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Ayodhya (əyōdˈyə) or Ajodhya () (əjōdˈyə) (–jōdˈ–), town, Uttar Pradesh state, N India, on the Ghaghara River. Formerly called Oudh, the town forms a municipal corporation with Faizabad. Ayodhya was the capital of the kingdom of Kosala (7th cent. B.C.). Long associated with Hindu legend of Rama and his father Dasharatha (see Ramayana), the town is a center of pilgrimage and is one of the seven sites sacred to Hindus.

In the late 1980s Ayodhya became a focus of Muslim-Hindu tensions, and in 1992 fundamentalist Hindus pulled down the 16th-century Babri mosque that they alleged stood on the site of Rama's birthplace. In 2003 the Archaeological Survey of India reported that remains of a structure with features like those of Hindu temple were underneath the mosque. Building a temple on the site was a rallying issue for Hindu nationalist parties, and a 2009 report on the razing accused many prominent Hindu nationalists of planning, supporting, or failing to prevent the attack. A. B. Vajpayee and other Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leaders were named as being among those who were in some way culpable. In 2017 the supreme court ordered that Lal Krishna Advani and several other BJP leaders be tried for their alleged role in the razing of the mosque; they were acquitted in 2020.

The site of the razed mosque was long a source of contention; a lawsuit over ownership of the site that dated to 1950 was decided only in 2010. The decision divided the land between Hindus and Muslims, but parties on both sides announced plans for appeals, and in 2011 the supreme court suspended the ruling. A 2019 decision by the supreme court, while criticizing the destruction of the mosque, awarded the land to Hindus on the basis of the 2003 archaeological report, and construction of a temple began in 2020.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The three chief cities of Koala were Ajodhya, Skeat and Sarasvati.
altitude 400m above sea level, rises up to 600m) and Ajodhya ranges (several peaks with altitude more than 600m above sea level) in the west (Jain and De, 1966).
A total number of 56 plant species of 35 plant families were found to be used by the different ethnic groups present in Ajodhya hill and its adjoining villages.
From the above discussion, it is evident that there is a very well developed ethnomedicinal system present in Ajodhya hill region, Purulia district, West Bengal, India.
In this book, he quoted excerpts from Riaz-us-Salatin, written by Syed Ghulam Husayn Saleem Zayedpuri, who was born in Ayodhya (Ajodhya).
The Babri Masjid at Ajodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992.
Many Muslim dignitaries like the Sultan of Mysore, Nawab of Oudh (Ajodhya), Nizams of Hyderabad and Murshidabad were its active members.