Friday December 15, 2017

‘Need a movement to ensure justice for Maithili language’

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New Delhi: Securing well-deserved recognition and respect for the Maithili language is nothing short of a war for RTI activist Dhairyakant Mishra. However, Mishra, who left his remunerative job for the love of Maithili, had plenty of other reasons to wage this battle.

For despite its notable history and being represented by 22 Members of Parliament in Lok Sabha and 126 MLAs in Bihar Assembly, Maithili seems to have few supporters. And those who do talk of it, do it for political reasons.

Mithila region, with its roots in ancient India, was the capital city of the Videha Kingdom established by King Janaka, the father of Lord Rama’s consort Sita. The legend of Mithila extends over many centuries as both Gautama Buddha and Vardamana Mahavira are said to have lived here. It also formed the center of Indian history during the first millennium and has contributed to various literary and scriptural works.

However, despite its glorious history, the ancient language has been confined to the 8th schedule under Articles 344 (1) and 351 of the Constitution of India with almost nobody ready to take up its cause.

The language’s use is limited to passing exams now, especially when it was once the language of the bards like Vidyapati. In those days, the script used for Maithili was Mithilakshar, instead of commonly used Devnagri these days.

“One thing is certain that unless people stand united and raise their voice, nothing will fructify. We need a movement for Maithili,” Mishra says.

In an interview, Dhairyakant tells NewsGram, “In India, states were formed on linguistic basis. Language and culture were the reasons such states were formed in the first place. Not only Maithili language is distinct, but the Maithili culture has a special place in India. However, forget about forming a state, it is a pity that it was recognized as a major Indian language as recently as in 2002.”

Mishra believes the politicians of Mithila region and, to some extent, the people at large are responsible for the plight of the language.

“Kirti Azad wants to become the chief minister so he talks of it, but unfortunately, only during elections. Otherwise, no meaningful debate takes place on the pressing issue which is connected to the livelihood and future of the people.

“Bengalis seem to have hijacked Vidyapati and, by organizing a couple of seminars in his name, they feel they have performed their duty. Alas, people of Mithila region are not even doing it,” Mishra remarks whilst bemoaning the current status of the language.

There are two issues related to Mithila that Mishra is most concerned about. Firstly, he wishes for the inclusion of Maithili in CBSE curricula and secondly, to convince the telecom service operators to use Maithili as a language.

“Maithili is the only constitutionally recognized language that is not taught in schools. Ironically, a large number of students, who take Maithili as a subject, clear UPSC exams. Even a Gujarati boy clears UPSC by scoring excellent marks in Maithili. However, there’s nobody to teach the language in our schools.”

In his RTI query, Mishra sought to know from CBSE why despite being constitutionally recognized, Maithili was not being taught in schools. As polls in Bihar are currently underway and the model code of conduct is in force, CBSE replied that this issue was being deliberated upon and the reply to his query would be given following the elections.

Maithili1

 

“It is a matter of great regret that leaders raise language issues only during polls and then do nothing. But they forget that it is an issue that concerns people’s livelihood and future. Therefore, it is important that the government formulated schemes for the promotion of Maithili, especially in education. Let’s take an example of telecom firms,” Mishra adds.

“I asked BSNL why they, along with other telecom operators, do not have Maithili IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System) for the people of Bihar unlike other states like Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka etc. which have it in their regional languages. Their response was strange to say the least. They replied that nobody raised this issue before.”

Maithili2

Mishra also raised this issue with the leading telecom operator ‘Airtel’ and the latter also expressed its helplessness in this regard, saying that if others did it, they would follow suit.

“Look, if these firms accept Maithili, a large number of youths in Mithila will get jobs like customer care executive, salesman or technician. This can change their lives.”

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who hails from Bihar, has assured Mishra that he would work on the issue.

Maithili3

“The issue is that TRAI cannot make a law forcing the firms to use Maithili IVRS. When I filed an RTI, they replied that whether or not to use Maithili is the prerogative of the telecom operators and depends on their business requirements. Thus, TRAI has neither supported not opposed its inclusion.”

The RTI activist does not wish to give his struggle a political hue.

“On several occasions, the BJP MP from Mithila, Kirti Azad, asked me to join his party, but I politely declined, for my goal does not conform to their ideology. The fact of the matter is that they are making a fool out of the people in the name of Mithila. In the past, they sought about 45 crore Rupees in the name of opening Darbhanga medical college and several crore Rupees for a proposed airport in Darbhanga. I came to know that it was all a bundle of lies when I filed RTI queries.

“One thing is certain that unless people stand united and raise their voice, nothing will fructify. We need a movement for Maithili,” Mishra says.

He says that he is required to stay back in Delhi as he has filed some Public Interest Litigations and RTIs.

“But eventually I wish to return to my homeland and continue my battle for Maithili with likeminded people.”

We wish Dharyakant Mishra all the very best for his future endeavors in this regard.

(Translated by Sapan Kapoor)

  • Niranjan Jha

    Mr. Mishra is doing some much needed work! I am a non-resident Maithil, so to speak. I have grown up in Karnataka but my parents made the wonderful choice to speak in Maithili at home. Over the years, I grew aware of the immense history and traditions of our culture and language. But my case has been the exception, rather than the norm. All of my cousins, several of whom grew up in Bihar, have ended up having Hindi as their mother tongues. They understand Maithili but do not speak it nor find it worth the effort to learn. Hindi and Bollywood have both played a major role in this gradual loss in the value of Maithili from Independence onwards. Today, in my ancestral village in Bihar, my questions to young kids in Maithili receive responses in broken Hindi, but not Maithili. So in the rural and semi rural areas, speaking Hindi has seemed more urbane or sophisticated while in the urban areas , knowledge of Hindi has seemed more practical.

    Not to mention the accidental damage that Bhojpuri has done, by making it seem to outsiders that Bihar is equivalent to Bhojpuri and nothing else.

    I am a 20 year old in an engineering college and I personally strive to learn and spread information about our language as much as I can. I have even learnt the Mithilakshar script and Maithili grammar explained by G A Grierson (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=5-2&pages=466#page/27/mode/1up) . To those interested in a Maithili dictionary and script, here is a great link :- http://www.ignca.nic.in/coilnet/kalyani.htm

    To all Maithils out there I would like to say this, it is perfectly fine to speak exquisite English, fluent Hindi and any other language that you want to. Just do speak Maithili as well, in whatever capacity you can because that is the only thing that is truly yours, unique to you. Feel the pride of having been part of a culture that has existed unbroken for at least 3000 years ( much more in fact). Even today, it is no surprise to see a Jha ( a uniquely Maithil surname) or a Mishra or a Thakur perform exceptionally well in diverse fields. But please do not forget your language, it is the one greatest thing that distinguishes you from everyone else. Can you imagine a Punjabi being ashamed about Punjabi language or a Tamilian shying from Tamil? It does not need any extra effort, just some self awareness. Maithil culture not only has extensive mythology, it was one of the only Indian cultures that laid great emphasis on philosophy and free thinking. This excessive free thinking was one of the reasons why there never was a large Maithil kingdom, since the kings were more taken up by discourses rather than warfare.

    I feel that the work of gentlemen like Dhairyakant Mishra will only succeed when we Maithils truly appreciate what a sweet sounding and charming language we have been blessed with.

  • Niranjan Jha

    Mr. Mishra is doing some much needed work! I am a non-resident Maithil, so to speak. I have grown up in Karnataka but my parents made the wonderful choice to speak in Maithili at home. Over the years, I grew aware of the immense history and traditions of our culture and language. But my case has been the exception, rather than the norm. All of my cousins, several of whom grew up in Bihar, have ended up having Hindi as their mother tongues. They understand Maithili but do not speak it nor find it worth the effort to learn. Hindi and Bollywood have both played a major role in this gradual loss in the value of Maithili from Independence onwards. Today, in my ancestral village in Bihar, my questions to young kids in Maithili receive responses in broken Hindi, but not Maithili. So in the rural and semi rural areas, speaking Hindi has seemed more urbane or sophisticated while in the urban areas , knowledge of Hindi has seemed more practical.

    Not to mention the accidental damage that Bhojpuri has done, by making it seem to outsiders that Bihar is equivalent to Bhojpuri and nothing else.

    I am a 20 year old in an engineering college and I personally strive to learn and spread information about our language as much as I can. I have even learnt the Mithilakshar script and Maithili grammar explained by G A Grierson (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=5-2&pages=466#page/27/mode/1up) . To those interested in a Maithili dictionary and script, here is a great link :- http://www.ignca.nic.in/coilnet/kalyani.htm

    To all Maithils out there I would like to say this, it is perfectly fine to speak exquisite English, fluent Hindi and any other language that you want to. Just do speak Maithili as well, in whatever capacity you can because that is the only thing that is truly yours, unique to you. Feel the pride of having been part of a culture that has existed unbroken for at least 3000 years ( much more in fact). Even today, it is no surprise to see a Jha ( a uniquely Maithil surname) or a Mishra or a Thakur perform exceptionally well in diverse fields. But please do not forget your language, it is the one greatest thing that distinguishes you from everyone else. Can you imagine a Punjabi being ashamed about Punjabi language or a Tamilian shying from Tamil? It does not need any extra effort, just some self awareness. Maithil culture not only has extensive mythology, it was one of the only Indian cultures that laid great emphasis on philosophy and free thinking. This excessive free thinking was one of the reasons why there never was a large Maithil kingdom, since the kings were more taken up by discourses rather than warfare.

    I feel that the work of gentlemen like Dhairyakant Mishra will only succeed when we Maithils truly appreciate what a sweet sounding and charming language we have been blessed with.

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Vivah Panchami: Celebration of Marriage between Lord Ram and Goddess Sita

Vivah Panchami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.

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The Vivah Mandap temple
The Vivah Mandap temple where Lord Rama and Sita are said to have been married. It is situated next to the Janki Mandir. Ram Tower is located to the south of Ram Temple. It was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Mr Sushil Koirala. Wikimedia Commons

Vivah Panchami is a Hindu festival that celebrates the wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. It is celebrated on Shuklapaksha Panchami, which is the fifth day of the month of Margashirsha according to Hindu calendar. In 2017, the festival was celebrated on 23rd November.

In Ramayana, it was on this day (Vivah Panchami) that Lord Ram; the eldest son of King Dashrath of Ayodhya, the reincarnation of Lord Vishu got married to Goddess Sita. Vivah Panchami festival celebrates the union between these two divine beings.

Legend:

According to the legends, it was on this day that Lord Ram along with his brother Lakshman visited Jankpur, the birthplace of Goddess Sita. In the Kingdom of Mithila, King Janak had organized the ceremony of ‘Swayamvar’ for his daughter Sita. In this ceremony, the Goddess was supposed to choose her groom. The condition for winning the Swayamvar, however, was decided on contender’s ability to lift a the majestic bow of Lord Shiva string it. Lord Ram not only managed to raise the bow but he also broke it and thus fulfilled the condition and married Sita. According to Ramayana, during this grand marriage ceremony other the brothers of Lord Ram like Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan were also married to Sita’s cousins called Urmila, Mandavi, and Shuddhakirti respectively.

Celebrations on Vivah Panchami:

Vivah Panchami is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city of Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram and Mithilanchal region in India as well as in Janakpuri in the Nepal. At Ayodhya, the devotees try to recreate the wedding ceremony by decorating the idols of Ram and Sita with bridal clothes and jewellery. This celebration is also popularly referred to as ‘Ram Vivah Utsav.’ Ramleela, a dramatic folk enactment of Lord Ram’s life is also performed at various places depicting the marriage ceremony between Lord Ram and Sita.

Vivah Panchami also has a great significance in the region of Janakpuri (in Nepal) as it believed to be the place where the marriage ceremony took place. Many devotees visit the place from India to Nepal to worship Lord Ram and Goddess Sita and celebrate their union. People seek the blessing from these idols of Ram and Sita to live a happy married life. It is also a firm belief among the devotees that worshipping Lord Ram and Sita on this day will help them deal with their marital woes and strengthen their union.

 

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The Fall of the poster boy of Indian politics – Nitish Kumar

How Nitish Kumar gave his career a downfall drift

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Chief Minister of Bihar
Nitish Kumar

Amulya Ganguly

At one time, he was the poster boy of Indian politics. Not only did he slay the villain of Bihar’s “jungle raj” in 2005 by rounding up lawless elements after winning an election and launching social and economic development projects, he also scored another resounding electoral victory in the company of a new set of friends, including the “villain”, in 2015.

It appeared at the time that he could do no wrong. So much so that he was seen as a possible prime ministerial candidate of the “secular” front.

But, then, the rise and rise of Nitish Kumar came to an abrupt halt. He remains Bihar’s Chief Minister, but the halo round his head has frayed.

The reason is not only his switching of friends in what is seen as an exercise in crass opportunism, but also his pursuit of policies which are out of sync with the modern world and threatens to reinforce Bihar’s reputation for backwardness by turning the entire state into a virtual dehat or village.

The first step in this bucolic direction was the imposition of prohibition which has robbed Bihar’s clubs, hotels and intellectual watering holes of cosmopolitanism. Now, Nitish Kumar has taken yet another step backwards by demanding 50 per cent reservations for the backward castes in the private sector.

To begin with the second step, it is obvious that by threatening to take the quota system to such an absurd level, the Chief Minister has scotched any hope of industrial growth in a state which is crying out for investment.

In 2012, Bihar received investment proposals worth Rs 24,000 crore. In the post-liquor ban period, they have dropped to Rs 6,500 crore.

If his new ally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had any hope, therefore, of making Bihar the beneficiary of his Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas goals, he can bid it goodbye.

Nitish Kumar’s latest pitch in favour of the backward castes is all the more strange because he cannot seriously expect that his proposal will pass muster at the judicial level.

Like most Indian politicians, he is more interested in posing as a champion of whichever group he is courting at a given moment than in adopting measures which have a reasonable chance of success.

He merely wants to impress his targeted audience by showing that he did make an honest effort, but was stymied by the “system”.

Whether it is prohibition or reservations, Nitish Kumar’s ploys tend to underline crafty political manoeuvres rather than any genuine intention of acting in the state’s interest.

Unfortunately for the Janata Dal (United) leader, his gambits are too palpable to deceive anyone. In the case of the reservations, it is clear that Nitish Kumar is still battling his old adversary-cum-ally-cum-adversary, Lalu Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Since Nitish Kumar belongs to a numerically small and politically less influential caste — the Kurmis — than the RJD’s powerful Yadavs, he has never been at ease in Lalu Prasad’s company whether at the time of their camaraderie during Jayaprakash Narayan’s anti-Congress movement or when they were a part of the state government after the 2015 election victory.

The focal point of Nitish Kumar’s political career has been to establish himself as the foremost leader in the state. Lalu Prasad’s conviction in the fodder scam case enabled Nitish Kumar to be the No. 1 in the Janata Dal (United)-RJD-Congress government.

But he appeared to be forever looking over his shoulder to check whether he was being undermined by the RJD which has more MLAs than the Janata Dal (United).

Prohibition was the policy which he embraced to win over the lower middle class and rural women to his side. But, predictably, the liquor ban has led to an increase in drug abuse with 25 per cent of the cases in de-addiction centres now dealing with the users of cannabis, inhalants and sedatives.

Unlike prohibition which is not aimed at any caste, the demand for the 50 per cent reservations is intended by Nitish Kumar to bolster his position vis-a-vis Lalu Prasad since both are intent on playing the backward caste card.

It is also a message to his partner in the government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), about the importance of the quota system for the Chief Minister, especially when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, is in favour of doing away with reservations altogether.

Nitish Kumar's self demolition
Bihar’s chief minister gave his political career a U-turn.

When Bhagwat expressed his views during the 2015 election campaign, the BJP quickly distanced itself from them for fear of losing the backward caste and Dalit votes. Even then, the BJP’s reputation as a brahmin-bania party remains intact. Besides, it is now more focused on playing the nationalist card than on wooing the backward castes.

Nitish Kumar must have thought, therefore, that the time was ripe for him to up the ante on the caste issue if only to let the BJP know that he cannot be marginalised as the BJP has been tending to do since tying the knot with the Janata Dal (United).

But, whatever his intention, Nitish Kumar cannot but be aware that his position is much weaker now than when he was in the “secular” camp. Nor is there any chance that he will regain his earlier status any time in the near future.(IANS)

 

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Ever Wondered what do Ancient Sites mentioned in Ramayana look like? Visit these Ramayana Destinations to know!

Visit these Ramayana destinations the first chance you get, to feel closer to your roots.

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Ramayana destinations
Ramayana is not just a story, it is a way of life which has been guiding believers and non-believers for centuries about the right way to live on this planet. Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 8, 2017 : Ramayana is not just a story, it is a way of life which has been guiding believers and non-believers for centuries about the right way to live on this planet. I can confidently vouch that we have all heard stories from Ramayana at one point in our life. Ramayana is not just a story, it is an indispensable part of the Hindu religious law.

There exist innumerable arguments questioning the authenticity of Ramayana. While it is almost impossible to prove or disapprove anything, what is feasible is to trace the chronology of events, focusing on various Ramayana destinations that can still be visited to experience the ethereal world that is believed to have existed in the Treta Yug.

Here is a list of ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana.

You can plan a trip to these Ramayana destinations to feel closer to Him, and personally experience what we have all grown up reading and hearing about.

  1. Janakpur

Mention in Ramayana

First on our list of Ramayana destinations is Janakpur. A key phase took place at Janakpur, one of the many other Ramayana destinations. The ancient city of Mithila, as it was previously called, was home to Sita, where she lived till her marriage.

Legend has it that to get rid of a devastating drought, the King of Janak ploughed the land in Janakpur when he stumbled upon an earthen pot out of which Sita emerged. This also explains why the place is also known as Sitamarhi.

King Janak brought the child back to the palace at Mithila, where she grew up and was married to Ram.

The Ramayana explains Mithila as a ‘divya-bhumi’, a sacred land that pulled Ram to it.

Visiting Janakpur

A small town in Nepal, you are sure to come across compelling stories of Sita (or Janaki) infused in the landscapes, temples and the people of Janakpur.

Sita’s  swayamvar, the ceremony which saw participation of learned men from all big and small territories, took place at Rangbhoomi. It was in this ceremony that Shiva’s bow was broken into pieces by Ram.

Dhanush Sagar is a tank on the area where a piece of the bow of Shiva, broken by Ram in an attempt to win Sita’s hand, had fallen. Another piece is believed to have fallen at some distance, now known by the name Ratan Sagar. And the third piece is believed to have fallen in Dhanusha, 15 km away from Janakpur.

Ramayana destinations
Dhanush Sagar in Nepal. Wikimedia

Visitors can also visit the Ram-Sita vivah mandapa, which has been made in Janakpur.

Multiple devotees flock Janakpur every year o pray and pay homage to Sita during Vivah Panchami, the day Ram and Sita are believed to have got married. The quaint little town also witnesses tourists on Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Ram.

How To Reach Janakpur

Janakpur is one of the ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana, only a few km from the Indian border and can be reached by flight, train or via road.

Travelers can fly to Kathmandu and take a smaller airline to Janakpur. However, make sure you check flight availability beforehand as they only ply a few times in a week.

Otherwise, one can also visit Janakpur via buses.

  1. Chitrakoot

Mention in Ramayana

Next on our list of Ramayana destinations is Chitrakoot. It is one of the most intricately explained Ramayana destinations. Upon being banished from the royal palace, it was here that Lord Ram, accompanied by wife Sita and brother Lakshmana spent eleven of their 14 years of exile (vanvas).

Ramayana also mentions of Bharat who came to Chitrakoot to persuade his brother Ram to return to Ayodhya. It was also here that Ram performed the last rites of his father, King Dasharatha in presence of all gods and goddesses.

Chitrakoot’s peaceful environment also acted as a source of inspiration for the great poet Goswami Tulsidas to pen the Ramcharitmanas, retelling the life of Lord Ram in Awadhi.

Visiting Chitrakoot

Nestled between the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Chitrakoot has a breathtaking location with a tranquil aura.

Quick fact : ‘Chitra’ means a beautiful painting and ‘Kuta’ means mountains.

While all ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana hold spiritual transcendence, located along the Mandakini River, the sacred city of Chitrakoot is particularly known as a centre for spiritual enlightenment, and is a potpourri of devotion, legend and traditions.

Pilgrims can visit the Bharat Milap Mandir, where Bharat visited elder brother Ramand requested him to return to Ayodhya to claim his rightful throne. Upon his refusal, Bharat took his khadau (slippers) with him to the palace to place on the throne until Ram returned to the kingdom after 14 years.

Located on the Kamdagiri Hills near the temple premise, there exist engraved footprints of Ram and his brothers that are worshipped till date.

Located at the centre of the town is Ramghat where Ram used to take a dip in the mighty Mandakini river. This also happens to be the place where Tulsidas met Ram and Lakshmana.

Ramayana destinations
Ramghat in Chitrakoot. Wikimedia

Legend has it that Tulsidas was making sandalwood paste when the two brothers disguised as two kids approached him and asked him to apply a tilak on their forehead too. Not knowing the boys were really God, the poet made the tilak. It was Hanuman who helped Tulsidas recognize the brothers by reciting the famous verse,

“Chitrakoot ke ghaat pai bhai santan ki bheer,

Tulsidas chandan ghise tilak det Raghubeer.”

One can also visit the Gupt Godavari caves at a distance of 18 km, where inside the saves stand two natural throne-like rocks where Ram and Lakshmana sat during their stay.

How To Reach Chitrakoot

You can take a flight to Khajuraho, from where buses and taxis operate. The nearest railway station is Chitrakoot Dham. You can also choose to take the road to reach Chitrakoot.

3. Panchvati, Nasik

Mention in Ramayana

Third on our list of Ramayana destinations is Nasik. During his exile years, Lord Rama, accompanied by Sita and Lakshmana moved from one place to another, to find tranquility in nature and feel closer to the natural way of life. After staying in Chitrakoot for eleven years, the next Ramayana destination was Nasik where they spent a significant amount of time.

Their hut was built in Panchvati, which is famous for its five huge Banyan trees and is only 4 km away from Nasik.

Located on the banks of the Godavari, it was in Nasik that Lord Rama and Lakshmana had an encounter with Surpanakha, Ravana’s younger sister, where consequently her nose was cut off. This explains the rationale behind the name of the place. (Nasika means nose in Sanskrit)

To avenge the disrespect faced by his sister, it was from here that Ravana abducted Sita and flew her to Lanka on his Pushpak Vimaan. Needless to say, it was here where Lakshmana drew the ‘Lakshmana Rekha’,.

Visiting Nasik

The Kala Ram Mandir in Panchvati, Nasik is believed to have been built right where Lord Rama’s kuti (hut) was built.

Ramayana destinations
Kalaram temple in Nasik. Wikimedia

Nasik’s Rama Kunda is the chief pilgrimage place in Nasik. The Kunda is primarily a tank where Lord Rama and Sita allegedly bathe. This makes the tank extremely sacred.

The Rama Kund is also known Asthi Vilaya Tirtha, because human bones are known to dissolve here. Legend has it that Lord Rama performed funeral rites at the Kund in memory of His deceased father, King Dasharatha.

How To Reach Nasik

Nasik is very well connected via air, trains and road.

Panchvati is only 4.2 km away from Nasik and can be easily reached through road.

4. Kishkindha, Hampi

Mention in Ramayana

Next on our list of Ramayana destinations is Kishkindha. Marked by dense forests, huge rocks and the Tungabhadra river, Karnataka’s Hampi can be mapped to Ramayana’s Kishkindha, one of the most active Ramayana destinations.

In the forests of Dandak, Kishkindha was the kingdom of the Vanara king Bali.

It was in the forests of Kishkindha where Lord Rama met Hanuman.

After Sita was abducted by Ravana, Lord Ram had first entered the kingdom of apes looking for her, along with Lakshmana.

After a fight between the two monkey kings, Sugriva and Bali, Sugriva took refuge on the Matanga mountain along with Hanuman. Lord Rama had killed Bali and helped Sugriva win the throne. The brothers then stayed in Kishkindha awaiting results of Hanuman’s search for Sita.

Sugriva’s army of apes also pledged their support to Lord Ram here and hence came into being his army against Ravana.

Visiting Kishkindha

Ramayana clearly traces the roots of Kishkindha to the Tungabhadra river, which till date is counted among some of the major rivers of Karnataka.

One of the many ancient sites mentioned in Ramayana, the region along the river near Hampi in Karnataka is identified as Kishkindha from Ramayana.

Ramayana destinations
Kishkindha mountain. Wikimedia

Hampi has a culturally rich past and has much more to offer to visitors. However, for those of you looking to trace Ramayana’s trajectory, this place will not disappoint you.

Tara Mountain near Hampi is named after Bali’s wife, who had been saved by the monkey kind from demons.

As per Ramayana, Sugriva had taken refuge inside the Rishyamuk mountain. Legend has it that Bali had been cursed by a saint, who said the monkey king would perish if he entered the mountain. Thus, to save his life, Sugriva took refuge inside this mountain.

Pilgrims can also visit Nidapuram where a huge mound of scorched ash remains and is believed to be the cremated remains of Bali.

A little to the north-west lie the Anjanadri mountain, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, who lived here with his parents, Kesari and Anjani.

The mountain has been named after Hanuman himself, who was called Anjaneya.

Quick fact : You will have to climb 550 stairs to reach to the ancient Hanuman temple situated on this mountain.

How To Reach Kishkindha

Hampi is at a distance of 330 km from Goa and can make for a comfortable road trip. The nearest railway station is Hospet Junction which is merely 13 km away. The station is well connected with trains, and roads. You can also avail the bus services by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation

While it cannot be confirmed that everything we know about Ramayana took place as we know of it. However, these Ramayana destinations continue to exist till date and prove that they may just have transpired in reality.

Visit these Ramayana destinations the first chance you get, to feel closer to your roots.