Ayodhya and Ram Mandir

A few pics and vidoes from my recent pilgrimage.
Went with my Wife, Father -In-Law and Sister-In-Law on a quick 2 nights/3 days trip.
Covered Ayodhya and Nandigram.

Huge crowds, a *LOT of walking, and terrible honking aside, it was a memorable trip.

Outside the Garbagruha

Day 1: We started off with a cancelled #Spicejet flight and had to instead go to Lucknow from where we took a cab to #AyodhyaDham

After reaching our homestay, we went to the Tent City where the #Pejawar Mutt had set up camp to meet Shri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamy on his Shastiyabdipoorthy. Got to see a small speech by the ex PM of MP Sadhvi Uma Bharati

Day 2: Left Early in the morning to take a dip at Guptar (Gupta Hari?) Ghat, where Rama is believed to have left for Swarga at the end. It's a bit away from the main temple area but relatively clean as far as Ghats go. Would recommend going as early as possible by Cab/auto

Guptar Ghat

Day 2: After the Ghat, we changed and left for #AyodhyaRamTemple . Since the Pejawar Matha is handling certain pujas till March 10, We were able to go in relatively quickly. The Tulu community has leveraged this advantage quite well

My Enthusiastic FIL, A.K Rao

Do note that phones aren't allowed inside as such but it's not a hard rule being enforced. If you're going in as a group, you can request that 1 person be allowed to carry. There are lockers to keep phones but not enough

The enthusiasm on the ground is something to be seen

Day 2 Evening was my favourite part of the trip. Got to be part of the Pallaki Seva and Chamara (Fan) Seva in the evening. This seems to be arranged by GSB community in tandem with the Pejawara Matha and they're doing a good job

Yours truly in red #AyodhyaDham #Ram

Yours Truly

During evening /Sayam Seva, see many performances as offerings to the Utsava Murthy
1 Pancha Vadhya (5 instruments)
2 Dance
3 Shankh Naad
A happy coincidence was that when we came, Someone was performing Raghuvamsa Sudha (a favourite of mine)
Me in red

In between all this, we also visited Nandigram where Bharata kept vigil for the 14 Years when Rama was away.

One can visit the Bharat Kund and Bharat- Hanuman Temple there but in terms of provenance it's the area itself which is Holy


Bharat Kund at Nandigram

There is another pond called Surya Kund a few km away but we didn't stop by. At times one feels that many of these temples which are a lot more recent may not be at the original locales. But one can definitely check them out.

One important temple to visit is definitely Hanuman Garhi #hanumangarhi temple. Hanuman here is supposed to be the Kshetra Palaka of #AyodhyaDham and hence a visit is a must.

But it can get insanely crowded as we found out especially on Saturdays.

We decided not go on that day (Saturday). Would have meant 2-3 hours stuck. Was thinking about skipping it altogether but the Sikh gentleman at whose Bhojanalay we had dinner told me that we would have to go there. Taking it as a sign, we decided to go at 630 am the next day.

My FIL had applied to sponsor one of the Kalashas for the Kalasha Puja being done daily by Pejawara Shri. So on Day 3, we took part in that ceremony. There was some light rain with unusually heavy wind which made it quite chilly for an hour or so

With the Pejawara Matha Peetadhipathi Shri Vishwaprasanna Thirtha who was in charge of the Prana Pratishta Ceremony at Ayodhya

Also visited the Dashrath Mahal and Kanak Bhavan both of which were closed we went at 7 am.

After a nice lunch, headed back to our homestay and then left for Chennai via Spicejet.

Here's me getting a pic with our Host . Any resemblance to the meme is coincidental

Some general info
Ayodhya is just getting ready to receive lakhs of people.
Hotels, homestays etc are going to be very basic. So keep that in mind.

There's a lot of walking, chaos and insane vehicular noise. Can get very disorienting.

Crowd management is good...

At the #Rammandir ,the crowd moves quite quickly. So even if you're in the general queue or special darshan (Don't think there's any official way for this yet) you will end up at a similar distance to Ram Lala.

Unlike say Tirupati where it can get a bit claustrophobic...

There seems to be a wheel chair service but please do reach out to someone at the temple if you're going with elderly. People are helpful there but the logistics is too complex.

All I can say... Do visit. A very culturally and historically significant temple that is going to set the benchmark for a lot of things in India going ahead.