In the Footsteps of Rama (Travels with the Ramayana)

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Item Code: NBZ384
Author: Vikrant Pande and Neelesh Kulkarni
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9789354226380
Pages: 276
Other Details 8.70 X 6.00 inch
Weight 350 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
About the Book

Vikrant Pande and Neelesh Kulkarni's quest to retrace the route of Rama's fabled travels during his years in exile began with their trying to locate Chitrakoot on the map - and realizing that they had little idea where it was. Curious about the places mentioned in the Ramayana, they set off on a voyage of their own, following in Rama's footsteps, from Ayodhya to the Dandakaranya forest and Panchavati (near Nashik), and on to Kishkindhya (close to Hampi), Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka.

Along the way they would discover how closely the narrative of the Ramayana is linked to local folklore, and how the stories of the epic and the moral framework that binds them together still speak to the people who live in the land across which Rama, Sita and Lakshman made their journey.

For the armchair traveller as well as those interested in India's cultural history, this is a wonderful book with which to revisit the world of the Ramayana.

About the Authors

Vikrant Pande has translated twelve Marathi bestsellers into English. His translation of Girish Kuber's book Tatayan (The Tatas: How a Family Built a Business and a Nation) won the prestigious Gaja Capital Best Business Book award in 2019. A graduate of IIM Bangalore, Vikrant is a full-time writer now.

Neelesh Kulkarni is an entrepreneur who has been running his own company for over thirty-five years. He is a theatre and voiceover artist with over fifty years of experience, an avid reader and traveller, a poet, a cricket commentator, a public speaking coach. He lives in Delhi with his artist wife.


It all began with a question - do you know where Chitrakoot, I mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana, is located in India? We had asked nearly a hundred friends this question, and none of them knew. When we pulled out a map and pointed out the city in Madhya Pradesh on it, they were shocked to learn that not only does the place still exist, but it is a major tourist hub as well. Similarly, most had heard of Kishkindhya but were really surprised to learn that it is located very close to Hampi.

So, that's when we understood - most people know the Ramayana pretty well, but have never been to or even given much thought to the places mentioned in it. In the process of speaking to our friends, we also realized that there exist several tales associated with the mahakavya, in the form of folklore and forgotten stories, that find no mention in the versions written by Valmiki, Tulsidas, Kamba, and many others before and after them.

We knew at once we had to do something about this. But before we dive into why we wrote this book, let us quickly recap the basic storyline of the Ramayana.

The tale is a simple one. Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, is on the verge of being named as successor to his father, Dasharath. That's when his stepmother Kaikeyi invokes a promise made by her husband to her years ago, and asks for her son, Bharat, to be deemed as successor instead and for Rama to be exiled to the forest for fourteen years. Rama agrees to honour his father's word and instantly leaves for the forest. His wife, Sita, too follows him in his exile, and his dutiful brother, Lakshman, insists on accompanying them too. In the meanwhile, Dasharath's other sons - Bharat and Shatrughan - learn of this only when they return to Ayodhya. They try their best to bring the trio back, but Rama insists he has to keep his word. Bharat agrees to rule as a regent in the rightful heir's absence. The trio then go to Chitrakoot, where they spend considerable time, before travelling through the Dandakaranya forest, to go to Panchavati (near presentday Nashik). In the forest, Shurpanakha, Ravana's sister, is insulted by the two brothers. When she tells Ravana what happened, he abducts Sita and takes her to Lanka. Rama is devastated and the brothers search for Sita in vain, until they meet Hanuman and Sugreev. Rama helps Sugreev by killing his brother, Vali, who had wrongly exiled him. This act earns him Hanuman and Sugreev's loyalty, and the former is able to finally locate Sita in Lanka. Rama, with his army of vanars, builds a bridge over the sea across Rameshwaram and attacks Lanka, the most powerful kingdom in the world then. A fierce battle ensues between Ravana's highly trained military on one side and the ragtag army of Rama's soldiers on the other. Against all odds, Rama emerges victorious and returns to Ayodhya triumphant, with Lakshman and Sita.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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