Ayodhya, also known as Avadh or Oudh, is a city located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. It on the banks of Ghaghara River, just east of Faizabad.
Ayodhya is an ancient town of India, which has great importance in Hindu mythology. It is regarded as one of the seven sacred cities of India. The other seven cities being Mathura, Ayodhya, Dwarka, Haridwar, Kashi (Varanasi), Kanchipuram and Ujjain. These seven sacred cities are called Sapta Puri of India.
Ayodhya holds a special place in many historical events. We can call it as the birthplace of Lords Rama and the setting of epic Ramayana, it is also believed to be the mythical and legendary city from the Gupta period and it is also worshipped because the Jain leaders like Gautama Budhha and Mahavira visited and lived in this city.
The town of Ayodhya has great importance in Hindu mythology because it is known as the place of birth of Lord Rama, according to the epic Ramayana. In the traditional history of Ayodhya, the town was the capital of the kingdom of Kosala. There are also a number of monuments, especially the stupa (shrine) founded by Mauryan emperor Ashoka. When the town was later captured by the Sultanate and it has few surviving monuments from the era, including Babri Masjid.
Ayodhya is known for its “Ayodhya dispute”. So, what is it? We can say that it is a communal rift between the Hindu and Muslim community. This dispute basically originated decades back. The dispute is over the topic if the mosque (Babri Masjid) was built on top of a Ram Temple. And as an extreme move, the Hindu extremists demolished the existing mosque, just to build a temple on that land because they believed it be “Ram Janma Bhoomi”. This dispute has been going over for decades, and the Supreme Court of India never really had a full-proof solution to this dispute, leaving the land still in dispute.
A fun fact about Ayodhya would be that its two sister cities: Gimhae (South Korea) and Janakpur (Nepal). Janakpur became a sister city because it is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Rama’s consort, Sita. Whereas, the mayors of Gimhae and Ayodhya signed a sister-city bond because both of the cities were considered as the birthplace of legendary queen Heo Hwang-ok.
The city of Ayodhya is pretty accessible. The nearest airport is Faizabad, which is only 5 km away. Ayodhya has its own Railway station, and it is connected to all major highways.