Ayodhya: Festivals & Parikramas

Festivals & fairs that continue to occupy the whole year are an important hallmark of Ayodhya. Some of the important ones are- Shravan Jhula in July-August, Parikrama Mela (Oct.-Nov.), Ramnavami (March-April), Rathyatra (June-July), Saryu snan (holy dip) in Oct.-Nov., Ram Vivah-Nov., Ramayan Mela in Dec., Jan., snan on every Amavasya & Purnima. Bharat Kund Mela, Guptar Ghat Mela, Balark Tirth Mela (Bharat Kund), Suker Skshetra Mela, Makhaura Mela etc.
Ram Navami- Is celebrated as birthday of Lord Ram which falls on the ninth day of bright fortnight of Chaitra (Hindi) month in March/April. Almost all the temples of this holy place are decorated and special arrangements are made to celebrate this day. People from all over India and even from abroad throng this place. The entire city has a glittering look and a very enthusiastic festival mood where the chimes of bells alongwith the sound of conches resonate all around.
Shravan Jhula Mela- This unique festival is celebrated in the Shravan month (July-August). The festival begins on third day of the second half of this month and lasts, till the month end. As per the tradition the idols of Lord Ram, Laxman & Sita are taken to a swing and then finally taken to Mani Parvat. The swinging is joined by a vast gathering of devotees & finally deities are brought back to the temple. It is an age old tradition & continues to be followed till date with great deal of enthusiasm & dedication.
Circumbulation of important religious places is also an important religious ceremony being followed by the devotees as a regular practice. It involves paying homage to different deities in many temples that one covers in the parikrama. These circumbulations are of varying durations. Some of them are described below-
(A) Antargrahi Parikrama - is completed in one day, the devotees begin it after the holy dip in Saryu from Nageshwarnath temple then going through Ramghat, Sita kund, Mani Parvat, Brahma Kund & reaching Kanak Bhawan as its final destination.
(B) Panchkoshi- 16 km of distance is covered in this parikrama which starts from 11th day of Kartik month. It covers Chakrathirtha ghat, Naya ghat, Ram ghat, Dashrath Kund, Jogiana, Ranopali, Jalpanala, Mahatag bagh.
(C) Chaudah Koshi Parikrama - covers the religious shrines situated both in Ayodhya & Faizabad, a distance of 45 km, normally held on Akshay Navami & completed in within 24hours.
(D) Chaurasi Koshi Parikrama - starts on Ramnavami that falls in the Chaitra month of Hindu calendar.