World ? Asia ? India

Ayudha Puja

Oct 2009 (annual)
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Ayudha Puja is a small regional festival during which people pray and make offerings in temples. Ayudha is the birthplace of the Hindu god Ram and this is the day set aside by devotees in Uttar Pradesh to pray for him.
Ram is the most important of the Hindu pantheon, thanks to the story of his triumph over evil. He was the eldest of four brothers who lived in the kingdom of their father and his four queens. His father's favourite queen, who had been promised anything she wanted by her husband, desired the throne go to her son, the youngest of the four. Ram, being next in line to the throne, was forced to head to the jungle and give up his birthright.

Ram, by now married to the lovely Sita, became nomadic. The battle for which he is famed took place against Ravana, who has come to embody evil. Ravana had abducted Sita and the battle they fought was long and fierce. Eventually, good triumphed over evil and Ram once more held his Sita safely in his arms.
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