The Ramayana: Characters and Places

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50 Ramayana Characters and 13 Locations

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The many characters of Ramayana - in Rama's court. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com

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’s0who of the Ramayana legend--from Ahalya to Vibhishana and Ashoka-van to Sarayu. 

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Ramayana Characters (A-J)

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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 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; Devoutee 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: Great bird who was killed by Ravana while rescuing Sita.

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Ramayana Characters (K-N)

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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: Maid servant 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 great builder who helped Rama construct the famous bridge to Lanka.

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Ramayana Characters (R-S)

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Sita in captivity in Lanka. Painting (c) ExoticIndia.com

  • Rama: The main protagonist of the Ramayana-- an avatar of Lord Vishnu; 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.

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Ramayana Characters (T-V)

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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 son 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.

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13 Places in the Ramayana

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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 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.