Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama
Ayodhya was the capital of the kingdom of Kosala (7th cent. BC). Long associated as the birthplace of Hindu legend Rama (in the Hindu epic Ramayana), the town is a centre of pilgrimage and is one of the seven sites sacred to Hindus. According to Hindu legend, the mythic man Manu founded Ayodhya. Later, it became the capital of the Suryavanshi (Sun) dynasty, of which Lord Rama is the most celebrated king. References to Ayodhya are also contained in the Atharva Veda. The city is situated on the south bank of river Saryu and many pilgrims consider it holy to take a dip in this river.