Diwali, a popular festival of India, has been given an enormous spiritual reverence in Hindu mythology. Known as the festival of lights, it is celebrated with great fervor in our country. On this day, people decorate their homes using lights and Diyas with joy-filled in their hearts. Gifts are exchanged and all the decorations and fun are followed by a puja ceremony in the evening, after which, people devour scrumptious meals and sweets with their loved ones.
Diwali celebrations trace their origin back to the time when Lord Rama, his wife Goddess Sita, and his brother Lakshamana returned after a 14-year exile post defeating the demon and Mayavi king Ravana to take his rightful place on the throne of Ayodhya.
So, we can say that the festival of Diwali, in its essence, symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance; light being a metaphor for knowledge and higher consciousness.
According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls between mid-October and mid-November. In 2021, Diwali will be celebrated on November 04.
According to this legend, when Goddess Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Lord Rama had to make an impossible journey to the land of Sri Lanka situated deep down south to save her.
And on his journey, he found many trustworthy followers like Lord Hanuman and the Vanar Sena who helped Lord Rama to free his beloved wife from the demon king Ravana.
Another mythological remnant of history states that it was on this day in Dwaparayuga when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. The demon was the king of Pragjyotishapura and his death by the hands of Lord Krishna freed 16,000 women held in his captivity. Thus, the festival of Diwali is celebrated as a triumph of good over evil.
There are many Hindus who associate the Diwali festival in India with Goddess Lakshmi. The legends suggest that it was on this day when Goddess Lakshmi was born from the epic Samudra Manthan, the churning of the cosmic ocean of milk by the Gods (Devas) and the Asuras (Demons). This is a very ancient legend and traces its roots back to many Puranas. One such Purana which mentions this, in particular, is the Padma Purana.
It has been mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit texts that the Hindu festival of Diwali has also been considered as the onset of the harvest season in India. Padma Purana and Skanda Purana mention this fact.
What is more intriguing is that Diwali has also been explained by many foreign travelers and historians. For example, in the 11th century, a Persian traveler named Al Biruni mentioned this festival in his life memoir as the festival celebrated by the Hindu people on the New Moon day in the Kartika month.
Apart from that, a Venetian merchant by the name of Niccolò de' Conti also mentioned Diwali in his memoir in the 15th century.
Diwali is celebrated for five days in total, starting from Dhanteras leading to the day of Diwali itself and then Bhai Dooj. Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are majorly worshipped on Diwali because they are meant to bring loads of happiness, wealth, and good luck to the families.
Apart from that, the bazaars and homes are decorated with great pomp and show. People light Diyas and make rangolis with great enthusiasm. Coming on to the bazaars, they seem to be a grand feast of decorative items to shop around.
People visit each other's homes with a gift and an open, welcoming heart. A variety of delicacies are prepared and shared with others.
Also famously known as the Sone Ka Mandir, this temple derives its name from the Gold lit idols of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. This temple acts as one of the best places to visit in Ayodhya during the Diwali celebrations. It won't be wrong to say that on this day, the temple is decorated with a little extra delight and reverence.
It is said that the beauty of this temple during sunrise seems to be no less than a miracle. As per the legends, Queen Kaikeyee who was responsible for exiling Lord Rama had built this temple for Goddess Sita expressing her repentance.
One of the most popular religious shrines in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, Hanuman Garhi comes across as an amazing tourist attraction for devotees and tourists alike. During the Diwali days, the charm of this temple is unforgettable. As per the legends, it is said that all the sins of devotees are washed away if they visit here and pray with a pure heart.
For many, Ayodhya is considered a religious place mainly due to the fact that Lord Rama was born here. A great number of tourists and devotees flock to this destination on a yearly basis to explore the religious fervor which Ayodhya, being a spiritual spot, promises to its devotees. From Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Mumbai it is located at an approximate distance of 688, 1,899, 873, and 1,512 km respectively. Let’s see how you can reach here via the following routes.
The nearest airports from Ayodhya are the Lucknow airport and the Faizabad airport. The Lucknow airport is one of the primary airports and is situated at an approximate distance of 150 km whereas, the Faizabad airport, not a primary airport, is located at a mere distance of 8-10 km.
Lucknow airport, also known as the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport (LKO) caters to international flight connectivity as well. Named after the fifth Prime Minister of India, this airport was earlier known as the Amasi Airport. It is interesting to know that the airport has ILS CAT-III-B compliant functionality that enables the flights here to land in relatively bad and foggy weather conditions as well.
It has got very good connectivity with other major cities of India such as New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata receiving direct flights. If you have a plan to travel via air then it will take you around 1 hour, 2-4 hours, 2-4 hours, 4 hours, 2 hours to reach Ayodhya from these respective mentioned destinations. It is also to be noted that the timings can differentiate on the route and timing factors of the specific flights. And as you deboard at the airport, you can take a cab or some other means of public transportation to reach your destination.
You can consider traveling to Ayodhya from road networks as well. Here is the route on how to reach Ayodha by road.
You can also consider traveling via interstate buses to reach Ayodhya.
If you are planning to visit Ayodhya via train route then your best bet would be Ayodha Junction. It has been well connected with places like Delhi, Varanasi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Gonda, Gorakhpur, and many others.
Apart from Ayodhya Junction, another option that you may or may not want to consider is the Faizabad Junction situated at an approximate distance of 8-10 km.
As you deboard at the Ayodhya Junction, you can easily take a cab or an auto to reach your respective destination.