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Travel guide for Ayodhya

Ram Mandir, Ayodhya

As the first light of January 22nd begins to peek over the horizon, the timeless and revered city of Ayodhya in India stands as a beacon, inviting travellers from every corner of the world to immerse themselves in an experience that is as profound as it is enriching. This ancient city, nestled on the banks of the sacred river Sarayu, is steeped in a history that dates back thousands of years and is revered as the birthplace of Lord Rama, a central figure in Hindu mythology and the epic Ramayana.

Sarayu (Saryu) River in Ayodhya

With its deep spiritual roots, Ayodhya is more than just a destination; it's a journey into the heart of India's soul. The city is a vivid tapestry of cultural and spiritual elements, weaving together tales of ancient kingdoms, spiritual teachings, and architectural marvels. The air here is thick with devotion, and the echoes of chants and hymns create a tranquil and electrifying atmosphere. 

In embracing visitors from diverse backgrounds and beliefs, Ayodhya transcends its geographical and cultural boundaries. It’s not just a city on a map; it's a living, breathing embodiment of history, faith, and cultural diversity. As the dawn of January 22nd approaches, the city doesn’t just beckon; it opens its arms wide, inviting everyone to be a part of its timeless story.

Getting to Ayodhya

Traveling to Ayodhya is not just a journey to a destination; it's an immersive experience of India's cultural and historical essence. This ancient city, wrapped in myth and spirituality, is remarkably accessible, catering to travellers from across the globe.

By Flight

Flights to Ayodhya

Earlier, reaching Ayodhya by air involved flying to the nearest airport in Lucknow's bustling city. The airport, approximately 135 kilometres from Ayodhya, is a gateway to this historic region. It's well-served by various airlines, offering numerous flights from major cities in India and internationally. It makes it a convenient point of entry for travellers coming from afar.

Upon landing in Lucknow, the journey to Ayodhya can be continued in several ways. Hiring a taxi is a popular option for those who prefer a personalised and flexible mode of travel. Taxis are readily available at the airport and offer the convenience of a door-to-door service.

The drive to Ayodhya, spanning about two to three hours, is an enriching experience. It winds through the heart of Uttar Pradesh, showcasing the rural landscape and the daily life of its inhabitants.

The Uttar Pradesh government recently inaugurated the Ayodhya International Airport, also called the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, for travellers who want to visit the sacred city of Ayodhya. It was opened on January 10, 2024. Currently, the Ayodhya airport has one runway and one Indigo flight that operates to and from Delhi with 180 passengers. We recommend taking the alternative, i.e., landing at the Lucknow airport and travelling to Ayodhya via trains, buses or rental cars.

By Train

Trains to Ayodhya

Alternatively, for those looking to experience India's famed railway system, there are trains connecting Luckily to Ayodhya. Apart from being economical, the train journey offers a unique glimpse into Indian life. The city's railway station, Ayodhya Junction, is a hub that connects it to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and more. The station, steeped in history, is a bustling point where cultures and journeys intersect.

By Road

Reaching Ayodhya by road

For road enthusiasts, driving to Ayodhya presents an appealing choice. The city is well-connected by a network of national and state highways, making road trips a feasible and enjoyable option. The roads leading to Ayodhya are lined with diverse landscapes, small towns, and eateries offering local flavours, providing a rich tapestry of experiences. The drive is particularly scenic and comfortable, thanks to the well-maintained roads.

Once in Ayodhya, the city unfolds its history, spirituality, and culture layers. It's a place where every corner tells a story. Every street holds a legend. As the birthplace of Lord Rama, an iconic figure in Indian mythology, Ayodhya is more than just a city; it's a living narrative of faith, resilience, and history. Its temples, ghats (riverfront steps), and markets are not just tourist spots but are integral parts of the life and heartbeat of this ancient city.

Places to Stay in Ayodhya as Tourists

Best accommodations in Ayodhya for tourists

Ayodhya, known for its deep-rooted religious and mythological connections, particularly in Hinduism, offers a spectrum of stays, from opulent hotels to economical guest houses, ensuring that every traveller finds a place that suits their budget and preferences.

Luxury Hotels in Ayodhya

Luxury places in Ayodhya for tourists

For those seeking luxury, Ayodhya's high-end hotels offer sumptuous amenities and impeccable services. These hotels often blend modern comforts with traditional aesthetics, providing an experience that is both indulgent and culturally enriching. Guests can expect spacious, well-appointed rooms, fine dining restaurants serving local and international cuisine, and, often, panoramic views of the city's historic landmarks.

Budget Accommodations in Ayodhya

Budget accommodations in Ayodhya for tourists

On the other end, budget-conscious travellers can find solace in Ayodhya's array of guest houses. These establishments offer clean, comfortable, and affordable accommodations, often run by locals who add a personal touch to the stay. The guest houses may not boast the luxuries of a hotel, but they compensate with warm hospitality and a chance to experience Ayodhya's lifestyle up close.

Affordable Stay in Ayodhya

Dharamshalas in Ayodhya

For a truly immersive experience, consider staying at a local Dharamshala or a riverside lodge. Dharamshalas, traditionally a form of religious lodging, provide basic facilities at nominal or no cost. Staying in a Dharamshala is not just about budget-friendly accommodation; it's an opportunity to delve into the spiritual ethos of Ayodhya. These places are often near temples and religious sites, making them ideal for pilgrims and spiritual seekers.

Riverside lodges in Ayodhya offer a unique experience, combining the river's tranquillity with the city's vibrancy. These lodges are often situated along the banks of the sacred Sarayu River, a significant spiritual symbol in Hinduism. Staying at a riverside lodge can be a serene experience, where one can witness the daily rituals and ceremonies performed on the ghats, listen to the gentle flow of the river, and observe the everyday life of the locals.

Must-Visit Places in Ayodhya

This sacred city, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama, a central figure in the Hindu epic Ramayana, offers a multitude of must-visit places for both pilgrims and history enthusiasts.

  • Ram Janmabhoomi Temple: At the heart of Ayodhya's allure is the Ram Janmabhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Rama. The site, currently under development, is not just a religious symbol but a place deeply woven into the cultural fabric of India. The upcoming grand temple, expected to be a marvel of architecture and devotion, is set to enhance the spiritual ambience of this sacred spot.

Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, Ayodhya

  • Hanuman Garhi Temple: Perched on a hill, the Hanuman Garhi Temple is a revered site believed to be the residence of Lord Hanuman. As per the legend, Hanuman lived here to protect Ayodhya. Climbing the 76 steps to the temple is an experience, offering a panoramic view of the city and a serene spiritual environment.

Hanuman Garhi Temple Ayodhya

  • Saryu River Ghats: The banks of the Saryu River hold a special place in the city's spiritual landscape. The Ghats (steps leading to the river) are ideal for a peaceful evening, offering a picturesque sunset view. The evening Aarti (prayer) here is a mesmerising experience, with lamps illuminating the river as devotional songs fill the air.

Sarayu River Ghat in Ayodhya

  • Kanak Bhawan Temple: Known for its exquisite architecture, Kanak Bhawan is a must-visit for its artistic splendour. This temple houses Lord Rama's and Goddess Sita's idols adorned with gold crowns, giving it the name 'Kanak' (gold).

Kanak Bhawan Temple in Ayodhya

  • Treta Ke Thakur Temple: This temple stands where Lord Rama is believed to have performed the Ashvamedha Yagna. The temple's antiquity adds a historical dimension, making it a convergence point for spirituality and history.

Treta ke Thakur Temple in Ayodhya

  • Ram Katha Museum: For those interested in the epic tale of Ramayana, the Ram Katha Museum offers a rich collection of artefacts, scriptures, and artworks related to Lord Rama's life and the epic's cultural impact.

Img title: Ram Katha Museum in Ayodhya

Ram Katha Museum in Ayodhya

  • Nageshwarnath Temple: The temple of Lord Shiva, Nageshwarnath, is famed for its association with the festival of Maha Shivaratri. It's said to have been established by Kush, son of Lord Rama, and remains a testament to Ayodhya's multi-religious heritage.

Nageshwar Nath Temple in Ayodhya

  • Guptar Ghat: Marking the spot where Lord Rama is believed to have departed from earth, Guptar Ghat is spiritually significant and offers a tranquil escape with its serene river views.

Guptar Ghat in Ayodhya

  • Mani Parbat and Sugriv Parbat: These ancient mounds offer archaeological and historical interest, believed to be remnants of ancient Buddhist stupas and Jain temples.

Mani Parbat in Ayodhya

  • Ayodhya Research Institute: For a deeper understanding of Ayodhya's cultural and historical significance, a visit to the Ayodhya Research Institute is essential. It offers insightful exhibits and research on the city's rich past.

Ayodhya’s Cultural Insights

The cultural significance of Ayodhya is immense, transcending beyond mere geographical boundaries and deeply ingraining itself into the collective consciousness of millions.

Its deep association with Hindu mythology and religious practices is at the heart of Ayodhya's cultural landscape. The city is dotted with temples, each narrating a tale from the age-old epics. The most prominent among these is the site believed to be Lord Rama's birthplace, which attracts devotees from across the globe. The annual celebration of Diwali, commemorating Lord Rama's return after 14 years of exile, transforms the city into a dazzling spectacle of lights and festivities, drawing visitors and pilgrims in large numbers.

Annual Diwali celebration in Ayodhya

Beyond its religious significance, Ayodhya offers conservation of architectural heritage. Ancient structures, some dating back to the Gupta period, showcase intricate carvings and designs reflective of various architectural styles that evolved over centuries. The remnants of fortifications, palaces, and other historical structures provide a window into the city’s past as a significant political and cultural centre.

Gupta Architecture in Ayodhya

The city’s intangible heritage, including its music, dance, and oral traditions, adds another layer to its cultural richness. Traditional performances of Ramlila, a dramatic folk re-enactment of the Ramayana, are not just a theatrical show but a living embodiment of the cultural and spiritual ethos of the city. Music forms like Dhrupad and Bhajans that resonate in the temples and public spaces further immerse visitors in an atmosphere of devotion and tranquillity.

Traditional Ramlila performance in Ayodhya

Ayodhya’s cuisine, a blend of traditional Uttar Pradesh flavours with a unique local touch, offers another dimension of its cultural identity. The local street food, with its array of sweets and savoury snacks, reflects the region's culinary history and the influence of various cultures over the ages.

Traditional Ayodhyan food

Ayodhya’s contribution to India's cultural fabric extends to its festivals, language, and literature. Scholars and poets have been drawn to this city for centuries, inspired by its spiritual ambience and historical significance.

Tips for Travelers While Visiting Ayodhya

  • Understand the Cultural Significance: Ayodhya is a city of immense religious and historical importance in India, particularly for Hindus as the birthplace of Lord Rama. Before visiting, it's beneficial to read up on the Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic that narrates Rama's life story. It will enrich your understanding of the significance of various sites.
  • Respect Local Customs and Traditions: As a place of religious significance, it's essential to dress modestly and behave respectfully. It includes removing shoes before entering temples and sacred spaces and being mindful of local customs during religious ceremonies or festivals.
  • Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Ayodhya is between October and March. The weather during these months is pleasant, avoiding the extreme heat of the Indian summer and the heavy monsoon rains. Additionally, visiting during Diwali (usually in October or November) can be a magical experience as the city celebrates the return of Lord Rama, but be prepared for larger crowds.
  • Savor Local Cuisine: Ayodhya offers a range of delicious vegetarian cuisine, owing to its religious significance. Try local sweets like 'peda' and street food delicacies. However, be cautious with street food and drink bottled water to avoid stomach issues.
  • Explore Key Landmarks: Ayodhya has numerous temples and historical sites. The Ram Janmabhoomi temple, Hanuman Garhi, and Kanak Bhawan are must-visit sites. The city is also preparing to construct a grand Ram temple, a subject of national and international attention.
  • Engage with the Locals: The people of Ayodhya are generally warm and hospitable. Conversations can provide deeper insights into the city's history and culture. However, be mindful of sensitive topics, particularly those related to religious beliefs and practices.
  • Plan Your Itinerary Wisely: Given the number of sites to visit, planning your itinerary is advisable. Consider hiring a local guide for a more informed experience, as they can provide historical context and help navigate the city's narrow lanes.
  • Be Prepared for Crowds: Ayodhya can be crowded, especially during religious festivals and events. Staying aware of your belongings and personal space in crowded areas is essential.
  • Photography Etiquette: While photography is allowed in many places, some temples and sacred sites may have restrictions. Always ask for permission before taking photos, especially of people or religious ceremonies.
  • Local Accommodations: A range of accommodations is available, from budget lodgings to more comfortable hotels. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during festival seasons.
  • Connectivity and Transportation: Ayodhya is well-connected by road and rail. The nearest airport is Lucknow, about 135 kilometres away. Local transportation includes auto-rickshaws and taxis, but be sure to negotiate the fare beforehand.
  • Safety Precautions: While Ayodhya is generally safe, standard safety precautions should be observed. Avoid isolated areas at night and keep emergency numbers handy.
  • Shopping and Souvenirs: The local markets in Ayodhya offer a variety of religious artefacts, books, and traditional crafts. It's a great place to pick up souvenirs like idols, paintings, and textiles.


Visiting Ayodhya on the 22nd of January is more than just a trip; it's a pilgrimage into the heart of India's cultural and spiritual ethos. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in a setting where every corner tells a story, and every street holds a legend. Ayodhya awaits you with open arms and a story to share. 

The city's temples, notably the grand Ram Mandir, a focal point of cultural and religious activities, are a must-visit. The temple's architecture, rich with symbolism and intricate carvings, tells stories from the Ramayana. Visiting the temple on a significant date like January 22nd might offer the chance to witness special rituals, ceremonies, and offerings, enhancing the spiritual experience.

Whether you are an avid traveller, a spiritual seeker, or a culture enthusiast, Ayodhya on the 22nd of January is a destination not to be missed.