Nandigram or Bharat Kund is situated on the Faizabad-Allahabad road, about 20km from Ayodhya. It is a village panchayat in the Masodha Block of Faizabad District in Uther Pradesh.
The village is 16 km from the district headquarters Faizabad and 20km from Ayodhya. And, the place is at a latitude of 26.6475057 and longitude of 82.1468847
The adjoining villages include Dost Pur, Pipri, Naipura, Raithuwa, Rajapur Mafi, all within 1 to 2km.
How to Reach Nandigram
You can reach Nandigram by road and rail. Faizabad is the nearby major center to Nandigram. Other neighboring cities include Rudauli (57km), Sultanpur (45km) and Tanda (64km). Further, Lucknow the state capital is 141km away from here.
The Bharat Kund Railway Station is the nearest railway station in the village. Other nearby little-known railway stations include Malethu Kanak Railway Station (6.7km) and Masodha Railway Station (8.7km). Further, Faizabad Jn Railway Station (14km) and Ayodhya Railway Station (18km) are the main railway stations.
Meanwhile, the nearest airports include Amausi Airport (141km), Gorakhpur Airport (144km), Bamrauli Airport (157km) and Varanasi Airport (168km).
The people of the village are simple, friendly and religious. Majority population is Hindus followed by Muslims. Further, people speak Hindi and Urdu languages.
The region experiences cold winters and hot summers. The temperature in the summer season (March to June) reach around 42 °C or more. Winters have an average temperature of about 16 °C, with colder nights. The best time to visit Nandigram is September to March.
The Ramayana circuit, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, identified Nandigram or Bharat Kund as one of the centers due to its connections with the epic Ramayana.
According to scriptures, this place has close links with events involving Lord Ram’s brother Bharat. Their father, King Dasaratha decided to coronate Bharat as the King of Ayodhya in place Lord Ram, his elder brother. However, Bharat stayed away from Ayodhya as he felt it was unethical to claim the crown. Instead, he believed the kingdom belonged to his elder brother.
A life of self-mortification, penance
He pleaded in vain to Lord Ram at Chitrakoot to return to Ayodhya and take the crown. A disturbed Bharat vowed not to enter Ayodhya unless Lord Ram returned home.
He decided to live in a small cave in Nandigram and governed Ayodhya as a caretaker in the absence of Lord Ram. As a token of loyalty to his elder brother, he ruled the country by worshipping Lord Ram’s padukas ( wooden sandals).
Leaving the comforts in Ayodhya, he followed a life of self-mortification and penance. Like a hermit, he spent years in Tapasya (long-meditation) in the tranquil and divine atmosphere of Nandigram, and waited for the return of Lord Ram from exile.
Thus, Nandigram served as the capital of the Khosla Kingdom for 14 years.
According to Tulsi Ramayana, when Lord Ram ultimately returned from exile, Bharat received him at Nandigram on the banks of the Tamsa river. The river then turned into a pond, now known as Bharat Kund.
Later, Bharat also organized Diwali celebrations to mark the victorious return of Lord Ram from Lanka and during his coronation as the King of Ayodhya.
The Holy Bharat Kund
Today, people visit here to perform Shraddha ceremony for their departed relatives and ancestors. They also use this peaceful place for meditation and relaxation.
The nearby Jatakund is believed to be the place where Lord Ram and Laxman had their hair (Jata) cut at the end of their exile.
You can see here a temple named Shri Bharat Hanuman Milan Mandir. The temple has statues of Bharat, Hanuman and the Padukas of Lord Ram, worshipped by devotees.
There are several temples and places of interest in and around Nandigram. These include Chhoti Devkali Temple, Ram Ki Paidi, and Shish Mahal.
Chhoti Devkali Temple
The Chhoti Devkali Temple is located near Naya Ghat in Ayodhya about 22 km from Bharat Kund. People believed that King Dasaratha this temple for Mata Sita. Goddess Devkali is the main deity here.
The 14-century Shish Mahal temple’s main deities are Lord Ram and Mata Sita. The temple is about 25km from Nandigram.
Ram Ki Paidi
Ram ki Paidi is a place in Ayodhya used by devotees to bathe in the River Sarayu. And, it is a traditional ritual to cleanse one’s sins and purify the soul. The place is about 24km from Nandigram. Further, there is a series of ghats built on the banks of River Sarayu for devotes to perform the ritual.