Ram Navami 2013 at Ayodhya

by admin on April 18, 2013

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RamnavamiAll of us probably dream of a time called ‘Ram Rajya’. A time when virtuousness reigned supreme, combined with justice for all in divine harmony. Lord Ram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was born on the 9th day of Chaitra month; hence the term ‘Navami.’ Everybody knows his birthplace: a city called Ayodhya. The name Ayodhya means ‘that which cannot be defeated.’ This ancient city is located on the banks of River Sarayu; which finds mention in the Rig Vedas three times and of course, in the great epic Ramayana.  Lord Ram was supposed to have been born on the banks of this river. A River where thousands of Ram bhakhts immerse themselves on occasion of his birthday, and worship Lord Rama, his younger brother Lord Lakshman,  and their ardent devotee Lord Hanuman.

Ayodhya houses the main Ram Janmabhoomi temple upon which the Babri mosque was built and later razed. Now only a small temple stands. This is the temple dedicated to Lord Rama’s birth.  In the centre of the town is Hanuman Garhi, where there is a statue of Goddess Anjani with child Hanuman in her lap. In the western part of the city is Ramkot; remnants of a small citadel where the main celebrations of Ram Navami are held and the place is usually adorned in various fresh flowers. This also has two ancient earth mounds known as Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat. Mani Parbat has stupa built by emperor Ashoka, while Sugriv Parbat houses an ancient monastery.  Up next is the Swarg Dwar, often thought of as the place where Lord Rama was cremated.  There is also a Tretha ke Thaku temple, the site where Lord Rama tried to perform the Asvamedha Yajnya; an ancient horse sacrifice.  This temple was built by Raja of Kullu and later renovated by Ahilyabai Holkar three centuries later, in 1784.Ramnavami at Ayodhya

Black sandstone idols of Lord Rama, recovered from the River Sarayu  can be found in the temple of Kaleram -ka -Mandir at the ghats, which also has another temple Chhoti Devkali Mandir, bearing statues of Goddess Ishani or Durga; Kuldevi of Sita. Guptar Ghat is where the other temples are, mostly dedicated to Lord Rama and his family. There is a Chakra Harji Vishnu, Gupta Harji temple and a Raja Mandir. The Vishnu temple has some ancient rock carved images of the deity. There are footprints of Lord Rama set in stone here too.

The celebrations of Ram Navami in Ayodhya consist of Rath Yatras, wherein resplendently decorated chariots are drawn across the city by people dressed as Lord Rama’s followers and soldiers. They chant prayers hailing his name and his great reign when everybody was happy.

The city itself is full of Hindu and Jain temples, Buddhist monasteries and Islamic mosques which epitomize perhaps a harmony of religions to which Lord Rama would have certainly approved. The city is thought to have been in existence since the creation of mankind and when the Gods once ruled the earth.

Ram Navami is not just birth celebration; it also is a symbolism of his triumphant return from exile, after defeating King Ravana of Sri Lanka. Though some celebrate it with a little Lord Rama in a cradle, the mood remains one of joyousness. To experience all these timeless festivities first hand and have a small journey through the passages of history, hop on to a chauffeur driven car and get to Ayodhya.  It’s just about 650 kilometres from Delhi and takes about 10 hours to reach. Wishing you a very happy Ram Navami, and a fabulous journey!

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