Infobox Indian Jurisdiction
native_name = Ayodhya
type = city
locator_position = left
state_name = Uttar Pradesh
district = Faizabad
altitude = 93
population_as_of = 2001
population_total = 75000
area_magnitude = 9
area_total = 10.24
area_telephone = 05278
postal_code = 224123
vehicle_code_range = UP-42
Ayodhya audio|Ayodhya.ogg|pronunciation ( _hi. अयोध्या,
IAST"Ayodhyā") is an ancient city of India, the old capital of Awadh, in the Faizabaddistrict of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya is described as the birth place of Hindugod Shri Ram. This Hindu holy city is described as early as in the Hindu Epics. During the time of Gautama Buddhathe city was called Ayojjhā ( Pali). Under the British Rajthe city and the administrative area around it was called Oudh. It is on the right bank of the river Sarayu, 555 km east of New Delhi. The word "ayodhya" is Sanskritfor "not to be warred against". Some Puranas like the Brahmanda Purana(4/40/91) consider Ayodhya as one of the six holiest cities in Hinduism.
In the first few centuries of the
Common Erait was called Śāketa. Śāketa, or 沙奇 ( Pinyin: Shāqí) was conquered by the great Kushan/ YuezhiEmperor Kanishkac. 127 CE, who made it the administrative centre of his eastern territories. [Hill, John E. 2004. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilüe" 魏略 "by Yu Huan" 魚豢": A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE." Draft annotated English translation. [http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/weilue/weilue.html] ] The name occurs again in Faxianas 沙祗 ( Pinyin: Shāzhī) in the early fifth century. It is not clear when the name changed, but by the time of the visit of the Chinese pilgrim monk, Xuanzang, c. 636 CE, it was known as Ayodhya.
Legacy and importance
Ayodhya was one of the most ancient, largest and most magnificent of Indian cities. According to the
Hindu mythology, it is said to have covered an area of 250 km² (96 square miles)Fact|date=January 2008, and was the capital of the Hindukingdom of Kosala(Kaushal), the court of the great king Dasaratha, the 63rd monarch of the Solar line. The opening chapters of the Ramayanarecount the magnificence of the city, the glories of the monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of his people. Dasarathawas the father of Rama, the Seventh Avatarof the Vishnu. Many Hindus believe the birthplace of Rama to be in Ayodhya at the place called Ram Janmabhoomi, the site of the demolished Babri Mosque.
Ayodhya is also the birth place of five Tirthankars, including the first
Tirthankarof Jainism, Shri Rishabh Dev. He is known as the father of Jain religion. The city is also important in the history and heritage of Buddhismin India, with several Buddhist temples, monuments and centers of learning having been established here during the age of the Mauryan Empireand the Gupta Dynasty. Ayodhya reached its glorious peak as known to history during the reign of the Guptas over India.
Swaminarayan, founder of the Swaminarayan Sect of Hinduism lived here during his childhood years. It was from Ayodhya that Bhagwan Swaminarayan started his seven year journey across India as Neelkanth. Tulsidasis said to have begun the writing of his famous Ramayana poem Shri Ramacharitamanasin Ayodhya in 1574 CE. Several Tamil Alwar mention the city of Ayodhya. Ayodhya is also said to be the birthplace of Bhahubali, Brahmi, Sundari, King Dasaratha, Acharya Padaliptasurisvarji, King Harishchandra, Shri Rama, Achalbhrata, and the ninth Gandharaof Mahavir Swami.
Atharva Vedacalled Ayodhya "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself".
Ayodhya was the victim of pillage and sacking during the Ghaznavi raids and Ghori invasions. Some Hindu temples were allegedly looted or destroyed. Some believe that the Babri Mosque was constructed on the remains of a temple, but this claim remains very controversial. With Muslim rulers established around the city under Mohammed of Ghor, it lost its strategic and economic importance to
Ayodhya today is a small, rustic city with ancient Hindu architecture predominating, and with some Mughal influence. Its population is mostly Hindu with a minority of Muslims, Jains and Buddhists. However, its history and heritage hold an unequivocal importance for Hindus.
According to an 11th century Korean chronicle the Samguk Yusa, the wife of King Suro of the ancient Korean kingdom of Geumgwan Gaya was a princess who travelled by boat from a faraway land called Ayuta to Korea in 48 CE. It is commonly thought that Ayodhya is the foreign land referred to in the Korean chronicles, but some scholars believe that the foreign land may have been Ayutthaya of Thailand. The Koreans know the princess as Heo Hwang-ok, who was the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya and is considered an ancestor by several Korean lineages.
Ayodhya is located at coord|26.8|N|82.2|E| [ [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/36/Ayodhya.html Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Ayodhya] ] . It has an average elevation of 93
metres (305 feet).Ayodhya is situated on the bank of the river Sarayu in Uttar Pradesh(northern India).
As of the 2001 India
census[GR|India] , Ayodhya had a population of 49,593. Males constitute 59% of the population and females 41%. Ayodhya has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 66% of the males and 34% of females literate. 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Ayodhya is also the centre of the
Ayodhya debateconcerning the Ram Janmabhoomitemple and the Babri Mosque. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, constructed a mosque called Babri Mosque. With an efforts to revive self-respect for Hindus, the Hindu nationalistsdestroyed the disputed structure in 1992. A temple devoted to Lord Ramais said to have existed prior to the mosque's construction. A title suit on the disputed site is currently pending in the LucknowBench of Allahabad High Court and its judgment is expected shortly.
5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the site of the makeshift Ramlalla temple, in Ayodhya. All five were shot down in the ensuing gunfight with the security forces guarding the area, and one civilian died in the bomb blast triggered by the terrorists while they attempted to breach the cordon wall. The claim of police that the militants came from Pakistanhas been contested by human rights activists.
*Legge, James (1886): "A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms: Being an account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline". Oxford, Clarendon Press. Reprint: New York, Paragon Book Reprint Corp. 1965.
*Thomas, F. W. (1944): “Sandanes, Nahapāna, Caṣṭana and Kaniṣka : Tung-li P’an-ch’i and Chinese Turkestan.” "New Indian Antiquary VII". 1944, p. 90.
*Watters, Thomas (1904-1905): "On Yuan Chwang’s Travels in India". Thomas Watters. London. Royal Asiatic Society. Reprint: Delhi. Mushiram Manoharlal. 1973.
* [http://www.divyadesamonline.com/hindu/temples/delhi/ayodhya-temple.asp Sri Ramar Temple, Ayodhya]
* [http://www.khoj.com/Regional_and_Local/States/Uttar_Pradesh/Ayodhya/ Ayodhya Directory]
* [http://www.jainheritagecentres.com/uttarpradesh/ayodhya.htm Ayodhya] at Jainheritagecentres.com.
* [http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/ay/ayojjhaa.htm Ayojjhaa] in the Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.
* [http://www.bharatadesam.com/places/pilgrim_centers.php Pilgrim Centers Of India]
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