After 2 nights stay at Rishikesh, we continue our journey to Ayodhya. At 6am we left Rishikesh, our driver told us, it is 650km and it will take approximately 12~16 hours.
During ancient times Ayodhya was known as Kosaldesa and Lord Rama was born here around 7100 years ago.
The time around 6pm and we still have another 150km to go.
Around 9pm we bypass Faizabad, a Muslim town. At this time I was remembered the YouTube video I watched. The video about Muslims and Hindus riot over the religious site in ayodhya and some 2,000 people died in the riot.
Around 9.30pm we arrived at Ayodhya. Our driver told us, since the terrorist attack few years ago, the security at the town are very strict.
We enter the town thru a quiet street with few dim street lights, all shops are closed and no vehicles on streets, only few army officers patrolling.
We arrived at Ram Hotel, and we had some difficultly to check in. When we give our passport for check in, the hotel manager told us, foreigner are not allowed to stay in the hotel and advice us to get clearance letter from police. He don’t speak proper english, he speak hindi which we really don’t understand. Our driver help us talk with hotel manager, after 15 minutes of talk, the manager agreed to allow us stay 1 night. We paid Rs 800 for each room.
Ram Hotel is only good hotel with a/c in Ayodhya. There is no any other hotel, except some dharmasala. The hotel is noisy with many pilgrims, staff are very helpful and friendly, even though they can’t speak english but able to understand anything we ask. As normal, at middle of the night, electricity was cut off and we were sleeping few hours without a/c.
The next day, we visited some of the important temples. There are so many monkeys in this town, the environment are so uniques, even the people here are very different and very active.
The most important place to visit are Ram Janam Bhumi, an exact birthplace of Rama. Historically it is proven,that mughals built a mosque on top of this Rama Temple in the 15th Century and it stood there until 1992 when Hindus rioted, stormed the mosque and tear it down.
The security at this temple are very strict. In 2005, this temple was attacked by heavily-armed terrorists. We were escorted by plain cloth police officer to visit this temple. I understand that, foreigner are not allowed to visit alone, a police officer will escort them. The escort is not to protect foreigner but to protect the temple, the assumption that foreigner could be member of terrorist group. Due to this, foreigner movement are restricted and always in presence of police officer. We pass through 5~6 security screening. The whole visit took less than 1 hour.
We spent the whole day in Ayodhya before we depart to Allahabad.