How Many Miles Did Rama Walk?

Ramayana Wonders- Part 2

In the first part, I mentioned that over 200 plants and 185 weapons are mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana. Bible mentioned only 110 plants. Those who want the lists of plants and weapons can get them from the glossary of Hari Prasad Shastri’s translation of Ramayana. I have also got the full list of weapons and plants mentioned in the Ramayana

How many miles did Rama walk?

Indians are the Ancient Marathon champions. No literature in the world talks about long walks. Only two ancient Indians walked long distance and beat all the world records. Rama walked over 2000 miles from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka. He did not walk in a straight line as the crow flies. He had to cross the thick tropical forest, Dandaka Aranya, and cross several rivers before he entered Karnataka (Kishkinda) where he met Hanuman and Sugreeva. Then he came to Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and crossed the sea to go to Sri Lanka. He covered over 2000 miles. Adi Shankara who came several thousand years after Rama, walked all over India several times and established four centres in the four corners of India.

Some foreign scholars tried to belittle Rama’s grand travel by saying that the Lanka  that Valmiki mentioned was an island in the Godavari River. Those myths were exploded by the Sangam Tamil Works and Saivaite and Vaishnavaite references to Lanka in Thevaram and Divya Prabandham. Scholars who put forth those absurd theories did not know Tamil literature. One of the Sangam Tamil poets name is Valmiki!


Buddhists took Ramayana to China in the first century AD. The names are distorted as Lomo (Rama), Poloto (Bharata), Loman (Lakshman),Naloyen (Narayan). The Pali Tripitaka was rendered in Chinese and compiled in the name of Taisho edition. Dasaratha Jataka and Story of Unnamed king were translated in 472 and 251 AD. Ravana was described as a wicked Naga King. Dasaratha Jataka has a verbatim Pali translation of Valmiki’s Sanskrit sloka!

Buddhists tried to enlist the national hero of India Rama on their side by transcribing his legend into their own in the Dasaratha Jataka.

Kush Vamsa in Ethiopia

Rama’s son ruled Kusha Dwipa. Ethiopian King considers himself as a descendant of Kush. According to P.N. OAK, swami Krisnananada was told by Haile Selaasie, King of Ethiopia that his dynasty came from Kush , son of Ham (Ram).

Niroshta (No Lip Touching) Ramayana

Of the 300 versions of Ramayana, Niroshta Ramayana,  is an interesting piece. When one reads it or recites it the lips won’t touch or close together. No labial letters are used. Hindus believe human saliva or spit is unclean, particularly when they do religious rituals. So they wanted to say Rama’s name without spit/saliva polluting it.

Saraswati Mahal Library in Thanjavur has got rare books. One of the books is Sabdarth Chintamani. This Sanskrit book was written by Chidambara Kavi sometime in the 15th or 16th century. If anyone reads the couplets from left to write, it is Ramayana story. If one reads it from right to left it is Mahabharata. Later he wrote Kathathreya including Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavatha in the same verse. It is a Three in One Hindu scripture. Only Sanskrit language can do such wonders! Tamil has Poet Kalamegam’s puns, but that is entirely a different genre.

In Sanskrit Kalidasa dealt with the story of Rama in Raguvamsa, Bhavabhuti in Uttara Ramacharita, Bhojaraja in Ramayana Chambu and Ramachandra Dikshitar in Janaki Parinayam. In Tamil the great poet Kamban wrote the story of Ramayana in verse form, Arunachala Kavirayar in Drama. Number of references is in Bhasa’s dramas and Alvars hymns.

Ramayana in One Day

Rajatarangini of Kalhana says that Damodaran, predecessor of Kanishka heard the whole of Ramayana in one day to cure a curse.

Ramayana recitation and musical discourses are done in every language in all parts of India. When Chera King Kulasekara was listening to a musical discourse of Ramayana he got mesmerised by the talk. When the speaker described how Rama was fighting all alone with 14000 demons of Kara Dushana army, the king stood up and ordered his army to march to help Ramayana. He was so absorbed in the story he even forgot he was listening to a story. Then the embarrassed ministers sent some men to say to king that Rama defeated the Kara Dushanas.

Bodi Palace Ramayana Paintings

Not many people knew Tamil Nadu has beautiful Ramayana paintings on the walls of Ramanathapuram and Bodi palaces. Nayak kings made artists paint them on the walls at least four hundred years ago. Ramanathapuram palace paintings describe Ram’s history up to Sita Kalyanam (Sita’s wedding). Bodi palace has got more on this topic. All the colour paintings were done with herbs. Madurai Meenakshi temple and Alagarkoil also got some Nayak paintings on the same theme.


New Information in Sangam Tamil Literature

Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavatham (Krishna’s life history) are very familiar in Tamil Nadu 2000 years ago. Tolkappiam, the oldest Tamil book refers to Baladevan’s Palmyra flag. Sangam literature speaks about river Yamuna and Gopika girls bathing with Krishna. But it gives some new information about Rama and Sita which was not found in Valmiki Ramayana. Rama consulted engineers under a banyan tree on the sea shore. Lot of birds were making a big noise. Rama asked them to keep quiet and all the birds fell into pin drop silence. This is in one of the verses. Another verse says that when Sita threw the jewels, the monkeys that picked up the jewels wore them in the wrong way. Likewise when a king gave the singers lot of jewels they did not know what to wear where. This is in Purananuru, Sangam Tamil anthology.

Lakshmana in GSS

Gatha Sapta Sati is an anthology of 700 sexy love poems in Prakrit language. One of the poems beautifully describes Lakshman’s chastity. Rama’s brother Lakshman was most famous for his character of observing a  vrata (vow) not to look at married women. He never saw Sita’s face after she got married to Rama. On the banks of River Godavari an amorous gentleman looks at his brother’s wife when his brother was away. The sister in law who was embarrassed showed him a painting on the wall where a Ramayana scene was painted. Painting showed Lakshmana looking at the earth or Sita’s feet in the company of Rama and Sita. This couplet speaks a lot: 1.There were Ramayana paintings in homes like we have calendars today 2.Chaste women were intelligent enough to give the message without mincing words.

Contd. In the third part………………………..

Source Materials: India in the Ramayana Age by Shantikumar Nanooram Vyas; The Ramyana of Valmiki- translated by Hari Prasad Shastri and Articles by PN Oak and CV Vaidya. Pictures are from Face Book and other websites. Thanks. Contact

Please read other posts about Rama: 1. Ram –the Best PR Man 2. தியாகராஜ சுவாமிகளுடன் 60 வினாடி பேட்டி 3.நாமும் அனுமார் ஆகலாம் 4.கம்பனுடன் 60 வினாடி பேட்டி 5.ராமாயண வினா-விடை (க்விஸ்) 5.Ramayana Wonders Part 1



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