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Ayodhya / अयोध्या

Ayodhya is a city in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh. It is Ram’s birthplace and is situated on the right hand side bank of river Saryu. In ancient times it was called Kaushal region. Ayodhya is an ancient city of Hindus and one of the seven sacred places. In Atharvaveda, it is said to be the home of God and its prosperity is compared to heaven. According to Ramayana, Manu established Ayodhya. It has been the capital of Suryavansh for many centuries. Ayodhya is a holy place and is mostly a city of temples. Remains of Boudh, Hindu, Muslim and Jain religion can be seen even today. According to Jain opinion, Adinath along with five pioneers were born here.

It is known from Valmiki Ramayana that Ayodhya was desolated after Rama. It is also known that before it was settled again in Gupta Period, a small town named Saket was established. Mahabharata and Valmiki Ramayana don’t mention Saket anywhere. Boudh history has mentioned Saket at number of places, though both the cities are also mentioned together([1]). Gupta Period mentions both Saket and Ayodhya. By this time Ayodhya was resettled and Chandragupta Second established it as his capital. According to some people’s opinion, in Boudh Period, Ayodhya and Saket were synonyms but this doesn’t seem true. Ayodhya’s primitive colony must have existed at that time but its glory was diminished because it was ruined.

  • According to Weber, there were many cities name Saket([2]).
  • Cunnigham identified Saket with Fa Xian or Fa-Hien’s Shaache, Huen sang or Xuanzang or Yuvaanchwang’s Vishakha but now this has found not to be true. All of it concludes that after Ayodhya was desolated, a small town named Saket settled in the beginning of Boudha Period (6th -5th B.C.). It was famous till Gupta Period and when Ayodhya was established again during the Hindu superiority time, it merged into Ayodhya and lost its individuality.
  • Saket is mentioned in “Jatak-Katha” first of all. In Nandiyamigjataka, Saket is mentioned as the capital of Kaushal or Kosal.
  • Saket is said to be 6 miles away from Shrawasti in Mahavagga [3].
  • Patanjali, in 2nd century B.C., mentions the destruction of Saket by the Greek invaders [4]. Most of the scholars believe that Patanjali mentions Minandar / Manende's (Milind of Boudh history) invasion of India.
  • Kalidas mentioned Saket as the capital of Raghu from Raghu Dynasty [5] -

“Janasya saketnivasinasto dwavapyabhootamvinandya satvo, Gurupradeyadhikanihi sprahorthi nraporthikamaadhikpradasha” [6]- in this residents of Rama’s capital are told Saket’s residents.

In “Yaam saikatotsangsukhochitanaam”[7], a garden of Saket is mentioned in which Rama stayed after returning from Lanka.

“Saketopawanmudaramadhyuvas” [8] mentions Saket.

“Prasadvatayandrashyabandheh saketnaryonchjalibihi pranemuh”

Above examples show that Kalidas believed Saket and Ayodhya as one city. In Kalidas’s time this situation would have existed as Ayodhya’s new colony was settled and Boudha Period’s Saket was included in it by this time. Kalidas has mentioned Ayodhya in a number of places. This shows Kalidas's time to be Gupta Period.


  1. राइस डेवीज-बुद्धिस्ट इंडिया, पृ0 39
  2. इंडियन एंटिक्वेरी, 2,208
  3. महावग्ग 7,11
  4. 'अरूनद् यवन: साकेतम् अरूनद् यवनों मध्यमिकाम्'।
  5. रघुवंश 5,31
  6. रघु0 13,62
  7. रघु0 13,79
  8. रघु0 14,13