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The Ramayana
Characters & Places in the Great Hindu Epic

The most endearing epic of all times - the 'Ramayana' is replete with enchanting people & places. Here's a ready reckoner of characters & locations found in the stories of Ram - from Ahalya to Vibhishana and Ashoka-van to Sarayu.

Character

Description

Ahalya

Wife of sage Gautama, who was turned into a stone and later became free from curse by the touch of Rama

Bharat

Brother of Rama and son of Kaikeyi

Dasharatha

Rama's father and King of Kosala

Dashanan

Ten headed King of Lanka a.k.a. Ravana

Garuda

Eagel; King of winged creatures

Gautam

Sage/Rishi who cursed her wife Ahalya to be a stone for her immoral conduct

Hanuman

Son of the wind God; Devout of Rama and a leading warrior among monkey tribe

Indrajit

Ravana's son who fought with Rama with magical powers

Jambuvan

Leader of bears who found Sita with his supernatural powers

Janaka

King of Mithila; Father of Sita, who found her in a furrow

Jatayu

Great bird who was killed by Ravana while rescuing Sita

Kaikeyi

Dashartha's youngest queen and mother of Bharata who asked for Rama's exile

Kausalya

Dashratha's queen and Rama's mother

Kevat

Boatman who let Rama, Laxman and Sita cross the river in his boat and washes Rama's feet for his fee

Khar

Brother of Ravana and Shurpanakha

Kumbhkarna

Ravan's brother known for sleeping and eating

Kush

Son of Rama and Sita

Laxman

Queen Sumitra's son and Rama's brother

Lava

Son of Ram and Sita; brother of Kush

Mandavi

Bharat's wife & King Janak's daughter

Manthara

Maid servant of Keikeyi who convinced her for Bharat's thorn and exile of Rama

Maricha or Mareech

Who assumed form of suvarna mriga (golden deer) and help abduct Sita

Meghanad

Ravana's son, who made Laxman unconscious in the battlefield with his arrow

Nala - Nil

Son of great builder who helped Rama build bridge to Lanka

Ravana

Ten headed King of Lanka, who abducted Sita; brother of Vibhishana & Surpanakha; father of Indrajit; husband of Mandodari

Sampati

Brother of Jatayu

Shatrughna

Rama's younger borther

Shabari

Devotee of Ram who offered him berry fruit

Shatananda

Head Preist (kul Guru) of Mithila

Shiva

Hindu Lord, whose bow was lifted by Rama in swayamvar

Shravan

Son of blind parents; known as an idol of service to parents

Shrutkirti

Shatrughna's wife and King Janak's daughter

Shurpanakha

Ravan's sister whose ears and nose were cut by Laxman

Sita

Daughter of Janaka and wife of Rama

Sugriva

King of monkey tribe and King of Kiskindha

Sumanta

Charioteer of King Dasharatha

Sumitra

Wife of Dashratha; Mother of Laxman & Shatrughna

Sunayana

Wife of King Janak; Mother of Sita

Sushen

Lankan physician, who advised Sanjivani herbs from Kailas mountain in order to cure Laxman

Tataka

Demoness (rakshasi) killed by Rama; mother of Mareecha

Tulsidas

Sanskrit scholar and poet who created Ramcharitmanas, a version of Valmiki Ramayana in local Avadhi language

Urmila

Laxman's wife; daughter of King Janak and sister of Sita

Vali (Bali) or Vaali

Cousin of Sugriva, who occupied Kiskindha and was killed by Rama

Valmiki

Great Poet and creator of Ramayana; Sage who helped Sita and her two son Lava-Kush stay at her ashram

Vanara

Monkey; A hill tribe of Southern India

Vasistha

Head priest (kul Guru) of Ayodhya

Vibhishana

Ravana's brother who leaves Lanka to join Rama and later become king of Lanka

Vishnu

Hindu Lord; Rama is considered as eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Vishwamitra

Rishi, who took Rama for killing troubling demons

Place

Description

Ayodhya

Capital city of Kosala which was rules by Rama's father, Dashratha

Ashoka van

A place in Lanka where Ravana kept Sita after abduction

Chitrakoot or Chitrakut

Forest place where Rama, Sita and Laxman stayed during exile

Dandakaranya

Forest where Rama, Sita and Laxman traveled during vanvas exile

Godavari

River, crossing which Rama, Sita and Laxman reached Panchavati

Kailasa

Mountain where Hanuman found sanjivani; Abode of Lord Shiva

Kiskindha

Kingdom ruled by Sugriva, leader of monkey tribe

Kosala

Kingdom ruled by Dashratha

Mithila

kingdom ruled by king Janaka, Sita's father

Lanka

Island kingdom ruled by demon king Ravana

Panchavati

Rama, Sita and Laxman's forest hut, from where Sita was abducted by Ravana

Prayag

Confluence of river Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati (presently known as Allahabad)

Sarayu

River on the banks of which Ayodhya is situated


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