8 Ramayana Landmarks That Await Your Discovery!

Step into the captivating world of the Ramayana this Sri Rama Navami as we embark on a journey through time to uncover eight remarkable landmarks steeped in myth and legend. From sacred temples echoing with the chants of devotion to ancient cities resonating with tales of heroism, each site holds a piece of the epic saga of Lord Rama. Join us as we explore these hallowed grounds where history meets mythology, and where the timeless narrative of courage, love, and righteousness continues to inspire generations. Whether you're a devout follower seeking spiritual enlightenment or a curious traveler eager to delve into ancient lore, these Ramayana landmarks promise an unforgettable adventure waiting to be discovered.

1. Ayodhya

Explore the ancient city of Ayodhya, Start your road trip in the ancient city of Ayodhya, where the Ramayana story began. It's the perfect beginning to your journey! Start your journey at Ramkot, believed to be Lord Ram's birthplace. Visit Hanumangarhi Temple, nestled high in a citadel, where Hanuman guarded Ramkot Fort.

In Ayodhya, see Dasrath Bhavan, built where King Dasrath's palace once stood, and Kanak Bhawan, gifted to Lord Ram and Sita by Kaikeyi. Discover Sita Ki Rasoi, where Sita cooked for the royal family, and other attractions like Tulsi Udyan, Mani Parbat, and Guptar Ghat.

To reach Ayodhya, you can travel by road from cities like Lucknow (135 km), Gorakhpur (140 km), Allahabad (160 km), Varanasi (200 km), or Delhi (636 km). A cab from Lucknow takes about 3 hours to cover the 135 km distance. Plan for a 2-day trip to fully experience Ayodhya's charm.


2. Prayagraj

Explore Prayagraj, once known as Allahabad, a vibrant city in Uttar Pradesh bursting with mythology, history, and culture. Legend has it that when Ram, Sita, and Lakshman were exiled, they stayed at Sage Bharadwaj's Ashram here before heading to Chitrakoot.

Prayagraj is famous for Sangam, where the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati meet. Bathing in these sacred waters is believed to cleanse sins. Don't miss the grand statue of Lord Hanuman at Bare Hanumanji Temple near Sangam. Other attractions include Khusro Bagh, Anand Bhawan Museum, and Allahabad Fort, offering a unique historical journey.


3. Chitrakoot

Chitrakoot is a special place known for its natural beauty and spiritual importance. It's one of India's most important spots from the Ramayana story. Ram, Sita, and Lakshman spent many years here during their exile, and many significant events from their lives took place here.

For instance, this is where Bharat came to inform Ram about their father's death and begged him to return to Ayodhya, known as Bharat Milap. It's also said that when Ram honored his father with the Shuddhi ritual, all the gods and goddesses gathered here.

Chitrakoot lies between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Don't miss visiting the Gupt Godavari Cave, where Ram and Lakshman reportedly held court during their exile. Other must-see places include Valmiki Ashram, Sphatik Shilam, Ram Ghat, and Hanuman Dhara. From Allahabad it'll take about 2 hours to cover the 103 km distance to reach the destination. Recommended trip duration is 2 days.


4. Dandakaranya Forest

During their exile, Ram, Sita, and Lakshman journeyed from Chitrakoot to the vast Dandakaranya forest in India, as mentioned in the Ramayana. They spent years in this beautiful yet fearsome forest, believed to be inhabited by rakshasas at the time. Today, this area is part of Chhattisgarh's Bastar district.

Bastar is rich in forests, wildlife, waterfalls, ancient temples, palaces, tribes, and stunning tribal art. Don't miss visiting the majestic Bastar Palace and the exquisite Danteshwari Temple. Explore natural wonders like Tirathgarh Falls, Kanger Dhara, Chitradhara, Mandawa Waterfall, and Tamada Ghumar.

From Raipur, a cab ride will take about 7 hours to cover the 289 km distance to reach Bastar. Recommended trip duration is 2 days.


5. Nashik

Panchavati, now known as Nashik, is a city 2,300 feet above sea level. It holds significance in the Ramayana as the place where Sita was abducted by the demon king Ravana.

It's where Ravana's sister, Shurpanakha, proposed to Ram, and the town got its name, "Nashik" meaning "nose," when Lakshman cut off her nose, which fell nearby.

Panchavati attracts pilgrims every year, becoming one of India's key religious sites. The Kala Ram Mandir marks the spot where Ram, Sita, and Lakshman are believed to have lived. Ram Kund is a sacred bathing spot where it's said Lord Ram bathed; taking a dip here is considered highly auspicious.

From Nashik, it takes about 4 hours by car to cover the 170 km distance to Panchavati. Recommended trip duration is 2 days.


6. Lepakshi

Remember the epic battle between the huge bird Jatayu and Ravana as he tried to escape with Sita? Jatayu fought bravely but was wounded and fell to the ground. This location is now known as Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh. According to the Ramayana, this is where Ram met the dying Jatayu and helped him find peace.

Lepakshi is filled with mythical charm and ancient temples. The Veerabhadra Temple stands out as a magnificent symbol of the Vijayanagara empire's cultural and architectural heritage. Don't miss the temples of Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Srirama, and Durga atop the nearby Kurma Saila hill, shaped like a tortoise.

It'll take about 2 hours to cover the 124 km distance from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh to Lepakshi. Recommended trip duration is 1 day.


7. Hampi

Hampi is renowned for its stunning temples and monuments, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend has it that Ram and Lakshman met an elderly ascetic named Shabari in Hampi, where she lived in Matanga Parvat, once her Guru Matanga's Ashram.

When Ram told Shabari about Sita's capture, she advised seeking help from Hanuman and Sugriva near Pampa lake. Ram bathed in Matanga Lake before continuing his journey.

Hampi is also associated with Kishkindha, the kingdom of Bali and Sugriva, where Ram met Hanuman and organized his army. Today, it's the area around the Tungabhadra river near Hampi.

Don't miss visiting the Shri Virupaksha Temple, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stables, Hazara Rama Temple, Zenana Complex, King's Court, and the underground Shivalaya in Hampi. It'll take about 6 hours to cover the 340 km distance To reach Hampi from Bangalore by a car. Recommended trip duration is 2 days.


8 . Rameswaram

Dhanushkodi, an abandoned town at the southern tip of Pamban Island in Rameswaram, is where Ram ordered the Vanara army to start building the bridge to Lanka, known as Ram Setu. Located in Tamil Nadu, pilgrims often bathe in the ocean here before visiting Rameshwaram.

It's believed that after defeating Ravana, Ram stopped here to worship Shiva and seek forgiveness for Ravana's death. Don't miss visiting Ramanathaswamy Temple, Jada Tirtham, Pamban Bridge, Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple, and Gandhamadhana Parvatham, where Hanuman carried the Sanjeevani herb to Lakshman. To reach Rameswaram from Madurai, by car it'll take about 3 hours to cover the 172 km distance. Recommended trip duration is 1 day.

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