New Delhi: Although BJP president Amit Shah says that the Narendra Modi government doesn’t have the mandate to address its core issues, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a constituent of the Sangh Parivar, disagrees.
The VHP has said that the huge mandate with which the Modi government came to power was not only for development but also to deliver on its core issues, including building a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya.
The Hindu outfit also reminded the government to be ready to “face the consequences” — like the previous NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee — if it did not deliver on the core issues.
“The mandate which the BJP got in last general election was not merely for development. People expect that they will address the core issues too,” VHP spokesperson and national secretary Surendra Jain said.
“Despite several comments on the issue by senior BJP leaders, our hope is still alive. We expect that this government will fulfill its commitment to construct a Ram temple at Ayodhya,” he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party president Shah said last month that the party needs 370 seats in the Lok Sabha to address its core issues. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said earlier that the core issues were not the government’s priority for now as it was focussed on development.
Jain said building the Ram temple was also in the BJP manifesto. “How can they backtrack on the issue?” he asked.
Jain said the previous NDA government didn’t address these issues, and the voters had shown them the door. “BJP leaders should learn from their mistakes of the past.”
He said a committee of holy men and spiritual leaders would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge him to construct the Ram temple.
Recently, the Shiv Sena, another BJP ally, had said that the prime minister should reveal his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on the contentious issue of the temple in Ayodhya.
Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, who was the face of the Ayodhya movement in the 1990s, has said that the government should resolve the issue through legislation or dialogue and not wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict.
The Allahabad High Court’s verdict on the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi issue is on appeal before the Supreme Court. (IANS)
The land on which the Babri mosque was built in 1528 is the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ (birthplace of Bhagwan Rama). The existing Ram Mandir Ayodhya was destroyed by Mughal King Babur’s general Mir Baqi and subsequently a mosque called Babri Masjid was built at the site.
It has been 25 years since the disputed Babri Masjid structure was demolished by Kar sevaks but no government so far could start Ram Mandir construction. In the 1980s, the Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP) began a campaign for the construction of Ram Mandir Ayodhya dedicated to Bhagwan Rama at the site, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its political voice. Many rallies and marches were held as a part of this movement, including the famous Ram Rath Yatra led by Shri. Lal Krishna Advani.
Demolition of disputed Babri Masjid
On 6 December 1992, the Rashtriya Swayemsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and its affiliates organised a rally involving 150,000 kar sevaks at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. The ceremonies included speeches by BJP leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti. At 11am, the first group of kar sevaks broke through the barricades. It was 1.55pm, when the first dome of the Babri Masjid met the ground, along with about 25 kar sevaks. At 3.30pm, the second dome came down. The central dome is demolished at 4.49pm. In about six hours, all that remained of the Babri Masjid, was demolished. After news of the Babri Masjid demolition broke in world, riots erupted all across the country. Even the neighbouring countries were affected as Hindus were slaughtered in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mumbai experienced one of the worst incidents of communal violence in the history of modern India. In March 1993, a series of bomb blasts happened in Mumbai killing hundreds, this was the way of Islamists to retaliate against Babri Masjid demolition.
Archaeological Survey of India & Historical Surveys
In 1767, Jesuit priest Joseph Tieffenthaler recorded Hindus worshiping and celebrating Ramnavmi at the site of the disputed Babri Masjid. In 1788, Tieffenthaler’s French works were published in Paris, the first to suggest that the Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Rama.
The Archaeological Survey of India has reported to the high court that its excavations found distinctive features of a 10th century temple beneath the Babri Mosque site. The report revealed that there was archaeological evidence of a massive Ram Mandir just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural activities from the 10th century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure (Babri Masjid). Among the excavation yields ASI report mentioned were stone and decorated bricks, mutilated sculpture of divine couple, carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapotapali, doorjamb with semi-circular shrine pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranjala (watershute) in the north and 50 pillar bases in association with a huge Ram Mandir structure. The ASI report said there is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50×30 metres in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure. The ASI report said the human activity at the site dates back to 13th century BC on the basis of the scientific dating method providing the only archaeological evidence of such an early date of the occupation of the site. The report concluded that it was over the top of this construction during the early 16th century that the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it. So, there was no confusion that the Babri Masjid was built over after demolishing Ram Mandir Ayodhya.
The Million Dollar question : Why Ram Mandir Ayodhya?
India’s independence did not bring about the long sought for return of Rama Rajya and the light of dharma that the independence movement aspired to. The continuation of the darkness of adharma shifted from colonial rule to a new self-imposed and self-perpetuated colonial type exploitation by an arrogant socialist elite who had little understanding or appreciation of their own culture. – Dr David Frawley
Ram Mandir Ayodhya is not anti-muslim sentiment for Hindus, its rather an emotional connect with divine. What Muslims should understand is that, Ram Mandir Ayodhya to Hindus is what Mecca to them, or what Vatican is to Christians. It has been decades of dispute and political parties has been using the dispute to fuel their politics. but its high time both Hindus and Muslims should come together for Ram Mandir Ayodhya. Its not a matter of win or lose, it is a matter of national pride. Ram, is the soul of India and Ram-Rajya is what we should aspire for. Hindu community is not the one who keep historical grudge, Muslim rulers demolished over 44000 Temples (as per Known History, actual Figures be More), but Hindus are demanding only few of their holiest sites, in no condition Hindus should compromise of highest order in this country. Meanwhile, Indian Muslims are facing the situation today which Kauravs faced in Mahabharta when Pandavs requested them for just four Villages and asked them to Keep rest of the Kingdom. But Kauravs denied, which led to the bloodiest Dharam-Yudh in history of mankind. Babar built the Mosque by demolishing Ram Mandir, the ASI report ended the debate by confirming the existence of Ram Mandir. It is really ridiculous that we have to beg to restore Ram Mandir at one of Hinduism’s greatest sites. A grander mosque can be made nearby as proposed, or even right next door. Isn’t that a reasonable appeal Muslim community should accept and give a message of communal harmony? I have no doubt that majority of the Muslims of this country will accept it, only those who have their sinister political agenda will oppose Ram Mandir to create communal tensions. Ram Mandir can be a symbol of harmony between the two important religious communities of India. Restoring one temple as it is holy site of Lord Ram’s birthplace and shifting mosque to a nearby location (and making it grander) will not demean the glory of Islam in any manner.
Even The Shia Central Waqf Board has offered a new solution to the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi conflict in Ayodhya. According to the proposal of the board, a Ram temple can be built in Ayodhya while a mosque can be constructed in Lucknow.
As Dr. David Frawley says,”Time to return Ayodhya back to the Hindus and allow Ram Mandir to come up. All Hindus feel importance of Ram Janmabhoomi. The region does not figure among any important sacred sites of Islam. Time for India to honor its own heritage, heroes and avatars.”
That day will really be exemplary for world when all communities in India will come together for a grand Ram Mandir Ayodhya, and I am sure that day will soon come. We must overcome our past for a glorious future. Lastly I will like to remember words of famous Muslim poet Allama Iqbal, “है राम के वजूद पे हिन्दोस्ताँ को नाज़, अहले-नज़र समझते हैं उसको इमामे-हिन्द ।”
– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik
Vivah Panchami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. It is celebrated on Shuklapaksha Panchami, which is the fifth day of the month of Margashirsha according to Hindu calendar. In 2017, the festival was celebrated on 23rd November.
In Ramayana, it was on this day (Vivah Panchami) that Lord Ram; the eldest son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya, the reincarnation of Lord Vishu got married to Goddess Sita. Vivah Panchami festival celebrates the union between these two divine beings.
According to the legends, it was on this day that Lord Ram along with his brother Lakshman visited Jankpur, the birthplace of Goddess Sita. In the Kingdom of Mithila, King Janak had organized the ceremony of ‘Swayamvar’ for his daughter Sita. In this ceremony, the Goddess was supposed to choose her groom. The condition for winning the Swayamvar, however, was decided on contender’s ability to lift a the majestic bow of Lord Shiva string it. Lord Ram not only managed to raise the bow but he also broke it and thus fulfilled the condition and married Sita. According to Ramayana, during this grand marriage ceremony other the brothers of Lord Ram like Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan were also married to Sita’s cousins called Urmila, Mandavi, and Shuddhakirti respectively.
Celebrations on Vivah Panchami:
Vivah Panchami is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city of Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram and Mithilanchal region in India as well as in Janakpuri in the Nepal. At Ayodhya, the devotees try to recreate the wedding ceremony by decorating the idols of Ram and Sita with bridal clothes and jewellery. This celebration is also popularly referred to as ‘Ram Vivah Utsav.’ Ramleela, a dramatic folk enactment of Lord Ram’s life is also performed at various places depicting the marriage ceremony between Lord Ram and Sita.
Vivah Panchami also has a great significance in the region of Janakpuri (in Nepal) as it believed to be the place where the marriage ceremony took place. Many devotees visit the place from India to Nepal to worship Lord Ram and Goddess Sita and celebrate their union. People seek the blessing from these idols of Ram and Sita to live a happy married life. It is also a firm belief among the devotees that worshipping Lord Ram and Sita on this day will help them deal with their marital woes and strengthen their union.
New Delhi, November 8, 2017 : Ramayana is not just a story, it is a way of life which has been guiding believers and non-believers for centuries about the right way to live on this planet. I can confidently vouch that we have all heard stories from Ramayana at one point in our life. Ramayana is not just a story, it is an indispensable part of the Hindu religious law.
There exist innumerable arguments questioning the authenticity of Ramayana. While it is almost impossible to prove or disapprove anything, what is feasible is to trace the chronology of events, focusing on various Ramayana destinations that can still be visited to experience the ethereal world that is believed to have existed in the Treta Yug.
Here is a list of ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana.
You can plan a trip to these Ramayana destinations to feel closer to Him, and personally experience what we have all grown up reading and hearing about.
Mention in Ramayana
First on our list of Ramayana destinations is Janakpur. A key phase took place at Janakpur, one of the many other Ramayana destinations. The ancient city of Mithila, as it was previously called, was home to Sita, where she lived till her marriage.
Legend has it that to get rid of a devastating drought, the King of Janak ploughed the land in Janakpur when he stumbled upon an earthen pot out of which Sita emerged. This also explains why the place is also known as Sitamarhi.
King Janak brought the child back to the palace at Mithila, where she grew up and was married to Ram.
The Ramayana explains Mithila as a ‘divya-bhumi’, a sacred land that pulled Ram to it.
A small town in Nepal, you are sure to come across compelling stories of Sita (or Janaki) infused in the landscapes, temples and the people of Janakpur.
Sita’s swayamvar, the ceremony which saw participation of learned men from all big and small territories, took place at Rangbhoomi. It was in this ceremony that Shiva’s bow was broken into pieces by Ram.
Dhanush Sagar is a tank on the area where a piece of the bow of Shiva, broken by Ram in an attempt to win Sita’s hand, had fallen. Another piece is believed to have fallen at some distance, now known by the name Ratan Sagar. And the third piece is believed to have fallen in Dhanusha, 15 km away from Janakpur.
Visitors can also visit the Ram-Sita vivah mandapa, which has been made in Janakpur.
Multiple devotees flock Janakpur every year o pray and pay homage to Sita during Vivah Panchami, the day Ram and Sita are believed to have got married. The quaint little town also witnesses tourists on Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram.
How To Reach Janakpur
Janakpur is one of the ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana, only a few km from the Indian border and can be reached by flight, train or via road.
Travelers can fly to Kathmandu and take a smaller airline to Janakpur. However, make sure you check flight availability beforehand as they only ply a few times in a week.
Otherwise, one can also visit Janakpur via buses.
Mention in Ramayana
Next on our list of Ramayana destinations is Chitrakoot. It is one of the most intricately explained Ramayana destinations. Upon being banished from the royal palace, it was here that Lord Ram, accompanied by wife Sita and brother Lakshmana spent eleven of their 14 years of exile (vanvas).
Ramayana also mentions of Bharat who came to Chitrakoot to persuade his brother Ram to return to Ayodhya. It was also here that Ram performed the last rites of his father, King Dasharatha in presence of all gods and goddesses.
Chitrakoot’s peaceful environment also acted as a source of inspiration for the great poet Goswami Tulsidas to pen the Ramcharitmanas, retelling the life of Lord Ram in Awadhi.
Nestled between the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Chitrakoot has a breathtaking location with a tranquil aura.
Quick fact : ‘Chitra’ means a beautiful painting and ‘Kuta’ means mountains.
While all ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana hold spiritual transcendence, located along the Mandakini River, the sacred city of Chitrakoot is particularly known as a centre for spiritual enlightenment, and is a potpourri of devotion, legend and traditions.
Pilgrims can visit the Bharat Milap Mandir, where Bharat visited elder brother Ramand requested him to return to Ayodhya to claim his rightful throne. Upon his refusal, Bharat took his khadau (slippers) with him to the palace to place on the throne until Ram returned to the kingdom after 14 years.
Located on the Kamdagiri Hills near the temple premise, there exist engraved footprints of Ram and his brothers that are worshipped till date.
Located at the centre of the town is Ramghat where Ram used to take a dip in the mighty Mandakini river. This also happens to be the place where Tulsidas met Ram and Lakshmana.
Legend has it that Tulsidas was making sandalwood paste when the two brothers disguised as two kids approached him and asked him to apply a tilak on their forehead too. Not knowing the boys were really God, the poet made the tilak. It was Hanuman who helped Tulsidas recognize the brothers by reciting the famous verse,
“Chitrakoot ke ghaat pai bhai santan ki bheer,
Tulsidas chandan ghise tilak det Raghubeer.”
One can also visit the Gupt Godavari caves at a distance of 18 km, where inside the saves stand two natural throne-like rocks where Ram and Lakshmana sat during their stay.
How To Reach Chitrakoot
You can take a flight to Khajuraho, from where buses and taxis operate. The nearest railway station is Chitrakoot Dham. You can also choose to take the road to reach Chitrakoot.
3. Panchvati, Nasik
Mention in Ramayana
Third on our list of Ramayana destinations is Nasik. During his exile years, Lord Rama, accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana moved from one place to another, to find tranquility in nature and feel closer to the natural way of life. After staying in Chitrakoot for eleven years, the next Ramayana destination was Nasik where they spent a significant amount of time.
Their hut was built in Panchvati, which is famous for its five huge Banyan trees and is only 4 km away from Nasik.
Located on the banks of the Godavari, it was in Nasik that Lord Rama and Lakshmana had an encounter with Surpanakha, Ravana’s younger sister, where consequently her nose was cut off. This explains the rationale behind the name of the place. (Nasika means nose in Sanskrit)
To avenge the disrespect faced by his sister, it was from here that Ravana abducted Sita and flew her to Lanka on his Pushpak Vimaan. Needless to say, it was here where Lakshmana drew the ‘Lakshmana Rekha’,.
The Kala Ram Mandir in Panchvati, Nasik is believed to have been built right where Lord Rama’s kuti (hut) was built.
Nasik’s Rama Kunda is the chief pilgrimage place in Nasik. The Kunda is primarily a tank where Lord Rama and Sita allegedly bathe. This makes the tank extremely sacred.
The Rama Kund is also known Asthi Vilaya Tirtha, because human bones are known to dissolve here. Legend has it that Lord Rama performed funeral rites at the Kund in memory of His deceased father, King Dasharatha.
How To Reach Nasik
Nasik is very well connected via air, trains and road.
Panchvati is only 4.2 km away from Nasik and can be easily reached through road.
4. Kishkindha, Hampi
Mention in Ramayana
Next on our list of Ramayana destinations is Kishkindha. Marked by dense forests, huge rocks and the Tungabhadra river, Karnataka’s Hampi can be mapped to Ramayana’s Kishkindha, one of the most active Ramayana destinations.
In the forests of Dandak, Kishkindha was the kingdom of the Vanara king Bali.
It was in the forests of Kishkindha where Lord Rama met Hanuman.
After Sita was abducted by Ravana, Lord Ram had first entered the kingdom of apes looking for her, along with Lakshmana.
After a fight between the two monkey kings, Sugriva and Bali, Sugriva took refuge on the Matanga mountain along with Hanuman. Lord Rama had killed Bali and helped Sugriva win the throne. The brothers then stayed in Kishkindha awaiting results of Hanuman’s search for Sita.
Sugriva’s army of apes also pledged their support to Lord Ram here and hence came into being his army against Ravana.
Ramayana clearly traces the roots of Kishkindha to the Tungabhadra river, which till date is counted among some of the major rivers of Karnataka.
One of the many ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana, the region along the river near Hampi in Karnataka is identified as Kishkindha from Ramayana.
Hampi has a culturally rich past and has much more to offer to visitors. However, for those of you looking to trace Ramayana’s trajectory, this place will not disappoint you.
Tara Mountain near Hampi is named after Bali’s wife, who had been saved by the monkey kind from demons.
As per Ramayana, Sugriva had taken refuge inside the Rishyamuk mountain. Legend has it that Bali had been cursed by a saint, who said the monkey king would perish if he entered the mountain. Thus, to save his life, Sugriva took refuge inside this mountain.
Pilgrims can also visit Nidapuram where a huge mound of scorched ash remains and is believed to be the cremated remains of Bali.
A little to the north-west lie the Anjanadri mountain, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, who lived here with his parents, Kesari and Anjani.
The mountain has been named after Hanuman himself, who was called Anjaneya.
Quick fact : You will have to climb 550 stairs to reach to the ancient Hanuman temple situated on this mountain.
How To Reach Kishkindha
Hampi is at a distance of 330 km from Goa and can make for a comfortable road trip. The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction which is merely 13 km away. The station is well connected with trains, and roads. You can also avail the bus services by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation
While it cannot be confirmed that everything we know about Ramayana took place as we know of it. However, these Ramayana destinations continue to exist till date and prove that they may just have transpired in reality.
Visit these Ramayana destinations the first chance you get, to feel closer to your roots.