The Ramayan is a constant source of happiness to all. For all the importance it carries right from the time of its inception, to today’s time, many places reflect the memories of the Ramayan where one can trace back the footsteps of Shri Ram , Mata Sita and Lakshman with great reverence and devotion in their journey from Ayodhya to Lanka.
Ayodhya –After Queen Kaikeyi ordered Shri Ram to leave for exile, Shri Ram along with Mata Sita and Lakshman started his journey from Ayodhya, his birthplace. From Ayodhya, they reached the banks of River Ganga at Sringaverpur, the kingdom of Nishad Raj Guh. In the present times, this place is famous as Singrora, situated 20 kilometers to the North of Allahabad. From here, Nishad Raj Guh ferried them across the river.
Prayag – After crossing River Ganga, the trio reached the holy confluence of the three rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi at holy Prayagraj. On the advice of Rishi Bhardwaj, the trio crossed River Yamuna and walked for two days to reach Chitrakut.
Chitrakut – On the banks of River Mandakini is Chitrakut. It was here that Bharat came searching for them and requested Shri Ram to come back to Ayodhya. Presently, situated in Madhya Pradesh, Chitrakut is called as one of the Panchtirthas of Ramayan where Shri Ram resided.
Dandakaranaya – This is a vast forest territory covering the region south of the Vindhya mountain range with states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh with River Godavari flowing out to the east. It is here at a place called Amaravathi, that Shri Ram and Lakshman killed the demon Viradh. Then they visited Rishi Sharabhang’s Ashram in Satna in Madhya Pradesh. While paying their visits to various revered sages, they visited Rishi Agasty at Nashik, who advised them to settle down at Panchavati near Godavari River. It is here that Shoorpanakha had an encounter with the brothers which led to the abduction of Mata Sita by Ravan.
Lepakshi – In the search of Mata Sita, Shri Ram and Lakshman crossed the Dandakranya and reached Lepakshi where they saw Jatayu being ripped off his wings in the battle with Ravan. After giving the whereabouts of Mata Sita, Jatayu breathed his last in this place which is presently in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh.
Ramdurg and Matanga hills – Post Jatayu’s demise, Shri Ram and Lakshman reached the forest where Kabandh resided in Ramdurg, Karnataka. From here, he reached Mata Shabari’s ashram at Matang hill, where he was advised to meet Sugriv at Kishkinda
Kishkinda – Present day Hampi, where Shri Ram met his dearest devotee Hanuman, and his friend Sugriv. With the help of Vanar army, Shri Ram knows that Mata Sita is captive in Lanka and start his journey further down south to Lanka to get back his beloved.
Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi: Shri Ram along with his Vanar army reached Ramaswaram, where he took the blessings of Bhagwan Shiv before crossing the ocean and then at Dhanushkodi, marked the place to start building the Ramsetu. The Ramsetu today is located as the stretch of limestone shoals between Rameswaram and the Mannar island in Sri Lanka
Talaimannar, Sri Lanka – The battle site of Lanka where Shri Ram killed Ravan. Crowning Vibhishan as the king of Lanka, Shri Ram along with Mata Sita , Lakshman and his entire entourage returned back in the Pushpak Viman form here back to Ayodhya to be crowned as king of Ayodhya.