Nageshwarnath Temple

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

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The temple of Nageshwarnath was established by Kush, son of Rama. Legend has it that Kush lost his armlet while bathing in the Sarayu, and it was retrieved by a Nag-Kanya who fell in love with him. As she was a devotee of Shiva, Kush built her this temple. It was the only temple to survive when Ayodhya was abandoned until the time of Vikramaditya. While the rest of city was in ruin and covered by dense forest, this temple allowed Vikramaditya to recognize the city. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated here with great splendor.

The temple of Nageshwarnath is one of the most frequented temples in Ayodhya. The temple stands tall amidst numerous 'Matths' and 'Akhadaras' that exist in the city of Ayodhya. Nageshwarnath Temple is supposed to be established by Raja Kush, the younger son of Lord Rama. The festival of Shivaratri is celebrated here with great pomp and splendor.

There is a very interesting story behind the establishment of this temple. It is said that Raja Kush lost his armlet, while bathing in the Saryu. He tried to find it but in vain. He became much depressed thinking it to be a bad omen. The armlet was actually picked up by a Nag-Kanya (Snake-damsel), who fell in love with him. She promptly returned the armlet and won the admiration of Raja Kush.

It is claimed that as the Nag-Kanya was a devotee of Shiva, Kush erected this temple for her. The temple has historical essence as well. That is particularly because of the fact that Nageshwarnath has been the only temple to survive till the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya; the rest of city had fallen into ruins and was covered by dense forests. It is claimed that it was by means of this temple that Vikramaditya was able to locate Ayodhya and the sites of different shrines here.

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