Rāmāyana | Bala Kaṇḍa | Chapter 5

Sargam [Chapter]: 5
Ayodhyā and its Description

[After giving a brief description of Ikshvāku clan, this chapter describes in detail the city of Ayodhyā founded by Manu, the son of Prajāpati.]

In the olden times, this earth, which was completely bounded, belonged to the victorious Prajāpati and his descendants. 5.1

Among them, one King called Sagara got the ocean dug, while he was marching to the battle surrounded by his sixty thousand sons. 5.2

In that clan of kings, it was from Ikshvāku, who was a great king, this great epic called Rāmāyaṇa originated. 5.3

And so I will propagate to this world, the entire Rāmāyaṇa, which incorporates the Dharma [just action], Artha [wealth] and Moksha [salvation], which are the main goals of human life, in a very complete manner. 5.4

On the banks of Sarayu was situated the kingdom of Kosala, which was wealthy and blessed with abundant food grains and was inhabited by contended citizens. 5.5

Manu, the King of men, himself built there a town called Ayodhyā which became world famous. 5.6

Beautiful and pleasing, with well laid out avenues, that great city extended to 12 yojanas [96 miles] in length and three yojanas [24 miles] broad. 5.7

The great royal [principal] roads were well laid out, shining, sprinkled with water and strewn with flowers. 5.8

King Daśaratha extended the prosperity of this great kingdom and lived in that country like King Indra. 5.9

The city had arched entrances, ornamental panel doors, numerous well laid markets, all kinds of weapons and all kinds of artisans lived in that city. 5.10

The city had many journalists and eulogists; it was prosperous in its matchless splendour and also had stately edifices with flags and was protected by many Śataghni. 5.11

It had several female dancers and actors and furnished on all sides with gardens, mango groves and extensive forest of sāl trees which were looking like a golden belt. 5.12

The city was enclosed in several fortifications and deep moats and well protected against enemies and also abounded with elephants, horses, camels and mules. 5.13

The city was visited by hosts of small kings to pay tributes to the King and also by several merchants. 5.14

The city was complete and resembled Indra's Amarāvatī and was adorned by palaces and mansions which were decorated by gems. 5.15

The city was wonderful to see and resembled a board where Aṣṭa Pāda [game similar to chess] is played, crowded with men and women, endowed with seven storey palaces rich in gems. 5.16

The city was dense with houses on a levelled land, with no more place for further constructions, fully stocked with grains like rice and its water was as sweet as sugarcane juice. 5.17

The city echoed with sounds of trumpets, drums, Vīṇās and Panavas; it surpassed all cities on earth. 5.18

Like the great spires constructed by Sidhas through great penances, it had perfectly constructed palaces and was inhabited by noble persons. 5.19

The city of Ayodhyā, inhabited by Daśaratha, had thousands of great warriors termed as Maharadhis [great charioteers] who were skilled archers with a quick hand. They would never shoot at solitary persons, persons without any defence and those who are fleeing from a battle. They were sufficiently skilled so that they could shoot at a foe or animal based on sound and had great strength in arms. They hunted wild animals like lions, tigers and boars with very sharp armaments. 5.20-5.22

The city had large number of Brahmins, who worshipped sacrificial fire, were experts in four Vedas and six Vedāngas [Branches of Vedas]. They offered charity in thousands, were devoted to truth, exceedingly wise and were similar to great sages. 5.23

This is the end of Fifth Sarga of Bala Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.