Hanuman Garhi is one of the most popular temples of Ayodhya. It is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, who attained divinity due to his unwavering devotion to Lord Rama.
There is a belief in Ayodhya that Hanuman is the protector of Rama’s house. This is because he sits on a nearby hillock continuously guarding the current Ram Janmabhumi temple, which stood next to Hanuman Ghari until the Mughal invader Babar demolished it. Perhaps this belief comes from a line by Saint Tulsidas in Hanuman Chalisa – राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे.
Hanuman Garhi is located on a hill, and to reach the temple, one has to climb a flight of 76 steps. The temple complex is characterized by a four-sided fort-like structure with a tall spire (shikhar) at the top. It is built in a way that resembles a fortress, representing the protector aspect of Lord Hanuman.
The main deity of Hanuman Garhi is Lord Hanuman, who is depicted in a sitting posture. The idol of Lord Hanuman is believed to be a swayambhu (self-manifested) idol, meaning it is said to have appeared on its own without human sculpting. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple also houses idols of other deities, including Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana.
The temple has undergone renovations and expansions over the years to accommodate the growing number of devotees. Hanuman Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman, is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm at Hanuman Garhi, attracting a large number of devotees.
According to local folklore, the construction of the temple was initiated in the 18th century by a saintly devotee of Lord Hanuman, Baba Abhayram Das.