Embarking on a sacred voyage: From Dang, Nepal to Ayodhya, India

File: Idols of Ram and Sita to be placed at Ayodhyapuri, Madi of Nepal as per Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s plan.

The sun had just begun its ascent as we gathered in the vibrant town of Ghorahi, Dang, Nepal. Our team of about 120 devotees prepared to embark on a spiritual journey to Ayodhya, the revered birthplace of Lord Ram. Little did we know that what lay ahead would not only be a physical voyage but also a profound spiritual odyssey.

As the clock struck 10 am, we set forth on our expedition, traversing through the picturesque landscapes of Nepal. The roads unfurled before us like ribbons, winding through lush greenery and rolling hills, offering glimpses of nature’s raw beauty. Our hearts brimmed with reverence and joy as we embarked on this sacred pilgrimage.

Photo: Dr Sandesh Lamsal

Crossing the border of Nepal and India through Koilabas around 1 pm, we were greeted by the warm embrace of our neighbouring country. Our first stop en route was the Devi Patan Mandir, nestled in Tulsipur, Uttar Pradesh. This ancient temple, one of the revered 51 Shakti Peethas of Ma Durga, exuded an aura of divine serenity. Legend has it that this sacred site is where Mata Sati’s right shoulder, or “Pat” in Hindi, fell, thus earning its name Devi Patan. We offered our prayers at this hallowed shrine, feeling blessed to be in the presence of such spiritual magnificence.

As our journey unfolded, India’s flawless beauty revealed itself in all its glory. The roads stretched endlessly, adorned with verdant fields where farmers toiled diligently under the golden sun. We glimpsed trains chugging along railway lines, forests teeming with life, and mischievous monkeys frolicking amidst the foliage. Each sight was a testament to India’s rich tapestry of culture and natural splendour.

Arriving in Ayodhya Dham around 7 pm, we were greeted by the bustling energy of this ancient city. Parking our buses, we made our way to the Dharamshalas, which welcomed pilgrims with open arms. It was heartening to see numerous accommodations offering free shelter to devotees visiting the newly constructed Ram Lala’s Mandir. The spirit of hospitality and devotion permeated the air, reaffirming our faith in the universal love of Lord Rama.
Adjacent to the Dharamshalas, Maa Shabri’s Bhandaras stood as beacons of compassion, serving food free of cost to all, regardless of caste, gender, religion, or sexuality. This egalitarian ethos echoed the teachings of Lord Rama, underscoring the importance of love and inclusivity in his divine message.

The following day began before the crack of dawn, as we rose at 4 am to prepare for the sacred ritual of Ganga Isnan at Naya Ghat. The sight that greeted us was awe-inspiring—thousands of devotees immersed in the icy waters of the Ganges, their devotion transcending the chill of the morning air. It was a humbling experience, witnessing the unwavering faith that bound us all together in reverence for our beloved deity.

Photo: Dr Sandesh Lamsal

From Naya Ghat, we made our way to Hanuman Garhi, a revered temple located just 2 km away. Built by Vikramaditya, this sanctum is believed to have been guarded by Lord Hanuman himself. Despite the long queues stretching for miles, the atmosphere remained tranquil and orderly, thanks to the meticulous planning by the temple trust and local authorities.

A mere stone’s throw away from Hanuman Garhi stood the newly inaugurated Ram Lala’s Mandir, a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and religious fervour. This architectural marvel, though still under construction, captivated our senses with its grandeur and magnificence. Inside, the sanctum sanctorum housed the divine statue of Lord Rama Lala during his childhood, a sight that left us spellbound in reverence.

After offering our prayers at the temple, we partook in the bountiful Bhandara, nourishing our bodies and souls with the blessed food. With hearts full of gratitude and contentment, we bid farewell to Ayodhya, our spirits uplifted by the divine grace we had received.

As we commenced our journey back to Nepal at noon, the memories of our pilgrimage lingered in our minds, a testament to the enduring power of faith and devotion. Eight hours later, we arrived back in Ghorahi, our hearts brimming with the blessings of Ayodhya, and our souls enriched by the spiritual sojourn we had undertaken.

Our journey from Dang, Nepal to Ayodhya, India was not merely a physical voyage but a sacred odyssey of the soul. Guided by faith and devotion, we traversed through landscapes of beauty and sanctity, encountering the divine presence of Lord Rama at every turn. In Ayodhya, amidst the bustling crowds and ancient temples, we found solace and enlightenment, reaffirming our belief in the timeless wisdom of our revered deity. Truly, our pilgrimage was a testament to the enduring power of faith, love, and devotion—a journey that will forever remain etched in the annals of our hearts.

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Dr Sandesh Lamsal is a Nepali doctor known for his creative videos on different social media platforms and achievements in his social, professional and public life. He did MBBS from the Pavlov First State Medical University of St Petersburg, Russia in 2021 with a Russian government scholarship.

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