Ayodhya beyond sundown: Lights, laughter and lots more! - Hindustan Times
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Ayodhya beyond sundown: Lights, laughter and lots more!

Jan 13, 2024 08:14 AM IST

The transformation of Ayodhya into a city with a thriving evening scene, has added a dynamic dimension to its cultural landscape. Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, Naya Ghat, Ram Path, Guptar Ghat and Surajkund have emerged as lively hubs, say tourists

AYODHYA Once known for its tranquil ambience, Ayodhya has now embraced a lively evening atmosphere. It’s vibrance emanates from iconic spots like Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, Nayaghat, Ram Ki Paidi, Ram Path and the Suraj Kund- Guptar Ghat stretch that is abuzz with activity till midnight. People are seen taking selfies, enjoying ice cream and street food till late at night.

People seen taking selfies, enjoying ice cream and street food till late at night. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
People seen taking selfies, enjoying ice cream and street food till late at night. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

The transformation has infused newfound vigour into Ayodhya’s evenings, providing residents and visitors with opportunities to engage in various leisurely pursuits, socialize, and enjoy the city’s dynamic cultural scene after the sun sets.

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Ashok Kumar, a street vendor operating a food stall near Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, said: “Now, Ayodhya has an active evening life. Places like Lata Mangeshkar chowk, Naya Ghat and Ram Path are vibrant till 11pm while Guptar Ghat and Suraj Kund are also crowded till late in the evening. Street vendors are doing good business.”

“From Lata Mangeshkar Chowk to Naya Ghat, you’ll come across an array of delectable delights that capture the essence of the region. The aroma of chaat is likely to draw you in. I urge people to take a stroll through the vibrant streets here,” said Girishpati Tripathi, Ayodhya mayor.

“The transformation of Ayodhya into a city with a thriving evening scene, has added a dynamic dimension to its cultural landscape. Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, Naya Ghat, Ram Path, Guptar Ghat and Surajkund have emerged as pulsating hubs that come alive with activity. These places have become more than just geographical locations; they are now vibrant social centres, attracting locals and tourists alike,” said Surendra Tripathi, a religious tourist from Delhi, taking a selfie near Lata Mangeshkar Chowk.

Former corporator of Ayodhya Municipal Corporation Nandlal Gupta said: “Lata Mangeshkar Chowk, with its eclectic mix of stalls, cafes, and cultural spaces, has become a bustling meeting point as the sun sets. People gather here to unwind after a day’s work. Naya Ghat, located along the serene waters, provides a picturesque backdrop for night strolls and casual gatherings. You can also see people taking selfies even at night. The unique blend of serenity and vibrancy has changed the way Ayodhya used to live five years back.”

The 13-km Ram Path stands as a living testament to Ayodhya’s evolution. Diverse street food, local crafts and shopping options here cater to a broad spectrum of preferences. As the evening progresses, the lively atmosphere persists, with street vendors and traders extending their business hours to cater the growing crowd.

Guptar Ghat in Ayodhya is a serene and enchanting location that encapsulates the timeless beauty and spiritual significance of the ancient city.

Divisional commissioner of Ayodhya Gaurav Dayal said, “Ayodhya’s night life is not merely a consequence of urban development, but a reflection of a city that cherishes its cultural heritage while embracing modernity.”

Ram Sunder Das from Odisha, who was in Ayodhya for darshan of Lord Ram, said: “I had a notion that Ayodhya is a city that sleeps early, but the energy in these locales continues well into the night. As the clock approaches 11pm, the city’s charm doesn’t wane; instead, it takes on a different hue. The illuminated ghats and architectural wonders, along the riverfront, create a mesmerizing scene, casting Ayodhya in a soft, ethereal glow.”

Principal secretary (culture and urban development) Mukesh Meshram said, “The state government has played a crucial role in promoting Ayodhya as more than just a religious destination. Initiatives to beautify public spaces, organising cultural events and ensuring safety have contributed to the city’s charm. Locals have embraced this change, recognizing the potential for economic growth. Entrepreneurs have opened cafes, shops, and boutiques, adding contemporary flair to Ayodhya’s traditional landscape.”

“Besides, tourism has played a pivotal role in shaping the city’s vibrant evenings. Today, visitors across the globe are drawn not only to the religious sites here, but also to experience its unique blend of spirituality and entertainment. The word has spread about Ayodhya’s enchanting evenings and nights, attracting a diverse audience eager to partake in the city’s cultural renaissance,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

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