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Ayodhya Mahatmya

1. Chakratirtha (River Sarayu) (Vishnuhari):

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)

2. Brahma Kunda (East of Chakratirtha):

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)

3. Rinamochana Tirtha (River Sarayu) (North-east of Brahma Kunda):

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)

4. Papamochana Tirtha (River Sarayu) (East of Rinamochana Tirtha):

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)

5. Sahashradhara Tirtha (River Sarayu) (East of Papamochana Tirtha):

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)

6. Swargadwara Tirtha (River Sarayu) (Chandrahari) (East of Sahashradhara):

Sri VishnuSri 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)

7. Dharmahari (South-east of Chandrahari):

Sri VishnuDharma dancing in ecstasy meditating on Ayodhya: A brahmin named Dharma comes to Ayodhya on pilgrimage. He was so filled with joy that he starts proclaiming the glory of Ayodhya within himself saying "How great is this place!". Thereafter he starts dancing in ecstasy meditating on Ayodhya. Lord Vishnu appears before Dharma. Dharma starts eulogizing the Lord. Lord Vishnu gives him a boon by which he installs the image of the Lord with his name. This image becomes known as Dharmahari.
• Annual festival: Asadha Shukla Ekadasi
• Holy bath: Taking bath in Swargadwara and visiting Dharmahari

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 4)

8. Swarnakhani (South of Dharmahari):

Lakshmi-KuberaKubera showering gold: King Raghu, an ancestor of Sri Rama performs a Viswajit yagna in which he donates everything. Sage Kautsa comes during that time and asks for gold from him to give guru dakshina to sage Vishwamitra. However, seeing that the king has given away everything in yagna, the sage decides to approach someone else. King Raghu tells him to wait and sets off to conquer Kubera. Kubera out of fear sheds a rain of gold in Ayodhya which becomes known as Swarnakhani. Kautsa takes only whatever was required by him and blesses the king.
• Annual festival: Vaishakha Shukla Dwadasi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 5)

9. Sarayu - Tilodaki confluence (South of Swarnakhani):

Sri Rama creating river Tilodaki: Sri Rama creates river Tilodaki for his horses. Since its water was dark like gingelly seeds it becomes known as Tilodaki. The confluence of Sarayu and Tilodaki becomes a very sacred place.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Amavasya

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 5)

10. Sita Kunda (West of Sarayu-Tilodaki confluence):

Devi SitaDevi Sita creating Kunda: Devi Sita creates a Kunda. Sri Rama confers great merit to it. The Kunda becomes known as Sita Kunda.
• Holy Bath: Margashirsha Krishna Chaturdashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

11. Chakrahari and Guptahari (River Sarayu) (Chakrahari is west of Vishnuhari) (Harismriti or Guptahari is west of Chakrahari):

Sri VishnuLord 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)

12. Sarayu - Ghagara confluence (Near Guptahari and west of Gopratara Tirtha):

Presence of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva: The confluence of rivers Sarayu and Ghagara is a very sacred place having many Tirthas. Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva are present there. The Suras, Siddhas and Yogins are also present there.
• Holy Bath: Poornima, Amavasya and Dwadashi
• Bath and Jagaran: Pausha Shukla Tryodashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

13. Gopratara Tirtha (River Sarayu) (East of Sarayu-Gharghara confluence):

Sri VishnuLord 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)

14. Kshirodaka Tirtha (River Sarayu) (North-west of Sita Kunda):

King Dashartha performing Putrakameshti YagnaKing Dashratha performing Putresthi yagna: To get a son, king Dasharatha performs the Putresthi yagna on the bank of river Sarayu. The Kratubhuk appears during the yagna with the havis in a golden vessel. Since the havis of Ksheera emerged in this Tirtha it becomes known as Kshirodaka Tirtha.
• Holy Bath: Ashwina Shukla Ekadasi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

15. Brihaspati Kunda (South-west of Kshirodaka Tirtha):

Sri BrihaspatiBrihaspati performing yagna: Brihaspati performs a yagna beside a Kunda which becomes known as Brihaspati Kunda. The devas take bath here.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami
• Holy Bath: Thursday

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

16. Rukmini Kunda (South of Brihaspati Kunda):

Devi RukminiDevi Rukmini creating Kunda: Devi Rukmini creates a Kunda. Lord Vishnu confers boon on it. This Kunda becomes known as Rukmini Kunda
• Annual festival: Karthika Krishna Navami

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

17. Dhanayaksha Tirtha (North-west of Rukmini Kunda):

Devi LakshmiVishwamitra giving boon to a yaksha: Vishwamitra confiscates the wealth of king Harischandra and posts a yaksha to guard it. By his devoted service sage Vishwamitra becomes pleased and gives him two boons. First, he removes the foul smell of his body and second he makes the Tirtha famous after his name. The Tirtha becomes known as Dhanayaksha Tirtha. The nine Nidhis are present in this Tirtha (Mahapadma, Padma, Sankha, Makara, Kacchapa, Mukunda, Kunda, Nila, Kharva)
• Annual festival: Magha Krishna Chaturdasi (Worship of Devi Lakshmi)

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

18. Vasishtha Kunda (North of Dhanayaksha Tirtha):

Rishi VasishthaPresence of Vasishtha, Arundhati and Vamadeva: In Vasishtha Kunda sage Vasishtha is said to be present along with Devi Arundhati. Sage Vamadeva is also present.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

19. Sagara Kunda (West of Vasishtha Kunda):

Sacred: Sagara Kunda is considered as a very sacred place.
• Holy Bath: Ashwina Poornima (and Parvan days)

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

20. Yogini Kunda (South-west of Sagara Kunda):

YoginiPresence of sixty-four yoginis: In Yogini Kunda, sixty-four yoginis are present.
• Holy Bath: Ashwina Shukla Ashtami

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

21. Urvashi Kunda (East of Yogini Kunda):

Urvashi regaining beauty: Urvashi tries to disturb the penance of a sage named Raibhya in the Himalayas by seducing him (on the bidding of Indra). The sage curses her and makes her ugly. Urvashi asks for forgiveness and redemption from the curse. The sage tells her to take bath in a Kunda in Ayodhya. After taking bath in that Kunda, Urvashi regains her beauty. The Kunda becomes known as Urvashi Kunda.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Tritiya

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

22. Ghosharka Kunda (South of Urvashi Kunda):

Sri SuryadevaKing 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)

23. Rati Kunda (West of Ghosharka Kunda):

Rati-KamadevaPresence of Rati: Rati Kunda is the Kunda where one gets the blessings of Rati (the wife of Kamadeva).

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

24. Kusumayudha Kunda (Kandarpa Kunda) (West of Rati Kunda):

Rati-KamadevaPresence of Kamadeva: Kusumayudha Kunda is the Kunda where one gets the blessings of Kamadeva.
• Holy Bath: Magha Shukla Panchami

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

25. Mantreshwara Tirtha (West of Kusumayudha Kunda):

Sri Rama taking bath before consulting Kala: Sri Rama takes bath in this Tirtha before consulting Kala. Sri Rama also installs a Linga here. The Tirtha becomes known as Mantreshwara Tirtha.
• Annual festival: Chaitra Shukla Chturdashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

26. Goddess Sitala (North of Mantreshwara):

Presence of goddess Sitala: Goddess Sitala is worshipped to avert smallpox and other diseases.
• Worship: Mondays

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

27. Goddess Bandi (North of goddess Sitala):

Presence of goddess Bandi: Goddess Bandi is worshipped to become free from fetters or chains binding ones life.
• Festival: Tuesdays

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

28. Goddess Chudaki (North of goddess Bandi):

Presence of goddess Chudaki: Goddess Chudaki is worshipped to get Siddhis.
• Festival: Chaturdasi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

29. Maharatna Tirtha (East of goddess Chudaki):

Sacred: Taking bath in Maharatna Tirtha confers great merit.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Krishna Chaturdashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

30. Durbhara and Mahabhara lakes:

Shiva-ParvatiWorshipping Shiva and Parvati: Shiva and Parvati is worshipped near the Durbhara and Mahabhara lakes.
• Worship: Bhadrapada Krishna Chaturdasi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

31. Mahavidya Tirtha (North-east of Durbhara):

Devi SaraswatiPresence of Vidya devi: One takes bath in Mahavidya Tirtha to attain knowledge (Vidyas).

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

32. Siddhapitha or Siddhasthana:

Presence of Siddhi devi: One performs Japa and other spiritual practices in Siddhapitha to attain Siddhis like Uccatana and Mohana, as well as Moksha.
• Monthly festivals: Eighth and Ninth days
• Pilgrimage: First nine days of Ashwina Shukla Paksha

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

33. Dugdheshwara (Shiva) (Sita Kunda):

Lord ShivaSri Rama obtaining Shiva Linga from milk of Kamadhenu: When Bharata comes to receive Sri Rama after the forest exile, Kamadhenu also comes there and sheds milk. A Linga emerges from the milk and the milk flows to a Kunda. The rakshasas and vanaras in surprise ask Sri Rama about it. Sri Rama asks sage Vasishtha. Sage Vasishtha tells about Kamadhenu and the Linga of Shiva. Sri Rama worships that Linga. Since the Linga emerged from milk it becomes known as Dugdheshwara.
Devi Sita honouring the Kunda of milk: Devi Sita honours the Kunda where the milk flowed. The Kunda thus becomes known as Sita Kunda.
• Annual festival: Jyestha Chaturdasi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

34. Taponidhi Tirtha (East of Dugdheshwara):

Sri SugreevaSugreeva creating Tirtha: Sugreeva creates the Taponidhi Tirtha.

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

35. Hanumat Kunda (West of Taponidhi Tirtha):

Bhakta Hanuman (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

36. Vibhishana Saras (West of Hanumat Kunda):

Sri Vibhishana (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

37. Gayakupa Tirtha (South-east of Jata Kunda):

• Shraddha: Amavasya on Monday, even on other Mondays

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

38. Pisachamochana Tirtha (East of Gayakupa Tirtha):

• Holy Bath: Margashirsha Shukla Chaturdashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

39. Manasa Tirtha (East of Pisachamochana Tirtha):

• Festival: Bhadrapada Poornima

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

40. Mandavya Ashrama (River Tamasa) (Penance grove) (South of Manasa Tirtha):

Rishi Mandavya (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

41. Gautama Ashrama (River Tamasa) (East of Mandavya Ashrama):

Rishi Gautama (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

42. Chyavana Ashrama (River Tamasa) (East of Gautama Ashrama):

Rishi Chyavana (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

43. Parashara Ashrama (River Tamasa):

Rishi Parashara • Holy bath: Margashirsha Poornima (River Tamasa)

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

44. Sita Kunda (near Dugdheshwara) (River Tamasa):

Devi Sita • Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (Worship of Vigneshwara)

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

45. Bhairava (South of Sita Kunda):

Sri BhairavaProtecting Ayodhya: Sri Rama installs Bhairava for protecting Ayodhya.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (Worship of Vigneshwara)

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

46. Bharata Kunda (Nandigrama) (North of Bhairava):

Sri BharataBharata 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 Mahatmyam - 9)

47. Jata Kunda (West of Bharata Kunda):

Sri Rama removing Jata: After returning from his forest exile, Sri Rama removes his Jata in this Kunda. The Kunda becomes known as Jata Kunda.
• Annual festival: Chaitra Krishna Chaturdashi

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

48. Tirtha of Vira (Elephant) (North of Jata Kunda):

Defending Ayodhya: Elephant Vira defends Ayodhya.
• Annual festival: Ashwina Shukla Panchami

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

49. Demoness Surasa:

Defending Ayodhya: Sri Rama brings Surasa from Lanka for defending Ayodhya.
• Annual festival: Navaratri Tritiya

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

50. Pindaraka (Warrior) (West of Surasa):

• Festival: Navaratri

(Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

51. Vigneshwara (West of Pindaraka):

Sri Ganesha (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

52. Birthplace of Rama (North-east of Vigneshwara):

• Vow: Navami

Sri Rama (Ref: Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

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Meditation on Earth and Life: >>

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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,
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Last updated on May-2022

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