You almost desire you’re walking into a chapter of the Ramayana once you enter Ayodhya. To be honest, you are feeling such as you are literally a neighborhood of it because the Ramayana begins and ends here. To the secular world, it’d be just an epic, except for those that live and breathe the word of the sacred, Rama and Seetha still live here while Hanuman guards the town, as every temple and palace here is an ode to the legendary Ayodhya. While the town has been within the news for the dispute regarding the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, there are several temples in Ayodhya that provide it the spiritual fervor. It’s not just the pilgrims, but several tourists head here for Ayodhya sightseeing.
Ayodhya is indeed one among the seven pilgrimage towns for the Hindus called Sapta-puris. No wonder every pilgrim who visits the Kumbh Mela ends their journey at Ayodhya after their spiritual dip within the Ganga. I visited Ayodhya too after my visit to the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and that I realized that it had been actually a mini Kumbh our here because it was flooded with people and overflowing with devotion.
There are many places to go to in Ayodhya but we were here just for a couple of hours. Although it had been not enough to explore the mythical city, it had been enough to imbibe the paranormal essence of it.
We couldn’t attend the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi temple and therefore the crowds didn’t allow us to go to many of the religious sites also. However, we walked around endlessly, just gazing at palaces just like the colorful Dashrath Mahal and Janaki Mahal while taking note of chants of Jai Shri Ram.
Every monument here may be a leaf out of the lives of Rama and Sita and there are several places to ascertain in Ayodhya that form the backdrop of the Ramayana. one among the places to ascertain in Ayodhya is Treta Ke Thakur, where a temple stands and it’s believed that Rama alongside his brothers performed the Ashwamedha Yagna.
And Ramayana lives here even longer than Rama, as a temple built by his son Kush stands here called Nageshwarnath Temple, dedicated to Shiva and therefore the Nagas or serpent deities. There are several temples that are included during an Ayodhya sightseeing itinerary but we’ve time for just a couple of of them.
Ayodhya is one of those cities where I might wish to walk endlessly and lose myself in its nooks and corners. Faith and devotion oozed out of each lane. Old monuments beckoned me.
Even the ruins had a charm. There have been several temples thronged by pilgrims but the tiny shrines during a lost lane had a divine aura around them. We had time to go to just three temples but I lost myself within the colors and flavors of the streets that lured me.
The Hanuman Garhi Mandir, one among the places to go to in Ayodhya was the primary shrine but it had been the crowds that overwhelmed us. It’s believed that Hanuman sits here and guards the town as Rama had told him to try to so when he decided to go away the planet. The entire steps were so crowded with the pilgrims that we wondered if we might ever be ready to climb atop the shrine. Colorful and crammed with lore, the temple is that the hottest in Ayodhya and is one among the places to go to in Ayodhya.
Our next stop was at Kanak Bhavan. A surreal silence overwhelmed us as we walked into the palace which consistent with the lore was gifted by queen Kaikayee to Sita when she came to Ayodhya after her marriage. The charming facade painted in pastel shades fascinated me as I walked around in silence. Kanak Bhawan refers to a home or a dwelling place and although this was a palace, it’s now a temple dedicated to Rama and Seetha. It’s highly recommended together of the places to ascertain in Ayodhya.
This is where I met a couple of pilgrims who had just returned from the Kumbh at Prayagraj also and a whole family had gathered here to bond and rest before continuing their journey. Chatting with them I noticed that temples aren’t just religious abodes crammed with rituals. It’s where you renew your spiritual reference to the upper powers and energies that we call deities. Personally on behalf of me too, Ayodhya was all about forging my spiritual tryst with the Almighty.
The sun had set and therefore the Sarayu Arati had begun as we watched from the opposite banks of the river which is literally a neighborhood of the Ramayana. One among the poignant moments from the Ramayana is that the story of Guhan, the boatman who ferries Rama and Seetha alongside Lakshmana to the forest after Kaikayee demands that they are banished for fourteen years. It’s an equivalent Sarayu that finally takes Rama with it to his heavenly abode as he entered Jal Samadhi. It’s believed that this happened at the Guptaar Ghat.
There are several ghats around the Sarayu and every one tells a story. Ram Ki Paidi is near the Naya Ghats which was built recently and it gave a whole perspective of the river and therefore the ghats. It’s one of the places that are always included in an Ayodhya sightseeing tour.
While we were ready to see just a couple of monuments, temples, and palaces, it had been the atmosphere that overwhelmed. Vibrant and vibrant, we walked around markets. Every lane bursts into rich hues. I used to be lost within the old world charm but it had been the devotion and faith that overwhelmed me. I might definitely come to Ayodhya on a less crowded day for a more private and silent tryst with Rama and Seetha, Lakshmana, and Hanuman.