rāmāyaṇam

Rama's Journey

The Ramayana is a story of heroes and sages, demons and gods, flying monkeys, and powerful ideals. Our retelling of this ancient poem starts with simple Sanskrit that even complete beginners can understand. As the story progresses, our retelling gets closer and closer to the language of the original poem.

Before you begin, please read our guide for beginners, which shows you how to read and pronounce romanized Sanskrit. Our guide also shows you how you can use a different script instead, if you prefer.

And remember: you can always click on words for help.

bāla­kāṇḍaḥ

— Childhood —

Through the power of the gods, Rama is born to King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Rama goes on his first adventures and marries Sita, the princess of Mithila.

ayodhyā­kāṇḍaḥ

— Ayodhya —

Rama is exiled to the Dandaka forest. Rama leaves with Sita and his brother Lakshmana.

araṇya­kāṇḍaḥ

— The Forest —

Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana live happily in their new forest home. But Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.

kiṣkindha­kāṇḍaḥ

— Kishkindha —

Rama and Lakshmana meet Sugriva and Hanuman, exiles from the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Hanuman learns that Sita is in Lanka.

sundara­kāṇḍaḥ

— Hanuman —

Hanuman leaps across the ocean to Lanka and searches the demon city for any sign of Sita.

yuddha­kāṇḍaḥ

— War —

Rama and his army of friends and allies makes the long journey to Lanka to fight Ravana, the demon king.

uttara­kāṇḍaḥ

— The Final Chapter —

Rumors about Sita start to spread, and Rama makes a painful decision. (Many versions of the Ramayana do not include this section.)