Celebrated with undying faith and a 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 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 the 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 to the world. The festival is celebrated with utmost devotion and reverence for Lord Rama.
Temples are decorated, Lord Rama’s idol is decorated along with Sita, Laxman, and Hanuman, and devotees visit the temples in large numbers to seek blessings from the Lord. Public pandals are set up with idols of the Lord, hymns are sung, prayers are offered, and Ramlilas are performed. It is a vibrant festival that shows the eternal devotion of devotees to Lord Rama and the ramrajya established by him. People pray for eternal peace and good fortune.
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History Of Ramnavami
The mention of Ram Navami history 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 fervor by the Hindus all across the globe.
Date, Time, and Venue of Ram Navami
This festival falls on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar. It usually falls in the month of April and is celebrated with a lot of joy and enthusiasm. It is on this day Lord Rama took birth in the royal household of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya. Ram Navami is celebrated all across the country but a few places that celebrate this festival with more grandeur and fanfare are Ayodhya, Sitamarhi, Vontimitta, Rameswaram, Bhadrachalam, and Shirdi.
Major Attractions Of Rama Navami Festival
Ram Navami is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India with a lot of gusto and fervor. The day celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the eldest son of King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya. Also referred to as Maryada Purshottam Ram, Lord Rama was considered the ideal follower of Law who established ramrajya in his kingdom, which is remembered till today.
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 home and are offered prasad which mainly consists of halwa and puri. In Hinduism and Vedanta, 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.
Major Celebrations Of Rama Navami At Different Places In India
The spiritual grandeur of Rama Navami can be seen in 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.
In 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, do they visit the temple.
Ram Navami Celebrations in Karnataka
The state of Karnataka sees the celebration of Ram Navami on a grand scale. The mandalas (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.
Ram Navami Celebrations in Telangana
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.
Ram Navami Celebrations, ISKON
ISKON also celebrates Ram Navami worldwide. Usually, the devotees here fast during the day, and the evening that follows is spent 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.
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How To Reach Ayodhya for Ram Navami Festival
Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama gets ready to celebrate Ram Navami with great pomp and show. The whole city is beautifully decked up. Devotees decorate ghats by the banks of river Saryu with thousands of lighted diyas. Hymns are sung and havans are performed by the priests. It is the best time to visit Ayodhya and bask in the grandeur of the festival. Since it is a major Hindu religious site, it is easily accessible through diverse modes of transport. To visit here, check out the details given below.
By Air. The nearest airport from Ayodhya would be the Lucknow International Airport in Lucknow. After deboarding, you can take a cab or other means of public transport to cover the remaining distance.
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By Train. Visiting Ayodhya via train is also an affordable and feasible option, the nearest railway station being Ayodhya Junction Railway Station which is approximately 6 km from Ramjanmbhoomi. Maximum Indian cities would have direct trains from their cities to Ayodhya.
By Road. Depending upon your location, you can also plan a trip to Ayodhya by road, too. For this, you can either take your own vehicle or may even choose a bus (government or private). Otherwise, you can also take a taxi to reach here.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Ram Navami
Q 1. Why is Ram Navami celebrated?
A 1. Ram Navami is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India with a lot of gusto and fervor. The day celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the eldest son of King Dashratha, and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya.
Q 2. Why do we celebrate Ram Navami?
A 2. Ram Navami marks the end of Chaitra Navratri and is celebrated with undying faith and a spirit of devotion by the Hindu devotees. Falling on the ninth day of the growing half of the Shukla Paksha, this festival holds great significance in the Hindu religion since ancient times. Primarily so because it is considered to be the birth anniversary of Lord Rama.
Q 3. How is Ram Navami celebrated?
A 3. Temples are decorated, Lord Rama’s idol is decorated along with Sita, Laxman, and Hanuman, and devotees visit the temples in large numbers to seek blessings from the Lord. Public pandals are set up with idols of the Lord, hymns are sung, prayers are offered, and Ramlilas are performed.
Q 4. When was Lord Rama born?
A 4. This festival falls on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar. It usually falls in the month of April and is celebrated with a lot of joy and enthusiasm. It is on this day Lord Rama took birth in the royal household of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya.
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