Ayodhya, the ancient city resonating with the echoes of culture and history, offers a plethora of experiences beyond the grandeur of the Ram Mandir. While paying homage to Sri Ram is undoubtedly the highlight of any visit, here are some hidden gems and must-visit spots that enrich the spiritual journey in Ayodhya:
1. Hanuman Garhi: Before immersing yourself in the divine aura of the Ram Mandir, make sure to visit Hanuman Garhi Mandir. This sacred site holds profound significance in Hindu mythology and is believed to bless devotees with strength and courage.
2. Kanak Bhavan: Delve into the enchanting beauty of Kanak Bhavan, a majestic palace bestowed upon Goddess Sita by Mata Kaikeyi. Converted into a Mandir, its intricate architecture and serene ambience offer a captivating experience for visitors.
3. Dashrath Bhavan: Explore the historical significance of Dashrath Bhawan, the palace of Lord Ram’s father. Admire the intricate carvings adorning its grand doors, transporting you back to the era of Treta Yuga when young Ram graced its halls with his presence.
4. Chhoti Chhawani (Valmiki Bhawan): Marvel at the elegance of Chhoti Chhawani, constructed with pristine white marble. Recently adorned with 24,000 shlokas from the Ramayana, this Mandir complex radiates divine grace and tranquillity.
5. Treta ke Thakur: Journey back in time at the 300-year-old Mandir dedicated to Bhagwan Ram and his divine family. Witness the ancient rituals and immerse yourself in the spiritual ambience of this sacred site, which opens its doors only on the Ekadashi of every month.
6. Sita ki Rasoi: Experience the essence of devotion at Sita ki Rasoi, where it is believed that Sita mata cooked meals. As a symbol of generosity, the government has modernised this kitchen, offering free meals to pilgrims on their way to the Ram Mandir.
7. Ghats of the Saryu River: Witness the spiritual fervour of Ayodhya by attending the mesmerising morning or evening aarti on the banks of the Saryu River. The enchanting lighting decorations create a serene ambience, perfect for soulful reflection.
Must-Try Foods of Ayodhya:
1. Shahi Kanak Thali: Indulge in the flavours of Ayodhya with the iconic Shahi Kanak Thali, available at various restaurants near Kanak Bhavan, including the renowned Amma ji ki Rasoi.
2. Dahi Jalebi at Maurya Misthan Bhandar: Savour the delectable combination of sweet and tangy flavours with the famous Dahi Jalebi, a favourite of locals and even revered personalities like Yogi.
3. Madhuram Dosewala: Relish the authentic taste of onion-garlic-free dishes at Madhuram Dosewala, located conveniently near Kanak Bhavan.
4. Kachori Chaat: Spice up your culinary journey with the flavorful Kachori Chaat, available at stalls opposite Madhuram Dosewala and perfect for those craving a spicy snack.
5. Chai Portal: Unwind with a cup of aromatic tea at Chai Portal, nestled near the Saryu River at Ram ki Pedi, offering serene views and refreshing vibes.
6. Badami Kheer and Badami Poori: Indulge your sweet tooth with the famous Badami Kheer, a delicacy renowned in Ayodhya’s culinary landscape.
More Places to Explore:
Badi Devkali Mandir: Discover the ancient sculptures and divine aura at the Mandir of Prabhu Shri Ram’s Kul Devi.
Chhoti Devkali Mandir: Witness the elegance of special aartis during Navratri at the Mandir dedicated to Mata Sita’s Kul Devi.
Vashishth Kund: Immerse yourself in the sacred waters of Vashishth Kund, where the origin of the Saryu River is believed to be blessed by Guru Vashishtha.
Embark on a journey of spirituality and delights in Ayodhya, where every corner resonates with the divine essence of Sri Ram’s abode.