Experience Ayodhya like never before - Hindustan Times

Experience Ayodhya like never before

Jan 18, 2024 04:17 PM IST

According to the data shared by travel agencies, Ayodhya is on the top of travellers' bucket list. Here are the unique aspects and destinations in Ayodhya.

One of the biggest travel trend of 2024 is spiritual tourism. According to travel aggravators, there is a recorded 97% growth in the searches for spiritual destinations in the last two years. Ayodhya saw 585% rise in the searches and from India it went up to 1806% since the inauguration announcement. According to Make My Trip, there is a heightened interest in Ayodhya globally with maximum search contribution coming from USA, Gulf, Canada, Nepal and Australia.

According to various estimates, Ram Temple in Ayodhya is likely to see traffic of between 300,000 to 700,000 people in the first week post inauguration.
According to various estimates, Ram Temple in Ayodhya is likely to see traffic of between 300,000 to 700,000 people in the first week post inauguration.

According to various estimates, the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is likely to see traffic of between 300,000 to 700,000 people in the first week post inauguration. To bring you the most fascinating elements from Ayodhya, we speak to Dikshu Kukreja, master planner of Ayodhya city.

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Talking about the most unique features of the city, he says, “The Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra stands as a unique testament to the revival of Ayodhya's old-world charm, reminiscent of the legendary tales of Ram Nagari and Ram Rajya.”

Rejuvenation of the legendary spots

The authorities have rejuvenated Sarayu riverfront which has a special mention in Ramayana. Also known as Ghagra, Rama along with the residents of Ayodhya, went to Vaikunth lok from this river and became deities in the heaven afterwards. “There is a rejuvenation of the Sarayu Riverfront, restoration of 108 kunds (watre bodies) and the establishment of green spaces, including a spiritual forest. An extraordinary aspect lies in the construction of the Ram Mandir, where approximately 4.75 lakh cubic feet of Rajasthan's Bansi Paharpur stone (popular for its shine and longetivity) has been employed, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship of around 1,200 artisans engaged in carving these stones both in Rajasthan and at the Ayodhya workshop run by the trust," says Kukreja.

The choice of stone over iron or cement ensures the temple's earthquake resistance. “Another unique aspect is the development of Ramayana Forest, an ecological forest on the banks of the Sarayu River that promises to be a cultural landmark, preserving and celebrating the rich heritage associated with Ayodhya and the Ramayana. The forest will showcase the lifestyle of lord Ram during the 14 years of exile and the rich tapestry of the Ramayana,” says Kukreja.

The must visit locations

As you wander through the old town, the enchanting Lata Mangeshkar Chowk captures the essence of historical richness. A 40 feet-long, 12-metre-high, 14-tonne classical Indian instrument Veena along with a lotus has been installed at this Chowk near Naya Ghats. Designed by Ram Vanji Sutar, the same sculptor who designed the world’s tallest statue – the Statue of Unity belonging to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – in Gujarat.

Explore the spiritually significant Panch Kosi and 14-Kosi Parikramas, pilgrimage routes that lead through the sacred landscapes of Ayodhya. During Kartik Purnima, the city will come alive with the vibrant Kartik Mela, infusing the air with festive fervor.

Discover the architectural marvel of Sugreev Mahal and witness the spiritual ambiance at Ram Ki Paidi, a series of ghats along the banks of the Saryu River.

Kanak Bhawan, located in Tulsi Nagar near Ram Janmabhoomi, is a revered temple dedicated to Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, showcasing intricate craftsmanship.

Ayodhya is adorned with various temples, including the revered Hanumangarhi, Nageshwar Nath Temple, and the exquisite Birla Temple, each narrating a unique story of devotion.

Tulsi Smarak Bhawan adds another layer to Ayodhya's cultural tapestry, honoring the great poet-saint Tulsidas. This comprehensive journey through Ayodhya's sacred and cultural landmarks promises a soulful experience, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the spiritual and historical legacy of this revered city.

Food for the soul

Indulge in Ayodhya's culinary treasures. Begin your gastronomic journey with Tehri, a fragrant rice dish cooked with aromatic spices and vibrant vegetables, offering a taste of Ayodhya's traditional cuisine.

Quench your thirst with a refreshing glass of Lassi, for a heartier meal, savor the rustic flavors of Baati Chokha, (baati) paired with a spiced vegetable mash (chokha). T

he sweet tooth finds satisfaction in the locally beloved Peda, a milk-based sweet that encapsulates the region's sweet culinary heritage.

Explore the streets with Kachori Sabzi, a delightful combination of deep-fried bread stuffed with spiced lentils served alongside a savory vegetable curry.

Ayodhya's street food scene beckons with Chaat, a tantalizing medley of flavors and textures, and the classic Puri Sabzi.

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    Ruchika Garg writes on food, health, culture, and lifestyle for the Daily Entertainment and Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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