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Here is Why Ayodhya’s Chandan is Famous Among Devotees From Across The Nation
Ayodhya offers a wide variety of Chandan that are sold in different shades like white, yellow, red, and brown. The auspicious location's biggest attraction is its many mementos, including sandalwood.
Tourists may observe a lot of vibrancy and devotion in Ayodhya, which has grown into an important spiritual centre. The traffic-free streets of Ayodhya, the site of multifaith temples, are intriguing enough to justify a visit. The city is a melting pot of numerous religions in Uttar Pradesh, attracting pilgrims from all across the country for its locally made sandalwood ‘Maharaja Chandan’ used for ‘tilak‘ in Hindu religion, among other things. It is a locally manufactured sandalwood made from turmeric and a few other secret ingredients that make it a key souvenir.
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Outside most temples, you would see piles of shops where various kinds of sandalwood pastes including ‘Maharaja Chandan’ are sold in different shades like white, yellow, red, and brown and the purpose of these colourful sandalwood pastes are also different.
Here is why Ayodhya’s Chandan is famous among tourists:
This Chandan is not only auspicious in terms of its use by saints and religious people, but it is also a major source of income for several locals who live within a 2-kilometer radius of the ‘Ram Ki Paidi,’ ‘Ram Janmabhoomi,’ and ‘Hanumangarhi temple.’
2. Historical Significance
One can visit the markets in Ayodhya to understand from close quarters the true essence of life for sandalwood sellers doing business in decades-old shops situated in narrow winding lanes in the region based on the banks of the Saryu river.
Ayodhya is the amalgamation of many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Muslims. It is situated on the banks of River Saryu and references to it could be found in many ancient documents like Atharvaveda and some of the early Buddhist texts.
Other popular Chandan’s in Ayodhya include Mailkota Chandan, which is very popular among Vaishnav Sampraday members, and Ramraj Chandan, which is made from Ram Janmabhoomi soil. While Gopiraj Chandan and Janakiraj are made of soil from regions where goddess Sita lived. All these sandalwood pastes are sold in different ranges beginning from Rs 200 per kg.
Destinations in Ayodhya that are a major source of income for Chandan sellers are:
- Hanuman Garhi
- Kanak Bhawan
- Swarg Dwar
- Mani Parvat
- Surgiv Parvat
- Nageshwarnath Temple
One of the shopkeepers Geeta Sahu, who runs a six to seven-generation-old shop told ANI, “There are different kinds of uses of Chandan. Mailkota Chandan is especially used by people belonging to ‘Vaishnav Sampradaya. Similarly, other people belonging to different ‘sampraday‘ use different Chandan.” She further added, “Maharaja Chandan is specially manufactured in Ayodhya and it is in more in demand compared to other Chandan. Roli Chandan is also in demand here as it is used as Tilak by Vaishnav Sampraday people after putting Mailkota Chandan on their forehead in almost ‘U’ shape”.
“Chandan is in demand in Ayodhya for old times as it is used by saints and religious people here. Maharaja Chandan, Mailkota Chandan, and Shri Chandan are specially manufactured here in Ayodhya,” Vishnu, another shop owner told ANI.
Known for the birthplace of Lord Rama and setting of the epic Ramayana, Ayodhya, which is adjacent to Faizabad city, Ayodhya is well accessible from all other cities of Uttar Pradesh and India and sandalwood is among many souvenirs which are the key attraction of the auspicious place
(With inputs from ANI)
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