Ayodhya
   Ayodhya is located in North India on the Gogra River (formerly the Sharayu), just east of Faizabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the city where Lord RAMA, the AVATA R of VISHNU, was born and where he ruled. Rama’s story is told in the ancient Indian epic the RAMAYANA.
   Since the time of the Ramayana story, Ayodhya has been recognized as an important urban center and both Hindu and Jain (see JAINISM) mythologi-cal literature mentions this city and its king often. In modern times, Ayodhya has become a place of controversy because of a medieval mosque that is said to have been built upon the birth place of Lord Rama. (Because of controversy over the site the mosque had been decommissioned for many years.) Encouraged by politics, this mosque was destroyed in 1993 by fervent Hindus, commenc-ing a time of sharpened conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India.
   Further reading: Hans T. Bakker, Ayodhya (Groningen, Netherlands: Egbert Forsten, 1986); Ramchandra Gan-dhi, Sita’s Kitchen (New Delhi: Wiley Eastern, 1994); Philip Lutgendorf, “Imagining Ayodhya: Utopia and Its Shadows in Ancient India.” International Journal of Hindu Studies 1, no. 1 (1997), pp. 19–54.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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