During his 14 years of exile away from Ayodhya, He travelled across innumerable places and took blessings of great sages whom we remember and recall as icons and pillars of our culture. But His stay in Dandakaranya, embedded with fight between good and evil, and how Ram sailed his crucial and tough times of the life journey that continues to illuminate us with Dharma and its importance in the times of difficulty. The Maharshi Valmiki through this epic writing detailed on the truth and Dharma, personified through Ram and the places of his footprint, which are gives the cultural identity of the country and its people. In Valmiki Ramayan, the route from Panchavati to Hindu mahasagar is described in the cases of sojourn of Ravena and Hanuman. Vaimiki himself gives the details of these in his epic.
The journey through dense forests by Sita, Ram and Lakshman in their exile in Dakshinapatha has all footprints on the entire area that has been sanctified by the people since then. Every flora and fauna in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is linked with Ramayan. However, the places Nasik, Kandakuti, Bhadrachalam, Hampi and Rameshwaram hold significant place in the lives of Ram, Sita and Lakshman.
Kandakurthi: This village with vedic history called as Triveni Sangamam of Manjira, Haridra and Godavari rivers. It is believed that Bhagwan Ram along with Sita and Laxman visited this sangamam and stayed for some period. Local recall the areas visited by them which were transpired into cultural and sacred places of the area.
It is said that on the directions of Maharshi Agastya, Ram along with Sita Devi and Lakshman after ten years into their exile in the Dandakaranya reached in Parnasaala. This is the location celebrated as Panchavati from where Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. Parnasaala is a village associated with the Ramayan-era in the Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana. It lies at a distance of 35 kms from the famous temple town of Bhadrachalam. Parnasaala lies at an elevation of 55 meters on the banks of the Godavari river.
Rishimukhaparvatam is where Hanumanji first met Bhagwan Ram and Lakshman. This area under the kingdom identified as “Kishkinda” was the regions around the Tungabhadra river (then known as Pampa Saras) near Hampi in Karnataka. This kingdom was thought to be the kingdom of Vanara. It is believed that Ram spent the monsoon season in the Malbhavant mountains (Prastravan). Bali Bandara, Anjani Parvat, and Matang Rishi Mountain are among the attractions in the surrounding area.
Links between Ram and Tamil Nadu
In deciphering the connection between Kashi and Tamil, there are places linked to epic Ramayan in the State known for spiritual and cultural significance.
In Ramnathapuram, there is a place called Vaali Nokkam.The legend says, Bhagwan Ram killed Vaali and Kishkinda forest is in Vathirairupp, a taluk in Virudhunagar District.
In Tamil Nadu, an exclusive State called Padmanabhapuram or Ramnadu is noteworthy mention. Bhagwan Ram after killing Brahmin Ravana, did special poojas and yagnas in Rameswaram by praying to Bhagwan Shiva. He made a shiva out of sands.
Also, in Tenkasi, his brother Lakshman installed a Shiva Lingam at the Palvannanatha swamy ( Milky colour Shiva) in Karivalamvantha Nallur in Tenkasi district. We can even today go there and worship. in Danushkodi, the remnants of Ram sethu can be seen even today. Britishers and Dravidian elements call it Adam’s bridge. There are stones available there would float in the water.
In Tamil Nadu there are temples exclusively for Bhagwan Ram like Vazhuvoor near Mannargudi, Thillaivilagam, SriRangam (associated with Ramayan epic), Navabashanam Temple (Navagraha Temple), Devipattinam, Rameswaram where Bhagwan Rama calmed the sea at this coastal village to install nine stones representing the Navagraha’s. Those stones can still be watched partly submerged in the water close to the beach. In Chennai Koyambedu, there is a temple linked to Lava Kuzha and Ma Sita. There are places Maariyur (demon Mareesan), Vaalinokkam, Jambavan Odai, Ramanathapuram (in Ram’s name) and others that are linked to Ramayan and giant temples for Hanuman.
People in Tamil Nadu celebrate Sri Ram Navami, the birth day of Ram in Panguni Tamil Month, a month before Chitrai. In houses and temples, devotees conduct ten days discourse on Ramayana culminating with Sita Kalyanam (wedding). Besides, people to read Sundra Khand by following hard rituals to ward off evils and achieve success in their life.
There are folk songs that are mostly in oral ways not recorded in any print version. It is being passed on to the next generation by mouth by the elders.
Southeast Asian nations that were influenced by Indian culture have their versions of the Ramayan. For example, the Ramakien is one of Thailand’s national epics. Versions of the Ramayan do exist in Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and elsewhere. The Sri Sita Ramachandra swamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ram, a prominent avatar of the god Vishnu. It is located on the banks of the Godavari River in the town of Bhadrachalam in east Telangana. So Bhagwan Ram is universal one and not confined any particular geographical area.