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.
— 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.
Title Word counts
ayodhyā nagarī 8 unique, 434 total
daśarathaḥ kim icchati? 14 unique, 493 total
daśarathasya bahvyaḥ patnyaḥ 18 unique, 873 total
daśaratho yajate 24 unique, 977 total
sarve devāḥ kim icchanti? 27 unique, 1017 total
mahad bhūtam 33 unique, 1232 total
viśvāmitraḥ kim icchati? 36 unique, 1250 total
rāmo yajñaṃ rakṣati 38 unique, 1336 total
rāmo mithilāṃ gacchati 46 unique, 1408 total
rāmo vivāhaṃ karoti 46 unique, 1528 total
— Ayodhya —
Rama is exiled to the Dandaka forest. Rama leaves with Sita and his brother Lakshmana.
Title Word counts
rāmābhiṣekaḥ 49 unique, 1671 total
mantharā 54 unique, 1638 total
dvau varau 63 unique, 1636 total
— The Forest —
Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana live happily in their new forest home. But Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka.
— Kishkindha —
Rama and Lakshmana meet Sugriva and Hanuman, exiles from the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Hanuman learns that Sita is in Lanka.
— Hanuman —
Hanuman leaps across the ocean to Lanka and searches the demon city for any sign of Sita.
— War —
Rama and his army of friends and allies makes the long journey to Lanka to fight Ravana, the demon king.
— 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.)