English Commentaries

The Description of Ayodhya 1.5.11-23

Manu established the city of Ayodhya and it was included as one among the seven cities. Situated on the banks of Sarayu River it was twelve yojanas in length and three yojanas in width. The royal path of Ayodhya had brightly-lit shops on either side and the royal entrance was decorated with blooming flowers. The shops were spread over and their doors were adorned with festoons.
It had a theatre for dramas, recreational gardens (Udyanani), a circular wall and sala groves (Salamekhalam). It had deep moats filled with water surrounding it (durgagamibhiraparikham) which prevented the entry of friends and foes alike. The city shone with tall mansions studded with precious stones. There were separate mansions for women to play kuta (citram astapadakaram). The city with golden adornments was in the shape of a dice board (vimanagrhasobhitam). It was shining with seven storied mansions. The water in Ayodhya was as sweet as the sugarcane juice (iksukandarasodakam). The sound of musical instruments reverberated in the city (bhrsam naditam).
Like the abodes of siddhas in heaven there were a series of houses with space in front and back. There were thousands of wielders of weapons in the city. But they would not hurt those who were helpless, who had lost father or son, or who were neutral and watched without taking sides. They would not hurt those who have fled the battlefield scared of the arrows. A maharathah is one who fights guarding himself, his charioteer and the horses. It may also mean a person who fights against ten thousand soldiers. The city was full of such fighters. The city teemed with great sages who were virtuous, who performed sacrifices, who were learned in the Vedas and Vedangas and who had revelations and visions.