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Ayodhya

4.1
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Ayodhya, also known as Saketa, is an ancient city of India, believed to be the birthplace of Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana. It is adjacent to Faizabad city in the central region of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Ayodhya used to be the capital of the ancient Kosala Kingdom. It has an average elevation of 93m.Owing to the belief as the birthplace of Rama, Ayodhya (Awadh) has been regarded as one of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Saptapuri) for Hindus. It is believed that the birth spot of Rama was marked by a temple, which was demolished by the orders of the Mughal emperor Babur and a mosque erected in its place. The Ayodhya dispute concerns the activism by the Hindu groups to rebuild a Rama's temple at the site.Etymology and namesThe word "Ayodhya" is a regularly formed derivation of the Sanskrit verb yudh, "to fight, to wage war". Yodhya is the future passive participle, meaning "to be fought"; the initial a is the negative prefix; the whole therefore means "not to be fought" or, more idiomatically in English, "invincible". This meaning is attested by the Atharvaveda, which uses it to refer to the unconquerable city of gods. The 9th century Jain poem Adi Purana also states that Ayodhya "does not exist by name alone but by the merit" of being unconquerable by enemies. Satyopakhyana interprets the word slightly differently, stating that it means "that which cannot be conquered by sins" (instead of enemies).
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