अयोध्या का वर्णन 1875 की पुस्तक ए हैंडबुक फोर विजिटर्स टू लखनऊ जो कि एक अंग्रेज इतिहासकार एच. जई. कीन द्वारा लिखित है में पाया जाता है। वह निम्न प्रकार है । इसने 1862-63 की भारतीय पुरातत्त्व सर्वक्षण की रिपोर्ट में अयोध्या का विवरण भी सम्मिलित है ।
The two principal towns of this Province, Oudh are Lucknow and Faizabad. The former is the main subject of our handbook. Off the latter the following particulars may be found useful:-
Faizabad is situated on the right bank of Ghagra, the largest Oudh affluent of the Ganges, in latitude 26°- 47’ a Longitude 82°- 10’ ; it is 89 miles east from Lucknow, and about 95 north from Allahabad and Is one of the station of Oudh and Rohilkund Railway.
Five miles off is Ajudhia, the old Hindu city, from which, the Province is, by a Persian corruption, named and the two places together extend ten miles along the river, and two miles inland. Ajudhia is the se of one of the oldest cities in India: here was the capital of the Kingdom of Kosala, with strong walls, gates and a garrison of the archers, a magnificent palace, and all the paraphernalia of sreignty.0 Here was born the hero Rama, son of the Rajah Dasaratha: and the story of his sorrows, adventures, and ultimate glory forms the subject of the Ramayana, one of the most popular of Indian poems, and now rendered acceptable to English readers in the learned yet graceful version of Mr. R Griffith It is not however to be supposed that any remains of those mythology times can now be traced.
The following description of Ajudhia is taken from the Report of Acchological Survey for 1862-3, vol. 1, p. 321:-
The present city of Ajudhya, which is confined to the north-east corner of the old site, is just two miles in length by about three quarters of a mile in breadth; but not one – hail of this extent is occupied by buildings, and the whole place wears a look of decay.
There are no high mounds of ruins, covered with broken statues and sculptured pillars, such as mark the sites of other ancient cities, but only a low irregular mass of rubbish heaps, from which all the bricks have been excavated for the houses of the neighbouring city of Faizabad. This Muhammadan city, which is two miles and -a-half in length, by one mile in breadth, is built chiefly of materials extracted from the ruins of Ajudhya. The two cities together occupy an area of nearly six square miles, or just about one-half of the probable size of the ancient Capital of Rama. In faizabad the only building of any consequence is he public dunng the famous trial of Warren Hastings. Faizabad was the capital of the first Nawabs of Oudh, but it was deserted by Asaf-ud-daolah in A.D.1775.
“According to the Ramayana, the city of Ayodhya was founded by Manu, the progenitor of all mankind. In the time of Dasaratha, the father of Rama, it was fortified worth towers and gates, and surrounded by deep ditch. No traces of these works now remain, nor is it likely, indeed, that any portion of the old city should still exist, as the Ayodhya of Rama is said to have been destroyed after the death of Vrihadbala in the great war about B.C. 1426, after which it lay deserted until the time of Vikrmaditya. According to popular tradition this Vkramaditya was the famous Sakari Prince of Ujjain, but as the Hindus of the present day attribute the acts of all Vikramas to this one only, their opinion on the subject is utterly worthless. We learn, however, from Hwen Thsang that a powerful prince of this name was reigning in the neighbouring city of Sravasti, Just one hundred years after Kanishka, or close of 78 A.D. which was the initial year of the Saka era of Salivahana. As this Vikramaditya is represented as hostile to the Buddhists, he must have been a zealous Brahmanist, and to him therefore I would ascribe the re-building of Ayodhya and the restoration of all the holy places referring to the history of Rama. Tradition says that when Vikramaditya came to Ayodhya. he found it utterly desolate and overgrown with jangal, but he was able to discover all famous spots of Rama’s history by measurements made from Lakshman Ghat on the Sarju, according to the statements of ancient records. He is said to have erected 360 temples, on as many different spots sacred of Rama, and Sita his wife, to his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, Satrughna and to the monkey god Hanumana. The number of 360 is also connected with Salivahana, as his clansman the Bais Rajputs assert that he had 360 wives.
“There are several very holy Brahmanical temples about Ajudhya. but they are all of modem date, and without any architectural pretensions whatever. But there can be no doubt that most of them occupy the sites of more ancient temples that were destroyed by the Musulmans. Thus Ramkot, or Hanuman Garhi, on the east side of the city, is a small walled fort surrounding a modern temple on the top of an ancient mound. The name Ramkot is certainly old, as it is connected with the traditions of the Mani-Parbat, which will be hereafter mentioned: but the temple of Hanuman is not older than the time of Aurangzib. Ram Ghat, at the north-east corner of the city is said to be the spot where Rama bathed, and Sargdwari or Swargadwari, the “Gate of Paradise”. On the north-west is believed to be the place where his body was burned.
Within a few years ago there was still standing a very holy Banyan tree, called Asok Bat, or the “Griefless Banyan,” a name which was probably connected with that of Swargadwan, in the belief that people who died or were burned at this spot were at once relieved from the necessity of future births. Close by is the Lakshman Ghat, where his brother Lakshman bathed, and about one-quarter of a mile distant, in the very heart of the city, stands the Janam Asthan, or “Birth-place temple” of Rama. Almost due west, and upwards of five miles distant, is the Guptar Ghat, with its group of modem white-washed temples. This is the place where Lakshman is said to have disappeared, and hence its name of Guptar, from Gupta, which means” hidden or concealed.” Some say that it was Rama who disappeared at this place, but this is at variance with the story of his cremation at Swargadwari.