Lord Rama was born and had many of his pastimes here. His
pastimes are explained in the famous Ramayana. It is a very holy city and
is an important pilgrimage site. It is one of the seven main holy cities in
India. It is on the banks of the Gogra (Ghaghara or Saryu) River, bathing
in which is supposed to destroy even the sin of killing a Brahmin.
On 6 December 1992, the Babri Masjid mosque (15th
century) that was located at what is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama
was destroyed by a large group of Hindus. After this there were riots in
different places in India, during which many people were killed. Since then the
town has been peaceful.
Rama Janma Bhoomi is where Lord Rama is said to have taken birth. There is a
small Lord Rama Temple here. A steady stream of pilgrims come here each day.
Open 7 to 10 am and 2 to 5 pm.
There is a heavy security check here, and they even ask to
see your passport. They search you thoroughly, even worse than at an airport.
Cameras are prohibited and you are not supposed to bring even a pen in with you.
At this location there used to be the Babri Mosque, which
was constructed in the 15th century by the Mughals. It was not used very much
and was eventually closed. In 1990, different Hindu groups wanted to build a
Rama temple in its place. Some fighting broke out between Hindus and Muslims.
Armed guards then surrounded the mosque. In 1992 Hindus destroyed the mosque and
built a small temple in its place, with deities of Sita and Rama. At the present
time there are plans to build a grand Rama Temple here. The government owns the
land, but nothing has been decided about it yet.
Ayodhya is pre-eminently a city of temples yet, all places of
worship here, are not only of Hindu religion. At Ayodhya several religions have
grown and prospered simultaneously and also at different periods of time in the
Remnants of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam can still be found in Ayodhya.
According to Jain tradition, five Tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya, including
Adinath (Rishabhadeva) the 1st Tirthankar.
It was the venue of many an event in Hindu mythology, today
pre-eminently a temple town,