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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 ?
Thakur, who is known for making controversial statements, said, "Ram Mandir will be built in Ayodhya, the same way Article 370 was removed from Jammu and Kashmir.
Everyone wants that the construction work of the Ram temple in Ayodhya must begin at the earliest," he averred.
eIu Quraishi doesneIUt know the abceI[logical not] of Ayodhya, Babri Masjid, Ram Janmbhoomi or Lord Ram.
The religious movement in the communally sensitive city of Ayodhya in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh gathers significance as the VHP is making efforts to revive Ram Janmabhoomi issue and the cause of the Ram Temple in the city.
The Gujarat Chief Minister's office on Tuesday denied media reports about Narendra Modi's plan to visit Ayodhya.
The High Court ruled by a majority verdict that the disputed land in Ayodhya be divided equally into three parts among Hindus and Muslims and that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus.
The lack of archaeological evidence calls into question Hindu nationalists' claims that the mosque in the town of Ayodhya stands on a sacred Hindu site marking the birthplace of the god Ram.
The first time I visited the controversial temple-mosque site in the pilgrimage town of Ayodhya was in 1987, during my freshman year in college.
The Hindu passengers were returning from attending a ceremony at Ayodhya. Vishwa Hindu Parishad has vowed to begin construction of the Hindu temple in Ayodhya by March 15.
It was amazing to see seasoned vandals of Ayodhya crying holy horror at their kin's exploits!
In recent years, Hindu nationalists have been pressing for the right to build a temple on the ruins of the mosque, located in the city of Ayodhya.
Summary: Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) [India] Aug 24 (ANI): Ayodhya a city that holds great religious significance in the Hindu mythology for being the birthplace of Lord Ram, celebrated the birthday of Krishna with religious fervour.