AYODHYĀ (26º-45'N, 82º-10'E), on the right bank of the River Saryū, also known as Ghāgharā, is sacred to the Hindus as the birthplace of Lord Rāma. This ancient town has Sikh shrines in memory of the First, the Ninth and the Tenth Gurūs. All three are located within 50 metres of each other near Brahmā's Tap Sthān (Brahmā Kuṇḍ) on Saryū bank, and are collectively called Gurdwārā Brahmakuṇḍ. The memorial commemorating Gurū Nānak's visit at the beginning of the sixteenth century consists of only a Sikh flag on a platform constructed in 1972. Gurū Tegh Bahādur visited Ayodhyā in 1670 while on his way back to the Punjab from the eastern parts. It is said that after offering obeisance at the then existing shrine of Gurū Nānak he sat near by in meditation continuously for 48 hours. Before he left, the Brāhmaṇ priest serving the shrine made a request for a keepsake, and the Gurū left his wooden sandals with him. The pair is still kept in Gurdwārā Gurū Gobind Siṅgh Jī. A platform was raised on the site in memory of Gurū Tegh Bahādur's visit. A room was constructed over it by the Sikh troops of Faizābād cantonment in 1975. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is ushered in only on the occasion of the chain of 51 Akhaṇḍ Pāṭhs held here commencing from Assū sudī 1 and concluding on Maghar sudī 5 to honour the martyrdom anniversary of Gurū Tegh Bahādur.
Gurū Gobind Siṅgh passed through Ayodhyā when, as a child, he was travelling from Paṭnā to Anandpur. A platform was raised to commemorate the visit. This, like the other two shrines, was looked after by Brāhmaṇ priests till about the middle of the nineteenth century when Bābā Gulāb Siṅgh, a Kashmīrī Sikh, came and occupied the site. The present building was constructed in 1899. It commands a panoramic view of a landscape sprawling beyond the lazily flowing Saryū River. The central domed room, octagonal in shape and with a marble floor, is called Siṅghāsan Sthān (Throne Room) Gurū Gobind Siṅgh Jī. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is seated in a rectangular room in front of it. The relics preserved in the Siṅghāsan Sthān include, in addition to the pair of sandals left by Gurū Tegh Bahādur, an all-steel arrow, a kaṭār (dagger), and a chakra (quoit). There are also two hand-written volumes - a copy of the Gurū Granth Sāhib transcribed in 1838 Bk/AD 1781 and a copy of the Dasam Granth.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)