Treta Ke Thakur Ayodhya

Treta Ke Thakur, one of the holy sites in Ayodhya, is a temple. It is one of the prime tourist attractions from historical and religious perspectives. Ayodhya is the birth place of Maryada Purushottam Ram and was later ruled by him. Treta Ke Thakur Temple is located by Naya Ghat on the bank of River Saryu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ram. From the point of view of Hindu Dharma & mythology, this place holds a historical significance. In Hindu scriptures, the time has been categorized into four segments – Sat Yug, Treta Yug, Dwapar Yug and Kali Yug. The phrase ‘Treta Ke Thakur’ is derived from two words – Treta Yug & Thakur. Ram was born in Treta Yug; and Thakur means ‘god’ in Hindi. So the etymology itself connotes ‘Treta Ke Thakur’ as ‘God of Treta Yug’, that is, Lord Ram.

The present day temple structure was built almost 300 years ago by the king of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. During those days, the temple was known as 'temple of Kalram'. It was renovated in 1784 AD by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar. The Treta Ke Thakur Temple is an excellent piece of north Indian Nagar style Hindu temple architecture which has conventional ‘shikharas’. The temple houses the idols of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Lakshaman, Bharat, Shatrughan, Lord Hanuman and Sage Vashishtha. All the idols are black, made of single black sandstone. The gates of Treta Ke Thakur Temple are opened for the devotees only once in a year on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi which falls in the month of October or November. The gates remain open for 24 hours on this day. Kartik Shukla Ekadashi is celebrated on a large scale. Devotees gather in a great number on this day.

The Tret-ke-Tbakur marks the place where Ram is said to have performed the great Horse-sacrifice (Ashwamedha Yajna) and set up images of himself and of Sita. Those images are said to have been thrown into the river by the Mughal despot Aurangzeb. Although the horse is very frequently mentioned in the Rig Veda, this animal has never been an object of worship. But Ashwamedha (horse-sacrifice) is the greatest sacrifice a king can perform. Only those monarchs who aspire for universal dominion can perform it. Prior to the performance of the sacrifice a horse with auspicious marks is let loose to wander at will for a year. An army follows the horse and anyone who stops the horse is considered an enemy and his act a challenge to the owner of the horse. He has to be conquered. After a year, the horse is led back, and a grand sacrifice and feasting take place.

Ramanaya is one of the most revered Hindu epics. As per the story in Uttarkand of Ramayana, Ram performed Ashwamedha Yajna; no one stopped the horse except Luv and Kush. Luv and Kush were the sons of Ram himself, but it was not known to Ram. They were the twins who were born to Sita in the ashram of Sage Valmiki, when she was abandoned by Ram. They both were full of strength and knowledge. When both the princes came to know about the fact of them being sons of Ram, they became restless and curious to ask questions to Ram, pertaining to Sita’s stay in the ashram. Since Ram was not accompanying the horse, they stopped the horse to force Ram to come to the place to quench their queries. They were counseled to release the horse but they remained adamant only to fight with Ram. They released the horse only when their questions were answered. The Ashwamedha Yajna was successfully carried out after the return of the horse to the kingdom.

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