Green Message
Home > Bharatavarsha > Pilgrimages and Temples > Uttar Pradesh > Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam (Ayodhya) - Rama Pilgrimage

Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam (Ayodhya) - Rama Pilgrimage

Sri Rama Sarayu Aarti Sri Matsya Avatara King Dashartha performing Putrakameshti Yagna Child Rama Vasishtha Kund Sri Rama going to forest Sri Bharata Sri Rama Maharshi Valmiki getting divine inspiration Maharshi Valmiki composing Ramayana Maharshi Valmiki and Lava Kusha Sri Adisesha Sri VishnuMeditation: I meditate on Sri Rama at Ayodhya.

Greatness:

1. Moksha Puri and Divya Desam: Ayodhya is a Moksha Puri as well as a Divya Desam (Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam). This is because it is the place of incarnation of Sri Rama and associated with many of his Leelas.

2. Sacred river Sarayu flows through Ayodhya: The sacred river Sarayu flows through Ayodhya. According to Valmiki Ramayana, river Sarayu originates from the Manasa lake. According to Ayodhya Mahatmya, river Sarayu originates from the left toe of Vishnu as river Ganga originates from the right toe of Vishnu. Also, river Sarayu forms the northern boundary of Ayodhya and river Tamasa forms its southern boundary.
- Note: Aarti of river Sarayu is held in Ayodhya during the evenings on the sacred river bank.

3. Manu created Ayodhya: Ayodhya was created by Manu himself as mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. According to the legend of Matsya Avatara, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a fish incarnation and pulled the boat of Manu during the great deluge. The Lord took the boat up to the Himalayan region. Thereby while alighting from the boat, everyone was swept away by the waters of the deluge. Manu landed in the region of Ayodhya.
- Note: The Vasudev or Vasudeo Ghat of Ayodhya is identified with the place where Manu landed in Ayodhya during the great deluge.

4. Ikshwaku kings ruled Ayodhya: It is from Ayodhya (as capital) that eminent kings of Ikshwaku dynasty ruled their kingdoms following the path of Dharma. It is due to their adherence to Dharma that the Lord decided to incarnate in this lineage and glorify it forever. It is this dynasty (from king Sagara to king Bhagiratha) that brought river Ganga to earth by undertaking great penance.

5. King Dasharatha performed Putrakamesthi yagna near Ayodhya: It is on the outskirts of Ayodhya (on the northern bank of river Sarayu) that king Dasharatha performed the Ashwamedha and Putrakamesthi yagnas presided over by sages Vasistha and Rishyashringa. This great yagnas formed the prelude for the incarnation of Sri Rama.
- Note: The Makauda Dham in the neighbourhood of Ayodhya is identified with the place where king Dasharatha performed the yagna. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions about the Kshirodaka Tirtha on the bank of river Sarayu where king Dasharatha performed his yagna.

6. Sri Rama incarnated in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama incarnated as the son of king Dasharatha. Sri Rama incarnated on Chaitra Shukla Navami. According to Valmiki Ramayana, the Lord incarnated in fourfold forms. These fourfold forms can be inferred as Sri Rama and his three brothers. All the three brothers of Sri Rama can be considered as parts of Lord Vishnu. After the birth of Sri Rama from mother Kaushalya, Bharata was born from mother Kaikeyi, and Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born from mother Sumitra. Since the brothers were all parts of Lord Vishnu we find tremendous unity among themselves. They served Lord Rama like devotees.
- Note: The Ayodhya Mahatmya identifies the sacred place of birth of Sri Rama which is east of Vigneshwara, north-east of Vasishtha, and west of Laumasha. The Ram Janambhoomi of Ayodhya is identified with the place of incarnation of Sri Rama. A grand temple of Sri Rama is being built there.

7. Sri Rama grew up in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama grew up and showed his Bal Leelas. Apart from the love of his mothers there was a special bonding between Sri Rama and king Dasharatha. King Dasharatha could not live without seeing Sri Rama. No doubt he enjoyed the Bal Leelas of Sri Rama tremendously.
- Note: The Dasharath Mahal of Ayodhya is identified with the place where Sri Rama grew up.

8. Sri Rama lived in gurukula of sage Vasishtha in Ayodhya: Apart from the Dasharath Mahal, Sri Rama lived in the gurukula of sage Vasishtha in Ayodhya for his education.
- Note: The Vasishtha Kunda of Ayodhya is identified with the place where the hermitage of sage Vasishtha existed. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions that Vasishtha and Arundhati is present in the Vasishtha Kunda as well as sage Vamadeva. In Ayodhya there is the Vidya Devi Kunda where Sri Rama is said to have taken the initiation of education as well as lessons from sage Vasishtha. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions about Mahavidya Tirtha as well as Siddhasthana close to each other where aspirants master various vidyas including Moksha.

9. Sri Rama stayed with Devi Sita in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama stayed after marriage with Devi Sita for sometime before going for forest exile (and after returning from forest exile). Devi Sita is the divine consort of Sri Rama. Sati Anusuya and sage Agastya both praised her during the forest exile for her Pati-Vrata.
- Note: The Kanak Bhavan in Ayodhya is identified with the place where Sita-Rama stayed together after marriage. The devotees come to get the blessings of the divine couple in this place.

10. Sri Rama upholded Truth in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama set the great example of upholding Truth. He left for forest exile (for fourteen years) to keep the words of his father.

11. Bharata ruled from Nandigrama near Ayodhya: It is from the outskirts of Ayodhya (Nandigrama) that Bharata ruled the kingdom as an ascetic placing the padukas of Sri Rama before him. It is said earlier that Lord Vishnu incarnated in fourfold forms and Bharata is a part of Lord Vishnu. The purpose of all the three brothers is serving Sri Rama only like devotees. They came to the world together near-about the same time and departed from the world together near-about the same time. Without Sri Rama there was no separate life for them. In Nandigram, Bharata lived like an ascetic and so his living place is called a hermitage. Like Sri Rama he also wore matted hairs and slept on the floors. The opulence and prosperity of the kingdom did not touch him. His mind was only devoted to Sri Rama. He almost severed his relationship with mother Kaikeyi who stood in the path of Sri Rama. Sri Rama praised Bharata several times before Lakshmana during the forest exile, saying that it is not possible to get a brother like Bharata.
- Note: Nandigrama exists in the outskirts of Ayodhya along with the Bharata Kunda. The Ayodhya Mahatmya says that Bharata himself created the Bharata Kunda in Nandigrama. When Sri Rama returned from Ayodhya, he first met Bharata at Nandigrama and then proceeded to Ayodhya.

12. Sri Rama got coronated in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama was coronated as the king after returning from his forest exile. Sri Rama incarnated in the world for two major purpose. First is to eliminate Adharma by slaying Ravana (and his demons). Second is to establish Dharma. Dharma does not get automatically established by eliminating Adharma. It is done through design. The slaying of Ravana during forest exile represents the elimination of Adharma. The coronation of Sri Rama represents the establishment of Dharma.
- Note: In Ayodhya the temple of Ratna Simhasana is identified with the place where Sri Rama got coronated. According to Ayodhya Mahatmya, Jata Kunda is the place where Sri Rama removed his Jata after forest exile.

13. Sri Rama established the rule of Dharma from Ayodhya: It is from Ayodhya (as capital) that Sri Rama ruled his kingdom for many years and established the path of Dharma. The Valmiki Ramayana says that during the rule of Sri Rama the kingdom became free of grief. There were no widows lamenting, no untimely death, no fear of wild animals, no terrible diseases and no thieves and robbers. The trees became filled with flowers and fruits. Clouds rained on time. The four classes of people became intent on performing their respective duties. Looking at Sri Rama, everyone became intent on virtue and their talks centred around "Rama, Rama, Rama".

14. Maharshi Valmiki got divine inspiration near Ayodhya to compose the Ramayana: It is in the neighbourhood of Ayodhya that Maharshi Valmiki got the divine inspiration to compose the Ramayana. According to Valmiki Ramayana, Maharshi Valmiki got the divine inspiration on the bank of river Tamasa and not far from river Ganga. So his hermitage was on the neighbourhood of Ayodhya. The Lord has displayed the beautiful life of Sri Rama. Now, who will proclaim it? The Lord himself made the arrangements. One day sage Valmiki went to river Tamasa and saw two Krauncha birds in union. A hunter suddenly appeared and killed the male bird leaving the female bird wailing in separation. The sage cursed the hunter, but that curse came out in a beautiful poetic meter. He kept on pondering over that throughout the day. Then Lord Brahma appeared to him and told him to compose the life of Sri Rama in a poetic meter. Lord Brahma imparted yogic power to sage Valmiki to see all the incidents of the life of Sri Rama. So (Valmiki) Ramayana was composed by a sage in his hermitage. The entire composition was a meditation on Sri Rama with a divine vision to see his life. This is a poetic composition of Bhakti and Bhava.
- Note: The Valmiki Ramayana Bhavan in Ayodhya has the full Valmiki Ramayana engraved on its walls. It has the image of sage Valmiki along with Lava and Kusha. Bithoor is a place near Kanpur which is identified with the place where the Valmiki Ashram was located. There is a temple with shrines of sage Valmiki, Devi Sita and Lava and Kusha.

15. Lava and Kusha sang the Ramayana in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Lava and Kusha sang the sacred Ramayana in their beautiful melodious voice before Sri Rama himself and other holy men. When the great epic was composed, sage Valmiki imparted it to Lava and Kusha and taught them to sing it in their beautiful melodious voice. Lava and Kusha sang the Valmiki Ramayana before the sages and holy men. They were moved by that song. Sri Rama heard about Lava and Kusha and called them in his palace at Ayodhya. Lava and Kusha sang the Ramayana before Sri Rama in the court. Sri Rama was also moved by it.

16. Lakshmana returned to his divine abode from Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Lakshmana gave up his worldly body and returned to his divine abode. As said earlier, Lord Vishnu incarnated in Ayodhya in fourfold forms. They are Sri Rama and his three brothers. So all the three brothers are parts of Lord Vishnu. From their lives it is clear that they lived only for serving Sri Rama. All the four brothers came to the world near-about the same time and departed from the world near-about the same time. The first to depart is Lakshmana. The incident happened in this way. When the time of departure of Sri Rama came near, he called Kala for discussion about his departure. He resolved to punish anyone who saw their discussion. During that time sage Durvasa suddenly came and asked for food immediately from Lakshmana. Lakshmana informed Sri Rama (for the fear of the curse of the sage). Sri Rama sent off Kala and fed sage Durvasa extending his hospitality. As a punishment, Sri Rama then abandoned Lakshmana. Since the only purpose of Lakshmana in life was to serve Sri Rama, he decided to leave his mortal life. Acording to Ayodhya Mahatmya, Lakshmana went to the bank of river Sarayu and after taking bath meditated on the consciousness. Adisesha appeared there piercing the ground in thousand places. Indra and devas also appeared there. Indra told Lakshmana about his divine nature and narrated the glory of the Tirtha. Since Adisesha pierced the ground in thousand places and lit it with the crest-jewel of his hood, the place became known as Sahashradhara Tirtha. Indra took Lakshmana to his divine abode in an aerial chariot. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions about Mantreshwara Tirtha where Sri Rama took bath before discussing with Kala.
- Note: The Sahashradhara Tirtha of Ayodhya is identified with the place from where Lakshmana returned to his divine abode. It is also known as Lakshman Ghat.

17. Sri Rama returned to his divine abode from Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama gave up his body and returned to his divine abode, along with brothers Bharata and Shatrughna. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions about this incident. When the time of departure arrived for Sri Rama, he adorned the dress of brahmachari, took Kusha grass in his hands and walked towards Swargadwara. His brothers followed him. The residents of Ayodhya followed him. The vanaras and rakshasas knowing of his departure through spies also followed him. Sri Rama instructed Vibhishana to stay back and rule the rakshasas. Sri Rama instructed Hanuman to stay back as long as the name of "Rama" is sung. Sri Rama instructed Mainda and Dwivida to stay back and guide the vanaras, since they were immortal. He told all the rest to follow him. The celestials watched this great departure from the heaven. When Sri Rama reached Swargadwara, Lord Brahma eulogized him as the Supreme Soul. Sri Rama gave up his body and entered the abode of Vishnu (with his brothers).
- Note: The Swargadwara Tirtha of Ayodhya is identified with the place from where Sri Rama returned to his divine abode. Swargadwara literally means "Gateway to Heaven", pointing to the return of Sri Rama to his divine abode.

18. Sri Rama gave salvation to the residents of Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Sri Rama gave salvation to the residents while returning to his divine abode. The Ayodhya Mahatmya mentions about this. After assuming the form of Lord Vishnu, Sri Rama told Brahmadeva to bestow higher Lokas to the residents of Ayodhya since they are devoted to him. Brahmadeva told that he will bestow them Santanika Loka (which is a very high Loka). Thereafter Brahmadeva took them to Gopratara Tirtha. The residents give up their bodies in that Tirtha and attained the higher Loka.
- Note: The Gopratara Tirtha near Guptahari in Ayodhya is identified with the place where the residents of Ayodhya attained salvation.

19. Lord Vishnu abides in different forms in Ayodhya: It is in Ayodhya that Lord Vishnu abides in different forms: Vishnuhari, Dharmahari, Chandrahari, Chakrahari and Guptahari. The incidents related to these are described later.

- The name Ayodhya: Ayodhya means that which cannot be conquered. First, Ayodhya cannot be conquered by enemies due to its physical fortification. Second, Ayodhya cannot be conquered by sins due to its fortification of sacredness.


Puranic Events:

1. Manu & Ayodhya: Ayodhya was created by Manu. (Valmiki Ramayana)

2. King Dasharatha & Ayodhya: King Dasharatha performed the Putrakameshthi Yagna near Ayodhya on the northern bank of river Sarayu. (Valmiki Ramayana)

3. Sri Rama & Ayodhya: Lord Vishnu incarnated in Ayodhya as Sri Rama on the request of the devas to vanquish Ravana. After returning from his forest exile, Sri Rama was coronated in Ayodhya. (Valmiki Ramayana)

4. Sage Valmiki & Ramayana: Sage Valmiki got divine inspiration and composed the Valmiki Ramayana from his hermitage near Ayodhya. (Valmiki Ramayana)

5. Lava-Kusha & Ramayana: Lava-Kusha sang the Ramayana before sages, holy men and finally before Sri Rama. Everyone was moved by it. (Valmiki Ramayana)

(Refer to Ayodhya from Valmiki Ramayana)


Places to See:

1. River Ghats:

1. Vasudev or Vasudeo Ghat:

Sri Matsya AvataraManu landing in Ayodhya after deluge: Vasudev Ghat is associated with the legend of Matsya Avatara of Lord Vishnu. The Matsya Avatara carries the boat of Vaivaswata Manu during the great deluge. When the waters of the deluge recedes, everything gets swept off and Manu lands in Ayodhya.

Vasudev Ghat is one of the oldest ghats of Ayodhya. Vasudev Ghat is no more a bathing ghat because river Sarayu has receded northwards and dried up the place. However, the legend of the ghat still remains. Pilgrims still visit this sacred site and perform rituals.

2. Ram Ghat:

Sri Rama Ram Ghat is also one of the oldest ghats of Ayodhya. Like the Vasudev Ghat the bathing ghat is no more there because river Sarayu has receded northwards. Now the entire place is renovated and the Ram Ki Paidi region is now popularly known as Ram Ghat.

3. Janaki Ghat:

Devi Sita Janaki Ghat is also an old ghat existing near the Ram Ghat.

4. Swargadwar Ghat, Naya Ghat and Ram Ki Paidi:

Ram Ki Pairi (Paidi)Sri Rama returning to his divine abode: When the time of departure arrives for Sri Rama, he adorns the dress of brahmachari, takes Kusha grass in his hands and walks towards Swargadwara. His brothers follow him. The residents of Ayodhya follow him. The vanaras and rakshasas knowing of his departure through spies also follow him. Sri Rama instructs Vibhishana to stay back and rule the rakshasas. Sri Rama instructs Hanuman to stay back as long as the name of "Rama" is sung. Sri Rama instructs Mainda and Dwivida to stay back and guide the vanaras, since they are immortal. He tells all the rest to follow him. The celestials watch this great departure from the heaven. When Sri Rama reaches Swargadwara, Lord Brahma eulogizes him as the Supreme Soul. Sri Rama casts off his body and enters the abode of Vishnu (with his brothers). As Lord Vishnu, Sri Rama tells Brahma to bestow higher lokas to his followers who were devoted to him. Lord Brahma tells about Santanika Loka which he decides to bestow them. Lord Brahma then takes them to another Tirtha known as Gopratara Tirtha where the residents of Ayodhya cast off their bodies and attain salvation. (Since Sri Rama departed to his divine abode in this Tirtha, it is known as Swargadwara Tirtha or the "Gateway to Heaven". It is a supreme tirtha where Snana, Dana and Dhyana attain great merit.).
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

Chandradeva performing penance: Knowing the greatness of Swargadwara, Chandradeva performs penance here and secures the grace of Lord Vishnu. Chandradeva installs an image of Lord Vishnu and worships it. The image becomes known as Chandrahari.
• Chandra Sahashra Vrata and Udyapana (performed when a man's life spans thousand moons, i.e. 83 years and 4 months)
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 3)

Swargadwar is the main ghat of Ayodhya. Due to the sanctity of the place, people come here for Snana (Bathing), Dana (Charity), Dhyana (Meditation), Bhajana (Devotional Singing) and Puja (Worship). Swargadwar is specially famous for performing Pinda Dana (Rite for the deceased persons). Mundan Samskar (Tonsure ceremony) is also done here. Naya Ghat and Ram Ki Paidi are relatively new constructions. When river Sarayu receded northwards making the ghats dry, a new ghat (Naya Ghat) was built in 1960s. The place was further renovated later in 1980s with a flight of steps (called Paidi), gardens etc., and took the form of the present Ram Ki Paidi. Ram Ki Paidi is thus a series of newly-constructed bathing ghats of Ayodhya. Pilgrims come here for bathing, performing pujas and also engaging in devotional practices. The entire area is now called Ram Ghat. Pilgrims often bathe in this place before going for darshan of the temples.

5. Sarayu Mandir and Aarti:

Sarayu Aarti The Aarti of the holy river Sarayu is held near the Naya Ghat.

6. Ahalyabai Ghat:

Sri VishnuSri Rama performing yagna: According to legend Sri Rama performed a yagna here.

The Ahalyabai Ghat is near the Tretanathji (Treta Ke Thakur) temple.

7. Sahashradhara or Lakshman Ghat:

Sri AdiseshaLakshmana returning to his divine abode: When his time of departure comes near, Sri Rama calls Kala and discusses with him about his departure. He resolves to punish anyone who sees their discussion. during that time sage Durvasa comes and asks for food immediately. Lakshmana informs Sri Rama (for the fear of the curse of the sage). Sri Rama sends off Kala and feeds sage Durvasa extending his hospitality. As a punishment he abandons Lakshmana. Lakshmana goes to the bank of river Sarayu and after taking bath, meditates on the consciousness. Adisesha appears there piercing the ground in thousand places. Indra and devas also appears there. Indra tells Lakshmana about his divine nature and narrates the glory of the Tirtha. Since Adisesha pierced the ground in thousand places and lit it with the crest-jewel of his hood, the place becomes known as Sahashradhara Tirtha. Indra takes Lakshmana to his divine abode.
• Annual festival: Shravana Shukla Panchami
• Holy bath: Vaishakha
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

There is a temple of Sri Lakshmanji near the ghat.

8. Papamochana Ghat or Gola Ghat:

Sri VishnuNarahari becoming free of sins: A brahmin named Narahari falls in bad company and commits many sins in life. Once he comes to Ayodhya in the company of some good people and takes bath in a Tirtha. He becomes free from his sins and go to Vishnu Loka. The Tirtha becomes known as Papamochana Tirtha.
• Holy Bath: Magha Krishna Chaturdashi
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

There is a temple of Lord Rama here known as Papamochana temple.

9. Jhunki Ghat:

Jhunki Ghat is probably named after a saint who meditated here. Sadhus come to this place for meditation.

10. Rinamochana Ghat:

Sri VishnuSage Lomasha becoming free of debts: A sage named Lomasha comes to Ayodhya and during his pilgrimage takes bath in a Tirtha. After this bath he becomes free from his debts. He proclaims the glory of the Tirtha which becomes known as Rinamochana Tirtha.
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

Rinamochana Ghat is the place where devotees bathe to get free of the three debts in life (Rina is debt and mochana is becoming free).

11. Raj Ghat:

Raj Ghat is a comparatively new ghat in Ayodhya. This ghat has the statue of Jain Tirthankara Rishabhadeva. There is also a temple of Sita-Rama in this ghat.

12. Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra Ghats:

Kaushalya Ghat, Kayikeyi Ghat and Sumitra Ghat are named after the queens of Dasharatha.

13. Brahma Kunda Ghat:

Sri Vishnu Sri BrahmaBrahma worshipping Lord Vishnu: Brahma hears that Lord Vishnu is stationed in Ayodhya. He comes there and performs its pilgrimage. Then he creates a Kunda and worships Lord Vishnu. The Kunda becomes known as Brahma Kunda. The devas take bath in that Kunda and becomes pure. They ask about it to Lord Brahma in wonder. Lord Brahma narrates the glory of the Kunda to them.
• Annual festival: Karthika Shukla Chaturdasi
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)


14. Chakratirtha Ghat:

Sri VishnuVishnu Sharma performing penance: A brahmin by name Vishnu Sharma performs austere penance in Ayodhya worshipping Lord Vishnu and reciting the Dwadasakshari Mantra (Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya). Three years elapse. One day when the brahmin eulogizes Lord Vishnu, the Lord appears before him and gives him the boon. The Lord creates a Tirtha there with his Sudarshana Chakra and brings the waters of river Ganges. This Tirtha becomes known as Chakratirtha. Vishnu Sharma establishes an image of the Lord there for worship after his name. The image becomes known as Vishnuhari.
• Annual festival: Karthika Shukla Dashami to Poornima
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 1)


15. Guptar Ghat:

Guptar GhatLord Vishnu performing penance secretly: Once in a battle between the asuras and the devas, the asuras defeat the devas. The devas start fleeing. Hara stops the devas and takes them to Lord Vishnu in the milky ocean along with Brahmadeva. There, Hara starts eulogizing the Lord. Lord Vishnu becomes pleased and says that he will perform penance secretly to increase the strength of the devas. Thereafter the Lord comes to the bank of river Sarayu to perform his penance. The place where the Chakra of the Lord falls becomes known as Chakrahari. The place where the Lord performs his penance secretly becomes known as Guptahari. Due to the penance of the Lord, the devas gain strength and defeats the asuras. Thereafter the devas come to Guptahari and worships the Lord. Lord Vishnu grants them the boon of protection and narrates the glory of that place.
• Annual festival of Guptahari: Kathika (Poornima)
• Annual festival of Chakrahari: Margashirsha Shukla Ekadasi
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

Lord Rama bestowing higher abodes to the residents of Ayodhya: When the time of departure of Sri Rama comes, he goes to Swargadwara. The residents of Ayodhya as well as the vanaras and rakshasas devoted to him follow him. He gives up his body there and returns to the abode of Lord Vishnu. Thereafter, as Lord Vishnu Sri Rama tells Brahmadeva to bestow higher Lokas to the residents of Ayodhya since they are devoted to him. Brahmadeva tells that he will bestow them Santanika Loka. Thereafter Brahmadeva takes them to Gopratara Tirtha. The residents give up their bodies there and attain the higher Loka.
• Holy Bath: Karthika
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

Guptar Ghat is far away from the cluster of other ghats in Ayodhya. It is around 15 km from Ayodhya. This place has immense spiritual significance. There is a temple of Gupta Hari here.


2. Ramkot and surrounding Temples (North of Hanuman Garhi):

Ancient fort: Ramkot or "Fort of Lord Rama" was an ancient fort said to have been built by Sri Rama himself. The fort covered an extensive area and is said to have 20 gates. Now the fort is not there. Only certain remains are visible.

1. Hanuman Garhi:

Hanuman GarhiHanuman protecting Ramkot: According to legend, Hanumanji protected Ramkot (the fort of Rama) by residing in this place in a cave.

Hanuman Garhi is a fort-temple of Sri Hanumanji on a hillock. The pilgrims need to ascend around 70 steps to reach the shrine. The archway at the base of the steps is beautiful. Previously many sadhus used to stay here and meditate in this place. Hanuman Garhi is a very popular temple of Ayodhya. Pilgrims often have the darshan of Hanumanji before visiting other temples of Sri Rama.

- Hanuman Garhi is located around 1 km from the railway station.

2. Sugreev Tila:

Sugreev Tila is a small hillock near Hanuman Garhi with the image of Sugreevji.

3. Angad Tila: Angad Tila is similarly a small hillock near Hanuman Garhi in the name of Angad.

4. Ram Janambhoomi:

Sri RamaSri Rama incarnating: Ram Janambhoomi is said to be the place where Sri Rama incarnated.

So, this place is like the spiritual heart of Ayodhya. There was an ancient temple here which is said to have been destroyed by Babar during his invasion. A new temple is being built. The main purpose of the incarnation of Sri Rama was to slay Ravana and establish Dharma in the world. Ravana disturbed the worship and penance of sages whose wisdom formed the foundation of Sanatana Dharma. Ravana was so powerful by his boon that no one could match his strength. So the incarnation of Sri Rama was needed to eliminate the acts of Adharma of Ravana and also establish Dharma in the world by his personal example. So Ram Janambhoomi is like the place of birth of Dharma itself. On one side of Ram Janambhoomi are the ghats of river Sarayu and on the other side the palace-temples.

- Ram Janambhoomi is located close to Kanak Bhavan (a few hundred meters away).

5. Dasharath Mahal:

Dasharath MahalSri Rama growing up: Dasharath Mahal is the place where Sri Rama grew up amd performed his Bal Leelas.

Dasharath Mahal is the palace of king Dasharatha. This place is of immense spiritual significance because Sri Rama grew up here and performed his Bal Leelas in this place. Coupled with its spiritual significance, the palace itself is grand with large arched gateways and beautiful designs. Dasharath Mahal contains within it the beautiful sentiment of the fatherly love of king Dasharatha towards child Rama. This is augmented by the motherly love of Kaushalya and other queens.

- Dasharath Mahal is located very close to Hanuman Garhi.

6. Kanak Bhavan:

Kanak Bhavan Kanak BhavanSita-Rama staying together: Kanak Bhavan is the place where Sita-Rama stayed together.

Kanak Bhavan or "Golden Palace" is a famous palace-temple of Ayodhya. It is said that queen Kaikeyi gifted this palace to Devi Sita during her marriage. So this is the place where Sri Rama lived with Devi Sita after his marriage. There is a beautiful image of Sita-Rama inside this palace temple. Entering this palace chamber, the devotees chant the names of Sita-Rama before the image.

- Kanak Bhavan is located very close to Dasharath Mahal.

7. Valmiki Ramayana Bhavan:

Valmiki Ramayana Bhavan Valmiki Ramayana Bhavan is dedicated to Maharshi Valmiki and is specially loved by sadhus and saints. There is an image of Maharshi Valmiki inside this temple along with Lava and Kusha who first sang the Ramayana. The whole of Valmiki Ramayana is engraved on the walls of the temple. So this Bhavan as if reverberates with the slokas of Ramayana. Satsangs on Ramayana, recitation of Ramayana etc. are performed here. There is a library and a book stall inside on the first floor of the Bhavan.

8. Choti DevKali Mandir:

Choti DevKaliDevi Sita worshipping goddess: Choti DeviKali Mandir is said to be the temple where Devi Sita worshipped goddess Girija Devi which she brought to Ayodhya after her marriage.

King Dasharatha built a temple for Girija Devi. The temple now houses the image of DevKali. The word Choti is prefixed to differentiate it from another DevKali temple in Ayodhya known as Badi DevKali.

- Choti DevKali Mandir is located close to Ram Ki Paidi.

9. Tulsi Udyan:

Tulsi UdyanSant Tulsidas starting Ram Charit Manas: It is said that Sant Tulsidasji started composing the Ram Charit Manas from here.

Tulsi Udyan is a beautiful garden built by the Government of India and dedicated to Sant Tulsidas. During Tulsi Jayanti, Ram Charit Manas is recited here.

- Tulsi Udyan is located 1.5 km from the Ayodhya Railway station.

10. Ram Katha Sangrahalaya:

Ram Katha Sangrahalaya Ram Katha Sangrahalaya is a museum depicting the excavated artefacts of an old temple found in Ram Janambhoomi, as well as dramatic representation of Ramayana in different traditions of India. There are beautiful statues and pictures related to the life of Sri Rama in this place. This place thus gives a feeling of the holy life of Sri Rama as depicted in Ramayana.

11. Treta Ke Thakur:

Sri Rama performing Ashwamedha yagna: It is said that Sri Rama performed the Ashwamedha yagna in this place.

Treta Ke Thakur temple is an old temple of Ayodhya where Sri Rama is worshipped as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple has the images of Sri Rama, Devi Sita, brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna, guru Vasistha and others. This temple has been renovated by the Maharaja of Kullu and later by Ahalyabai Holkar, the queen of Maratha. This temple opens only once in a year, during Karthik Shukla Ekadasi. The Ahalyabai Ghat is near this temple.

- Treta Ke Thakur is located close to Ram Ki Paidi.

12. Nageshwar Nath Mandir:

Nageshwar Nath MandirKusha building this Shiva temple: According to legend, Kusha the son of Sri Rama himself had built the original Nageshwar Nath Mandir.

Nageshwar Nath Mahadev Mandir is a very old temple of Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the main structures which survived the ravages of time till king Vikramaditya arrived in Ayodhya. Seeing this temple and getting guidance from saints, the king rebuilt Ayodhya. Near the Nageshwar Nath temple is an old temple of Sri Rama containing his idol curved out of black stone (Ram Panchatayana). It is said that this idol was preserved by the pujaris when the original Ram Janambhoomi temple was destroyed by Babar.

- Nageshwar Nath Mandir is around 8 km north of Ram Janambhoomi and close to Ram Ki Paidi.


3. Other Temples (South of Hanuman Garhi):

1. Birla Mandir:

Birla Mandir Birla Mandir is a comparatively new temple in Ayodhya. It has a beautiful ambience of green gardens and a silent atmosphere conducive to meditation. Inside the temple are the images of Sita-Rama-Lakshmana in white marble. On the walls of the temple are beautiful pictures depicting different events related to Ramayana.

- Birla Mandir is very close to the Ayodhya Railway station.

2. Vasishtha Kund:

Vasishtha KundAshrama of sage Vasishtha: Vasishtha Kund is the place where the ashrama of sage Vasishtha was said to be located.

Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna attended the gurukula here.

- Vasishtha Kund is located near the Birla Mandir.

3. Mani Parvat:

Mani ParvatDevi Sita sporting: Mani Parvat is a hill which is said to be the place where Devi Sita sported with her companions.

The beautiful view of Ayodhya can be enjoyed from this hill. There is a shrine with the images of Sita-Ram. Lord Buddha is also said to have meditated in Mani Parvat. There are some remains of the ancient Buddhist monasteries here.


3. Outskirts of Ayodhya:

1. Surya Kund:

Sri Suryadeva Surya KundaKing Ghosha worshipping Suryadeva: King Ghosha of the Solar race goes for hunting in the forest. His hands become infested with worms which is an inauspicious sign. The king becomes devoid of pride. With the guidance of holy men, he takes bath in a Kunda. His body becomes full of divine splendour. Ghosha eulogizes the Sun God reciting its stotra. The Sun god appears before him and gives him an idol for worshipping. Ghosha installs that idol. The Kunda becomes known as Ghosharka Kunda.
• Holy Bath: Sundays, Bhadrapada or Magha Shukla Shasthi, Pausha Sundays specially on seventh day.
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

This Kunda is dedicated to Surya deva. Sunday is a special day for taking bath in this Kunda.

- Surya Kund is located 6 km from the main city of Ayodhya.

2. Nandigram (Bharat Kund):

Nandigram Bharat Kund Bharata worshipping the padukas of Sri Rama Nandigram Bharat Tapasya, Bharat Hanuman Milan Mandir Nandigram Bharat Hanuman Milan Mandir Nandigram Ram Bharat Milan, Bharat MandirBharata taking padukas of Sri Rama: Bharata goes to Chitrakoota to supplicate Sri Rama to return to Ayodhya. Sri Rama declines and tells Bharata to rule the kingdom with the guidance of the ministers. The sages also request Bharata to accept the words of Sri Rama. Bharata finally agrees and requests Sri Rama to touch with his feet two padukas (sandals) decorated with gold. Bharata bowed before the padukas and returns to Ayodhya. Before returning he tells Sri Rama that he will enter fire if Sri Rama delays his return after fourteen years.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda - 112)

Bharata going to Nandigrama: Bharata goes to Nandigrama. He lives like an ascetic wearing bark garments and matted hairs. He coronates the padukas (sandals) of Sri Rama as the king. Then he rules the kingdom worshipping those padukas. He keeps informing every affair of the kingdom to the padukas.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda - 114)

Bharata creating Kunda: Bharata creates the Bharata Kunda at Nandigrama, where he stays like an ascetic and rules Ayodhya for fourteen years when Sri Rama was in forest exile.
(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmya - 9)

Hanuman meeting Bharata after forest exile: Sri Rama sends Hanuman to Shringaverapura to communicate his welfare to Guha, the king of the Nishadas. Then, tells Hanuman to ask Guha about Bharata and the way to Ayodhya. Thereafter going to Ayodhya, to enquire about the welfare of Bharata and inform him about the different incidents that happened during his forest exile, and that Rama is coming to him with Vibhisana and Sugreeva. Thereafter tells Hanuman to find out the intention of Bharata from his facial expression. If Bharata wants to rule the entire kingdom, let him have it. As commanded by Sri Rama, Hanuman assumes a human form and leaves for Ayodhya. Crossing Prayaga, the confluence of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, Hanuman reaches Shringaverapura. He meets Guha and gives the news of Sri Rama. On the way, Hanuman sees Ramatirtha, and rivers Valukini, Varuthi, Gomati, Bhima as well as forest of Sala trees. Then reaching Nandigrama, Hanuman saw Bharata living in a hermitage like an ascetic, and ruling the kingdom placing the wooden sandals of Sri Rama. Hanuman informs him about the arrival of Sri Rama. Bharata faints in joy. Then regaining his balance, Bharata embraces Hanuman. Bharata says that in return for this news he will give him a hundred thousand cows, hundred villages and sixteen girls of good conduct as wives. Bharata then tells Hanuman to narrate the story of Sri Rama in the forest. Hanuman narrates all the incidents that happened in the forest and tells him that Sri Rama is currently residing in the hermitage of sage Bharadwaja. Bharata was overjoyed to hear about Sri Rama.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - 125 to 126)

Sri Rama meeting Bharata after forest exile: Bharata commands Shatrughna to make arrangements for receiving Sri Rama at Ayodhya. Shatrughna levels the ground from Nandigrama to Ayodhya and sprinkles parched grains and flowers over it. He decorates Ayodhya with beautiful flags as also the buildings on the way. He sprinkles fragrant colours, garlands and flowers on the royal highway. All the mothers proceed to Nandigrama. Bharata makes arrangement to give a royal reception to Sri Rama at Nandigrama with royal parasols, soldiers, brahmanas, musicians etc. Sri Rama arrives there in the Pushpaka Vimana along with Devi Sita, Lakshmana, Vibhisana, Sugreeva and others. Bharata salutes Sri Rama. Sri Rama embraces him. Then Bharata receives Devi Sita and Lakshmana. Bharata embraces the vanara chiefs like Sugreeva, Jambavan, Angada and others. The vanaras change their forms as humans and enquires about the welfare of Bharata. Bharata embraces Sugreeva and tells him that he is the fifth brother. Then Bharata greets Vibhisana. Thereafter, Shatrughna offers his salutations to Sri Rama. Sri Rama offers his salutations to his mothers and the royal priests. The citizens of Ayodhya shouts the victory of Sri Rama. Bharata places the sandals of Sri Rama before his feet and says that he is returning the sovereignty of Sri Rama today. Bharata says that as a keeper he has enhanced the treasury, granary and other possessions ten-fold. Seeing the affection of Bharata for his brother, Vibhisana and the vanaras shed tears. Then Sri Rama reaches the hermitage of Bharata in the Pushpaka Vimana and tells the aerial car to return to Kubera.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - 127)

Nandigram has the Bharat Kund which is mentioned in Ayodhya Mahatmya. It has a Hanuman Bharat Milan Mandir. It has an ancient Bharat Mandir where Sri Rama is said to have met Bharata after forest exile. Apart from that it has the Bharat Gufa were Sri Bharata used to meditate.

- Nandigram is located around 25 km from the main city of Ayodhya.


Sacred Geography:
- River Sarayu
- River Tamasa

Location: Ayodhya is located in the Ayodhya district of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya can be visited from Lucknow (135 km), Gorakhpur (135 km), Prayagraj (170 km) and Varanasi (220 km).


Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

1. Stotras
2. Scriptures
3. Pilgrimages
4. Festivals
5. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana
6. Sadhana
7. Sanskrit
8. Nature

Meditation on Earth and Life: >>



Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)


Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

Next >>

Green Message: The Evergreen Messages of Spirituality, Sanskrit and Nature

Last updated on May-2022

Site Map    Search    Contact    Updates