The Ramayana Trail: 8 Ancient Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is primarily observed to commemorate Lord Ram‘s return to his kingdom in Ayodhya. It’s also fascinating to witness places from Ramayana in modern-day India. Thousands of years after Ramayana was first told, different parts of India still echo with the tales of Lord Ram’s journey down peninsular India to save his wife.

Diwali also brings a chunk of holidays, and it’s the perfect time to embark on a trip with your friends and family! Why not retrace places from Ramayana in modern-day India, embarked upon by the noble prince Ram, his devoted wife Sita and brother Lakshman to indulge in the true spirit of the festival?

We’ve assembled a list of ancient places from Ramayana in modern-day India, perfect for every kind of traveller seeking a road trip that is enriched with scenic views and historical significance.

We have assembled a list of ancient places from Ramayana in modern-day India, perfect for every kind of traveller seeking a road trip that is enriched with scenic views and historical significance. 

1. Ayodhya 

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Ayodhya
Ayodhya – The Birth Place of Lord Ram

The ancient city of Ayodhya is known to be the setting of Ramayana, as it is where the epic began. What better way to start your road trip at the very place that started it all? 

Ramkot, also known as Rama Janmabhoomi, is a popular tourist attraction that is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. There are various notable temples to visit here, in addition to the upcoming Ram Mandir. Hanumangarhi’s temple, dedicated to Hanuman, is set high in a citadel that can be reached after climbing 76 steps. Hanuman is said to have resided in a cave here and guarded the Ramkot Fort.

You can also visit the Dasrath Bhavan in Ayodhya, which is located right in the heart of the city. King Dasrath was Lord Ram’s father, and this temple is believed to have been built at the exact location of King Dasrath’s original palace. The Kanak Bhawan, popularly known as Sone-ka-Ghar, is also located in Ayodhya. It is said that Lord Ram’s stepmother Kaikeyi gifted the newlyweds this shrine, which holds three golden-crowned statues of Lord Ram and his wife, Goddess Sita.

Did you know you can visit the place where goddess Sita prepared meals for the royal family? Sita Ki Rasoi, located on the Ram Janamasthan’s northwestern side, is said to be an ancient kitchen used by the goddess Sita herself. Tulsi Udyan, Mani Parbat, and the Guptar Ghat are some more attractions that convey the soul of Ayodhya.

  • How to get there: Ayodhya is linked by road to major cities and towns, including Lucknow (135 kilometres), Gorakhpur (140 kilometres), Allahabad (160 kilometres), Varanasi (200 kilometres), and Delhi (636 km). You can book a cab from Lucknow to Ayodhya, and it will take you 3 hours to cover a distance of around 135 km to reach Ayodhya. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 2 days
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Kohinoor Palace Ayodhya, Birla Dharamshala, Rama Residency.

[Also Read: Famous arts and handicrafts from Uttar Pradesh]

2. Prayagraj 

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Prayagraj
Triveni Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the Sarasvati River, at Prayagraj

Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad, is one of Uttar Pradesh’s largest cities, rich in mythology, history, religion, and culture. When Ram, Sita, and Lakshman were exiled for 14 years, folklore has it that they crossed the sacred river Ganga. They spent some time in Sage Bharadwaj’s Ashram in Prayagraj before travelling to neighbouring Chitrakoot.

Prayagraj is home to several spiritual sites, including Sangam, which is the Sanskrit term for confluence. Sangam is a Hindu sacred location where the three rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati meet. A bath in the holy water is said to wipe away all your sins!  

You can also see the magnificent statue of Lord Hanuman in Bare Hanumanji Temple, situated near the Sangam. You can also visit the Khusro Bagh, Anand Bhawan Museum and Allahabad Fort to get enriched in a one-of-a-kind historical experience.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Prayagraj Airport to your hotel in Prayagraj, and it will take you 37 minutes to cover a distance of around 14.6 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 1 day
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Polo Max, Hotel Vashishtha, Hotel Kashi, Hotel Rahi Triveni Darshan.

3. Chitrakoot 

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Chitrakoot
Bathing ghats on the Mandakini River in Chitrakoot

Chitrakoot is a sacred location known for both its natural beauty and spiritual significance. It is one of the most significant places from Ramayana in modern-day India. Ram, Sita, and Lakshman spent years in exile at Chitrakoot. It is also associated with major events in Ram and Sita’s lives.

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Chitrakoot
Bharat pleads with Rama to return to Ayodhya

This is where Bharat came to notify Lord Ram about the death of his father, King Dhashrath, and to plead that he return to Ayodhya. This sequence was referred to as Bharat Milap in the Ramayana. It is also believed that when Lord Ram performed the Shuddhi ritual in honour of his father, all the Gods and Goddesses gathered here.

Chitrakoot is located in between the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. You should visit the Gupt Godavari Cave which is tucked in the footsteps of a majestic hillock. It is interesting to note that during their exile, Ram and Lakshman are claimed to have held court in this cave. When in Chitrakoot, you must also visit the Valmiki Ashram, Sphatik Shilam, Ram Ghat, and Hanuman Dhara.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Satna in Madhya Pradesh, and it will take you 2 hours to cover a distance of around 90 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 2 days
  • Where to Stay: The River Front Resort, Shri Bhagwat Dham, Hotel Mandakini The Heritage, Anand Resorts.

[Also Read: Explore Madhya Pradesh]

4. Dandakaranya Forest

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Dandakaranya Forest
Tirathgarh Waterfall at Kanger Ghati in Bastar district 

During their exile in the woods, Ram, Sita, and Lakshman walked from Chitrakoot to India’s huge Dandakaranya forest, according to the scripture. According to Ramayana, the trio spent years in this beautiful but terrifying forest, which was thought to be filled with rakshasas at the time. This area is now part of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district

This region is home to forests, animals, waterfalls, ancient temples, palaces, tribes, and stunning tribal art. The architecturally aesthetic Bastar Palace and the exquisite Danteshwari Temple. Tirathgarh Falls, Kanger Dhara, Chitradhara, Mandawa Waterfall and Tamada Ghumar are among the many places you should visit in Bastar.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Raipur to your hotel in Dandakaranya, and it will take you 7 hours to cover a distance of around 289 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 2 days
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Aaradhya International, Bastar Jungle Resort and Hotel Avinash International.

[Also Read: Offbeat getaways in India: Chhattisgarh]

5. Nashik 

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Nashik
Brahmagiri in Nashik District

Panchavati, or modern-day Nashik, is a city steeped in legend and sits 2,300 feet above sea level. It is significant in the Ramayana because it is where Sita was taken by the demon king Ravana.

This is where Ravan’s sister ‘Shurpankha’ appeared and proposed marriage to Ram. It is stated that the town was named ‘Nashik’, which means ‘nose’, when Lakshman sliced off her nose, which landed nearby. 

People go to Panchavati every year, making it one of India’s most important religious attractions. The Kala Ram Mandir is situated on the site where Ram is said to have built his hut with Sita and Lakshman. There is a popular belief that Lord Ram had his bath in Ram Kund and a dip in this sacred place is considered very pious.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Mumbai Airport to your hotel in Nashik, and it will take you 4 hours to cover a distance of around 170 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 2 days
  • Where to Stay: The Gateway Hotel Ambad Nashik, ibis Nashik, Trirashmi Villa, Ginger Nashik.
[Also Read: Things to Do in Nashik – A Getaway like No Other]

6. Lepakshi

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Lapekshi
Veerabhadra Temple in Lepakshi

Remember the fight a huge bird named Jatayu put up against Ravana when he tried to flee with Sita in the sky after abducting her? Ravana attacked Jatayu and clipped his wings, causing the bird to fall to the ground. The location of the fall is modern-day Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh. According to the Valmiki Ramayana, this is where Ram met the dying Jatayu and helped him reach salvation.

Lepakshi is steeped in mythical grandeur and is known for its age-old temples. The main attraction here is the Veerabhadra Temple, which serves as a wonderful reminder of the Vijayanagara empire‘s cultural and architectural legacy. You must also visit the temples of Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Srirama, and Durga atop the neighbouring Kurma Saila, often known as the tortoise-shaped hill.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh to Lepakshi, and it will take you 2 hours to cover a distance of around 124 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 1 day
  • Where to Stay: Lepakshi Haritha Hotel, Palla Residency, Ajanta Lodge.
[Also Read: Lepakshi – A Paragon of Excellent Architecture and Art]

7. Hampi

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Hampi
The fourth chapter of Ramayana mentions Kishkinda in Hampi as the citadel of Bali.

Hampi is the pinnacle of architectural magnificence, famous for its temples and monuments. Hampi’s architectural ruins have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is where Ram and Lakshman met an elderly woman ascetic called Shabari. She resided in her Guru Matanga’s Ashram in Hampi, which is today known as Matanga Parvat. On his way to Lanka, Lord Ram passed through the area and stopped at the ashram. She then fed Ram and his brother Lakshman. 

They told her about Sita’s capture, and Shabari advised that they seek assistance from Hanuman and Sugriva of the monkey kingdom, who dwelt farther south near the Pampa lake. After that, Lord Ram took a holy bath in Matanga Lake, also known as Pampa Sarovara.

Kishkindha, the kingdom of Bali and Sugriva, is where Ram met Hanuman and other Vanara (monkeys) and organised his army, the Vanarsena, with the assistance of Sugriva. This kingdom is now defined as the area around the Tungabhadra river near Hampi. 

Shri Virupaksha Temple, Lotus Mahal, Elephant stables, Hazara Rama temple complex, the Zenana complex, Kings Court, the underground Shivalaya are some of the places you can visit in Hampi.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Bangalore, Karnataka to Hampi, and it will take you 6 hours to cover a distance of around 340 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 2 days
  • Where to Stay: Kishkinda Heritage Resort, White Sand Hampi, Waterfall Guesthouse, Mayura Bhuvaneshwari KSTDC Hotel.

[Also Read: Hampi – An Essential Sanctum for the History Lover]

9. Rameswaram

Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India - Rameswaram
The Pamban Lighthouse is one of the two lighthouses on the Rameswaram

Dhanushkodi, an abandoned town in the southernmost tip of Pamban Island in Rameswaram is where Ram commissioned the Vanarsena to begin the construction of a bridge to Lanka. The Ram Setu was constructed in the strait that separates modern-day India from Sri Lanka. It is located in Tamil Nadu, and it is from here that Ram and Vanara army built a bridge called Ram Sethu to Lanka. Pilgrims usually bathe in the ocean here before completing the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. It is believed that on his journey back home after conquering Ravana, Lord Ram stopped here to worship Shiva, requesting forgiveness for killing Ravana, who was an ardent Shiva devotee.

Ram Setu
Ram Setu was built by the monkey army to reach Lanka

You should visit the Ramanathaswamy Temple, Jada Tirtham, Pamban Bridge, Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple, and Gandhamadhana Parvatham – the mountain that Hanuman transported on his back to carry the life-saving Sanjeevani herb to Ram’s brother Lakshman.

  • How to get there: You can book a cab from Madurai, Tamil Nadu to Rameswaram, and it will take you 3 hours to cover a distance of around 172 km to reach the destination. 
  • Recommended trip duration: 1 day
  • Where to Stay: Hotel Rameswaram Grand, Daiwik Hotel Rameshwaram, Hotel Saara, Hotel Pearl Residency.
[Also Read: Rameshwaram – The Ultimate Pilgrimage Destination]

Witness the splendour of these places by booking a car rental to take you to all these places from Ramayana in modern-day India with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.

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The Ramayana Trail: 8 Ancient Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India
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The Ramayana Trail: 8 Ancient Places from Ramayana in Modern-Day India
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It is fascinating to see how the legend of Ramayana is intertwined with locations across the country. Thousands of years after Ramayana was first told, different parts of India still echo with the tales of Lord Ram's journey down peninsular India to save his wife, Sita.
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