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Ayodhya - from Ayodhya Mahatmya


Sri Rama ► I meditate on Ayodhya where Sri Rama incarnated in response to the prayers of the Devas, to eliminate Ravana and establish Dharma in the world.
► I meditate on Ayodhya where Hari abides in different forms (Vishnuhari, Dharmahari, Chandrahari, Chakrahari and Guptahari).

Puranic Events:

1. Chakratirtha (River Sarayu) (Vishnuhari):

Sri VishnuVishnu Sharma performing penance: A brahmin by name Vishnu Sharma performed austere penance in Ayodhya worshipping Lord Vishnu and reciting the Dwadasakshari Mantra (Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya). Three years elapsed. One day when the brahmin eulogized Lord Vishnu, the Lord appeared before him and gave him the boon. The Lord created a Tirtha there with his Sudarshana Chakra and brought the waters of river Ganges. This Tirtha became known as Chakratirtha. Vishnu Sharma established an image of the Lord there for worship after his name. The image became known as Vishnuhari.
• Annual festival: Karthika Shukla Dashami to Poornima

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 1)

2. Brahma Kunda (East of Chakratirtha):

Sri Vishnu Sri BrahmaBrahma worshipping Lord Vishnu: Brahma heard that Lord Vishnu is stationed in Ayodhya. He came there and performed its pilgrimage. Then he created a Kunda and worshipped Lord Vishnu. The Kunda became known as Brahma Kunda. The devas took bath in that Kunda and became pure. They asked about it to Lord Brahma in wonder. Lord Brahma narrated the glory of the Kunda to them.
• Annual festival: Karthika Shukla Chaturdasi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

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

Sri VishnuSage Lomasha becoming free of debts: A sage named Lomasha came to Ayodhya and during his pilgrimage took bath in a Tirtha. After this bath he became free from his debts. He proclaimed the glory of the Tirtha which became known as Rinamochana Tirtha.

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

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

Sri VishnuNarahari becoming free of sins: A brahmin named Narahari fell in bad company and committed many sins in life. Once he came to Ayodhya in the company of some good people and took bath in a Tirtha. He became free from his sins and went to Vishnu Loka. The Tirtha became known as Papamochana Tirtha.
• Holy Bath: Magha Krishna Chaturdashi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 2)

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

Sri AdiseshaLakshmana returning to his divine abode: When his time of departure came near, Sri Rama called Kala and discussed with him about his departure. He resolved to punish anyone who saw their discussion. During that time sage Durvasa came and asked for food immediately. Lakshmana informed Sri Rama (for the fear of the curse of the sage). Sri Rama sent of Kala and fed sage Durvasa extending his hospitality. As a punishment he abandoned Lakshmana. 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.
• Annual festival: Shravana Shukla Panchami
• Holy bath: Vaishakha

(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 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 are 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 abandoned his body and entered the abode of Vishnu (with his brothers). As Lord Vishnu, Sri Rama told Brahma to bestow higher Lokas to his followers who were devoted to him. Lord Brahma told about Santanika Loka which he decided to bestow them. Lord Brahma then took them to another Tirtha known as Gopratara Tirtha where the residents of Ayodhya abandoned their bodies and attained 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.).

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

Chandradeva performing penance: Knowing the greatness of Swargadwara, Chandradeva performed penance there and secured the grace of Lord Vishnu. Chandradeva installed an image of Lord Vishnu and worshipped it. The image became known as Chandrahari.
• Chandra Sahashra Vrata and Udyapana (performed when a man's life spans thousand moons, i.e. 83 years and 4 months)

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 3)

7. Dharmahari (South-east of Chandrahari):

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 4)

8. Swarnakhani (South of Dharmahari):

Lakshmi-KuberaKubera showering gold: King Raghu, an ancestor of Sri Rama performed a Viswajit yagna in which he donated everything. Sage Kautsa came during that time and asked for gold from him to give guru dakshina to sage Vishwamitra. However, seeing that the king had given away everything in yagna, the sage decided to approach someone else. King Raghu told him to wait and went to conquer Kubera. Kubera out of fear showered a rain of gold in Ayodhya which became known as Swarnakhani. Kautsa took only whatever was required by him and blessed the king.
• Annual festival: Vaishakha Shukla Dwadasi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 5)

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

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 5)

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

Devi SitaDevi Sita creating Kunda: Devi Sita created a Kunda. Sri Rama conferred great merit to it. The Kunda became known as Sita Kunda.
• Holy Bath: Margashirsha Krishna Chaturdashi

(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 defeated the devas. The devas started fleeing. Hara stopped the devas and took them to Lord Vishnu in the milky ocean along with Brahmadeva. There, Hara started eulogizing the Lord. Lord Vishnu became pleased and said that he will perform penance secretly to increase the strength of the devas. Thereafter the Lord came to the bank of river Sarayu to perform his penance. The place where the Chakra of the Lord fell became known as Chakrahari. The place where the Lord performed his penance secretly became known as Guptahari. Due to the penance of the Lord, the devas gained strength and defeated the asuras. Thereafter, the devas came to Guptahari and worshipped the Lord. Lord Vishnu granted them the boon of protection and narrated the glory of that place.
• Annual festival of Guptahari: Kathika (Poornima)
• Annual festival of Chakrahari: Margashirsha Shukla Ekadasi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 6)

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

Presence of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva: The confluence of River Sarayu and River 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

(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 came, he went to Swargadwara. The residents of Ayodhya as well as the vanaras and rakshasas devoted to him followed him. He gave up his body there and returned to the abode of Lord Vishnu. Thereafter, as 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. Thereafter Brahmadeva took them to Gopratara Tirtha. The residents gave up their bodies there and attain the higher Loka.
• Holy Bath: Karthika

(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 performed the Putresthi yagna on the bank of river Sarayu. The Kratubhuk appeared 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: Aashwina Shukla Ekadasi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

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

Sri BrihaspatiBrihaspati performing yagna: Brihaspati performed a yagna beside a Kunda which became known as Brihaspati Kunda. The devas took bath there.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami
• Holy Bath: Thursday

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

16. Rukmini Kunda (South of Brihaspati Kunda):

Devi RukminiDevi Rukmini creating Kunda: Devi Rukmini created a Kunda. Lord Vishnu conferred boon on it. This Kunda became known as Rukmini Kunda
• Annual festival: Karthika Krishna Navami

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

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

Devi LakshmiVishwamitra giving boon to a yaksha: Vishwamitra confiscated the wealth of king Harischandra and posted a yaksha to guard it. By his devoted service sage Vishwamitra became pleased and gave him two boons. First, he removed the foul smell of his body and second he made the Tirtha famous after his name. The Tirtha became 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)

(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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

19. Sagara Kunda (West of Vasishtha Kunda):

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

(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: Aashwina Shukla Ashtami

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

21. Urvashi Kunda (East of Yogini Kunda):

Urvashi regaining beauty: Urvashi tried to disturb the penance of a sage named Raibhya in the Himalayas by seducing him (on the bidding of Indra). The sage cursed her and made her ugly. Urvashi asked for forgiveness and redemption from the curse. The sage told her to take bath in a Kunda in Ayodhya. After taking bath in that Kunda, Urvashi regained her beauty. The Kunda became known as Urvashi Kunda.
• Annual festival: Bhadrapada Shukla Tritiya

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 7)

22. Ghosharka Kunda (South of Urvashi Kunda):

Sri SuryadevaKing Ghosha worshipping Suryadeva: King Ghosha of the Solar race went for hunting in the forest. His hands became infested with worms which is an inauspicious sign. The king became devoid of pride. With the guidance of holy men, he took bath in a Kunda. His body became full of divine splendour. Ghosha eulogized the Sun God reciting its stotra. The Sun god appeared before him and gave him an idol for worshipping. Ghosha installed that idol. The Kunda became known as Ghosharka Kunda.
• Holy Bath: Sundays, Bhadrapada or Magha Shukla Shasthi, Pausha Sundays specially on seventh day.

(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).

(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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

25. Mantreshwara Tirtha (West of Kusumayudha Kunda):

Sri Rama taking bath before consulting Kala: Sri Rama took bath in this Tirtha before consulting Kala. Sri Rama also installed a Linga there. The Tirtha became known as Mantreshwara Tirtha.
• Annual festival: Chaitra Shukla Chturdashi

(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

(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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

28. Goddess Chudaki (North of goddess Bandi):

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

29. Maharatna Tirtha (East of goddess Chudaki):

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

(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

(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).

(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 Aashwina Shukla Paksha

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

33. Dugdheshwara (Shiva) (Sita Kunda):

Lord ShivaSri Rama obtaining Shiva Linga from milk of Kamadhenu: When Bharata came to receive Sri Rama after the forest exile, Kamadhenu also came there and shed milk. A Linga emerged from the milk and the milk flowed to a Kunda. The rakshasas and vanaras in surprise asked Sri Rama about it. Sri Rama asked sage Vasishtha. Sage Vasishtha told about Kamadhenu and the Linga of Shiva. Sri Rama worshipped that Linga. Since the Linga emerged from milk it became known as Dugdheshwara.
Devi Sita honouring the Kunda of milk: Devi Sita honoured the Kunda where the milk flowed. The Kunda thus became known as Sita Kunda.
• Annual festival: Jyestha Chaturdasi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

34. Taponidhi Tirtha (East of Dugdheshwara):

Sri SugreevaSugreeva creating Tirtha: Sugreeva created the Taponidhi Tirtha.

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

35. Hanumat Kunda (West of Taponidhi Tirtha):

Bhakta Hanuman (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

36. Vibhishana Saras (West of Hanumat Kunda):

Sri Vibhishana (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 8)

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

• Shraddha: Amavasya on Monday, even on other Mondays

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

38. Pisachamochana Tirtha (East of Gayakupa Tirtha):

• Holy Bath: Margashirsha Shukla Chaturdashi

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

39. Manasa Tirtha (East of Pisachamochana Tirtha):

• Festival: Bhadrapada Poornima

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

Rishi Mandavya (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

Rishi Gautama (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

Rishi Chyavana (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

43. Parashara Ashrama (River Tamasa):

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

45. Bhairava (South of Sita Kunda):

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

Sri BharataBharata creating Kunda: Bharata created the Bharata Kunda at Nandigrama, where he lived like an ascetic and ruled Ayodhya for fourteen years when Sri Rama was in forest exile.

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

47. Jata Kunda (West of Bharata Kunda):

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 9)

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

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

49. Demoness Surasa:

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

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

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

• Festival: Navaratri

(Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

51. Vigneshwara (West of Pindaraka):

Sri Ganesha (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)

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

• Vow: Navami

Sri Rama (Ayodhya Mahatmyam - 10)


Sri Rama Ayodhya: Ayodhya (Ayodhya district): Sri Rama incarnated, Sri Rama ruled, Sri Rama returned to abode, Sri Rama liberated residents, different forms of Hari abide, a Moksha Puri, a Divya Desam
Thiru Ayodhi Divya Desam [DD-65] → Ayodhya

• Puranic References:
Valmiki Ramayana (VR) → About Incarnation of Sri Rama at Ayodhya (Ayodhya)
Skanda Purana - Ayodhya Mahatmya (AM) → About Ayodhya (Ayodhya Mahatmya)
► Period before Sri Rama 1. Lord Vishnu abides as different forms of Hari in Ayodhya (Vishnuhari, Dharmahari, Chandrahari, Chakrahari and Guptahari). (AM)
2. Manu built the city of Ayodhya. (VR)
► Period before Sri Rama 1. Various kings of the Ikshwaku dynasty ruled from Ayodhya. (VR)
► Period of Sri Rama 1. King Dasharatha performed Ashwamedha and Putrakameshti yagnas near Ayodhya. (VR)
2. Sage Vasishtha who is the kulaguru of Rama's dynasty, guided the various yagnas held near Ayodhya. (VR)
3. Sage Rishyashringa presided over the Putrakameshti yagna of king Dasharatha near Ayodhya. (VR)
4. Sri Rama incarnated in Ayodhya (Ram Janambhoomi). (VR)
5. Bharata ruled the kingdom with Rama's padukas from Nandigrama near Ayodhya. (VR)
6. Sri Rama ruled his kingdom for 11000 years with Ayodhya as capital (Ram Rajya). (AM)
7. Sage Valmiki composed Valmiki Ramayana (near Ayodhya). (VR)
8. Sons of Sri Rama, Lava and Kusha sang the Ramayana in Ayodhya. (VR)
9. Sri Rama returned to the abode of Vishnu from Ayodhya (Swargadwara Tirtha). (AM)
10. Sri Rama bestowed higher Lokas to the residents of Ayodhya (Gopratara Tirtha). (AM)
► Period of Saints 1. Tulsidas (1497/1532 - 1623 CE) composed the Ramcharitmanas in Ayodhya.

• Sacred Geography: River Sarayu, River Tamasa
• Stotras: Nama Ramayanam, Ramayan Manka, Saryu Aarti, Sapta Mokshapuri
• Festivals: Rama Navami

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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.

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

Last updated on Jul-2023

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