Ayodhya

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Indian city; see Ayutthaya for the Thai city, province and ancient kingdom.

Ayodhya (अयोध्या) is an ancient city of India, the old capital of Awadh, in the Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It is situated on the right bank of the Gogra, 555 km east of New Delhi. Ayodhya literally means not to be warred against.

Contents

Recent history

However, despite its peaceful name, this small provincial city made news worldwide in 1992 when the Babri mosque was razed to the ground along with several other mosques in the city. Lal Krishna Advani, a top member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began a campaign tour (a rathayatra, or "chariot-journey") in 1990, to build support for a Rama temple at the mosque site. On December 6 1992, over a million Hindutva activists brought in by the Hindu nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, "World Hindu Council") and BJP razed the 16th century Muslim mosque, sparking nationwide riots between Hindus and Muslims that killed more than 2,000 people.Template:Inote

Hindus argue that a Hindu temple originally stood where the mosque was erected by Mughal rulers. The Archeological Survey of India excavated the mosque site at the direction of the Allahabad Bench of the Uttar Pradesh High Court in 2003. The archaeologists reported evidence of a large 10th century structure similar to a Hindu temple having pre-existed the Babri.

Mythology

In Hindu mythology Ayodhya was one of the largest and most magnificent of Indian cities. It is said to have covered an area of 250 km² (96 square miles), and was the capital of the Hindu kingdom of Kosala, the court of the great king Dasaratha, the fifty-sixth monarch of the Solar line in descent from Raja Manu. The opening chapters of the Ramayana, a religious epic of the Classical Hindu period, recount the magnificence of the city, the glories of the monarch and the virtues, wealth and loyalty of his people. Dasaratha was the father of Rama Chandra, more commonly known as Lord Rama, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, the representative of Dharma and the hero of the epic. Many Hindus believe the birthplace of Rama to be in Ayodhya at the place called Ram Janmabhoomi, the site of the Babri mosque.

History

According to Romila Thapar "If we do not take Hindu mythology in account the first historical description of the city dates back recently to the 7th century, when the Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang observed there were 20 Buddhist temples with 3000 monks at Ayodhya, amongst a large Hindu population. At the end of the 19th century, Ayodhya contained 96 Hindu temples and 36 Muslim mosques. Little local trade was carried on, but the great Hindu fair of Ram Navami held every year was attended by about 500,000 people."Template:Inote.

In fiction

The Babri riots are depicted in the 1995 film Bombay.

External links

References

fr:Ayodhya hi:अयोध्या

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