Ayodhya is a city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh . It is the administrative headquarters of Faizabad district in the state.
It is a pilgrim city with a rich heritage, and is identified by many with the legendary city of Ayodhya, which was birthplace of Lord Rama and setting of the popular Indian epic Ramayana. But there are disputes around this issue as some scholars disagree with this.
Ayodhya has many historical and religious attractions. Following are some of the top places to visit in Ayodhya -
- Ram Janmabhoomi (Lord Ram’s birthplace)
- Hanuman Garhi (a 10th- century temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman the monkey God, and devotee of Lord Ram)
- Kanak Bhawan Temple
- Treta ke Thakur – A temple housing the idols of the important characters from the epic Mahabharata - Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Bharat and Sugreev
- Gulab Bari – An ancient rose garden which is also the tomb of third Nawab of Faizabad (also known as Awadh)
- Ram Katha Museum – A museum that showcases a collection of artefacts related to Lord Ram and narrating the story of his birth and journeys in life.
Some of the major festivals celebrated by people in Ayodhya are:
- Ram Navami – the birth anniversary of Lord Ram
- Navaratri (meaning 9 nights) and Dussehra (10th day) – A 10-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, on her triumphant killing of the demon Mahishasura
- Holi – Festival of Colors; celebrated in March
- Diwali – festival of lights. (Also believed to be the occasion of Lord Ram’s return from his 14-year forest exile)
- Ramzan – A festival of Muslims (where people observe a month long intermittent fast)
Being a pilgrim town, Ayodhya has many markets where people can buy idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman carved in wood, metal and marble.
Apart from these, people can also shop for other religious souvenirs like t-shirts with religious text on it, key chains with Lord Ram and Sita idols and pictures of temples.
Most of these can be bought from street markets strewn across the city in different places; some markets here are:
- Ayodhya Market
- Mall of Avadh
- Ayodhya Complex
…to name a few.
Ayodhya is predominant of north Indian cuisine – wheat, rice, lentils and vegetables are staples here. Some of the local delicacies to try in Ayodhya include:
- Rumali Roti (a flatbread that is think as a handkerchief/rumal)
- Baingan Bharta (Mashed eggplant curry)
- Dum Aloo (Potato Curry)
- Paratha (Stuffed flatbreads)
- Vegetable Pulav (mixed vegetable rice)
- Rabri - (a creamy sweet dish made with milk mixed with sugar and boiled until it is reduced to one-third of its volume; and flavored with saffron and cardamom
Here are some of the best restaurants and eateries in Ayodhya to dine at:
- Makan Malai Restaurant
- Shri Kanak Sarkar Rasoi
- Thoos Lo
- Baba Bhojnalaya
- Chandra Marwadi Bhojanalaya
- Ghar Jaisa Veg
- Awadhesh Singh Dhaba
Some of the best hotels in Ayodhya for a comfortable stay include the following:
- Sri Ram Hotel
- Ramprastha Hotel
- Hotel Shane Avadh
- Rama Residency
- Beena Residency
- Kohinoor Palace
- Vaidehi Bhawan
- Taraji Resort
- Nutan Hotel
Ayodhya STD Code – 05278(to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police Control Room: 100
- Fire and Rescue: 101
- Ambulance: 108
- Crime helpline: 1090
- Child helpline: 1098
- Women helpline: 1091
Hindi is the Official language of Ayodhya.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad