The ancient city of Ayodhya is known by most to be the setting of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana and is known to be the birthplace of the God king Ram. The city is located at the banks of the Sarayu River and was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kosala. The city was known to be founded by the Hindu deity Manu and is believed to be 9000 years old. It is one of the most frequented pilgrim spots and is famous for its various temples which are visited by people of various Indian religions. Here’s the list of the best places to visit in Ayodhya.
1. Ram Janmabhoomi Temple
The area although has been a center of dispute since the destruction of the Babari Masjid, the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple is one of the major attractions in Ayodhya. The place is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Ram the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The original temple was said to have been demolished by the Mughal emperor Babur in 1528 AD and built a mosque at the site. The mosque however was demolished in 1992 and the area has since been a ground of dispute among the Hindus and the Muslims in India.
2. Moti Mahal
One of the fine specimens in Mughal Architecture, the Moti Mahal was the residence of wife of Nawab Shuja-ud-daula and was constructed in 1743 AD. The palace is situated in the nearby town Faizabad and is famous for its unique architecture and is frequented by many tourists.
3. Hanuman Garhi
One of the most famous temples in Ayodhya, Hanuman Garhi is dedicated to the mighty Monkey God Lord Hanuman and was built by the Nawab of Awadh. The temple is characterized by the 70 steep steps that should be scaled in order to reach the temple complex. The temple is best visited during any major Hindu festival.
4. Treta Ke Thakur
Treta Ke Thakur refers to an ancient temple located at the banks of the Sarayu River in Ayodhya. The temple is said to house the idols of Lord Ram which was carved in the ancient times out of black sandstones. The place is considered to be the spot where lord Ram performed an Ashwamedha Yagya.
5. Kanak Bhawan
The spot at which the temple is built was considered to house another temple which was gifted to Sita immediately after her marriage by Lord Ram’s step mother Kaikeyi. The temple was later renovated by King Vikramaditya of the Paramara dynasty and again rebuilt in 1891. Kanak Bhawan is one of the most elaborately detailed places in Ayodhya and the architecture is marvelous.
6. Guptar Ghat
The ghat is located at the banks of the Sarayu River and is an important pilgrim spot for the Hindus. Guptar Ghat is considered to be the place where the God King Ram is said to have drowned himself in a ‘Jal Samadhi’, to leave for his holy abode called the Vaikuntha. The ghat also has various temples and aarti is held every day.
7. Gulab Bari
The monument is located in Faizabad near Ayodhya and is the tomb of the Nawab Shuja-ud-daula. The name Gulab Bari is due to the various rose gardens which are located by the water fountains that adorn the place. The architecture is a cross between the Hindu and the Mughal style often described as the Nawabi style.
8. Mausoleum of Bahu Begum
The Mausoleum of Bahu Begum or Bahu Begum ka Makabara, is another important historical monument located in the holy town of Ayodhya. The tomb was built in 1816 as the resting place of Shuja-ud-daula’s wife Bahu Begum. The architectural style once again is the distinctive Nawabi style and the well maintained and lush green gardens and the tomb is built in white marble. The place is a definitive visit.
Being an ancient city with a rich Hindu culture and tradition, Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is one of the most revered pilgrim cities in India. The above-mentioned places will help you experience the ancient myths and cultural heritage of Ayodhya.
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