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Ayodhya Yatra

My friend recently visited Ayodhya last week from Chennai and this is his brief post
Feed back from someone who visited Ayodhya
May be useful info for those planning the trip next month Ayodhya trip -some travel tips

We took SpiceJet flight from Chennai to Ayodhya, which operates daily flights. Flying time is 2 1/2 hours.

Ayodhya airport, though termed as an international airport, is in the early stages of achieving that status. The airport taxi is a rip off, charging Rs. 1000/- plus for going to Ram Janma Bhoomi. No Olas and Ubers and you depend on private taxi operators. Electric rickshaws are available, but they do not come up to the arrival gate and you end up strolling your luggage till the boundary gate.

The food counter at the airport offers very minimal choice.

Hotels to stay:
The city is not geared up for the exploding pilgrim traffic as branded/ quality hotels are far and few. We booked a hotel through Booking.Com and realized that it is short of a home stay though the tariff was very steep. We stayed for 2 nights in this hotel and the only advantage was it was within 2 kms to the Ram Mandir. The commute to and from the hotel from Ram Mandir was through e rickshaws only and the traffic is chaotic.

Due to heavy influx of pilgrims, they have closed the main roads leading to the Ram Mandir for vehicular traffic and only e rickshaws operate up to a drop off point near the temple.

Ram Mandir
Awesome experience inside the temple as the sheer grandeur of the deity makes one spellbound. The queue is well regulated by police/ security end to end after you enter the main portal of Ram Mandir

There are counters to deposit your footwear and separate lockers to deposit your phone/handbag etc. They only allow you to take your wallet inside and nothing else- No water bottles too.

Near single file queue is maintained from the screening area to completion of darshan. Wheelchair facility is available for the needy

The security persons are quite polite and there is no JARUGANDI a la Tirumala temple. You get a decent 10 secs view of the deity once you are near the Garbha Gruha. However, since the deity is on a pedestal, you are able to see for a longer time window as the queue progresses to the Garba Gruha.

The queuing system is good and there is nothing to crib about.

There is a separate queue for the VIPs and people coming with some references, which queue is also used by the Pandas who solicit to offer you darshan for a fee.

We went multiple times for darshan during the 2 nights of our stay and at no point of time our end to end waiting exceeded 40 minutes.
When we went in the evening around 9 pm, we finished darshan in 15 minutes.
The temple closes at 9.30 pm.
Morning, it starts from 6 am. There is a break for darshan between 1.30 pm and 4 pm or so

There is no dress code prescribed.

The total distance to be covered from start to finish will be 1.5 to 2 kms including the walking from the e rickshaws drop off point which may be kept in mind while taking elderly people. The wheelchair supply point is inside the temple only.

Outside the temple compound on the main streets, it is a deluge of humanity and nonstop screaming honks of vehicles will put you off.

If you are looking for organized food, it would be better to arrange it in your hotel/ place of stay unless you can relish roadside eateries, not so hygienic.

In the Ram Mandir, at the moment it is only the Main deity Shree Ram and Ram Lalla kept below him and there are no other deities installed yet. The temple construction work is still in progress.

Do not miss the evening walk along Sarayu River front and you can witness the Sound and light show. Lata Mangeshkar monument is splendid one on the river front. There are bathing spots in the river with only knee-deep water level and change rooms are available. A dip in the river is not mandatory and it is purely one's choice.

In the vicinity of Ram Mandir, the following important places are there, and one must visit them.

1. Hanuman Garhi (Ghadi):
This is the place Hanuman was stationed to look after Ayodhya and its people after the Avathar of Rama comes to an end. It is on a high level. Huge rush and not well regulated. Near stampede situation prevails here

2. Badasthan
This is the palace of King Dasaratha where the idols of all four brothers-Rama, Lakshmana, Baratha and Shatrughan along with their respective spouses are housed.

3. Kanak Bhavan
This was originally a gold palace gifted by Queen Kaikeyi to Sita after Sita came home as bride.

4. Sarayu River front
My Conclusion
a. Plan your accommodation and food arrangements well.
b. Be prepared to walk - 2 plus kilometers.
c. If you plan to take elderly people, I recommend to wait for an year or so till the hotel and transport infrastructure around the temple improves
Thanks for your post. We, a group of 4 women plan to visit Ayodhya on 12th April. We have not booked a hotel. Planning to stay at Birla dharmshala , AC rooms with close proximity to temple .

Any suggestions?
Thanks for your post. We, a group of 4 women plan to visit Ayodhya on 12th April. We have not booked a hotel. Planning to stay at Birla dharmshala , AC rooms with close proximity to temple .

Any suggestions?
Ram Ram
I am not sure whether you will get accommodation during that period.
Anyhow you can give a try.
Else there are a few home-stays also.

My suggestion would be to visit Ayodhya after a few days of conclusion of the Ram Janmotsav celebrations, which is planned on a massive scale.

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