One again Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was in the news yesterday when all TV channels were discussing the topic through panel discussions, and TV anchors were racing for outdoing each other on the subject. A highly disputed and discussed subject on the planet, Ramjanmabhoomi has been a subject of curiosity all over the world. Everyone has its opinion on Ayodhya dispute but no one’s matters.
While Indians were very hopeful that Ram Mandir will be constructed in the tenure of full majority Government of BJP and with Modiji in the centre and Yogiji in UP, this does not look like happening any time soon. The channels picked up the topic as the Supreme Court on Friday referred to the Ayodhya land dispute case for mediation and ordered panel to start proceeding within a week and complete it in 8 weeks. There is some spark here, hope some way out happens soon…till then you wait, wait and more wait for Mandir in Ayodhya.
But if you are very keen to visit Ayodhya but can’t visit you, can visit Ayutthaya ( Ayodhya ) in Thailand. Though Ram Mandir in Ayodhya still looks like a distant dream for us, we can now do with the grand Ram temple being constructed in Thailand’s Ayutthaya.
The capital of the mightiest Siamese kingdom (33 kings ruled from here) Ayutthaya was indeed named after our own Ayodhya, and many Thai kings have taken on the official title of King Rama I, II, III and so on.
The Ram temple is being constructed on the bank of Chao Phraya river which flows through the heart of Bangkok. It is said that in the 15th century, the capital of Thailand was a city called Ayutthaya, which is Ayodhya in the local language.
When Burmese soldiers overran this city in the 18th century, a new king rose. He called himself Rama I, established the city now known as Bangkok, wrote the epic Ramakien, which is Ramayana in the local language, made it the national epic, and got it painted as murals on the walls of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, patronised by the royal family, it is believed.
Though he was a Buddhist, the king established his royal credentials by identifying himself with Lord Ram, who was as much a hero for Buddhists of south-east Asia as he was for the Hindus of South Asia.
This once-prosperous Siamese trade and political capital go down as the most glorious as well as the most devastated city in Thai history. Still, tourism is healthy, as the city is bursting with stories to tell.
Wandering through endless ancient ruin sites, you can’t help but feel humbled by the ingenuity of the Ayodha craftsmen and their powerful spiritual beliefs. At the centre of Ayutthaya City is Ayutthaya Historical Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the most visited site in the area. Here, the four spectacular temples of the early Ayutthaya period (1350 – 1529) stand amongst a dense canopy of ancient trees. West of it is the site of the Royal Palace and Royal Chapel (Wat Phra Si Sanphet) – the political and spiritual heart of the lost kingdom.
Ayutthaya is located on a distance of 100 km from Bangkok and it is nearly two hours drive, you can decide to stay overnight there.
So do it with Ayutthaya in Thailand till we have our own in Ayodhya!