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Ayodhya

Sri RamaMeditation: I meditate on Sri Rama incarnating as the son of king Dasharatha at Ayodhya for slaying Ravana and establishing Dharma in the world.

Ayodhya: Ayodhya is the holy place where Sri Rama incarnated as the son of king Dasharatha for eliminating Ravana and establishing Dharma in the world. Ayodhya is also the capital from where Sri Rama ruled his entire kingdom. Ayodhya is a Moksha Puri as well as a Divya Desam. Ayodhya is located in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh.

Moksha Puri: Being associated with the incarnation of Sri Rama, Ayodhya is one of the 7 Moksha Puris (Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayapuri, Kashi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwarka).

Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam: Being glorified by the Alvars, Ayodhya is one of the 108 Divya Desams known as the Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam.

Qualities of Sri Rama from Valmiki Ramayana:

Sage Valmiki and hunter Rishi Valmiki Sage Valmiki with Lava and KushaQualities of Sri Rama: In the opening chapter of Valmiki Ramayana, sage Valmiki asks sage Narada about the existence of a person with the following qualities:
1. Gunavan: Who is Virtuous
2. Viryavan: Who is Valorous
3. Dharmagya: Who is the knower of Dharma
4. Krtagya: Who is the doer of Good Deeds (according to Dharma)
5. Satyavakya: Who is the speaker of Truth
6. Dridhavrata: Who is firm in his Vows
7. Catritrena Yukta: Who by Character is united (with Dharma)
8. Sarvabhuteshu Hitah: Who is disposed towards the Welfare of all beings
9. Vidvan: Who is Learned
10. Samartha: Who is Capable (in upholding Dharma)
11. Priyadarshana: Who has a Graceful and Pleasant appearance
12. Aatmavan: Who is Self-Composed
13. Jitakrodha: Who has conquered Anger
14. Dyutiman: Who is Effulgent (filled with the Effulgence of Aatman)
15. Anasuyaka: Who is not Envious
16. Bibhyati Devah: Whom even the Devas Fear

Sage Narada mentions about Sri Rama and tells about his life in brief.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 1)

Sage Valmiki getting divine inspiration: Later sage Valmiki had a divine inspiration when be went to the Tamasa river and saw two Krauncha birds in union. A hunter suddenly appeared and killed the male bird leaving the female bird wailing in separation. Sage Valmiki 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 poetic meter. Lord Brahma imparted yogic power to sage Valmiki to see all the incidents of the life of Sri Rama.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 2 to 4)

Ramayana sung by Lava and Kusha: 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 who were moved by them. Sri Rama hearing about Lava and Kusha called them in his palace at Ayodhya where they sang it before Sri Rama in the court. Sri Rama was also moved.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 2 to 4)

Ayodhya from Valmiki Ramayana:

Sri RamaSituated in Koshala kingdom: There was a great kingdom named Koshala which was situated on the bank of river Sarayu and was very prosperous. Ayodhya was situated in it.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5)

Bank of river Sarayu: The Koshala kingdom of which Ayodhya is a part was situated on the bank of river Sarayu.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5)

Created by Manu himself: Manu, the king of the Manavas, himself created this city (of Ayodhya).
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5)

Ruled by king Dasharatha: Dasharatha made Ayodhya his abode as Indra made heaven his abode.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5)

Very glorious and prosperous: Koshala kingdom was endowed with abundant Dhana (Wealth) and Dhanya (Foodgrains). The city of Ayodhya situated within the Koshala kingdom was renowned in the world. The city shone with royal highways which were filled with flowers and made moist with waters. The city was surrounded with gateways and archways. The city was surrounded by gardens, had palaces studded with gems and well-constructed houses. The city was full with rice grains and water tasted like sugarcane juice.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5)

Unconquerable city: The city of Ayodhya was protected by fort walls and moats. It was also fortified up to two yojanas outside the city. True to its name it was A-Yodhya, the Unconquerable city.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 5 & 6)

People were happy and prosperous: All the people were happy, prosperous and of good character.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 6)

Incarnation of Sri Rama from Valmiki Ramayana:

Sri Rama King Dashartha performing Putrakameshti Yagna Child RamaKing Dasharatha performing Ashwamedha Yagna: To get a son, king Dashartha performed the Ashwamedha Yagna on the northern bank of river Sarayu. The arrangements of the yagna was presided over by sage Vashistha. The ritual of the great yagna was presided over by sage Rishyashringa. Many great kings were invited in that yagna. Some of them were: King Janaka of Mithila, King of Kashi, King of Kekaya, King Romapada of Anga, King Bhanumanta of Koshala, King Praptigya of Magadha etc.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 12 to 14)

King Dasharatha performing Putrakameshthi Yagna: The Ashwamedha Yagna was followed by Putrakameshthi Yagna presided over by sage Rishyashringa.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 15 to 16)

Devas praying Lord Vishnu to incarnate: During the Putrakamesthi yagna the devas appeared on the firmament to obtain their shares of the yagna. Lord Brahma as well as Lord Vishnu also came there. The devas prayed to Lord Brahma to think of a way to eliminate Ravana who had become very powerful on account of his boon and oppressing the devas and the sages. Thereafter the devas with forefather Brahma at the helm prayed to Lord Vishnu to incarnate as the son of king Dasharatha and slay Ravana, because Ravana can only be killed by a human being as per his boon. Lord Vishnu consented to their request.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 15)

Appearance of Yagna Purusha: Then from the fire altar of the yagna appeared a divine Yagna Purusha carrying a golden vessel full of Payasam. He told king Dasharatha to distribute the Payasam to his queens for progeny.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 16)

King Dasharatha distributing Payasam to queens: Entering inside the palace chambers king Dasharatha distributed the Payasam to his wives. He gave half of the Payasam to queen Kaushalya, one-fourth to queen Sumitra, one-eight to queen Kaikeyi and remaining one-eight again to queen Sumitra.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 16)

Devas procreating Vanaras for helping Rama: Before the incarnation of Sri Rama, Lord Brahma told the Devas to procreate Vanaras from their parts to serve Lord Vishnu during His Incarnation. Lord Brahma previously created Jambavanta from his yawning. Indra procreated Vali. The Sun-god procreated Sugreeva. Brihaspati procreated Tara. Kubera procreated Gandhamadana. Vishwakarma procreated Nala. Fire-god procreated Neela. The Ashwins procreated Mainda and Dwivida. Varuna procreated Sushena. Parjanya procreated Sharabha. Maruta or Air-god procreated Hanuman. Similarly other celestial beings procreated other Vanaras. Many of them stayed in mount Rikshavat.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 17)

Incarnation of Sri Rama: After six seasons had passed, queen Kaushalya gave birth to Sri Rama, on the Chaitra Navami tithi, when the presiding Nakshatra was that whose deity is Aditi (i.e. Punarvasu Nakshatra), when the five Grahas were in ascension, when Vakpati (Jupiter) in conjunction with Indu (Moon) was in ascension in Karkata Lagna. Queen Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata on the dawn of the next day in Mina Lagna. Queen Sumitra gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrughna. The celestial singers sang in joy, the celestial musicians played drums and there was a shower of flowers from heaven. The people of Ayodhya were filled with joy and there was celebration in the streets. Sage Vashistha performed the naming ceremony after eleven days.
(Ref: Valmiki Ramayana - Bala Kanda - 18)

Coronation of Sri Rama from Valmiki Ramayana:

Sri RamaCoronation of Sri Rama: After Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya from the forest exile, he was coronated as the king. The coronation ceremony was presided over by sage Vashistha. Sugreeva got waters from four seas and holy rivers through his Vanaras for the coronation ceremony. Jambavan, Hanuman, Vegadarshi and Rishabha got waters from five hundred rivers. Sushena brought water from the eastern sea. Rishabha brought water form the southern sea. Gavaya brought water from the western sea. Nala brought water from the northern sea. The Brahmanas and the Devas sprinked the sap of all the medicinal herbs during the coronation. Rama was crowned with that crown with which Manu and the successive kings of the lineage were coronated. On that joyous occasion, the earth bore rich crops and trees bore abundant fruits and fragrant flowers. Sri Rama gifted many gifts to the Brahmanas and his Vanara companions. Devi Sita gifted Hanuman a garland of pearls.
(Ref: (Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - 128)

Rule of Dharma: Sri Rama ruled for ten thousand years. He propitiated the gods by performing Paundarika, Ashvamedha, Vajapeya and other yagnas many times. He ruled the kingdom with his brothers as companions. During his rule, no widow lamented and there was no danger of wild animals and fear of diseases. There were no thieves and robbers. The discussion of the subjects always centered around "Rama Rama Rama", and the world was filled with Rama's name. The trees bore fruits on time and were not affected by pests. The clouds rained on time. The touch of the wind was delightful. The four classes - Brahmanas (Class of Priest), Kshatriyas (Class of Warriors), Vaishyas (Class of Traders) and Shudras (Class of Servants) discharged their respective duties with joy.
(Ref: (Valmiki Ramayana - Yuddha Kanda - 128)

Places to visit:

Sri Rama Ram ki Paidi Kanak Bhavan Kanak Bhavan Nageshwar Nath Mandir Hanuman Garhi Mani Parvat

River Sarayu:

Swarga Dwar: Swarga Dwar is the place famous for performing Pinda Daan (A rite for the deceased persons). Mundan Samskar (Tonsure ceremony) is also done here.

Ram Pairi (Paidi) Ghat: Ram Pairi (Paidi) Ghat was built by the Government of India for the benefit of the pilgrims. Pilgrims are seen here bathing, performing pujas and also engaging in devotional practices.

Ram Ghat: This is one of the famous Ghats of Ayodhya. The Chauda Kroshi Yatra of Karthik Shukla Navami and Pancha Kroshi Yatra starts from here and ends here.

Janaki Ghat:

Lakshman Ghat: This Ghat has an image of Sri Lakshmanji which was obtained from a Kunda. It is said that Sri Lakshman gave up his body here and ascended to his abode.

Kaushalya Ghat:

Guptar Ghat: According to legend Lord Vishnu meditated here in a secret way. So it is also called Gupta-Hari Tirtha.

Ahalyabai Ghat:

Raj Ghat:

Temples associated with Sri Rama:

Ram Janambhoomi:

Kanak Bhavan: This is a famous temple of Ayodhya which is said to be the place where the chamber of Devi Sita was located. There are images of Sri Rama and Devi Sita inside this temple.

Nageshwar Nath Mandir: This is a temple of Lord Shiva. According to legend, Nageshwar Nath Shiva Linga was originally founded by Kusha, the son of Sri Rama.

Ram-Bharat Milap Mandir: According to legend this is the place where Sri Rama first met Bharata after returning from his forest exile.

Dasarath Mahal: This place is said to be where the palace of king Dasharatha was located.

Valmiki Ramayan Bhavan: This Bhavan is dedicated to Maharshi Valmiki and is specially loved by sadhus and saints. There is a big image of Maharshi Valmiki inside. Satsangs on Ramayana, recitation of Ramayana etc. are performed here. There is also a book stall inside.

Tulsi Udyan: This is a beautiful garden built by the Government of India and dedicated to Sant Tulsidas. It is said that Sant Tulsidasji started composing the Ram Charit Manas from here. During Tulsi Jayanti, Ram Charit Manas is recited here.

Ram Katha Sangralaya: There are beautiful statues and pictures related to the life of Sri Rama in this place. This place gives a feel of the holy life of Sri Rama as depicted in Ramayana.

Other Temples:

Dev Kali temple: Devi Kali is the presiding deity of Ayodhya. Pilgrims who visit Ayodhya come to visit this temple.

Birla Mandir:

Char Dham Mandir:

Digambar Jain Mandir: This temple has a huge image of Sri Rishabhadeva.

Brahma Kunda Gurudwara: Sri Guru Nanak Devji is said to have rested here under a Ber tree near Brahma Ghat, and preached to his disciples. The Ber tree is still there.

Ramkot:

Ancient fort: Ramkot was an ancient fort which is said to have been built by Sri Rama himself. Now only certain remains are visible.

Hanuman Garhi: This is a temple of Bhakta Hanuman and is situated inside the Ramkot area. The pilgrims need to ascend around 70 steps to reach the shrine of Hanumanji. Previously many sadhus used to stay here and meditate in this place.

Sugreev Tila: Near the Hanuman Garhi is a hillock with the image of Sugreevji.

Angad Tila:

Mani Parvat:

Mani Parvat: 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.

Buddha: Lord Buddha is also said to have meditated in Mani Parvat. There are some remains of the ancient Buddhist monasteries here.

Kundas:

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

Vidya Devi Kunda: This Kunda is dedicated to Vidya Devi. The pilgrims worship Vidya Devi after bathing here. Ashtami tithis are special days for bathing.

Brahma Kunda: It is said that Lord Brahma himself created this Kunda. Karthik Shukla Chaturdasi is a special day for bathing here.

Datun Kunda:

Ayodhya Parikramas:

Pancha Krosi Parikrama:

Chauda Kroshi Parikrama:

Chaurasi Kroshi Parikrama:



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Last updated on Nov-2020

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