Ayodhya

Ayodhya (also Oudh or Awadh), an ancient city, is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. In the Ramayana, Lord Rama was born here during the reign of his father, Dasaratha, in what was then a prosperous, well fortified city with a large population. In traditional history, it was the early capital of the kingdom of Kosala, while, in Buddha's time (6th-5th century BCE), Shravasti became the kingdom's chief city. Scholars equate Ayodhya with the city of Saketa, where the Buddha is said to have briefly lived. Its later importance as a Buddhist centre was attested by the Chinese Buddhist monk Fa-hsien in the 5th century CE who saw 100 monasteries here. Other monuments, including a stupa (shrine), were apparently built by Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.

The Kanauj kingdom arose here in the 11-12th centuries. Later part of the Delhi sultanate, the Jaunpur kingdom, and the Mughal Empire, Oudh gained a degree of independence in early 18th century, before its subordination to the British East India Company in 1764 and annexation by the British in 1856; this and the subsequent loss of hereditary land revenue rights helped precipitate the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Despite the city's great age, few ancient monuments survive. Its temples and bathing ghats by the river Saryu are of no great age. Near the modern city are several mounds marking the site of ancient Ayodhya that have not yet been adequately explored by archaeologists.

Ayodhya's Babri Masjid was built in the early 16th century by the Mughal emperor Babur on a site believed to be Rama's birthplace and the location of an ancient Hindu temple, the Ram Janmabhoomi. Because of its significance to both Hindus and Muslims, the site was often a matter of contention. In 1990, riots in northern India followed the storming of the mosque by militant Hindus intent on erecting a temple on the site; the ensuing crisis brought down the Indian government. Two years later, on 6 Dec 1992, the three-story mosque was demolished in a few hours by a mob of Hindu fanatics. More than 1,000 people died in the rioting that swept through India following the mosque's destruction

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.