Town (pop., 2001: 49,417), Uttar Pradesh state, northern India. It lies on the banks of the Ghaghara River just east of Faizabad, of which it is now a suburb. Ayodhya in ancient times was one of India's greatest cities. It was the capital of Kosala, as described in the Ramayana. Today it is one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. It became an important Buddhist centre in Buddhism's early years (6th–4th century BCE), and the Buddha is said to have lived there. In the 16th century the Mughal emperor Babur built a mosque on a site traditionally associated with an ancient Hindu temple marking the birthplace of the god Rama. The storming of the mosque by Hindus in 1990, amid religious tensions, was followed by riots, and the ensuing crisis brought down the government. In 1992 the mosque was demolished by Hindu nationalists, and hundreds of people died in the rioting that subsequently swept through India.

Variants of AYODHYA

Ayodhya or Oudh

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