Following Rama's trail : Take a road trip to places in Ramayana
In this post we tell Lord Ram’s story by way of taking us through the places that bear witness to his life, that bear witness to the great Indian epic, Ramayan. From the Lord’s birth, through his journey across his exile to the point of his final departure to the enemy kingdom for winning back his beloved wife, we shall see it all. Let’s take a look.
Diwali is just round the corner and we know (that) Lord Ram is a most popular hero among Indians. We, at trodly thought of this as the right time to discover places that the hero visited during his journey in the epic. Rama has been inspiring generations after generations of people and is an idol to the young and old alike. Ram is Lord Vishnu’s 7th incarnation. He lived during the Treta Yug when dharma is said to have stood on three legs. Born to king Dashrath and his eldest queen, Kaushalya into the Ikshvaku Dynasty, he was the king of Ayodhya. He wins Sita’s hand at a swayamvar by proving his worth as the most powerful man.
Lord Ram had to be sent to exile by his father Dashrath who was honour bound by a promise he made to Kaikeyi, another one of his queens. This exile or ‘vanvasa’ was to last for 14 years during which Lord Ram, accompanied by his wife and most beloved brother was to dwell in the forests. It is during this time that Ravan, the king of Lanka abducted Sita. This led to the Great War in Ramayan at the end of which Sita was rescued.
Ram, Sita and the forever loyal brother of Lord Ram, Lakshman return to Ayodhya in the midst of much rejoicement having completed their long 14 year tenure of banishment. Diwali refers to the lavish decoration of Ayodhya with lights by the people of the city to celebrate the return of their much awaited king, lord Ram.
This is the town where the immortal hero of the Indian epic, Lord Rama was born. Found on the banks of River Sarayu by Manu, the Adam of the Indian Mythology, this more than 10,000 year old town defies what is regarded as ‘ancient’. With places like Hanuman Garhi, Ramkot, Nageshwar temple and Chakravarti Maharaj Dashrath Mahal, this place abounds in legends and testimonies to India’s rich history.
Prayag (Allahabad), UP
The land of the Triveni Sangam and one of the four holy sites of the Kumbh mela, this venerable primordial city has seen the Vedas unfold; it has seen the Mauryas, the Guptas and Harshavardhan besides numerous others. It also played host to Lord Ram of Ramayan when this holy emperor came to Rishi Bharadwaj’s ashram with his beloved Sita and Lakshman. With places like the Allahabad fort and numerous museums and museums, it’s fascinating for all its history and heritage.
Chitrakoot is where the Lord made a home for himself after staying at Sage Valmiki’s on Kamadgiri Mountain near River Mandakini. Great sages like Atri and Markandeya meditated here. King Dashrath’s shraddh was performed here by the Lord. After the visit of his brother Bharat, Rama left the place due to the painful memories it now held for him. With places Hanuman Dhara and Janki Kund, Chitrakoot is lovely.
Nashik was the location for much drama in Ramayan. Lord Ram, after a sojourn at Agasthya Ashram here made a home for himself at Panchavati in Dandakaranya, the setting of the Aranya Kanda. Lakshman, who built the bamboo cottage here, is the one who gave this place its name after having cut of Surpanakha’s ‘nasika’ or nose. Above all, Sita was abducted by the mighty Ravan from here. As a Kumbh mela destination, and with the Kalaram Temple, this place bears witness to a lot.
Located in the Belgaum district, this place also supposedly played host to the Lord and his wife and brother during their exile. This was a princely state until March 1948. 16 Kms away, the gorgeous Godachi fair is held. Besides, there’s also the Maruthi Temple at Sunnal near Ramdurg. Lord Ram’s most sincere and venerated devotee is quite alive and is said to bless each devotee twice.
Hampi is Kishkindha, the ‘Vanar’ kingdom which was the seat of King Sugrive, Lord ram’s ally in fighting Ravan. Sugrive won the kingdom from his older brother Vali with lord Ram’s help who stayed at the Malyavat Mountains for about four months. With temples like Achyutaraya, Chandramauleshwara, Malyavanta Raghunathaswami and Hazara Rama besides the temple complexes of Krishna and Vittala, this is a place where you can go deep into understanding the Lord’s significance.
This is an ancient place that has no date of origin. It has been around since time immemorial. It has seen kings come and go and it has seen battles lost and one like the one fought by Ram in Lanka. Legend goes that the foundation stone of the Ram Setu built by the Vanar sena to make way for Lord Ram’s passage to lanka was laid in a village called Chedu Karai in the vicinity.
Rameswaram & Dhanushkodi , TN
Rameshwaram is wherefrom the lord built his bridge to right the wrong done to his wife. This is where people come to see the Adam’s bridge which suggests the presence of a real connection between the Indian mainland and Srilanka. Lord Ram supposedly broke the bridge with the edge of his bow just like he had marked the spot thus giving the place the name Dhanushkodi which translates to ‘the corner of a bow’. The Kodhana Ram Covil temple points the starting point of Ram’s journey.
Suchandra is an English grad pursuing her masters at present. She is absolutely crazy about exploring places and loves to read novels when she isn't writing for Trodly. She hopes to do at least one-fifth of what her bucket list contains but we wish she does everything in it.
This post was originally published on Trodly travel blog.