The History of Ayodhya: The city of Ayodhya has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. According to Britannica, Ayodhya was the early capital of the kingdom of Kosala, though in Buddhist times (6th–5th century BCE) Shravasti became the kingdom’s chief city. Scholars generally agree that Ayodhya is identical with the town of Saketa, where the Buddha is said to have resided for a time. Ayodhya was historically known as Saketa. The early Buddhist and Jain canonical texts mention that the religious leaders Gautama Buddha and Mahavira visited and lived in the city. The Jain texts also describe it as the birthplace of five tirthankaras namely, Rishabhanatha, Ajitanatha, Abhinandananatha, Sumatinath and Anantnath, and associate it with the legendary Bharata Chakravarti. From the Gupta period onwards, several sources mention Ayodhya and Saketa as the name of the same city. The legendary city of Ayodhya, popularly identified as the present-day Ayodhya, is the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama of Kosala and setting of the great epic Ramayana and its many versions. Ayodhya has been regarded as the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. It is believed that a temple stood at the supposed birth spot of Rama, which was demolished by the orders of either the Mughal emperor Babur or Aurangzeb, and a mosque erected in its place. In 1992, the dispute over the spot led to the demolition of the mosque by Hindu mobs, who aimed to rebuild a grand temple of Rama at the site. A five-judge full bench of the Supreme Court heard the title cases from August to October 2019 and ruled that the land belonged to the government per tax records, and ordered it to be handed over to a trust to build a Hindu temple. It also ordered the government to give an alternative 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board to build a mosque in lieu of the demolished Babri mosque.

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