Sites & cities that bear the name of Ayodhya


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Saketa, Sageya, Saeya

Description : Ayodhya (listen ; IAST Ayodhyā) is a city located in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It shares municipal corporation with its neighbouring twin town of Faizabad. The city is identified with the legendary city of Ayodhya, and as such, is the birthplace of Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana. The accuracy of this identification is central to the Ayodhya dispute: modern scholars variously believe that the present-day Ayodhya is same as the legendary Ayodhya, or that the legendary city is a mythical place that came to be identified with the present-day Ayodhya only during the Gupta period around the 4th-5th century CE. The present-day city is identified as the location of Saketa, which was an important city of the Kosala mahajanapada in the first millennium BCE, and later served as its capital. The early Buddhist and Jain canonical texts mention that the religious leaders Gautama Buddha and Mahavira visited and lived in the city. The Jain texts also describe it as the birthplace of five tirthankaras namely, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinath and Anantnath, and associate it with the legendary chakravartins. From the Gupta period onwards, several sources mention Ayodhya and Saketa as the name of the same city. Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Rama, Ayodhya (Awadh) has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Saptapuri) for Hindus. It is believed that the birth spot of Rama was marked by a temple, which is said to have been demolished by the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur and a disputed mosque erected in its place. The Ayodhya dispute concerns the activism by the Hindu groups to rebuild a Grand Rama's temple at the site of Janmabhoomi.

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