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By Swami Harshananda

Origin of Sarayu

Sarayu is the famous river on the bank of which the city of Ayodhyā was situated. Since it originates from a saras (lake) in the Himalayas it is called Sarayu. It is one of the seven tributaries of the river Gaṅgā and considered so sacred that one is advised to remember it with devotion both at dawn and at dusk. A bath in it absolves all the sins.

Historical Significance of Sarayu

Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa bathed here before being initiated by the sage Viśvāmitra into the secrets of dhanurvidyā.[1] Rāma is said to have drowned himself in it at the end of his life after having successfully completed the task of his incarnation. It is now identified with the Goghrā river in Ayodhyā.


  1. Dhanurvidyā is the science of archery.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore