There are several reasons we call ‘Ramayana’ an epic. We all have grown up listening or watching Ramayana on television. It is said that Valmiki did not write one definite piece of text. He combined data from different sources which has passed down orally through the years. Today neither can we debate on the historical accuracy nor on its existence. Well, keeping aside the debates and perspectives regarding its existence, we must accept the fact that the ancient mythological epic has made us accept the harsh realities of life. From disharmony in a family to abduction to lessons about proving purity, the epic talks about all. In simple words, the story is about an exiled prince who wages war against another king who kidnapped the former’s wife.
We bring to you 10 pictures that will make you believe Ramayana existed in real life.
Lord Hanuman footprints
We all are aware that Lord Ram took the help of Hanuman to find Sita’s location when she was abducted by the demon king Ravana. Hanuman had a divine blessing that would allow him to alter his size – which means he could increase his size to that of a giant and also minimise to an average monkey. Even today, in certain places like Sita Eliya in Sri Lanka and Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh, there exists footprints of Hanuman in different sizes giving a hint of his existence.
When Ravan abducted Sita he first took her to a place which is today called as Sita Kotuwa. The spot is now a popular tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. From here he took her to Ashok Vatika which today exists with the name ‘Ashokvanam’ in Sri Lanka.
Divurumpola which literally means a ‘place of oath’ is located in Sri Lanka. This is the place where Sita underwent the ‘Agni Pariksha’ to prove her purity and fidelity. It is a popular place of worship among the locals.
Kanniya Hot Springs
Located in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, Kanniya Hot Springs is a site with seven hot water wells in a square shape. These wells are 3-4 feet deep. It is believed that they were built by Ravana.
When Sita was abducted by Ravan, Jatayu, a demi-god in vulture form, tried to stop Ravan. But the demi-god was attacked. While he was breathing his last, he was visited by Ram, Hanuman, and Lakshman. Ram uttered the words ‘Le Pakshi’ meaning ‘Rise bird’. This place exists as a temple in Andhra Pradesh and also has footprints of Hanuman.
Also known as Adam’s Bridge, Ram Setu is a bridge built by the Vanar Sena which Ram used to reach Lanka and rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. The bridge is a chain of limestone shoals between Rameswaram Island of Tamil Nadu and Mannar Island of Sri Lanka. NASA had released a picture of an underwater bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka.
The stones used in the bridge are said to be floating ones. Even after so many centuries, the floating stones are present in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
Hanumangarhi is a temple of Lord Hanuman located in Ayodhya. The temple has over 70 stairs and is carved around the cave. It is believed to be the place where Hanuman waited for Lord Ram while he was in exile.
Cobra Hood Cave
The Cobra Hood Cave located in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka is a cobra-shaped cave. It is believed to be the place where demons held Sita as a captive. The cave has paintings on walls depicting the scenes which show Sita being captured by asuras.
Hanuman’s tail was set on fire when Ravan found out about his efforts to free Sita. In the process, Hanuman with the fire on tail jumped from one part of the kingdom to another. Interestingly, even today the place where Ravan’s kingdom once stood has soil somewhat darker than that of the surrounding areas.