Ayodhya: Mandir Kab? Vikas Ab!


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While Court was busy in giving tareeq-pe-tareeq, Modiji, Gadkariji and Yogiji developed Ayodhyaji as a remarkable pilgrimage and tourism centre. Now people visiting UP, can’t miss visiting Ayodhya, it is a prominent destination on India’s tourism map and of course holy shrine of all Hindus. Mandir kab Banega, Mujhe Nahi pata, but Ayodhya Jana to Banta hai…

Ayodhya is one such holy city in the entire world which is in the news every day, round the year. Why? I don’t need to tell you here. But recently, it was in News for a different reason, when Mr Nitin Gadkari announced infrastructure projects worth Rs. 5300 crores in Ayodhya, which included improvement of 84 Kosi Parikrama Marg and Ram Van Gaman Marg, which was long overdue. These two projects have religious significance for pilgrims.

With Yogiji as CM of UP, Ayodhya got its due, many infrastructure projects have been commissioned, Saryu aarti became the talk of the town and tourists have started visiting Ayodhya. Though Ram Mandir is still subjudice with next hearing coming up in Supreme Court soon (tareeq pe tareeq), if doesn’t get shelved as has been happening from last so many months, testing the patience of Indian public. All are helplessly watching – when Ayodhya dispute will be put up for hearing and will not be deferred on some or the other flimsy ground. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Read on to know its history and geography and more…

The Ayodhya city situated on the banks of the River Saryu being associated with a mythological epic Ramayan as the birthplace of Lord Ram has various temples that are prominent spiritual places for tourists to visit. Along with temples,

Historically Ayodhya was known as Saketa which was an important city during the 6th Century in civilized India. Indeed, during Buddha’s time, Saketa was ruled by Prasenadi whose capital was Sravasti. Even, during Maurya rule, Saketa continued its prominence and was attacked by Bactrian Greek expedition allied to Panchala and Mathur during 190 B.C.

During the Gupta rulers, Ayodhya reached its highest political significance such that during the reigns of Kumaragupta and Skandagupta capital of the empire was shifted from Pataliputra to Ayodhya where the old name of Saketa was replaced to Ayodhya. Ayodhya name of the city defines the city as Lord Rama’s capital city. But, during Narasimhagupta the empire was destroyed by Huns that caused the shifting of the capital to Kanauj in the 6th century. It resulted in the oblivion of Ayodhya. In the early second millennium, Gahadavalas came into power at Kannauj. During his rule, Gahadavalas built several Vishnu temples at Ayodhya. 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 and tourists can visit so many pilgrimage places in Ayodhya. Ayodhya also has various other tourist spots. Some are:

Ram Janmabhoomi Temple

However, the area of Ram Janmabhoomi is disputed since the destruction of Babri Masjid built on it; yet due to its mythological association with Ramayan as the birthplace of Lord Ram, this place is a major tourist attraction in Ayodhya. This place possesses spiritual significance for Hindus and hence it is a place worth visiting.

Hanuman Garhi

Another important temple that is situated in Ayodhya is Hanuman Garhi that is solely dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is characterized by the 70 steep steps that should be scaled in order to reach the temple complex. Truly, this place is a must to visit.

Treta Ke Thakur

Treta Ke Thakur is an ancient temple situated on the banks of the river Sarayu in Ayodhya. This temple has a beautiful idol of Lord Ram carved out in black sandstones.

Kanak Bhawan

This temple is built on an area that was supposed to house another temple which was gifted to Sita immediately after her marriage by Lord Ram. The temple was later renovated by King Vikramaditya of the Paramara dynasty and again rebuilt in 1891. This temple has a marvellous architecture that makes it worth visiting.

After the independence of India from British rule, Ayodhya has been an important city of Uttar Pradesh from a spiritual point of view.

The distance between Lucknow to Ayodhya is 135 km by Road and 142 km by Rails. Aerial distance is 125 km. There is/are 15 direct train(s) from Lucknow to Ayodhya. You can reach Lucknow by Air and Train, very well – connected network of airports and railways.

Not only in India, in Uttar Pradesh, in Thailand, but the place known as Ayutthaya is also named after Ayodhya – the birthplace of Lord Rama in India. Thai kings called themselves as Rama and their capital Ayutthaya. Beautiful!!

More on it my next post…

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