Ramayana Character Map: People and Places in the Great Hindu Epic

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The Ramayana is a Robust Hindu Epic that features several characters and important locations. Photographer / Getty Images

The most endearing Hindu epic of all times--the Ramayana is replete with enchanting people and places. To learn about the epic's protagonists and locations, start browsing through this directory of the who’s who of the Ramayana legend—from Ahalya to Vibhishana and Ashoka-van to Sarayu. 

Ramayana Characters from Ahalya to Jatayu

Garuda & Hanuman are two major zoomorphic characters of the Ramayana. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com
  • Ahalya: Wife of sage Gautama, who was turned into a stone and was later freed from the curse by the touch of Rama.
  • Bharata: Brother of Rama and son of Kaikeyi.
  • Dasharatha: Rama's father and King of Kosala.
  • Dashanan: Ten-headed King of Lanka (Ravana).
  • Garuda: The mighty mythical raptor; King of winged creatures.
  • Gautama: Sage/Rishi who cursed her wife Ahalya and turned her into a stone for her immoral conduct.
  • Hanuman: Son of Pavana--the wind God; Devotee of Rama and a leading warrior among the monkey tribe.
  • Indrajit: Ravana's son who fought Rama with magical powers.
  • Jambuvan: Leader of bears who found Sita with his supernatural powers.
  • Janaka: King of Mithila; Father of Sita, who found her in a furrow.
  • Jatayu: a Great bird who was killed by Ravana while rescuing Sita.

Ramayana Characters from Kaikeyi to Nala

Lakshmana or Laxman sitting with Rama in a discussion with the Vanaras before their Lanka conquest. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com
  • Kaikeyi: Dashartha's youngest queen and mother of Bharata who asked for Rama's exile.
  • Kausalya: Dashratha's queen and Rama's mother.
  • Kevat: Boatman who let Rama, Laxman, and Sita cross the river in his boat and who washes Rama's feet.
  • Khar: Brother of Ravana and Shurpanakha.
  • Kumbhkarna: Ravan's brother, known for sleeping and eating.
  • Kush: Son of Rama and Sita.
  • Laxman: Queen Sumitra's son and Rama's brother; also known as Lakshmana.
  • Lava or Luv: Son of Rama and Sita; brother of Kush.
  • Mandavi: Bharat's wife and King Janak's daughter.
  • Manthara: Maidservant of Keikeyi, who convinced her for Bharat's thorn and exile of Rama.
  • Maricha or Mareech: Assumed form of suvarna mriga, or golden deer, and helped abduct Sita.
  • Meghanad: Ravana's son, who made Laxman unconscious in the battlefield with his arrow.
  • Nala: Son of a great builder who helped Rama construct the famous bridge to Lanka.

Ramayana Characters from Rama to Sushen

Sita in captivity in Lanka. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com
  • Rama: The main protagonist of the Ramayana-- an avatar of Lord Vishnu; the prince of Ayodha, son of King Dasharatha of Kosala.
  • Ravana: Ten headed King of Lanka, who abducted Sita; brother of Vibhishana and Surpanakha; father of Indrajit; husband of Mandodari.
  • Sampati: Brother of Jatayu.
  • Shatrughna: Rama's younger brother.
  • Shabari: Devotee of Rama who offered him berries.
  • Shatananda: Head Priest or kul Guru of Mithila.
  • Shiva: The Lord of Destruction--part of the Hindu Trinity of Gods, whose bow was lifted by Rama in the swayamvar of Sita.
  • Shravan: Son of blind parents; known as an idol of service to parents.
  • Shrutkirti: Shatrughna's wife and King Janak's daughter.
  • Shurpanakha: Ravan's sister whose ears and nose were cut by Laxman.
  • Sita: Daughter of Janaka and wife of Rama.
  • Sugriva: King of monkey tribe and King of Kiskindha.
  • Sumanta: Charioteer of King Dasharatha.
  • Sumitra: Wife of Dashratha; Mother of Laxman and Shatrughna.
  • Sunayana: Wife of King Janak; Mother of Sita.
  • Sushen: Lankan physician, who advised Sanjivani herbs from Kailas mountain in order to cure Laxman.

Ramayana Characters from Tataka to Vishwamitra

Sage Vishwamitra being seduced by Menaka. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com
  • Tataka: Demoness or rakshasi killed by Rama; mother of Mareecha.
  • Tulsidas: Sanskrit scholar and poet who created Ramacharitmanas, a version of Valmiki Ramayana in local Avadhi language.
  • Urmila: Laxman's wife; daughter of King Janak and sister of Sita.
  • Vali or Bali: The mighty ape, cousin of Sugriva, who occupied Kiskindha and was killed by Rama.
  • Valmiki: The great poet and creator of Ramayana; Sage who helped Sita and her two sons Lava-Kush stay at her ashrama.
  • Vanara: Monkey; The army led by Hanuman. A hill tribe of Southern India – according to the Ramayana.
  • Vasistha: Head priest or kul Guru of Ayodhya
  • Vibhishana: Ravana's brother who leaves Lanka to join Rama and later becomes the king of Lanka.
  • Vishnu: Lord of Preservation – part of the Hindu Trinity of Gods; Rama is considered the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
  • Vishwamitra: Sage or rishi, who used Rama to kill troubling demons.

13 Places in the Ramayana

The Great Battle of Lanka: Rama annihilates Ravana. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com
  1. Ayodhya: Capital city of Kosala which was rules by Rama's father, Dashratha.
  2. Ashoka van: A place in Lanka where Ravana kept Sita after the abduction.
  3. Chitrakoot or Chitrakut: Forest place where Rama, Sita, and Laxman stayed during exile.
  4. Dandakaranya: Forest where Rama, Sita, and Laxman traveled during exile.
  5. Godavari: River, crossing which Rama, Sita, and Laxman reached Panchavati.
  6. Kailash: Mountain where Hanuman found sanjivani; Abode of Lord Shiva.
  7. Kiskindha: Kingdom ruled by Sugriva, leader of monkey tribe.
  8. Kosala: Kingdom ruled by Dashratha.
  9. Mithila: Kingdom ruled by king Janaka, Sita's father.
  10. Lanka: Island kingdom ruled by demon king Ravana.
  11. Panchavati: Rama, Sita and Laxman's forest hut, from where Sita was abducted by Ravana.
  12. Prayag: Confluence of river Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati (presently known as Allahabad).
  13. Sarayu: River on the banks of which Ayodhya is situated.