Our visit to Ayodhya seemed to get longer by the hour. After an exhausting journey from Prayagraj to Lucknow during the Kumbh Mela, we lost our way in Faizabad town. Ayodhya is a short three-hour or 130-kilometre journey from the Uttar Pradesh capital. We had to add an additional hour and half to travel time since traffic in and out of Ayodhya was high (a day after Mauni Amavasya) and our driver lost the way.

Once we did reach the town, we walked from Ayodhya Gate to Kanak Bhawan. Strict traffic rules and high influx of pilgrims made me draw parallels between Kumbh at Prayagraj and this controversial Hindu town. Believed to be the birthplace of Ram, the Babri Masjid which stood on this site was demolished in 1992. A visit to this site is at least a two-hour affair through many rounds of security. It was hence pulled out from our itinerary.

Kanak Bhawan was first on our itinerary. This temple was Kaikeyi’s gift to her son, Ram, and Sita. The main shrine has three pairs of idols of Ram and Sita, in different sizes.

After a visit to Kanak Bhawan, through Hanuman Garhi Mandir, we returned to our cars to be driven to Raj Durbar and Ram ki Paidi. Ram ki Paidi is by the banks of River Saryu, which I thought was struggling to exist. This ghat is flanked by 12000 temples, most of them dedicated to Lord Ram.

We spent about six hours in this town and returned to the capital, away from the chaos. I found myself lightly infatuated with Ayodhya after the visit. Its striking similarity to Varanasi with its many characters and hues coloured my opinion of it.

Read: Photo Story: A Morning in Varanasi

Meeting Tilak Ram on our way to Ayodhya.
Prayag Milk Bar near Ayodhya Gate.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
Colours of Ayodhya, which are reinforced in every corner.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
Somewhere in the by-lanes.
Adding to the saturation in town.
The queue to Hanuman Garhi.
Through the crowds of Hanuman Garhi.
Doors and engravings of Ayodhya.
Vermillion and offerings.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
Souvenirs for pilgrims.
Around Hunuman Garhi.
Besan laddu after every few steps.
Photographing dilapidated houses by Ram ki Paidi.
More dilapidated houses.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
They just stood to pose for me at Kanak Bhawan!
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
Leaving Kanak Bhawan.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
A few temples on Ram ki Paidi.
Houses of Ram ki Paidi.
Vendor at Ram ki Paidi.
Ayodhya Uttar Pradesh©Amrita Das
He had one of the few friendly smiles in town.

Practical information:

-Ayodhya is chaotic and conservative. Please dress accordingly.
-If you wish to visit Ram Janmabhoomi, allot at least 4 hours. Be prepared for high security checks.
-Photography in the main sanctum of Kanak Bhawan is not permitted.
-Guides in Ayodhya misinform. Even though Kunal Rakshit of Experience Varanasi is not from the area, he did a commendable job in guiding us.

Read: Indulging in a Modern Awadh

Have you been to Ayodhya yet?

I visited Ayodhya as a part of the Kumbh Travel Writers’ Conclave by Uttar Pradesh Tourism and Lonely Planet Magazine India. 

Follow my journeys on Facebook and Instagram

Amrita Das

I have been a travel and culture independent journalist. My bylines have appeared in many publications worldwide including National Geographic Traveller India, Lonely Planet Magazine India, The Indian Express and World Travel Magazine. A fellow of Media Ambassadors India-Germany 2019 program by Robert Bosch Stiftung and Centre for Media Competence, University of Tübingen. Currently, I am the photo editor for RoundGlass Sustain, a wildlife and conservation e-publication. I live in India.

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8 thoughts on “Photo Story: Colours of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh”

    1. Ayodhya’s is a delight for street photographers. I did a below average job there :P And guess who inspired me to capture door arches :D

  1. Beautiful post. This blog has an amazing information about the destination places beautiful visiting spots and captures very impressive photos.

  2. Absolutely stunning photo story capturing the essence of Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh! Each image resonates with the rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance of this historical city. The intricate details of the temples, vibrant colors, and the palpable sense of devotion are beautifully depicted through your lens. Your storytelling through visuals truly transports the viewer to the heart of Ayodhya, allowing us to immerse ourselves in its beauty and significance.

    Your photo story eloquently encapsulates the essence of Ayodhya, portraying it as a city that seamlessly blends history, spirituality, and tradition. Through your lens, the beauty and significance of Ayodhya are not just showcased but felt, inviting viewers on a captivating visual journey. Thank you for sharing this stunning portrayal of Ayodhya’s soulful charm and cultural heritage.

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