Celebrated with undying faith and spirit of devotion by the Hindu devotees, Ram Navami marks the end of Chaitra Navratri. Falling on the ninth day of the growing half of the Shukla Paksha, this festival holds a great significance in the Hindu religion since ancient times.
Primarily so because it is considered to be the birth anniversary of Lord Rama. It is believed that on this day, he was born as the seventh avatar of God Vishnu, also referred to as the preserver of Dharma, to King Dasharatha of Ikshvaku dynasty and Queen Kausalya in the city of Ayodhya.
As per the Hindu historic legends, Lord Rama’s birth was the consequence of a divine plan which was to end the tyranny of Rakshasa King Ravana and bring peace in the world. Rama Navami 2020 will be celebrated on April 2 this year i.e. four days before Mahavir Jayanti, according to the Gregorian calendar.
The mention of Ram Navami is there in Ramayana, one of the greatest epics of the Hindu Itihaas (history). It also goes by the name, Vratha Katha and notably describes how the great King Dashratha along with his Queens performed the yagna, a puja ritual for Putra Prapti (the birth of sons).
He had done so specifically on the advice of Maha Rishi Vashishth as none of his Queens were able to give birth to a son. Hindu legends say that at the end of the yagna, the Queens were given a bowl of blessed kheer to consume by the Lord of yagnas himself, Lord Yajna.
As the story goes, the Queens consumed the blessed kheer and soon conceived. Sumitra gave birth to Lord Shatrughana and Lord Lakshmana, Kaikeyi gave birth to Lord Bharta and Kausalya gave birth to Lord Rama on the ninth day of Chaitra month. Since then, the birth anniversary of Lord Rama is celebrated with great fervour by the Hindus all across the globe.
1. Bathing the Idols of Lord Rama. Ram Navami is undoubtedly one of the biggest Hindu festivals. With the onset of this festive occasion, the whole atmosphere in the country takes a blissful turn. On Ram Navami, many devotees bathe and dress up miniature idols of Lord Rama and then place them in a cradle, thus marking his divine birth on planet Earth.
2. Kanya Puja Ritual. Many Hindus perform Kanya Puja (worshipping girls) on the day of Ram Navami. As per the tradition, nine girls, who have not yet attained puberty, are invited at home and are offered prasad which mainly consists of halwa and puri. In Hinduism and Vedanata, feminine power has always been synonymous with Shakti, the cosmic energy of creation.
3. Recitation of Ramayana and His Stories. On this day, at various places like temples and even at homes, people read Ramayana and other stories from the Vedas depicting the greatness of Lord Rama. A great number of devotees also indulge in the bhakti rasa of bhajan and kirtans.
At temples, aartis and puja rituals are conducted where a great number of devotees flock in the evening. Apart from the recitation of Lord Rama stories, the festive occasion of Rama Navami is also about self-contemplation and self-reflection. Due to this, people also indulge in charitable events and activities organized on this pious day. Many people also observe fasting on this day.
The spiritual grandeur of Rama Navami can be seen at several places in India. For instance, the celebrations at Ayodhya and Samahit Sthal, Sitamarhi, Janakpurdham, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Kodandarama Temple, Vontimitta in Andhra Pradesh and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu are considered some of the most significant.
At different places in India, one can witness the rath yatra and processions of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana and Goddess Sita. In Ayodhya, flocks of Hindu devotees also take a dip in the sacred waters of River Sarayu and only after purifying themselves with the sacred waters, they visit the temple.
The state of Karnataka sees the celebration of Ram Navami on a grand scale. The mandalis (local organizations) at innumerable places in Karnataka go on distributing free jaggery and food. Particularly the Sree Ramaseva Mandali, R.C.T is known for organizing a month-long classical music fest. It is said that this celebration has been going on for 80 years without a miss. A great number of audiences come here to attend the celebrations.
In Telangana as well, the celebrations are observed with full-fledged devotion. One can see thousands of devotees gathered at various places chanting Jai Shree Ram unanimously. Many cultural events are organized here. For the Vaishnavas in Odisha, this is the day to start the preparation for the annual Jagannath Ratha Yatra.
ISKON also celebrates Ram Navami worldwide. Usually, the devotees here fast in the day and the evening that follows is spent by decorating the idols of Lord Krishna and Balarama as Lord Rama and Lord Lakshmana respectively. The idol of Goddess Radha is decorated as Maa Sita. Bhajans, kirtans, processions of the idols within the temple complex and important discussions related to Hinduism follow suit.
Ayodhya city carries a great significance for the Hindu religion. This is mainly because Lord Rama took birth in Ayodhya owing to a divine plan as the son of King Dashratha and Queen Kausalya. And Lord Rama’s birth is celebrated with great fervour in Ayodhya. Especially on the occasion of Ram Navami, this city sees a great upsurge in the number of tourists. 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 Ayodhya via the following routes.
By Air. There are two nearest airports - Lucknow Airport and Faizabad airport. The Lucknow airport is considered as the primary airport of the region and is situated at an approximate distance of 150 km whereas, the Faizabad airport is located at a mere distance of 8-10 km.
Lucknow airport, or the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport (LKO) caters to the foreign countries as well. It was named after the fifth Prime Minister of India. And before that, it was called the Amasi Airport. One of the highlighting features of this airport is that it has ILS CAT-III-B compliant functionality. This enables the flights 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 Bengaluru, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad via direct flights. As you deboard at the airport, you will need to take a cab or some other means of public transportation to reach your respective destination.
By Road. You can consider travelling to Ayodhya from road networks as well. Here is how to reach Ayodhya by road.
You can also consider travelling via interstate buses to Ayodhya. Depending upon your location, you can easily book buses online.
By Train. If you are planning to visit Ayodhya via train route then you would need to deboard at the Ayodhya Junction. It is well-connected with places like Varanasi, Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, and Gorakhpur.
Apart from Ayodhya Junction, you can also consider the Faizabad Junction, situated at an approximate distance of 8-10 km. Here is how you can reach Ayodhya via train routes.
As you deboard at the Ayodhya Junction, you can easily take a cab or an auto to reach your respective destination.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here
02 April 2020
Leave a Reply: