Ram : An Epic Traveler
Posted on April 16, 2020 by Ghoomophiro
Ever wonder that Ram and Sita from Ramayana were the epic travelers, who during their exile of 14 years traversed almost the India and parts of Srilanka.
For a few, it might be a fiction, but what is interesting is that the journey mentioned in Ramayana during his exile has its footprints across India.
Sharing the list of Places that Ram, Sita Lakshman, and his Vanar Sena traced and some places which are related to Ramayana otherwise and how these places are popularly known to the modern world.
Ayodhya, a small place near Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of Ram, where he was born to Kaushalya and King Dashrath. It is where Ram Rajya actually exists. Currently, Ayodhya is also known as the temple city of India due to the plethora of temples. The celebration of Ramnavmi is worth watching in Ayodhya.
Janakpur is the birthplace of Sita. The legend goes like that she was not born to Raja Janak, instead, he found her while plowing the land and her presence brought the rains to the place, which finished the long-lasting drought of Janakpur. Ram was married to Sita in Janakpur only.
Currently, it is known as Sitamarhi and is now south-east of Kathmandu. There is a special festival and celebrations occur on the marriage anniversary of ram & Sita. Janakpur is also one of the holy sites on the route of Parikrama (holy circle) which is carried out by devout Hindus as a form of worship along with Ayodhya, Kashi, and Brij in India.
In order to go beyond Ayodhya, when exile was given, Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman crossed the river Ganga from Prayag, which is popularly known as Allahabad now. The place is famous for its Sangam point and witness tourists during Kumbh Mela.
Currently situated on the borders of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, this place is famous for its beautiful Hindu scriptures. In Ramayana, it is the place where Bharat came to persuade Ram to come back to Ayodhya, and when Ram denied, he took his slippers. The trio spent a lot of time here. In the current Chitrakoot, everything relates to Ram.
Chitrakoot is a spiritual retreat, thronged almost throughout the year by the travelers, who have a penchant for the unknown and unexplored
Dandakaranya is a present-day Bastar which includes parts of Odisha, Chattisgarh. The trio was believed to stay in these Jungles for the majority of their exile time. Khar and Dhushan were killed by Ram in these jungles only.
Modern-day Nashik, is the home of the trio and find its mention in Ramayana as Panchvati. Nashik got its name because, it is here, where Lakshman actually cuts the Suparnkha nose. Ram built a small home at Panchvati and it is where events like Sita abduction happened. Visit the Kala Ram Mandir which is one of the most famous temples in Panchavati. Among other places, you could visit the Sita Gufa (The Cave of Sita) and Kapaleshwar Mandir. Every 12 years pilgrims come here to witness Kumbh Mela.
Kishkindha or modern-day Hampi (Karnataka) was the kingdom of apes. It is the place where the famous Sugriv Bali fight happened during Ramayana. Today, Hampi is one of the UNESCO sites. Ram and Lakshman met Hanuman and Sugriv at Kishkindha only.
You can visit Virupaksha temple, Vitthala temple. There is a cave on the bank of the Tungbhadra river where Sugriva is said to have hidden Sita’s jewels for safety. There are marks and streaks on the rocks, which are said to have been made by Sita’s ornaments.
Lepakshi Lepakshi is a famous archaeological place in Andhra Pradesh. In Ramayana, this is where Jatayu ( demi-god in the form of the eagle) tries to fight Ravana. Jatayu gets hurt and falls down by the time Rama arrives. Jatayu is rewarded in the form of moksha (liberation) by Rama. It is said that this event happened in Lepakshi
Veerbhadra Temple is the must-visit place while you are in the city. A large Nandi, which is supposed to be the largest in the world takes care of the city.
Rameshwaram, which is currently one of the char-dhams is the place, from, where Ram and his vanar sena actually started their journey to Srilanka. The place is famous for the beautiful Vivekananda temple and Shiv Temple. The story says, Sita also established a shivlinga on her way back from Srilanka.
Dhanuskodi is now an abandoned coastal village. It is at the tip of Pamban Island. The interesting part of Dhanuskodi is the existence of Palk Strait (Rama Setu). It is believed that Rama with the help of apes built this bridge to go to Lanka. However, there are many mysterious things about Rama Setu which will surprise you!
Modern-day Hakgala Botanical Garden in Srilanka is the Ashok Vatika where Sita was where Sita, was held captive after her abduction. The legend goes like, Sita denied stay with Ravana and chose to stay under the Ashok tree, waiting for Ram throughout her abduction.
This was Lord Rama’s first stop in Sri Lanka from where the conflict with Ravana’s mighty army began. After a lengthy battle, Lord Rama killed Ravana and then made Vibhishana as the king.
Currently, this place is located on the northwestern coast of Mannar Island. You can reach here by road from Mannar which links the island to the rest of the country through a causeway.
Most of the above places hold prime importance and are on the pilgrims’ bucket list. Needless to say, Ram literally traveled to the whole India, parts of Srilanka and Nepal too. This travel itinerary is indeed an interesting one especially for those who want to relive mythology.