After establishing Dharma by ending Ravan’s rule and also getting back Mata Sita, Shri Ram started his return journey back to Ayodhya. It is believed that he travelled for 24 days visiting different places in the Pushpak along with his entire retinue while returning back to Ayodhya. From the Treta Yug, these places have become sacred centres and have beautiful memories of Shri Ram and Mata Sita till date.
During his journey in Pushpak, Shri Ram first stopped at this mountain on the advice of Rishi Agastya. Shri Ram wanted to absolve his sin of Brahmahatya because of slaying Ravan. When he sought advice of Rishi Agastya, the rishi asked him to worship Bhagwan Shiv at this sacred mountain. It is said that Mata Sita prepared the image of Bhagwan Shiv and Shri Ram worshipped him there. Even today, this temple has inscriptions mentioning the same.
Shri Ram while showing various places of his search of Mata Sita shows Kishkinda to Mata Sita. She feels elated on seeing it and requests Shri Ram to take along Tara, Ruma and all the royal ladies of Kishkinda back to Ayodhya for his coronation. Shri Ram happily agrees and Mata Sita invites all the royal ladies of Kishkinda to accompany her to Ayodhya.
After starting from Kishikinda, Hanuman sees the place where his mother resides and mentions the same to his swami. Shri Ram expresses a desire to pay respects to Mata Anjana and all land at Kachangiri where Mata Anjana resided. Shri Ram, Mata Sita, Lakshman along with Hanuman receive hospitality from Mata Anjana and take the blessings of Mata Anjana before they proceed to Ayodhya.
The Pushpak which was carrying the retinue of Shri Ram slowed its pace at Panchavati. This was because the ashram of the great Rishi Agastya was on the way. According to Valmiki Ramayan, Shri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman bowed to Rishi Agastya from the Pushpak itself and took his blessings before proceeding to Ayodhya.
From Panchavati, Shri Ram proceeded directly to Chitrakut. He desired to take the blessings of all the Rishis he served during his stay in Chitrakut. It is said that he rested in Chitrakut for a while before proceeding to Ayodhya. The trees under which Shri Ram rested along with Mata Sita are still present in the place and create a divine aura of Shri Ram’s presence.
Prayag – Rishi Bhardwaj Ashram
Shri Ram sought the blessings of Rishi Bhardwaj while returning back to Ayodhya, as he did while he started his exile journey. Shri Ram sends Hanuman from this place to Nandigram to inform Bharat
about his return. Shri Ram spends some time with Rishi Bhardwaj and also offers prayers at Prayagraj to the pious rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi.
After taking the blessings of Rishi Bhardwaj, Shri Ram proceeds to fulfil the promise given to his childhood friend Nishad Raj Guh and visits his at his place Sringaverpur. Mata Sita offers her prayers to River Ganga at the pious place and seeks her blessings. From there, all the retinue moves and reaches Nandigram. At Nandigram, Bharat welcomes them with tears of joy and places the holy feet on the padukas of Shri Ram and offers back the kingdom of Ayodhya back to Shri Ram.