Ayodhya (Hindustani: [əˈjoːdʱjaː] ; IAST: Ayodhyā) is a city situated on the banks of the Sarayu river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the administrative headquarters of the Ayodhya district as well as the Ayodhya division of Uttar Pradesh, India.Ayodhya was historically known as Saketa. The early Buddhist and Jain canonical texts mention that the religious leaders Gautama Buddha and Mahavira visited and lived in the city. The Jain texts also describe it as the birthplace of five tirthankaras namely, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinatha and Anantanatha, and associate it with the legendary Bharata Chakravarti. From the Gupta period onwards, several sources mention Ayodhya and Saketa as the name of the same city. The legendary city of Ayodhya, popularly identified as the present-day Ayodhya, is identified in the epic Ramayana and its many versions as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama of Kosala and is hence regarded as the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The Ayodhya dispute was centered on the Babri mosque, built 1528–29 under the Mughal emperor Babur and said to have replaced a temple that stood at the birth spot of Rama. In 1992 a Hindu mob demolished the mosque, provoking riots throughout the country. In 2019 the Supreme Court of India ruled that the land belonged to the government per tax records, and ordered it to be handed over to a trust to build a Hindu temple. It also ordered the government to give an alternative 2.0 hectares (5 acres) of land to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board to build another mosque in Dhannipur. The construction of Ram Mandir commenced in August 2020 and the temple was consecrated with the deity of Balak Ram on 22 January 2024.


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