Ayodhya

Location

Ayodhya is located at the banks of River Sarayu and Ghaghra in Uttar Pradesh state in North India. Ayodhya is 200 kms from Varanasi and 134 kms from Lucknow. Nearest airport is in Lucknow at a distance of 150 kms and Varanasi airport is at a distance of 180 kms.

How to Reach

Ayodhya is very well connected by Rail and Road. From Varanasi you can reach Ayodhya by Train, Bus or Taxi. If you are travelling by air then take a flight to Lucknow and from Lucknow, take a taxi or bus to reach Ayodhya.

Best Time to Visit

Anytime of the year but preferably from October to March to avoid hot summers.

Highlights

Ayodhya is a very popular pilgrim center of 6th century BC because of close association with Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ayodhya is pre-eminently a city of temples with a versatile history and tradition that hold an unquestionable influence on millions of Indians. Ayodhya is admired and considered sacred by every Indian due the very fact that it has immortalized itself as the birth place and Kingdom of Lord Rama as per ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. Ayodhya houses many tourist sites which include the historical Temples, sprawling Ghats, mystic Ponds and evergreen gardens. In ancient history, Ayodhya was also known as Saketa or Kaushaldesha but the name Ayodhya has come from King Ayudh, who is believed to be forefather of Lord Rama as per ancient Hindu scriptures. As per Skanda Purana, Ayodhya is one of the seven most sacred places for Hindus.

It is noteworthy to know that Diwali, the most celebrated festival of India is actually dedicated to the memories from ancient epic Ramayana to welcome the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating demon king Ravana on completion of His fourteen years of exile. Ayodhya is not only an important sacred pilgrim center for Hindus but it is also considered sacred by Buddhists, Jains and Muslims. Jains believe that five of their Tirthankars were born in Ayodhya, including Adinath (Rishabhadeva) the first Tirthankar. Holy places and the monuments in Ayodhya attracts thousands of travellers every year from around the globe. In Ayodhya, you may also opt to go shopping for typical artifacts and souvenirs along with many traditional items and idols of Gods and Goddess.

Parikramas (or Circumambulations) in Ayodhya

Ayodhya is an important site for Parikramas undertaken by Hindu Pilgrims. There are various circumambulations in Ayodhya which vary according to important religious places covered in route and the duration. During circumambulation, devotees pay homage to deities in the shrines located on the route. Here is a list of circumambulations undertaken:

Antargrahi Parikrama

Antargrahi Parikrama is a daylong circumambulation which starts after taking a holy dip in River Sarayu. After the holy dip the devotee commences the circumambulation from Nageshwarnath Temple and during circumambulation he passes through Ram Ghat, Sita Kund, Mani Parvat and Bramha Kund, finally terminating the circumambulation at Kanak Bhawan.

Panchkoshi Parikrama

During Panchkoshi Parikrama the devotees travel a distance of about 18 kms and pass through Chakra Tirtha, Naya Ghat, Ram Ghat, Saryu Bagh, Holkar-ka-pura, Dashrath Kund, Jogiana, Ranopali, Jalpa Nala and Mahta Bagh.

Chaturdashkoshi Parikrama

During Chaturdashkoshi Parikrama the devotees cover a distance of about 50 kms. Chaturdashkoshi Parikrama comprises of a circular journey of 50 kms and made only once a year on the occasion of Akshaya Naumi. Chaturdashkoshi Parikrama is completed within 24 hours.

Places of Interest in Ayodhya

Hanuman Garhi

Hanuman Garhi is one of the most popular shrine in Ayodhya. One has to climb up 76 steps to reach this ancient Temple which houses a child statue of Lord Hanuman seated in the lap of his mother Anjani. It is believed that a faithful visit to this shrine fulfills the wishes of the devotees. The temple is in the shape of four sided fort having circular bastions at each corner.

Ramkot Temple

Ramkot Temple is a very important place of worship for Hindu devotees especially at the time of ‘Ram Navami’, celebrated with pomp and show in the month of March or April.

Treta ka Mandir

Treta ka Mandir is the place where Lord Rama is said to have performed Ashvamedha Yajna. The statues in the temple are believed to be from original Rama Temple which was recovered from River Sarayu.

Nageshwarnath Temple

Nageshwarnath Temple is believed to have been established by Kush, son of Lord Rama. It is said that this was the temple that had helped King Vikramaditya to be able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of different shrines here. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated with great pomp and splendour at this Temple.

Kanak Bhawan

Kanak Bhawan, also known as ‘Sone ka Ghar’ meaning ‘House of Gold’, has images of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita wearing gold crowns.

Swarg Dwar

Swarg Dwar is the place where as per mythology, Lord Rama is said to have transformed himself into Lord Maha Vishnu and had left for Vaikunth.

Mani Parbat

Mani Parbat is a former Buddhist Vihara that later on became a Hindu temple.

Other Places of Interest in Ayodhya:

Rishabhadeo Jain Temple

Brahma Kund

Amawan Temple

Tulsi Chaura

Laxman Quila and Lakshmana Ghat

Angad Tila

Shri Rama Janaki Birla Temple

Tulsi Smarak Bhawan

Ram ki Paidi

Kaleramji ka Mandir

Datuvan Kund

Janki Mahal

Gurudwara Brahma Kund

Ram Katha Museum

Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan

Vijay-Raghav Temple

Choti Chawni

Raja Dashrath Samadhi Sthal, Purabazar Faizabad

Shringi Rishi Ashram, Mahboobganj, Faizabad

Vashishth Ashram, Delasiganj, Faizabad


Festivals in Ayodhya

  • Shravan Jhoola Mela – Held in the months of July-August

  • Parikrama Mela - Held in the months of October-November

  • Ram Navami - Celebrated in the months of March-April

  • Rathyatra - Held in the months of June-July

  • Sarayu Snan - Celebrated in the months of October-November

  • Ram Vivah - Held in the month of November

Accommodation in Ayodhya

Lodging provided by Uttar Pradesh Tourism Corporation:

  • Pathik Niwas Saket, Ayodhya. Contact number - +91 5278-232435

  • Yatri Niwas, Ayodhya.

Tourist Information Centers

  • Regional Tourist Office,

    House No. 1-3/152/4, Near - Pusparaj Guest House,

    Civil Lines, Faizabad,

    Contact number: +91 5278 223214

  • Government of UP Assistant Tourist Office,

    Pathik Niwas Saket, Near - Railway Station, Ayodhya

    Contact number: +91 5278 232435

Apart from the lodging provided by UP Tourism Corporation, there are various other hotels, Dharmashalas and guest houses which provide decent place to stay for pilgrims and tourists.