A Guide To Diwali 2023 In Ayodhya: Things To See, Eat And Know

Experience the city of Ayodhya during one of the biggest Hindu festivals of the country through our guide
Deepotsav in Ayodhya
Deepotsav in AyodhyaShutterstock

It is difficult to escape the hold of spirituality in the holy and ancient city of Ayodhya. As Rama's birthplace, the city where the ring of temple bells echo in the air welcomes millions of Hindu pilgrims each year. Walking through the lanes of Ayodhya is much like stepping into the epic world of Ramayana, with temples devoted to the principal deity, Rama, dotting every corner. But come Diwali, the city resounds with grand celebrations, making it harder to overlook its holy legacy.

Diwali is the homecoming celebration that marks the return of Lord Ram to his hometown of Ayodhya after his 14-year exile. The entire city is illuminated with the glow of thousands of diyas and lamps to rejoice in the celebrations. Here is a guide to all the experiences you can have in Ayodhya during Diwali.

Must Visit Places

To get into the full feel of the celebrations, let us start on a trail of some of the holiest places through the city.

Ram Ki Paidi

On the banks of the river Sarayu, lakhs of diyas are lit every year during Deepotsav celebration in Ayodhya. Usually held on the eve of Diwali, this year the celebrations will start on November 11. The grand festival every year is marked by a record breaking number of diyas being lit, that makes for a stunning scene. End your Ramayan trail here by indulging in the festive fervour. Take your cameras for all the beautiful captures for your social media feed. 

Ram ki Paidi lit up during Deepotsav
Ram ki Paidi lit up during Deepotsavsecret_temples/Instagram

Ram Janmabhoomi

The Ram Janmabhoomi, which translates to "the Birthplace of Ram," is considered the location of Ram's birth. Worshippers greatly regard this place, where a massive temple is under construction till early next year.

Sita Ki Rasoi

It is thought that Sita Ki Rasoi, located in Rajkot on the northwest side of the Ram Janmanhoomi, was Sita's original kitchen. This holy location is now a temple with some vessels on display.

Hanuman Garhi Mandir
Hanuman Garhi Mandirayodhyawale/Instagram

Hanuman Garhi

It's believed that King Vikramaditya ordered the construction of a temple now known as Hanuman Garhi. Hanuman is said to have resided here to protect Ayodhya. At the main temple, you will witness a stunning statue of a bal (young) Hanuman resting on his mother's lap.

Kanak Bhawan

Kanak Bhawan
Kanak Bhawan

One of Ayodhya's best and most well-known temples, Kanak Bhawan, is thought to have been given to Sita by Kaikei soon after her nuptials to Ram. Sita and Ram's private palace is located here.

Gulab Bari

It is the mausoleum of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula, the third Nawab of Oudh (now Awadh). The actual tomb is located in the middle of a Charbagh Garden, which also features modest water channels and fountains. The structure is allegedly connected to a boali (stepwell) in Lucknow and served as a haven for the Nawab's heirs.

Places to Eat

Restaurants in Ayodhya serve mainly vegetarian food. The few places you might get non-vegetarian food are outside the city. After the trail, you can visit some of these vegetarian restaurants where you will get fresh and tasty food at nominal prices:

Makan-Malai Restaurant: Located on NH-27, Naya Ghat Hotel Ramprastha

Shri Kanak Sarkar Rasoi: Located on Kanak Bhawan Road

Chandra Marwadi Bhojanalaya: Located on Shringaar Haat

How to Reach

By Air

The closest airport, Lucknow International Airport, is 152 kilometres away from Ayodhya. The distances between Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, and Varanasi airports are 158 km, 172 km, and 224 km, respectively.

By Train

The district's two main railroad stations, Faizabad and Ayodhya, have excellent connections to all significant towns and cities. Faizabad is 128 kilometres away from Lucknow on the rail route.

By Road

Bus services provided by the Uttar Pradesh Transport Corporation are accessible round-the-clock, and getting to Ayodhya is easy from everywhere.

Pro Tips

1. You cannot carry personal belongings (phone, wallet, charger, pen, notebook, etc.) inside the Ram Janmabhoomi complex. You can lock them up in the many lockers available outside the area, costing you around INR 40-50.

2. Book an e-rickshaw for the day, which will take you around the city. This will cost you INR 1,000-1,500.

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