Mandhatri was a later king of the region, and the 31st king of his descent was Harischandra, known for his truthfulness, or Sathya-sandhata. His lineeage was Surya Vamsa and, in turn known for their honesty as rulers. Raja Sagar of the same clan performed the Asvamedha Yajna, and legend holds that his great-grandson Bhagiratha brought the river Ganges to the earth through penance. Later came the great King Raghu, after whom the dynasty was called Raghuvamsa. His grandson was Raja Dasharatha, of the Kausala dynasty, and father of Rama.

Several religions have prospered in Ayodhya simultaneously as well as at different periods. Elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam can be found in the city. In Jainism, for example, five Tirthankaras were born here, including Rishabhanatha, first Tirthankara,[75] Ajitanatha, second Tirthankara,[76]Abhinandananatha (fourth Tirthankara),[77] Sumatinatha, fifth Tirthankara,[78] and Anantanatha, fourteenth Tirthankara.[79] Ayodhya demonstrates Ganga-Jamuni culture in the Hanumangarhi temple, built by Nawab of Awadh. According to Jain Agams, it is the second eternal city after Shikharji, and will never vanish or disappear during the changing epochs.

Etymology[edit]

According to one derivation, "Ayodhya" is said to derive from the name of King "Ayudh," mentioned in Hindu scriptures as a forefather of Lord Rama.[citation needed]

In the more accepted etymology, In word "Ayodhya", 'A' is feminine negation of the word Yodhya which comes from the root Yudh (to fight). A (negation) + Yodhya (winnable) + ā (feminine suffix). So, literally, the name translates as "A city that cannot be fought and won over in a war" or "unconquerable citadel". During the time of Gautama Buddha, there was a city called Ayojjhā in Pali, and Ayodhyā in Sanskrit, close to the banks of the River Ganges. It bears no relation to the present-day Ayodhya[80]

At the time of Buddha, the present-day Ayodhya was called Saketa. Śāketa or 沙奇 (Pinyin: Shāqí) was conquered by the Kushan/Yuezhi Emperor Kanishka c. 127 CE, who made it administrative center of his eastern territories.[81][82] The name occurs again in Faxian as 沙祗 (Pinyin: Shāzhī) in the early 5th century. By the time of the visit of the Chinese pilgrim monk, Xuanzang, c. 636 CE, the city was known as Ayodhya.

Under Mughal rule, the city was the capital of the province of Awadh, which is also believed to be a variant of the name "Ayodhya." During the British Raj the city was known as Ajodhya or Ajodhia and was part of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. It was also the seat of a small 'talukdari' state.[83][84]

The cities of Ayutthaya, Thailand, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia, are named after Ayodhya.

Tradition[edit]

The Ayodhya of Ramayana was the capital of the Hindu kingdom Kosala and described as covering an area of 250 km2 (97 sq mi). It is on the banks of the Ganges, a river whose waters cleanse all sin, and on the right bank of Ghagra. The Ikshvaku dynasty of the solar clan (suryavansha) was its ruling dynasty.[citation needed] The city was the in court of the great Dasharatha, 39th monarch of the Solar line, whose son was the avatar Rama.

In the Atharvaveda, Ayodhya was said to be "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself".[citation needed] In Garuda Purana, Ayodhya is said to be one of seven holiest places for Hindus in India, with Varanasi being the most sacrosanct.[85]

Valmiki is said to have begun writing the Ramayana in Ayodhya. Its opening chapters recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of its monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of its people. Tulsidas retold a common version of the Ramayana called the Ramacharitamanasa, in which he also praised the city. Several Tamil Alvars mention the city. It is the birthplace of Jadabharata, the first Chakravartin, Bahubali, Brahmi, Sundari, Padaliptasurisvarji, Harishchandra and Achalbharata.[citation needed]

Ayodhya has historical significance for the Jain community as well. It is the birthplace of two important tirthankaras two-thousand years ago. The Jain agamas also record the visit of Mahavira, the last tirthankara of Jainism. The city is also the birthplace of five Tirthankaras, including the first, Rishabha, and the ninth Ganadhara of Mahavira.

The city is important in the heritage of Buddhism, with several Buddhist temples, monuments and centers of learning established here during the Mauryan Empire and Gupta Dynasty. Buddha is believed to have visited the city more than once, although there is no record of this in his writing. Faxian, the Chinese monk, wrote of several Buddhist monasteries here.[citation needed] Ayodhya reached its peak of trade during the Gupta dynasty.[citation needed]

Ayodhya is a 'Mokshdayani Puris,' or 'land of spiritual bliss and liberation from karma bandhan,' along with Varanasi, and Dwarka. Hindu scripture such as the Ramcharitmanas, Vishnu Purana and Shrimad Bhagvat Mahapuran recommend pilgrimage to the city, writing that it increases the Punya, or virtue, and decreases Paap, or wrongdoing.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Historically, Saketa is known to have been an important city of Ancient India by the 6th century B.C.E. During the Buddha's time it was ruled by Pasenadi (Sanskrit: Prasenajit), whose capital was at Sravasti. Saketa continued its prominence during the Maurya rule and suffered an attack around 190 B.C. by a Bactrian Greek expedition allied to Panchala and Mathura. After the fall of the Maurya and Shunga dynasties, the city came under the rule of Deva and Datta kings. An inscription found at Ayodhya refers to a king Dhanadeva, who claimed to be the sixth descendant of Pushyamitra Shunga.[86]

Under the Gupta rulers, Ayodhya reached its highest political importance. The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien visited the city in the 5th century A.D., referring to it as "Sha-chi". During the reign of Kumaragupta or Skandagupta, the capital of the empire was moved from Pataliputra to Ayodhya. The old name "Saketa" is now replaced by "Ayodhya," and firmly identified as Rama's capital city. Under Narasimhagupta, the empire was ravaged by the Huns. Subsequently in the 6th century, the political centre of North India shifted to Kanauj and Ayodhya fell into relative oblivion.[86]

According to Indologist Hans T. Bakker, the only religious significance of Ayodhya in the first millennium A. D. related to the Gopratara tirtha, which is believed to be the place where Rama entered the waters of the Saryu river in order to ascend to heaven. The city of Ayodhya itself was not regarded as a pilgrimage centre. Gahadavalas that came to power in Kanauj in early second millennium, in the wake of the Ghaznavid raids on North India, promoted Vaishnavism. They built several Vishnu temples in Ayodhya, five of which survived till the end of Aurangzeb's reign. Hans Bakker concludes that there might have been a temple at the supposed birth spot of Rama built by the Gahadavalas. In subsequent years, the cult of Rama developed within Vaishnavism, with Rama being regarded as the foremost avatar of Vishnu. Consequently, Ayodhya's importance as a pilgrimage centre grew.[56]

In 1226 A.D., Ayodhya became the capital of the province of Awadh (or "Oudh") within the Delhi sultanate. Muslim historians state that the area was little more than wilderness prior to this. Pilgrimage was tolerated, but the tax on pilgrims ensured that the temples did not receive much income. The temple that might have been at the supposed birth spot of Rama was replaced by a mosque in 1528 A.D., the so-called "Babri Masjid." After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 A.D., the central Muslim rule weakened, and Awadh became virtually independent, with Ayodhya as its capital. However, the rulers became increasingly dependent on the local Hindu nobles, and control over the temples and pilgrimage centres was relaxed. The rulers of Ayodhya were Shia. The Sunni groups began to protest against the permissive attitude of the government. The British intervened and crushed the Sunni resistance. In 1857, the British annexed Oudh (Awadh) and subsequently reorganised it into the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.[87]

The local government of Ayodhya and South Korea acknowledged the connection and held a ceremony to raise a statue of the princess on the banks of the Sarayu River. The adopted Korean name of the princess is Heo Hwang-ok, the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty and the ancestor of the Korean Kim family of Kimhae and Heo.[88][89][90]

In the 7th century CE, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), the Chinese monk, recorded many Hindu temples in Ayodhya. In the epic Ramayana, the city of Ayodhya is cited as the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama, a Hindu deity who was worshipped as Lord Vishnu's seventh incarnation. Ayodhya became a famous pilgrimage destination in the 15th century when Ramananda, the Hindu mystic, established a devotional sect of Sri Rama.

The Thai kingdom and city of Ayutthaya, and the Indonesian sultanate of Yogyakarta, are thought to be named after Ayodhya.[citation needed]

Ayodhya, like other Indian cities, came under Mughal rule. With Muslim rulers established around the city under Mohammed of Ghor, it lost its strategic and economic importance to Lucknow and Kanpur.

The 16th century witnessed a shift in power with Ayodhya coming under the rule of the Mughal Empire.

Saadat Ali Khan, Nawab of Awadh, bestowed the riyasat of Ayodhya on his loyal Brahmin soldier Dwijdeo Mishra of the Kasyapa gotra, for quelling revenue rebels in Mehendauna in Eastern UP. The Hanumangarhi temple was built by the Nawab of Awadh.[59]

Ayodhya was annexed in 1856 by the British rulers. Between 1857 and 1859, this place was one of the main centres where the first sparks of the fight for independence began, later leading to a nationwide revolt against the British East India Company of Calcutta.[91]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2001 India census, Ayodhya had a population of 49,593. Males constitute 59% of the population and females 41%. Ayodhya has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 72% of the males and 62% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.[92]

Ayodhya debate[edit]

There has been debate in India regarding the Babri Mosque, built on the foundations of a Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, believed by Hindus to be the birthplace of Lord Rama. The mosque was named after Babar the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India.

Claims have been made that worship took place on a platform called the "Ram Chabutara" before Independence. According to British sources, Hindus and Muslims used to worship together in the Disputed Structure in the 19th century until about 1855. As written in 1870:

It is said that up to that time, the Hindus and Mohamedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple. Since the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute, within which, in the mosque the Mohamedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings.

— P. Carnegy, A Sketch of Lucknow in 1870[93]

The 1986 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica reported that "Rama's birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Mughal emperor Babar in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple".[94]

In 1989, the Allahabad High Court opened the locks of the main gate and restored the site to use. However, when Hindus wanted modifications of the dilapidated Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki, and did a Shilanyas, or inauguration, of a proposed new temple, there was civil unrest in many parts of India. Since, then the matter has been sub-judiced.

A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party to reclaim the site for a temple of the infant Rama, Ramlala. Many Muslim organizations expressed outrage at the destruction of the mosque.[95] This platform was outside the disputed structure but within its precincts. Hindus say that they have been demanding the return of the site for centuries, and cite accounts of western travellers during the Mughal rule in India.

The mosque was destroyed in 1992 when a right wing Hindu nationalist rally progressed into a riot, involving a mob of over thousands. There were several later mosques constructed in the Faizabad district of Ayodhya. Due its relative isolation, Ayodhya has a small Muslim population, though there are more Muslims at the nearby District Headquarters in Faizabad.[96] The Babri Mosque at Ayodhya became famous through the dispute, with Hindus having offered Pujas to Lord Ramlala for years.

There is a makeshift mandir at Ram Janmabhoomi with a Ram Lalla, representing Rama as a child, smiling over a blooming lotus. The 27-inch-high (690 mm) deity is carved in white marble from the mines of Makrana in Rajasthan and laced with gold. The palanquin is made of seasoned rosewood brought from forest in Karnataka. The statue was donated by Chandresh Pandey of Jaipur Pandey Idol Museum.[97] Under Indian government no one was permitted near the site for 200 yards, and the gate was locked to the outside. Hindu pilgrims, however, began entering through a side door to offer puja.

2003 archaeological findings[edit]

The latest archaeological evidence comes from examination of the site after destruction of the Babri Mosque. The excavation, carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India between 12 March and 7 August 2003, uncovered a variety of objects, including a 12-foot (3.7 m) statue of Lord Hanuman and coins dating to early historic times and other historic objects. They concluded that an ancient temple had been demolished or modified to create the Babri Mosque under Babur.[98][99][100][101]

Udit Raj's Buddha Education Foundation claimed that the structure excavated by ASI in 2003 was a Buddhist stupa destroyed during and after the Muslim invasion of India.[102]

Attack[edit]

On 5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple in Ayodhya. All five were killed in the ensuing gunfight with security forces, and one civilian died in the bomb blast triggered as they attempted to breach the cordon wall.

Allahabad High Court verdict, September 2010[edit]

Before 2003, it was not proven that the original Hindu temple was demolished or dramatically modified on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Babur and a mosque was built in its place. A title suit on the disputed site was heard in 2010 in which it was established that, on the basis of popular belief, the disputed land was the birthplace of Lord Rama.

On 30 September 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict on the Ayodhya title suit. The three-judge bench ruled in a majority judgement (2 to 1) that one-third of the disputed land should be given to the Sunni Muslim Central Board of Waqfs, one-third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the Hindu party for 'Ram Lalla'. The court further ruled that the area where the idols of Ram are present be given to Hindus in the final decree, while the rest of the land shall be divided equally by metes and bounds among the three parties.[103][104]

Places of interest[edit]

File:Ayodhya 100 (34).jpg
A street of Ayodhya
File:Ayodhya 500 (6).jpg
Sant Sri Paltds Temple
File:Ayodhya 500 (9).jpg
Sri Sri Vijayaraghavaji Temple

Ayodhya is an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. A verse in the Brahmanda Purana names Ayodhya among "the most sacred and foremost cities", the others being Mathura, Haridvara, Kashi, Kanchi and Avantika. This verse is also found in the other Puranas with slight variations.[9] In Garuda Purana, Ayodhya is said to be one of seven holiest places for Hindus in India, with Varanasi being the most sacrosanct.[105]

Hanuman Garhi Fort[edit]

Hanuman Garhi, a massive four-sided fort with circular bastions at each corner and a temple of Hanuman inside, is the most popular shrine in Ayodhya. Situated in the center of town, it is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. Its legend is 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 wishes are granted with a visit to the shrine. Kanak Bhawan is a temple said to have been given to Sita and Rama by Rama's stepmother Kaikeyi as a wedding gift, and only contains statues of Sita with her husband.

Ramkot[edit]

Ramkot is the main place of worship in Ayodhya, and the site of the ancient citadel of its namesake, standing on elevated ground in the western city. Although visited by pilgrims throughout the year, it attracts devotees from all over the world on "Ram Navami", the day of the birth of Rama. Ram Navami is celebrated with great pomp in the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls between March and April. Swarg Dwar is believed to be the site of cremation of Rama. Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat are ancient earth mounds, the first identified by a stupa built by the emperor Ashoka, and the second is an ancient monastery. Treta ke Thakur is a temple standing at the site of the Ashvamedha Yajnya of Rama. Three centuries prior, the Raja of Kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1784, the same time the adjacent Ghats were built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Sarayu and placed in the new temple, which was known as Kaleram-ka-Mandir. Chhoti Devkali Mandir is the temple of goddess Ishani, or Durga, Kuldevi of Sita.

Nageshwarnath Temple[edit]

The temple of Nageshwarnath was established by Kush, son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet while bathing in the Sarayu, and it was retrieved by a Nag-Kanya who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush built her this temple. It was the only temple to survive when Ayodhya was abandoned until the time of Vikramaditya. While the rest of city was in ruin and covered by dense forest, this temple allowed Vikramaditya to recognise the city. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great splendor.

Places of interest[edit]

Hanuman Garhi, a massive four-sided fort with circular bastions at each corner and a temple of Hanuman inside, is the most popular shrine in Ayodhya. Situated in the center of town, it is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. Its legend is 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 wishes are granted with a visit to the shrine. Kanak Bhawan is a temple said to have been given to Sita and Rama by Rama's stepmother Kaikeyi as a wedding gift, and only contains statues of Sita with her husband.

Ramkot is the main place of worship in Ayodhya, and the site of the ancient citadel of its namesake, standing on elevated ground in the western city. Although visited by pilgrims throughout the year, it attracts devotees from all over the world on "Ram Navami", the day of the birth of Rama. Ram Navami is celebrated with great pomp in the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls between March and April. Swarg Dwar is believed to be the site of cremation of Rama. Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat are ancient earth mounds, the first identified by a stupa built by the emperor Ashoka, and the second is an ancient monastery. Treta ke Thaku is a temple standing at the site of the Ashvamedha Yajnya of Rama. Three centuries prior, the Raja of Kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1784, the same time the adjacent Ghats were built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Sarayu and placed in the new temple, which was known as Kaleram-ka-Mandir. Chhoti Devkali Mandir is the temple of goddess Ishani, or Durga, Kuldevi of Sita.

Nageshwarnath Temple[edit]

The temple of Nageshwarnath was established by Kush, son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet while bathing in the Sarayu, and it was retrieved by a Nag-Kanya who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush built her this temple. It was the only temple to survive when Ayodhya was abandoned until the time of Vikramaditya. While the rest of city was in ruin and covered by dense forest, this temple allowed Vikramaditya to recognize the city. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great splendor.

Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal[edit]

Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal, known as Bada Asthan and Badi Jagah, is at Ramkot Ayodhya Faizabad Uttar Pradesh. It open for public from 8 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 10 pm. every day. Ram Vivah, Deepawali, Shravan Mela, Chaitra Ramnavami and Kartik Mela are special occasions when number of devotees increases manifold. Dotted with so many religious places and shrines, in Ayodhya is a venerated place that has been revered by all, fraction of Hindu religious. This holy place is associated with Lord Ram, the hero of the great epic Ramayana. All the places in Ayodhya is some how related to this legendary ruler who is regarded as an icon of virtue, truth and devotion.

Chakravarti Maharaja Dasrath Mahal is not an exception to this common phenomenon. It where Maharaja Dasharatha is believed to reside with his kith and kin. Now the place houses a temple, which depicts Ram, Sita and Lakshmana Bharat Shatrughan as the chief deities. Though the shrine is not much bigger in size, its environment provide such serene and tranquil feeling that the devotee would be able to sense the presence of the Lord Ram.

  • Angad Tila
  • Shri Rama Janaki Birla Temple
  • Tulsi Smarak Bhawan
  • Ram ki Paidi
  • Kaleramji ka Mandir
  • Datuvan Kund
  • Janki Mahal
  • Gurudwara Brahma Kund
  • Rishabhadeo Jain Temple
  • Brahma Kund
  • Amawan Temple
  • Tulsi Chaura
  • Laxman Quila
  • Ram Katha Museum
  • Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan
  • Mandir Sunder Sadan (in front of controversial site)


In remote antiquity, Ayodhya was one of the largest and most magnificent of Indian cities. It is said to have covered an area of 250 km² (96 square miles), and was the capital of the Hindu kingdom of Kosala, the court of the great king Dasaratha, the fifty-sixth monarch of the Solar line in descent from Raja Manu. The opening chapters of the Ramayana, a religious epic of the Classical Hindu period, recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of the monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of his people. Dasaratha was the father of Rama Chandra, more commonly known as Lord Rama, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, the representative of Dharma and the hero of the epic.

A period of Buddhist supremacy followed the death of the last king of the Solar dynasty. On the revival of Hinduism, Ayodhya was restored by King Vikramaditya (c. 57 BC). Kosala is also famous as the early home of Buddhism, and of the kindred religion of Jainism, and claims to be the birthplace of the founders of both these faiths. In the 7th century, the Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang observed there were 20 Buddhist temples with 3000 monks at Ayodhya, amongst a large Hindu population. At the end of the 19th century, Ayodhya contained 96 Hindu temples and 36 Muslim mosques. Little local trade was carried on, but the great Hindu fair of Ram Navami held every year was attended by about 500,000 people.

Since the early 1990s, Ayodhya has become the reason for much violence between Muslims and Hindus in some areas at times. In 1992, Hindu devotees razed a 16th century Muslim mosque (q.v. Babri Mosque), sparking nationwide riots between Hindus and Muslims that killed more than 2,000 people. One of the claims of the Hindus is that a Hindu temple originally stood where the mosque was erected by Mughal ruler Babur. In 2001, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) announced, in defiance of court orders, that it would break ground on a Hindu temple by March 15, 2002. Over 20,000 Hindu nationalists have since gathered at the site, which they refer to as Ram Janmabhoomi (the place of birth of Lord Rama). Recently, the Archeological Survey of India produced a report that stated, from digging and studies of materials and layers under the since destroyed mosque, there was evidence of a large Hindu temple having pre-existed the Babri, apparently destroyed by Mughal invaders.

Famed film maker Mani Ratnam produced a film on the riots that occurred in Mumbai over the Ayodhya issue. The film met with adverse criticism and censorship, though being a popular hit. After the movie's release, members of a communal group hurled a country bomb inside his home, which left him slightly injured.

According to Romilla Thapar formely Chair of Ancient Indian History at Oxford University "If we do not take Hindu mythology in account the first historical description of the city dates back recently to the 7th century"


(Parts of this article come from an old encyclopedia.)

Summary of conflicts over Ayodhya[edit]

1528-1934[edit]

1. Babar's reign (1528-1530) - Hindus launched 4 attacks in which 100,000 people were killed.

2. Humayun's reign (1530-1556) - Hindus launched 10 separate initiatives to regain control.

3. Akbar's reign (1556-1605) - Hindus fought 20 battles.

4. Aurangzeb's reign (1658-1707)- Hindus fought 30 battles. One such battle was led by Guru Gobind Singh in which Aurangzeb’s army was defeated.

5. Four years later, Aurangzeb’s again attacked Ayodhya and regained control after killing 10,000 Hindus.

6. Sahdat Ali (1798-1814) - Hindus fought 5 battles.

7. Nasir-uddin Haidar (1814-1837) - Hindus fought 3 battles.

8. Wajid Ali Shah (1847-1857) - Hindus fought 2 battles.

9. British Rule (1912-1934) - Hindus fought 2 armed conflicts.

Hindus never gave up on one of their holiest places. Hence the only conflict free periods were when they were allowed to worship inside the disputed structure. For example, in order to avoid further conflict, during the latter part of his reign Akbar allowed Hindus to build a platform known as 'Ram Chabutra', and to install and worship images of Ram Parivar in the so called Babri compound. This practice was later opposed by Aurungzeb which resulted in most battles for the control of the shrine during his reign.

In 1751 Maratha Sardar Malhar Rao Holkar after defeating the Pathans in the plains of Ganga and Yamuna, asked Nawab Safderjang to hand over Ayodhya, Kashi and Prayag to the Peshwas. In a letter dated February 23, 1756, Nanasaheb Peshwa asked Sardar Scindia to annex Ayodhya and Kashi as the handover of these holy places was already promised to Raghoba Dada by Suja-uddoula.

Later in 1789 Sardar MahadJi Scindia did annex Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi, but due to his untimely demise was not able to restore the temples of Ram Janma Bhoomi, Krishna Janma Bhoomi and Kashi Vishweshwar back to Hindus.

Joseph Tieffenthaler (1710 - 1785), an Austrian Jesuit priest toured Oudh (Ayodhya) region between 1766 and 1771 His account of Indian History and geography was translated and published in French in 1786

Tieffenthaler states 'The Emperor Aurungzeb destroyed the fortress called Ramkot and built at the same place a Mohammedan temple with 3 domes. Others say that it has been built by Babar. One can see 14 columns made of black stone .. which bear carvings ... Subsequently Aurungzeb, and some say Babar destroyed the (heathen) place in order to prevent heathens from practicing their ceremonies.

However they have continued to practice their religious ceremonies in both the places(inside the 3 domed Babri structure and the compound), knowing this to have been birth place of Rama, by going around it 3 times and prostrating on ground".

According to the British records by Thornton (1854) and Carnegie (1870) till 1855 Hindus continued to worship Ram in the 3 domed structure. During the First War of Independence of 1857 the local Muslim leader Amir Ali persuaded the Muslims to finally hand over the disputed place to Hindus and jointly fight with the British.

However the British won the War of 1857 and Amir Ali and Hindu leader Baba Ram Charan Das were publicly hanged from a tree near the Ram Janma Bhoomi.

The British subsequently put a railing wall between Babri structure and the courtyard and separated the Muslim worshipers who got the Babri structure and Hindus had no choice but to do puja outside in the courtyard.

NET - Hindus continued to worship at the disputed structure and never gave up struggle to regain control of Ram Janma Bhoomi since 1528.

Recent History - 1934 through 1992[edit]

In 1934, during the armed conflict between Hindus and Muslims the Babri structure was damaged. Since 1936, the Babri structure was an abandoned building and did not function as a community mosque for local muslims. There is no evidence of any Mutawalli or Imam or Muazzin or Khatib or Khadim having functioned as the mosque management as such for the up keep and maintenance of the 'mosque'.

A Waqf report dated September 16, 1938 showed 'Syed Mohammad Zaki' as a Mutawalli. But later the District Waqf Commissioner found that Mutawalli Zaki was a Shia, an opium addict and most unsuited for the duties of a Mutawalli. Meanwhile the Sunni Waqf Board claimed that Babri mosque was under its control.

A report dated December 10, 1949 by the Waqf inspector Mohammad Ibrahim, to the U.P. Sunni Central Board of Waqf, states that 'due to the fear of Hindus and Sikhs’ no Muslims used to pray in the mosque.

On December 23, 1949 the image of 'Ramalalla' appeared in the disputed structure and Hindus resumed prayers and worship inside. On December 29, 1949 Additional Magistrate Markandey Singh confiscated the building and handed over the possession to Priya Dutta Ram as Receiver, who assumed charge of the same on January 5, 1950.

After almost 12 years, on December 18, 1961 the Sunni Waqf Board filed the law suit seeking the possession of the disputed structure. This law suit was liable to be dismissed since the then prevalent statute of limitation for property takeover of 6 years had already passed.

Since December 23, 1949 there have been daily Hindu prayers and worship at the Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple. Yet, Babri was not a functional Mosque, and it has been a functional temple for atleast 42 years.

"Mosques built after destroying temples are the sign of slavery and Muslims should hand over the same to Hindu Society" -Mahatma Gandhi in 'Navjeevan' dated July 17, 1937. "Hindus profess secularism because they are cowards and are afraid of Muslim countries." - Syed Shahabuddin - Convenor of Babri Masjid Coordination Committee (BMCC) in 'Sunday' dated March 20, 1983.

On April 7-8, 1984 the Dharma Sansad (religious congregation) took decision to launch a movement for replacement of the existing mosque-turned temple with a proper temple structure.

Options offered by Hindu Leadership:[edit]

Prior to December 6, 1992 Hindus had offered following options: Muslims should hand over the Babri structure as a goodwill gesture to Hindus. The unused Babri mosque has no religious significance to Muslims what so ever, (since as per the administrative officials in Faizabad, Of the 26 Mosques in Ayodhya region just half are in use for offering namaz and the rest are in a bad shape), hence this is not an unreasonable request. If that is not acceptable, then this nonfunctional mosque should be relocated.

Tradition[edit]

Hindu tradition and scriptures state that, this place and other places in Ayodhya were discovered, excavated and rebuilt by the king Vikramaaditya as it was during the tenure of Lord Rama. It is said that Lord Rama appeared in king Vikramaditya's dreams and showed him the very powerful and prosperous city of Ayodhya with all its glory and richness during his times. He then instructed the king to rebuild the city of Ayodhya as it was.King Vikramaditya expressed his inability to rebuild such a magnificent city again with all its riches but promised to rebuild this city as per his abilities.

Examining the ASI's conclusion of a mandir (Hindu temple) under the structure, the VHP and the RSS stepped up demands for Muslims to restore the three holiest North Indian mandirs to Hindus.[106]Hindu Mahasabha and Nirmohi Akhara Original Petitioners have moved to Supreme Court. This generation leaders oh Hindu Mahasabha Dr. Satosh Rai, Baba Nand Kishore ji and Sardar Ravi Ranjan Singh have moved in Courts of law against many illegal structures forcibly fabricated over Hindu Temples. In one infamous case where work for upcoming Metro Rail was stopped forcibly by Muslims because they believed that some Mosque might have been there sometime, where Metro Rail Station was been made, Baba and Sardar Ravi Ranjan Singh challenged the illegal structure in court and substantiated that a Mandir existed at the spot where Metro Station is coming up, it was in this Mandir where the supporters of Sikh warrior and Hindu Librator Banda Singh Bhadur were clipped/crucified by Muslims,but refused to reclaim Mandir or Gurudwara stating Development and Progress is more important then putting the Clock Back.

Quotes[edit]

Ayodhyā Mathurā Māyā Kāsi Kāñchī Avantikā I
Purī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh II

— Garuḍa Purāṇa I XVI .14


  • However, contrary to his [Pollock's] claim, one must examine the fact that Ayodhya had already been the capital of kings in the pre-mauryan era for hundreds of years. [107]
    • Rajiv Malhotra, Battle for Sanskrit

Ayodhya (About this sound listen ; IAST Ayodhyā), also known as Saket,[108] is an ancient city of India, believed to be the birthplace of Rama[109] and setting of the epic Ramayana. It is adjacent to Faizabad city in the central region of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya used to be the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom. It has an average elevation of 93 meters (305 feet).

Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Rama, Ayodhya (Awadh) has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Saptapuri) for Hindus. It is believed that the birth spot of Rama was marked by a temple, which was demolished by the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur and a mosque erected in its place. The Ayodhya dispute concerns the activism by the Hindu groups to rebuild a Rama's temple at the site.

Origins[edit]

Ayodhya is on the right bank of the river Sarayu, 8 km from Faizabad. This town is closely associated with Rama, seventh incarnation of Vishnu. According to the Ramayana, the city is 9,000 years old and was founded by Manu, the first man (first woman was Shatarupa) in the universe according to the Vedas.[citation needed] Other sources hold that it was founded by its namesake, King Ayudh. It was said to be the capital of the Solar dynasty, of which Rama was the most celebrated king. At the time it was known as Kaushaldesa.

File:(1) Ayodhya Ram Paidi Uttar Pradesh India 2013.jpg
Ram Paidi ghat on Sarayu river, Ayodhya.

Skanda Purana and other puranas list Ayodhya as one of the seven most sacred cities of India, as it has been the backdrop for much of Hindu scripture. Today it is predominantly a religious destination with its historical significance and sacred temples. The Atharvaveda described Ayodhya as "a city built by God and being prosperous as paradise itself."

Its first ruling king was Ikshvaku, of the Solar dynasty and eldest son of Vaivasvata Manu. The sixth king of this line, Prithu, is linguistically the etymology of earth, or "Prithivi". Mandhatri was a later king of the region, and the 31st king of his descent was Harischandra, known for his truthfulness, or Sathya-sandhata. His lineeage was Surya Vamsa and, in turn known for their honesty as rulers. Raja Sagar of the same clan performed the Asvamedha Yajna, and legend holds that his great-grandson Bhagiratha brought the river Ganges to the earth through penance. Later came the great King Raghu, after whom the dynasty was called Raghuvamsa. His grandson was Raja Dasharatha, of the Kausala dynasty, and father of Rama.

Several religions have prospered in Ayodhya simultaneously as well as at different periods. Elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam can be found in the city. In Jainism, for example, five Tirthankaras were born here, including Rishabhanatha, first Tirthankara,[110] Ajitanatha, second Tirthankara,[111]Abhinandananatha (fourth Tirthankara),[112] Sumatinatha, fifth Tirthankara,[113] and Anantanatha, fourteenth Tirthankara.[114] Ayodhya demonstrates Ganga-Jamuni culture in the Hanumangarhi temple, built by Nawab of Awadh. According to Jain Agams, it is the second eternal city after Shikharji, and will never vanish or disappear during the changing epochs.

Etymology[edit]

According to one derivation, "Ayodhya" is said to derive from the name of King "Ayudh," mentioned in Hindu scriptures as a forefather of Lord Rama.[citation needed]

In the more accepted etymology, In word "Ayodhya", 'A' is feminine negation of the word Yodhya which comes from the root Yudh (to fight). A (negation) + Yodhya (winnable) + ā (feminine suffix). So, literally, the name translates as "A city that cannot be fought and won over in a war" or "unconquerable citadel". During the time of Gautama Buddha, there was a city called Ayojjhā in Pali, and Ayodhyā in Sanskrit, close to the banks of the River Ganges. It bears no relation to the present-day Ayodhya[115]

At the time of Buddha, the present-day Ayodhya was called Saketa. Śāketa or 沙奇 (Pinyin: Shāqí) was conquered by the Kushan/Yuezhi Emperor Kanishka c. 127 CE, who made it administrative center of his eastern territories.[116][117] The name occurs again in Faxian as 沙祗 (Pinyin: Shāzhī) in the early 5th century. By the time of the visit of the Chinese pilgrim monk, Xuanzang, c. 636 CE, the city was known as Ayodhya.

Under Mughal rule, the city was the capital of the province of Awadh, which is also believed to be a variant of the name "Ayodhya." During the British Raj the city was known as Ajodhya or Ajodhia and was part of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. It was also the seat of a small 'talukdari' state.[118][119]

The cities of Ayutthaya, Thailand, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia, are named after Ayodhya.

Legacy[edit]

Tradition[edit]

The Ayodhya of Ramayana was the capital of the Hindu kingdom Kosala and described as covering an area of 250 km2 (97 sq mi). It is on the banks of the Ganges, a river whose waters cleanse all sin, and on the right bank of Ghagra. The Ikshvaku dynasty of the solar clan (suryavansha) was its ruling dynasty.[citation needed] The city was the in court of the great Dasharatha, 39th monarch of the Solar line, whose son was the avatar Rama.

In the Atharvaveda, Ayodhya was said to be "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself".[citation needed] In Garuda Purana, Ayodhya is said to be one of seven holiest places for Hindus in India, with Varanasi being the most sacrosanct.[120]

Valmiki is said to have begun writing the Ramayana in Ayodhya. Its opening chapters recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of its monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of its people. Tulsidas retold a common version of the Ramayana called the Ramacharitamanasa, in which he also praised the city. Several Tamil Alvars mention the city. It is the birthplace of Jadabharata, the first Chakravartin, Bahubali, Brahmi, Sundari, Padaliptasurisvarji, Harishchandra and Achalbharata.[citation needed]

Ayodhya has historical significance for the Jain community as well. It is the birthplace of two important tirthankaras two-thousand years ago. The Jain agamas also record the visit of Mahavira, the last tirthankara of Jainism. The city is also the birthplace of five Tirthankaras, including the first, Rishabha, and the ninth Ganadhara of Mahavira.

The city is important in the heritage of Buddhism, with several Buddhist temples, monuments and centers of learning established here during the Mauryan Empire and Gupta Dynasty. Buddha is believed to have visited the city more than once, although there is no record of this in his writing. Faxian, the Chinese monk, wrote of several Buddhist monasteries here.[citation needed] Ayodhya reached its peak of trade during the Gupta dynasty.[citation needed]

Ayodhya is a 'Mokshdayani Puris,' or 'land of spiritual bliss and liberation from karma bandhan,' along with Varanasi, and Dwarka. Hindu scripture such as the Ramcharitmanas, Vishnu Purana and Shrimad Bhagvat Mahapuran recommend pilgrimage to the city, writing that it increases the Punya, or virtue, and decreases Paap, or wrongdoing.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Historically, Saketa is known to have been an important city of Ancient India by the 6th century B.C.E. During the Buddha's time it was ruled by Pasenadi (Sanskrit: Prasenajit), whose capital was at Sravasti. Saketa continued its prominence during the Maurya rule and suffered an attack around 190 B.C. by a Bactrian Greek expedition allied to Panchala and Mathura. After the fall of the Maurya and Shunga dynasties, the city came under the rule of Deva and Datta kings. An inscription found at Ayodhya refers to a king Dhanadeva, who claimed to be the sixth descendant of Pushyamitra Shunga.[86]

Under the Gupta rulers, Ayodhya reached its highest political importance. The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien visited the city in the 5th century A.D., referring to it as "Sha-chi". During the reign of Kumaragupta or Skandagupta, the capital of the empire was moved from Pataliputra to Ayodhya. The old name "Saketa" is now replaced by "Ayodhya," and firmly identified as Rama's capital city. Under Narasimhagupta, the empire was ravaged by the Huns. Subsequently in the 6th century, the political centre of North India shifted to Kanauj and Ayodhya fell into relative oblivion.[86]

According to Indologist Hans T. Bakker, the only religious significance of Ayodhya in the first millennium A. D. related to the Gopratara tirtha, which is believed to be the place where Rama entered the waters of the Saryu river in order to ascend to heaven. The city of Ayodhya itself was not regarded as a pilgrimage centre. Gahadavalas that came to power in Kanauj in early second millennium, in the wake of the Ghaznavid raids on North India, promoted Vaishnavism. They built several Vishnu temples in Ayodhya, five of which survived till the end of Aurangzeb's reign. Hans Bakker concludes that there might have been a temple at the supposed birth spot of Rama built by the Gahadavalas. In subsequent years, the cult of Rama developed within Vaishnavism, with Rama being regarded as the foremost avatar of Vishnu. Consequently, Ayodhya's importance as a pilgrimage centre grew.[56]

In 1226 A.D., Ayodhya became the capital of the province of Awadh (or "Oudh") within the Delhi sultanate. Muslim historians state that the area was little more than wilderness prior to this. Pilgrimage was tolerated, but the tax on pilgrims ensured that the temples did not receive much income. The temple that might have been at the supposed birth spot of Rama was replaced by a mosque in 1528 A.D., the so-called "Babri Masjid." After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 A.D., the central Muslim rule weakened, and Awadh became virtually independent, with Ayodhya as its capital. However, the rulers became increasingly dependent on the local Hindu nobles, and control over the temples and pilgrimage centres was relaxed. The rulers of Ayodhya were Shia. The Sunni groups began to protest against the permissive attitude of the government. The British intervened and crushed the Sunni resistance. In 1857, the British annexed Oudh (Awadh) and subsequently reorganised it into the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.[87]

The local government of Ayodhya and South Korea acknowledged the connection and held a ceremony to raise a statue of the princess on the banks of the Sarayu River. The adopted Korean name of the princess is Heo Hwang-ok, the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty and the ancestor of the Korean Kim family of Kimhae and Heo.[121][122][123]

In the 7th century CE, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), the Chinese monk, recorded many Hindu temples in Ayodhya. In the epic Ramayana, the city of Ayodhya is cited as the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama, a Hindu deity who was worshipped as Lord Vishnu's seventh incarnation. Ayodhya became a famous pilgrimage destination in the 15th century when Ramananda, the Hindu mystic, established a devotional sect of Sri Rama.

The Thai kingdom and city of Ayutthaya, and the Indonesian sultanate of Yogyakarta, are thought to be named after Ayodhya.[citation needed]

Ayodhya, like other Indian cities, came under Mughal rule. With Muslim rulers established around the city under Mohammed of Ghor, it lost its strategic and economic importance to Lucknow and Kanpur.

The 16th century witnessed a shift in power with Ayodhya coming under the rule of the Mughal Empire.

Saadat Ali Khan, Nawab of Awadh, bestowed the riyasat of Ayodhya on his loyal Brahmin soldier Dwijdeo Mishra of the Kasyapa gotra, for quelling revenue rebels in Mehendauna in Eastern UP. The Hanumangarhi temple was built by the Nawab of Awadh.[59]

Ayodhya was annexed in 1856 by the British rulers. Between 1857 and 1859, this place was one of the main centres where the first sparks of the fight for independence began, later leading to a nationwide revolt against the British East India Company of Calcutta.[124]

Ayodhya debate[edit]

There has been debate in India regarding the Babri Mosque, built on the foundations of a Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, believed by Hindus to be the birthplace of Lord Rama. The mosque was named after Babar the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India.

Claims have been made that worship took place on a platform called the "Ram Chabutara" before Independence. According to British sources, Hindus and Muslims used to worship together in the Disputed Structure in the 19th century until about 1855. As written in 1870:

It is said that up to that time, the Hindus and Mohamedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple. Since the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute, within which, in the mosque the Mohamedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings.

— P. Carnegy, A Sketch of Lucknow in 1870[93]

The 1986 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica reported that "Rama's birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Mughal emperor Babar in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple".[125]

In 1989, the Allahabad High Court opened the locks of the main gate and restored the site to use. However, when Hindus wanted modifications of the dilapidated Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki, and did a Shilanyas, or inauguration, of a proposed new temple, there was civil unrest in many parts of India. Since, then the matter has been sub-judiced.

A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party to reclaim the site for a temple of the infant Rama, Ramlala. Many Muslim organizations expressed outrage at the destruction of the mosque.[126] This platform was outside the disputed structure but within its precincts. Hindus say that they have been demanding the return of the site for centuries, and cite accounts of western travellers during the Mughal rule in India.

The mosque was destroyed in 1992 when a right wing Hindu nationalist rally progressed into a riot, involving a mob of over thousands. There were several later mosques constructed in the Faizabad district of Ayodhya. Due its relative isolation, Ayodhya has a small Muslim population, though there are more Muslims at the nearby District Headquarters in Faizabad.[127] The Babri Mosque at Ayodhya became famous through the dispute, with Hindus having offered Pujas to Lord Ramlala for years.

There is a makeshift mandir at Ram Janmabhoomi with a Ram Lalla, representing Rama as a child, smiling over a blooming lotus. The 27-inch-high (690 mm) deity is carved in white marble from the mines of Makrana in Rajasthan and laced with gold. The palanquin is made of seasoned rosewood brought from forest in Karnataka. The statue was donated by Chandresh Pandey of Jaipur Pandey Idol Museum.[128] Under Indian government no one was permitted near the site for 200 yards, and the gate was locked to the outside. Hindu pilgrims, however, began entering through a side door to offer puja.

2003 archaeological findings[edit]

The latest archaeological evidence comes from examination of the site after destruction of the Babri Mosque. The excavation, carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India between 12 March and 7 August 2003, uncovered a variety of objects, including a 12-foot (3.7 m) statue of Lord Hanuman and coins dating to early historic times and other historic objects. They concluded that an ancient temple had been demolished or modified to create the Babri Mosque under Babur.[129][130][131][132]

Udit Raj's Buddha Education Foundation claimed that the structure excavated by ASI in 2003 was a Buddhist stupa destroyed during and after the Muslim invasion of India.[133]

Attack[edit]

On 5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple in Ayodhya. All five were killed in the ensuing gunfight with security forces, and one civilian died in the bomb blast triggered as they attempted to breach the cordon wall.

Allahabad High Court verdict, September 2010[edit]

Before 2003, it was not proven that the original Hindu temple was demolished or dramatically modified on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Babur and a mosque was built in its place. A title suit on the disputed site was heard in 2010 in which it was established that, on the basis of popular belief, the disputed land was the birthplace of Lord Rama.

On 30 September 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict on the Ayodhya title suit. The three-judge bench ruled in a majority judgement (2 to 1) that one-third of the disputed land should be given to the Sunni Muslim Central Board of Waqfs, one-third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the Hindu party for 'Ram Lalla'. The court further ruled that the area where the idols of Ram are present be given to Hindus in the final decree, while the rest of the land shall be divided equally by metes and bounds among the three parties.[134][135]

Places of interest[edit]

Hanuman Garhi, a massive four-sided fort with circular bastions at each corner and a temple of Hanuman inside, is the most popular shrine in Ayodhya. Situated in the center of town, it is approachable by a flight of 76 steps. Its legend is 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 wishes are granted with a visit to the shrine. Kanak Bhawan is a temple said to have been given to Sita and Rama by Rama's stepmother Kaikeyi as a wedding gift, and only contains statues of Sita with her husband.

Ramkot is the main place of worship in Ayodhya, and the site of the ancient citadel of its namesake, standing on elevated ground in the western city. Although visited by pilgrims throughout the year, it attracts devotees from all over the world on "Ram Navami", the day of the birth of Rama. Ram Navami is celebrated with great pomp in the Hindu month of Chaitra, which falls between March and April. Swarg Dwar is believed to be the site of cremation of Rama. Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat are ancient earth mounds, the first identified by a stupa built by the emperor Ashoka, and the second is an ancient monastery. Treta ke Thaku is a temple standing at the site of the Ashvamedha Yajnya of Rama. Three centuries prior, the Raja of Kulu built a new temple here, which was improved by Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1784, the same time the adjacent Ghats were built. The initial idols in black sandstone were recovered from Sarayu and placed in the new temple, which was known as Kaleram-ka-Mandir. Chhoti Devkali Mandir is the temple of goddess Ishani, or Durga, Kuldevi of Sita.

Nageshwarnath Temple[edit]

The temple of Nageshwarnath was established by Kush, son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet while bathing in the Sarayu, and it was retrieved by a Nag-Kanya who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush built her this temple. It was the only temple to survive when Ayodhya was abandoned until the time of Vikramaditya. While the rest of city was in ruin and covered by dense forest, this temple allowed Vikramaditya to recognize the city. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great splendor.

Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal[edit]

Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal, known as Bada Asthan and Badi Jagah, is at Ramkot Ayodhya Faizabad Uttar Pradesh. It open for public from 8 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 10 pm. every day. Ram Vivah, Deepawali, Shravan Mela, Chaitra Ramnavami and Kartik Mela are special occasions when number of devotees increases manifold. Dotted with so many religious places and shrines, in Ayodhya is a venerated place that has been revered by all, fraction of Hindu religious. This holy place is associated with Lord Ram, the hero of the great epic Ramayana. All the places in Ayodhya is some how related to this legendary ruler who is regarded as an icon of virtue, truth and devotion.

Chakravarti Maharaja Dasrath Mahal is not an exception to this common phenomenon. It where Maharaja Dasharatha is believed to reside with his kith and kin. Now the place houses a temple, which depicts Ram, Sita and Lakshmana Bharat Shatrughan as the chief deities. Though the shrine is not much bigger in size, its environment provide such serene and tranquil feeling that the devotee would be able to sense the presence of the Lord Ram.

  • Angad Tila
  • Shri Rama Janaki Birla Temple
  • Tulsi Smarak Bhawan
  • Ram ki Paidi
  • Kaleramji ka Mandir
  • Datuvan Kund
  • Janki Mahal
  • Gurudwara Brahma Kund
  • Rishabhadeo Jain Temple
  • Brahma Kund
  • Amawan Temple
  • Tulsi Chaura
  • Laxman Quila
  • Ram Katha Museum
  • Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan
  • Mandir Sunder Sadan (in front of controversial site)

Memorial of Indian Queen of ancient Korea, Heo Hwang-ok[edit]

The legendary princess Heo Hwang-ok, who married king Suro of Geumgwan Gaya of Korea is believed to be a princess from Ayodhya.[136] In 2000, Memorial of Indian Queen of ancient Korea, Heo Hwang-ok in Ayodhya was built jointly by South Korea and India on the west bank of river Sarayu, and Ayodhya was declared as Sister city of South Korean City of Incheon.[137][138][139][140][141]

Hundreds of South Koreans visit Ayodhya every year and visit the Korean Queen's memorial. There are plans to develop the Memorial and the relations between the two countries much further. About 60 Lack people from Korea trace their ancestry to the Indian princess who married the Korean King about 2000 years ago and they consider Ayodhya as their Ancestrol Home or Mother City.[142][143][144][145][146]

In June 2007 the Indian Ambassador to Seoul Nagesh Rao Parthasarathi (53) wrote a Novel, "Silk Empress (비단황후)", exploring the Indian princess's journey to Korea to marry the Korean King. The Novel was published in Korean and the English edition was expected soon.[147]

Other places of interest[edit]

This is a temple of "Maa Durgakali" and is one of the biggest temple of "Shakti swaroopa Devi DurgaKali" at Ayodhaya. "Kalhareshwar Mahadev" is another Lord Shiva temple located within the temple. it is open for public from 8 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 9 pm. every day. Navratri, Mahashivratri, janmaasthmi, chaitra ramnavai, Kartik Mela, Sawan Mela & Deepavali are some of the special occasion when number of devotees increase. As per the vision of "DARBARJI" it is believed that Mata SitaJi never stayed in Ayodhaya Permanently as is evident from shastras. just after Her Marriage with Lord Rama she accompanied her Husband and went to Jungle i.e in exail for 14 yrs. Upon her Return from Lanka to Ayodhaya again within a short span of time she was again send to Jungle.......as the Ram Katha Beholds were Lav & Kush were Born. there after she never returned back to the Kingdom of Ayodhaya. It is now believed that the Shakti has returned back to Ayodhay at Darbrji Durgakali Temple in Kaliyuga to embrace Lord Rama as "KALAKI" avtara.

Asharfi Bhavan[edit]

Ashrafi Bhawan is a temple of Ayodhya, an ancient and only temple of Shri Laxminarayani Bhagwan. Ashrafi Bhavan whose original name is "Sitaram Vilas Bhavan". At the time of the construction of this temple, a (Urn) came out of ancient gold coins(Asharfi). Due to which it became known throughout the place as Ashrafi Bhawan. The entire Coins were spent in charitable works and only one Ashrafi is still located in the neck chain of Shri Laxminarayan Bhagwan.

Ashrafi Bhavan, which is constructed by the insipiration & blessings of Pujya Jagadacharya Vaikunthwasi Swami Shri Madhusudanacharyaji Maharaj. Ashrafi Bhavan Chaurahaha is famous in the name of Ashrafi Bhawan Peeth. At the Ashram, a temple of Lord Laxminarayan where worship of Lord Shri Laxminarayan ji done by Vaidik method. Housing, food, clothing, education is given free of cost to the financially disabled students in the ashram. Cows have excellent service in the cowshed of the ashram. Shravan Jhula in Shriram Navami, Bhandara's system keeps running for several days. Every year millions of pilgrims and saints visit Darshan Pujan in the Mandir and they get food in the shelter of the Ashram.

Currently Ashram is being run by the blessings of Shrimad Bhagwatgita Shiromani Gold Medalist Jagadguru Ramanujacharya Shri ShriDharacharya ji Maharaj. http://www.shridharacharyaji.com

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Jain, Meenakshi (2013). Rama and Ayodhya. New Delhi: Aryan Books. ISBN 8173054517.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bakker, Hans (1986). Ayodhya, Part 1: The History of Ayodhya from the 7th century BC to the middle of the 18th century. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. ISBN 9069800071.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Legge, James (1886): A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms: Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399–414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Reprint: New York, Paragon Book Reprint Corp. 1965.
  • Thomas, F. W. (1944): "Sandanes, Nahapāna, Caṣṭana and Kaniṣka: Tung-li P'an-ch'i and Chinese Turkestan." New Indian Antiquary VII. 1944, p. 90.
  • Watters, Thomas (1904–1905): On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India. Thomas Watters. London. Royal Asiatic Society. Reprint: Delhi. Mushiram Manoharlal. 1973.
  • Ajodhya State The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 5, p. 174.
  • Archaeological Findings of Ayodhya Ruins
  • Ayodhya and the Research on the Temple of Lord Ram
  • Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Sources

  • Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jain, Meenakshi (2013). Rama and Ayodhya. New Delhi: Aryan Books. ISBN 8173054517.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Bakker, Hans (1986). Ayodhya, Part 1: The History of Ayodhya from the 7th century BC to the middle of the 18th century. Groningen: Egbert Forsten. ISBN 9069800071.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Legge, James (1886): A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms: Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399–414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Reprint: New York, Paragon Book Reprint Corp. 1965.
  • Thomas, F. W. (1944): "Sandanes, Nahapāna, Caṣṭana and Kaniṣka: Tung-li P'an-ch'i and Chinese Turkestan." New Indian Antiquary VII. 1944, p. 90.
  • Watters, Thomas (1904–1905): On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India. Thomas Watters. London. Royal Asiatic Society. Reprint: Delhi. Mushiram Manoharlal. 1973.
  • Ajodhya State The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 5, p. 174.
  • Archaeological Findings of Ayodhya Ruins
  • Ayodhya and the Research on the Temple of Lord Ram
  • Jitendra Bajaj ed Ayoydhya and the Future India
  • N.S. Rajaram, Ayodhya and the dead sea scrolls


Sources Template:Ref begin

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Korea

https://yourawesomeindia.com/2020/02/26/scholarship-of-convenience-diana-ecks-sacred-geography/