Ayodhya was the capital city of the kings of Ikshvaku. But it then became one of the seven most sacred cities in India because it was the birthplace of King Rama. Ayodhya was also where Rama ruled as king after he defeated Ravana. Ram Navami is the festival that is still celebrated there, one of the five great fasts (mahavratas) of Vaishnavism.
Ayodhya has become a flash point for communal struggles in modern India since a four-century-old mosque was destroyed by radical Hindus there. They believed that it had been built over the very birthplace of Rama.