What a special anniversary it turned out to be for Krishnan and I. On September 7, 2023 we were blessed to have Ram Lalla’s darshan at Ram Janmabhoomi, Ayodhya. Our plan changed several times, but finally Ram Lalla issued his order and we came to Ayodhya Ji (as they say in North India) or Thiru Ayodhi (as the Iyengars say). How can one ignore the summons of Maryada Purushottam Bhagwan Ram?
We had contacted a young lady guide, Sakshi Upadhyay to take us around Ayodhya Ji and what a find Sakshi was ! She is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and totally devoted to Ram Lalla. When we visited Ayodhya last time in May 2018, the site was still disputed and Ram Lalla was in a tent. We couldn’t get his darshan as we didn’t know the timings. Do read my blogpost from then – The land of 7000 temples – Ram Janma Bhoomi, Ayodhya.
This time we were well prepared. Sakshi had told us to come between 1 and 1.30 so that we could go to Hanuman Garhi first. We needed Hanuman’s permission before getting Ram Lalla’s darshan. The drive from Lucknow was uneventful, the roads have become better. The taxi we had hired was well maintained and the driver knew every road there was !!
We reached earlier than planned, so Sakshi took us to the Govt guest house and the restaurant there to have tea. What a transformation. The place was clean, the tea was great and the pakoras were piping hot !
Ayodhya – A City being Remade
Every single structure is being re-made and nearly all the roads are dug up. Note : Ideally take a taxi from Lucknow and visit Ayodhya. Do not try to drive by yourself.
Watch this short video of how the city is being remade to be ready to crown Ram Lalla once again when he enters His abode on Earth (the new Ram Janmabhoomi “mandir”). Please do subscribe to our You Tube channel @90rollsroyces for many more of these videos.
We first got the darshan of Bajrang Bali at Hanuman Garhi. The belief is when Bhagwan Ram left for Vaikuntha (his permanent home), he left Hanuman behind as the Raja of Ayodhya. Before visiting Ram Lalla, we need to take permission from Hanuman. We were happy to do that !
There is no queue here, everyone tries to jostle you. I couldn’t get a great video, but managed to get a short one. Have added a pic from our last visit where Bajrang Bali can be seen fully. We went through a different entrance this time and climbed fewer steps.
Thiruayoddhi – #96 Divya Desam
For Vishnu followers like us, Ayodhya is one of the 108 Divya Desams. Here is a short video in Tamil by Thiru Velukkudi Krishnan Swami who explains the greatness of Ayodhya. Have posted some of the highlights after the video for those who do not follow Tamil.
Important points from the video above –
- Everyone must visit Ayodhya at least once in a lifetime.
- When Bhagwan Ram left Earth, everyone in Ayodhya got a place in Vaikuntha including the mud of Ayodhya, animals, plants and even grass.
- Of the seven Moksha Kshetras (places on Earth where liberation is easier) Ayodhya is the most important, followed by Mathura, Haridwar (old name Maya or Gaya), Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain (old name Avantika) and Dwarka.
- It’s believed that Ayodhya is a part of Vaikuntha and Brahma gave it to his son Manu who then placed it near the Sarayu River. Manu is preceptor of the Ikshvaku lineage in which Bhagwan Ram was born.
- The meaning of the word Ayodhya is “that which cannot be conquered” and “that which cannot be destroyed”.
Well, despite every attempt to destroy Ayodhya it survived and today its being remade so that it lives on for millennia.
Darshan of Ram Lalla
We deposited our bags, phones, keys etc at the locker room free of charge. There are two check points where every single person is frisked before entering the temporary temple of Ram Lalla. There are hundreds of devotees at any time but it’s easy to get the darshan as the crowd is not unruly.
It’s a short walk till we are in HIS presence. Ram Lalla’s murti is just 3 inches, Bharat’s murti is 2.5 inches and Lakshman and Shatrughan’s murtis are about 2 inches tall. Krishnan and I stood there for a few seconds and then moved with the queue. For some reason, we turned back and stood again in front of HIM…. our Bhagwan who has been living in temporary makeshift structures for 350+ years!!
Krishnan and I became very emotional. Am emotional as I write this, I don’t know why but I guess it’s just that Bhagwan Ram means so much to us.
On the way we get to see the work happening on the new grand Mandir. Asianet Suvarna has done a feature on the progress of the construction. It is being telecast today (Sept 12). Here is a short clip –
Jai Shree Ram ! Jai Bajrang Bali !