French scholar C. Mentelle’s book “Courses of Cosmography (Cosmology), on Geography, on Chronology and on Ancient and Modern History’” was published in 1801 A.D. in the French language. Volume III contains Geography and History of Asia, Africa and America. C. Mentelle was a Member of the National Institute, and delivered 125 lessons at the Central School of Four-Nations. Its English version of the relevant portion is produced below:
“Avad, also known as Aoude and Oude in our country (France), and the learned Indians name it Adjudea, is one of the most ancient cities, situated on the banks of the river Ghaghra and we consider that the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu happened in this city, in the form of Ramji, whose father was the King of Avadh. The Indians come here from far off places on a big pilgrimage.
In those days at Ayodhya there was an edifice called the Celestial Temple, from where it is said that Ram or Ramji had taken to the heaven all the inhabitants of the city. This temple and several others were destroyed by the order of Aurang-zeb as he considered that these used to serve the purposes of a superstitious religion (cult).”