Ayodhya is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at a fair distance from the capital city of Lucknow. This place is known as Sri Ram’s birthplace and has now been formulated into one of the most developed townships in the country. Ayodhya had always been an alluring site of pilgrimage for the devotees of Lord Ram and has recently emerged into an attractive tourist destination.
The Ayodhya trip has always been on my checklist for attaining spiritual satisfaction. Not just me but my parents too wanted to visit Ayodhya and explore the major attractions of this place. So, last summer, we decided to spend an entire day in Ayodhya and explore the distinct places the city has to offer to its visitors. We completed the hotel booking process through Intermiles at great offers and the first thing we did after landing in the city was head to the hotel and plan the itinerary. Once done, we got ourselves prepared for the tour the next morning. Here is how we planned our one-day tour to this heavenly destination.
Breakfast at Taraji Restaurant
According to our itinerary, the first thing we did in the morning was, went to the Taraji Resort Hotel and Restaurant for breakfast. Before heading out for the city tour, we decided to have the famous vegetarian delicacies at the Taraji Restaurant. Their vegetarian delicacies are to die for. Then, we had sweets from the nearby sweet shops that enlivened us for the rest of the day.
Visited the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple
After having a wholesome breakfast, we headed towards the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple. As I entered the premises, I saw hundreds of devotees paying respect to the deity. There was also a mosque that was built during the reign of Babur, after the demolition of the original Ram temple. There were two entrances, one for the general people and another, for the people who paid to skip the crowd for a convenient ‘darshan’. I went through a mandatory frisking before I was let into the premises and we had to leave our shoes, expensive belongings, watches and cameras in the temple locker to keep it safe from getting stolen.
Worshipped Lord Hanuman at Hanuman Garhi
The next place that we headed to was Hanuman Garhi. This place is believed to be the location from where Lord Hanuman kept a watch over the entire Janambhoomi. Here, special pujas are held every Tuesday and offerings are made in grand amounts. This place, after the temple at Janambhoomi, is the second most frequently visited place in Ayodhya. We took steps to the main shrine and witnessed several smaller shrines belonging to Sugreev and other deities. We were provided with ‘Besan Ladoos’ made of authentic ghee as a ‘prasad’.
Went for lunch at Agarwal’s Pav Bhaji and explored Nageshwarnath Temple
After having the prasad, we went to have lunch at Agarwal’s Pav Bhaji. At Agarwal’s, we had the best pav bhaji to our heart’s content. There was a perfect balance of taste in the bhaji and we were delighted with how good it tasted. Then, we went to explore the Nageshwarnath Temple located nearby. Nageshwarnath Temple has an interesting history to it. It is believed that this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built by Ram’s son, Kush to honour the faith of Nag Kanya. The historical significance of the place was the main reason for us to include it in our itinerary. But after exploring the temple, I was glad at the decision we made. My mother and I got ourselves colourful bangles from the store outside on our way back.
Enjoyed the view of Kanak Bhawan
The next destination was Kanak Bhawan. This is a beautiful temple where you can relax, unwind and appreciate the rich idol of Lord Ram and his divine consort, goddess Sita. The moment we entered the temple, we were awestruck by the extensively intricate architecture and the beautiful illustrations on the interiors and the large white marble courtyard. Kanak Bhawan has specific time slots for worship. Keeping that in mind, we visited at 3 p.m. and enjoyed the view of the Bhawan to the fullest.
Learned about Lord Rama’s journey at Ram Katha Museum
By the time I was done visiting all the revered places in Ayodhya, it was evening. And the last spot left to explore was the Ram Katha Museum. Situated on the bank of the river Sarayu, this place houses amazing artefacts that trace Lord Rama’s journey, right from his birth to his parenthood phase. The museum has a unique collection of inscribed palm leaf manuscripts, coins, shreds of tree barks and a rare set of pottery. I had a very productive time reading and exploring everything I could and came out of the place utterly satisfied.
Had Regional Delicacies for Dinner
We ended our day with a wholesome dinner at Sri Kanak Sarkar Rasoi. This place serves delectable, regional delicacies at reasonable rates. We ordered their famous thali here that consisted of hot steamed rice with a dash of ghee, Paneer Bhurji, Mixed Vegetables, Kaali Dal, and a Gulab jamun to compliment the meal. I cannot describe how satisfied I felt upon completing the entire thali. Each dish was prepared brilliantly and all of us loved our dining experience here.
Thus, this is how I spend my 24-hours at Ayodhya. Hopefully, by following my detailed sojourn, you will be able to make the best itinerary to Ayodhya and have an amazing experience.