Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, is a great place to take a plunge into the pool of spirituality. The city is dotted with temples and is one of the most venerable cities of ancient India. Ancient beliefs say, the gods themselves created this city.
Many eminent kings such as Ikshvaku, Prithu, Mandhata, Harishchandra, Sagar, Bhagirath, Raghu, Dileep, Dashrath and Ram ruled the capital city of Kosaldesh. It was during their reign, that the grandeur of the kingdom reached its pinnacle and epitomized Ram Rajya.
Located on the east bank of River Saryu, Ayodhya is brimming with the remnants of a bygone era. The famous epics, Ramayan and ShriRamcharitmanas exhibit the splendour of Ayodhya.
An episode of Ramayan, a page of ancient history and a cluster of tourist attractions, this town has been a major centre for pilgrims, historians, archaeologists and students alike.
||10.2 Sq. km
||26.90 m above sea level
||Bus, Taxi, Auto-Rickshaws,
Summer in Ayodhya between April and June is quite warm; sometime the mercury rise up to 47°C. Winter from November to February experiences a plunge to 10°C. The best time to plan a visit would be between October to March.
How to reach
Since Ayodhya does not have an airport, one has to reach either Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Amausi in Lucknow, which is at a distance of 134 km or Bamrauli Airport in Prayagraj which is about 166 km away.
Ayodhya Railway Station is located on the Northern Railway broad gauge line on Mughal Sarai - Lucknow section. It connects the town to places like Prayagraj, Bahraich, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, New Delhi and Varanasi. It receives trains like Kolkata Jammu Tawi Express, Ganga Satluj Express. Doon Express, Sadhbhavana Express, Kaifiyat Express, Farakka Express and many more.
The city is connected to other cities & towns of Uttar Pradesh by an excellent road network and Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses. Cab facilities are also available within the city. Prayagraj - 166 km, Gonda - 51 km, Gorakhpur - 135 km, Lucknow -134 km, Sravasti - 109 km and Varanasi - 209 km away from Ayodhya.
UPSRTC Bus Stand, Faizabad, ( +91-5278-222964
Local buses run by the state government are a wonderful way to commute to neighbourhood areas.
Auto- rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are available in every nook and corner here; they are economical and navigate the narrow lanes in the town with ease.
Places to Visit
(Summer- 6.30 am to 10.30 am and 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm, Winter- 7.30 am to 10.30 am and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm)
Situated on a high ground and replete with temples and shrines, it is one of the major attractions in Ayodhya.
The Ram Navami festival is celebrated here in the month of Chaitra (March - April), as per Hindu calendar, with great pomp and show. It is during this time that pilgrims from all over the country and the world visit in huge numbers and pay obeisance to Lord Ram.
Constructed in the shape of a fort and accessed by a flight of seventy - six steps, the 10th century ancient temple nestles in the centre of the pilgrim town. It has circular fortifications in each corner and is believed to be the spot where Lord Hanuman resided in a cave and protected the town.
The temple has a golden idol of Lord Hanuman; it is counted amongst the most revered sites in Ayodhya.
Every day thousands of devotees visit Hanumangarhi to offer prayers and seek Lord Hanuman’s protection from evils, and blessing for happiness and prosperity.
Tulsi Smarak Bhawan
Tulsi Smarak Bhawan is dedicated to the great saint - poet Goswami Tulsidas Ji. Regular prayer meetings, devotional concerts and religious discourses are held here. The complex also houses Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan which has a large repository of literary compositions on Goswami Tulsidas Ji.
Ramleela is performed everyday from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm at Tulsi Smarak Auditorium; it is a major attraction.
Shri Nageshwarnath Temple
The presiding deity of Ayodhya is Lord Nageshwarnathji. It is believed that Lord Ram’s son, Kush, built the beautiful temple dedicated to him. The shivalinga ensconced here is said to be quite ancient. As per folklore, Kush was taking a bath in the Saryu River when his armlet fell in the water. After sometime, a nag kanya (snake woman) appeared and returned it to him. They fell in love with each other and Kush got the temple structured for her.
Being one of the most important and venerated temples in Ayodhya, it attracts large crowds of devotees from all over during the festival of Mahashivaratri. The present edifice of the temple was constructed in 1750 AD.
Also famous as Kaleram - ka - Mandir, the beautiful temple is believed to mark the spot where Lord Ram performed the legendary Ashwamedh Yagna. The Raja of Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) built the present structure about three centuries ago. It was later renovated by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore (Madhya Pradesh). The statues installed here are made of black sandstone; it is believed that they belong to the era of King Vikramaditya.
Vrishbhanu Kuvari, Queen of Teekamgarh (Madhya Pradesh) in 1891, constructed the exquisitely embellished temple. The main temple surrounds an open inner area which houses the sacred shrine of Rampada.
Marvel at the beautiful idols of Goddess Sita along with Lord Ram and his three brothers.
Jain Shrines in Ayodhya
It is not just the birthplace of Lord Ram but is also a place of high importance for the Jains, with five Jain Tirthankars believed to be born here.
Every year, followers reach this town in large numbers to pay obeisance to these great saints and take part in the special occasions. There are many Jain temples spread all over the holy town; one can visit the Lord Adinath Temple near Swargdwar, Lord Anantnath Temple at Gola Ghat, Lord Sumantnath shrine at Ramkot, Lord Ajitnath Temple near Saptsagar and Lord Abhinandannath Temple in Sarai locality.
A huge Jain temple is situated in Raiganj area; it is home to an exclusive 21 ft tall idol of Lord Adinath (Rishabhdevji), who happened to be the first Tirthankar.
It is believed that when Lord Hanuman was carrying the huge mountain with Sanjivani Booti (a herb) to Lanka for the purpose of saving injured Lakhshman, brother of Lord Ram, some part of it fell in Ayodhya. The hillock, about 65 feel high, was later named as Mani Parvat.
Chhoti Devkali Temple
Located close to Naya Ghat, this temple is associated with numerous fables from the Hindu epic, Mahabharat. According to Mythology, Mother Sita arrived at Ayodhya with an idol of goddess Girija Devi after her wedding with Lord Ram. It is believed that King Dashrath got a beautiful temple constructed and the idol was established in the sanctum sanctorum. Mother Sita used to worship here every day. It is presently dedicated to goddess Devkali and hence the name.
Ram ki Pairi
A series of ghats set on the banks of river Saryu that serves as a platform to devotees who come here to wash away their sins. It also has lush green gardens surrounded by temples. The river front brings forth an outstanding panorama especially in floodlit night. These serve as platforms to devotees who, it is believed, come to wash away their sins by taking a dip in the holy river. Saryu provides a regular supply of water for the ghats and is maintained by the Irrigation Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Korean Park - Queen- Hu
The holy city of Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh, plays host to hundreds of South Koreans every year that come to pay their tributes to the legendary queen Hur Hwang-ok. According to legend, queen Hur Hwang-ok, also known as Princess Suriratna, was the princess of Ayodhya before she went to South Korea and married King Kim Suro of Karak Clan in 48 AD. It is believed that she reached Korea on a boat, and was the first queen of King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya. She was a 16-year-old when she got married and is considered the first queen of Gaya Kingdom.
It is because of the presence of her monument in Ayodhya that around 60 lakh people of the Karak clan consider the city as their maternal home. The memorial was first inaugurated in 2001 in Ayodhya.
One of the most prominent waterways in Uttar Pradesh, the river finds mention in ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Ved and Ramayan. Literally translating to 'that which is streaming', it flows through Ayodhya and is believed to, rejuvenate and wash away impurities off this religious town!
Hundreds of devotees come here to take a holy dip throughout the year on various religious occasions.
The Gurudwaras at Brahm Kund and Nazarbagh localities have been associated with Guru Nanak DevJi, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Guru Govind Singh Ji. A large number of followers visit the Gurudwaras and bow down in reverence.
Ram Katha Museum
(10.30 am to 4.30 pm; Weekly holiday: Monday, Entry Fee: Nil)
The museum houses an outstanding collection of rare paintings, photographs and antiquities connected with the life of Lord Ram.
Located at Chaudah Koshi Parikrama Marg in Darshan Nagar area, at a distance of 4 km from Ayodhya, Suraj Kund is a big tank surrounded by ghats that presents an exclusively beautiful sight to visitors. The Suryavanshi rulers of Ayodhya, it is believed, constructed the kund to pay obeisance to the Sun god.
Ghats and Kunds
Famous ghats and kunds are Raj Ghat, Ram Ghat, Lakshman Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Naya Ghat, Swargdwar Ghat, Janaki Ghat, Vidya Kund, Vibhishan Kund, Dant Dhavan Kund, Sita Kund, etc.
Other attractions Places of interest include Amovan Temple, Dashrath Mahal, Janaki Mahal, Lakshman Qila, Luv-Kush Temple, Mattagayandaji Temple, Raj Gaddi, Shri Ram-Janaki Birla Temple and Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan.
Founded by Saadat Khan – the second Nawab of Awadh about two and a half centuries back it lies 7 km from the town of Ayodhya. Keeping alive the traditions and the heritage from the time of Nawabs, this place can be visited for various tourist attractions like Moti Mahal, Gulab Bari and the tomb of Bahu Begum.
Raja Darshan Singh constructed the long line of ghats on River Saryu in the first part of the 19th century. The bank of the river is dotted with beautiful temples dedicated to Sita-Ram and Narasingh; the Chakrahari and the Guptahari shrines enhance the sanctity of the place. The whole region presents a very picturesque view. A visit is certainly a must for those who are religious - minded and tourists. The elegant temple in cantonment area should also be visited to pay obeisance.
How to Reach
Faizabad Railway Station is an important railhead. It connects the town with major cities like Ajmer, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Jammu Tawi, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, New Delhi and Varanasi. It receives trains like Marudhar Express, Jallianwala Bagh Express, Sabarmati Express, Saket Express, Kota Patna Express, Garib Nawaz Express, Bareilly Varanasi Express and many more.
UPSRTC buses are frequently available for Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj and New Delhi. Being located on the National Highway 28, it connects all neighbouring destinations at affordable rates.
Taxis are available to move around the town. In addition to this, auto-rickshaws are available in every nook and corner; cycle-rickshaws are a convenient option to move on congested roads and narrow lanes.
Places to Visit
As the name suggests Gulab Bari is a rose garden. The vast garden encompasses the entire area that houses the tomb of Shuja-ud-Daula and his family. The garden was established in 1775 and houses a large variety of beautiful rose beds. The splendid mausoleum has a huge dome and is surrounded by a wall. It has two big gateways to enter the complex.
Tomb of Bahu Begum
It is the final resting place of Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano, the queen of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula. The mausoleum is an outstanding example of Awadhi architectural style. The entire complex, full of greenery, is now a protected site under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is managed by the Shia Board Committee (Lucknow). It comes to life during Muharram.
One can witness a bird's eye view of the city from the top of the complex which is said to be the tallest standing edifice in Faizabad.
(5am-12noon & 4pm-9pm) Also known as Guptar Ghat Garden, the sprawling botanical garden is a wonderful place to take a walk, relax or just be with mother nature; leaving behind the worries of daily life and the hustle-bustle of urban areas.
Located on the bank of Saryu, one can marvel at the numerous varieties of shrubs and trees which have been planted here.
Situated on the banks of river Saryu, this is the very spot where Lord Rama performed Jal Samadhi. King Darshan Singh constructed it in the early 19th century.
One can also visit Ram Janaki Temple, Old Charan Paduka Temple, Narsingh Temple and Hanuman Temple on the ghat.
The holy kund is about 15km from Faizabad. This is believed to be the site where Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama did his tapasya for his return from exile and ruled the kingdom of Kosala on Lord Rama’s behalf. It is a peaceful and serene place to spend some moments in tranquility and practice meditation away from the chaos. People visit here to perform the shraddh (prayers for departed ones) ceremony and also take a holy dip in the Kund. Shringi Rishi Ashram: The holy ashram, situated on the bank of River Saryu, about 50 km from Ayodhya, is a picturesque spot where the samadhis of Saint Shringi and his wife Shanta Devi are situated. Also, visit the Lord Shiva temple inside the premises to offer prayers. Swami Narayan Temple, Chhcipia: Located at a distance of 60 km, Chhapia on Ayodhya - Katra - Mankapur route is the birthplace of Swami Narayanji, the renowned saint and founder of Swami Narayan - Akshardham temples. The beautiful structure, devoted to the saint, is the main attraction here. Kichhauchha Shareef: The Dargah of famous Sufi saint Saiyad Makhdhum Shah Jahangir Asharfi lies at a distance of 92 km. People visit and offer prayers for the fulfilment of their wishes and good health. A colourful fair is held here annually.
The district has a variety of tourist places e.g. SitaKund, Malik Mohammed Jaisi Samadhi, Dhopap, Nand Mahar, Bijethua Mahabeer-an, Kalikan Dham Mandir, Devi Mandir-Lohramau, Durgan Bhawani, Data Karim Shah Mazaar, Pancho Peeran, Old Masjid of Isauli, Telia Burj Mandir at Bhagpur, Brick Tower at Majhgaon, SiddhnathHanumangarhi, etc. It is at a distance of 70 km.
Some of the places of interest in Barabanki district are Nageshwarnath Mandir (1.5 km), Deva Shareef Dargah (12 km), ancient Parijat Tree (42 km), Kotwa Dham (48 km), Aushanesh Mahadev Mandir (55 km), Imambara and mosque at Rudali.
According to the Hindu legend, when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, her right shoulder (Pat) fell on this land. Another story says that the right thigh had fallen from the corpse of Goddess Sati. The Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu chopped off goddess Sati to death. Since then the temple is believed to have the sacred part of the Goddess. The temple is on the glistening snowy mountains of the great Himalayas, believed to be the home of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is around 70 kms away from Gonda and 2 kms away from the Tulsipur town in the Balrampur district.
Fairs and Festivals
The return of Lord Rama from 14 years of exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana marks the triumph of good over evil. In joyous celebration of Lord Rama’s homecoming, the people of Ayodhya illuminated the kingdom and welcomed him in grandeur. Since then, every year the Festival of Lights, known as Diwali, is celebrated. In Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, the Department of Tourism organizes Deepotsav (Diwali celebrations) a day before Diwali, known as Choti Diwali. On the occasion of Deepotsav, cultural heritage walk is showcased, lakhs of diyas or earthen lamps are lit, a staged Ramleela is performed and the Grand Aarti is organised with other cultural events. Thousands of devotees from across the world pay their obeisance and enjoy the cultural programs.
Ram Navami Mela (April)
Celebrated in April, thousands of devotees visit the Ram Navami Mela to celebrate the birth of Lord Ram on the ninth day of the Navratri festival. This festival falls under the Hindu month of Chaitra and is considered one among the five most sacred festivals according to the Hindu religion. One of the special features of this fair is the Ram-leela act (depicting the life and times of Lord Ram) organised widely in the city. Temples all over the city are widely decorated for the mela.
Shravan Jhula Mela (August)
Jhula is usually observed in the Hindu month of Sravan. This fair enacts the playful spirit of the heavenly deities. The fair is observed on the third day of the Shuklapaksh of Shravan month. Devotees place idols of the deities (especially of Rama, Lakshman and Sita) in swings or Jhula in the temples. Idols of deities are also taken to Mani Parvat in the procession of devotees.
After reaching to Mani Parvat, the idols are made to swing from the branches of trees. Later, the deities are brought back to temples. The mela lasts till the end of the month of Shravan.
Ramlila is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, ending up in a ten-day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana. A tradition that originates from the Indian subcontinent, the play is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights, during the auspicious period of 'Sharad Navratras'. It marks the commencement of the Autumn festive period, starting with the Dussehra festival. Usually the performances are timed to culminate on the festival of Vijayadashami day that commemorates the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana. The actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place. Giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are set on fire, and coronation or Abhisheka of Rama at Ayodhya takes place, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the divine order.
Religious circumambulations are a necessary part of Hindu worship; the devotees of Lord Ram who visit here undertake the parikramas which are as follows:
It is the shortest of the three Parikramas and can be completed in one day. A devotee is supposed to take a holy dip in Saryu and walk through Ram Ghat, Sita Kund, Mani Parvat, Brahma Kund and finally reach Kanak Bhawan.
PanchkoshiParikrama A 16 km long circuit, it begins from Chakrathirtha and moves to Nayaghat, Ramghat, Saryubagh, Holkar-ka-pura, Dashrathkund, Jogiana, Ranopali, Jalpa Nala and Mahtabagh.
A journey of 45 km, the parikrama is done during the auspicious Akshaynavami and has to be completed in one day.
Upon entering Ayodhya, you will be greeted by a street with shops on both sides. It is the perfect place for people to stock up on supplies for their temples – right from idols, to jewellery and clothing for the idols to Haldi, Kumkum and Chandan. Not just this, you can get beautiful bangles, copper vessels and holographic posters of various gods. Ayodhya is also famous for marble statues of Gods and Goddesses.
|Important Contact Numbers
||Tourist Information Centre
U.P. Tourist Office
Tourist Bungalow Campus, Near Railway Station,
Ayodhya, U.P. +91-5278-232435
Regional Tourist Office,
House No. 1-3/152/4, Behind Pushparaj Guest House,
Civil Lines, Faizabad, U.P. (:+91-5278-223214
|Shri Ram Hospital
|Ayodhya Eye Hospital
|Where to Stay
|Rahi Toursit Bungalow (UPSTDC)
Near Railway Station, Ayodhya
|Rahi Yatri Niwas (UPSTDC)
Saryu Tat, Near Ramkatha Park, Distt. Faizabad,
Near Ram Katha Museum Ayodhya
(+91 5278-232110, 9721691096)
|Sri Ram Hotel
Near Dant Dhawan Kund, Ayodhya
|Ram Dham Guest House
Railway Station Road, Ayodhya
|Ram Anugrah Vishram Sadan
Chhoti Chhawani Marg, Ayodhya
Kanak Bhawan Dharmashala
Near Old Bus Station, Ayodhya
|Gujarat Bhawan Dhamashala
Near Dant Dhawan Kund, Ayodhya
Rai Ganj, Ayodhya
|Janaki Mahal Trust Dharmashala
Naya Ghat, Ayodhya
|Pandit Banshidhar Dharmashala
Naya Ghat, Ayodhya
|Ramcharitmanas Trust Dharmashala
Subash Nagar, Faizabad
|Shyam Sundar Dharamshala
Reed Ganj, Faizabad
|Tourist Information Centres
Rajarshi Purushottam Das Tandon
Paryatan Bhawan, C-13, VipinKhand,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow-226010
Tel.: +91-522-2308916, 2308017
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : http://www.uptourism.gov.in