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Things To Do In Ayodhya
Ayodhya, a legendary spiritual center situated in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the most visited tourist places in India. The countless temples, ghats and the beautiful structures built in the Nawabi era and even after that are notable in the city. The city is the birthplace of Lord Ram and it goes without saying that it is highly revered among people of Hindu religion. Ayodhya sees tourists throughout the year coming in to celebrate various festivities. Other that visiting temples there are several other things to do in Ayodhya that you might enjoy. The spiritual ambience that the city offers is something that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Below are some activities that you might enjoy indulging in, let’s have a look.
Have a Look at Sita ki Rasoi
Sita ki Rasoi used to be the royal kitchen of Goddess Sita during the Ramayan era; later on it was transformed into a temple. In one corner of the temple, there is a model version of the ancient kitchen that existed years ago. The kitchen has utensils, rolling plates and other kitchen utilities that used to be there in Sita ki Rasoi. On the other side of the temple there are idols of Ram, Lakshman, Shatrughan and Bharat along with their respective wives. The kitchen holds a significant value as Sita is the Goddess of Food and is also known as Goddess Annapurna. Free food is served to the poor and hungry; the priests in there try to keep up the tradition of Goddess Sita feeding the poor.
Visit the Tulsi Smarak Bhawan Museum
Built in 1969, the Tulsi Smarak Bhawan Museum was built to commemorate the famous poet- saint Goswami Tulsidas Ji and it is a place that is filled with literature and antiques of the old world. The Bhawan consists of a museum as well as a library; the museum is also known as the Ram Katha Sanghralaya and houses a collection of facts, data and antiques from the time and life of Lord Ram and his era. The place also has a cultural center where Ramleela is performed at a particular time everyday for the tourists to see and it is quite popular. The structure also houses a library that has a plethora of literature books.
Watch a Cultural Show at Ramkatha Park
The Ramkatha Park is a beautiful park built in the city of Ayodhya. The city is full of temples and religious places to visit and sometimes these places get very crowded; the Ramkatha Park was built to give the locals as well as the tourists a spot to enjoy cultural activities in the open and not in crowded theaters. Now this park is used for the performance of any cultural activity taking place during important festivals. The park is quite huge in area and often various programs like devotional prayer meetings, cultural performances, poetry, storytelling and a lot more is held in the park premises. Other times this park is a beautiful place to visit with children as it is a big playground while adults simply relax.
Visit Raja Mandir at the River
Raja Mandir is a temple in Ayodhya that is associated with various mythological stories from the era of Ramayan. Inside the temple you can find several idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, decorated with ornaments and rich fabric. The temple is a fine example of Hindu architecture and is worth visiting. The temple is associated with Lord Ram and now has idols of other deities as well. The temple is situated right at the brink of the river, making it even more serene and gives a peaceful feel to whomever visits. You can also take a dip in this river as the locals say that it will cleanse your soul.
See the Famous Mani Parbat
Situated in Kami Ganj, Ayodhya, is a tiny hillock called Mani Parbat and it holds a lot of significance in the Hindu religion. It is believed that when Lakshman fell sick, Lord Hanuman uprooted a mountain in search of the Sanjeevani Booti and when he was making it back to Lakshman to give the cure, a piece of that mountain fell on to the region of Ayodhya; this very piece of mountain came to be known as Mani Parbat and is considered to be a very sacred spot. The hillock is 65 ft. high and has several shrines within the area of the hill. The hill also houses a Buddhist Monastery and a stupa that was built by emperor Ashoka.
Enjoy a Walk in Moti Mahal
Built in 1743 A.D, the Moti Mahal is a spectacular structure. It is situated away from Ayodhya in the district of Faizabad and was home to Nawab Suja-Ud-Daula’s wife Begum Unmatuzzohra Banu who was the Queen at that time. The Palace is a fine example of Mughal architecture and the grandness of the structure portrays the rich heritage of the Nawabs in a beautiful manner. The palace has a lot of cultural as well as historical significance. The best time to visit the place is during winters when it is pleasant and you can get a chance to explore the beautiful structure without tiring yourself from the heat.
Pray in the Caves of Choti Chawni
The Choti Chawni is a magnificent structure in Ayodhya that is made out of white marble and crafted in a manner that makes it unique from other structures in the vicinity. The Choti Chawni is also known as Maniramdas Chawni or Valmiki Bhawan. The structure has 34 heritage caves; 12 Buddhist caves situated towards the south of the temple, 17 Hindu caves at the center of the temple and 5 Jin caves towards the north of temple. These caves are absolutely beautiful and make Choti Chawni an example of architectural brilliance. There is a Kailash Temple in the premises of this structure which only adds to the sereneness of the place.
Take a Stroll in Bahu Begum ka Maqbara
Bahu Begum ka Maqbara is Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano's tomb, who was the wife of Nawab Suja-ud-Daula. This structure is one of the tallest buildings in the vicinity and it was built by Nawab Suja-ud-Daula to commemorate his wife. This building is best known for its magnificent architectural design and is worth taking a stroll in. The structure was built by Darab Ali Khan, the chief advisor of the Queen and from the top of the structure you can witness an entire beautiful view of the city. Begum Unmatuzzohra Bano was very dignified and revered by the people living in her region of rule; other structures in the area are also dedicated to her due to the deep respect people had towards her.
Enjoy the Atmosphere at Ram ki Paidi
River Sarayu that runs through the city of Ayodhya is considered very sacred and right by this river are several ghats that comprises of various temples and places of worship. If you go on a boat ride by the ghats, you can see some of the most beautiful sites, especially during sunrise or sunset. The ghats have many temples and you will see several priests chanting prayers and offering their prayers to the different gods present in those temples. The best time to visit the ghats is during the aarti that usually takes place early in the morning or in the evening after dawn. You can also take a dip in the holy waters of the river to cleanse yourself.
Visit Temples on the Ghat
A few kilometeres by car from Ayodhya is the Guptar Ghat in Faizabad, and on the ghat is a beautiful temple called Chakra Harji Vishnu Temple. There are various mythological stories associated with this temple making one of the most famous and popular things to do amongst tourists and pilgrims who visit Ayodhya. One such story says that inside the temple every now and often people have footprints which are said to be the footprints of Lord Ram. This temple is located right by the Guptar Ghat and comprises of idols of deities from the Hindu religion. The idol of Chakra Harji Vishnu Deity is a notable piece of art inside the temple which is worth visiting if you are close by.