Amazing Ayodhya: The Splendid Ancient City of Lord Rama; Author: Neena Rai, Publisher: Bloomsbury, Rs 499.00
We all grew up listening to stories from the Ramayana – how Bhagwan Rama was sent to exile, how he killed Ravana, why he was revered as Maryada Purushottam and many such tales. Whenever I heard these tales, I would often imagine how the palaces in Ayodhya were back then. Were they like the grand forts in Udaipur or like the ones shown in TV serials revolving around The Ramayana?
But look no further for the solutions because the fabulous and extensively researched book – Amazing Ayodhya authored by Neena Rai answers all such questions you too might have had! Written in cogent and lucid language, the book not only presents before your eyes a picture of how the abode of Bhagwan Rama was in the ancient times, but also speaks of other things like, the architecture, planning and layout.
Teeming with explanations of shlokas from the Valmiki Ramayana and comparison of Ayodhya to other civilisations makes the readers feel connected and hooked to every detail. Although the book traverses Ayodhya through the verses of Valmiki, it is not merely a translation. The author craftily uses Granthas, Samhitas and other esteemed books of Hindu cosmology to lay foundation to the shlokas she uses. For instance, relating the city road planning to the Vaastu Shastras. Many people recite shlokas without understanding its significance. The book points out the mathematical and spiritual significance. I must admit that after reading this book, I realised how our ancestors were superior to us in everything – security, road planning, science and logic. This book busts many misconceptions regarding the land of Ayodhya. No, it’s not a city or a kingdom and the reason has also been very well explained in the book. The facts presented by our author from the Vishnu Purana, Vimana Shastra and Valmiki Ramayana will truly amaze you to the core! Knowing the demographic details and the history of the times a person lived in helps us know the person better. Hence this book does bring one close to Bhagwan Rama.
I recommend this book to everyone right from children to elderly folks, every individual can grasp this in a very efficient way. Kudos to the simplified English which the author uses to help better understand the concepts!