Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. It consists of three professional uniformed services: the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force. Additionally, the Indian Armed Forces are supported by the Indian Coast Guard and paramilitary organisations and various inter-service commands and institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command, the Andaman and Nicobar Command and the Integrated Defence Staff; the President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India. With strength of over 1.4 million active personnel, it is the world's 2nd largest military force and has the world's largest volunteer army. It is important to note that the Central Armed Police Forces, which are and incorrectly referred to as'Paramilitary Forces' based on colonial perspective, are not armed forces; as such they are headed by civilian officers from the Indian Police Service and are under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, not the Ministry of Defence.
These are central police organisations. The Indian armed forces have been engaged in a number of major military operations, including: the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Portuguese-Indian War, the Sino-Indian War, the 1967 Chola incident, the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish, the Kargil War, the Siachen conflict among others. India honours its armed forces and military personnel annually on 7 December. Since 1962, the IAF has maintained close military relations with Russia, including cooperative development of programmes such as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and the Multirole Transport Aircraft. Armed with the nuclear triad, the Indian armed forces are undergoing modernisation, with investments in areas such as futuristic soldier systems and missile defence systems; the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence is responsible for the indigenous production of equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces. It comprises the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories under the control of the Ordnance Factories Board, eight Defence PSUs namely: HAL, BEL, BEML, BDL, MDL, GSL, GRSE and Midhani.
India was the largest importer of defence equipment in 2014 with Russia, Israel and the United States being the top foreign suppliers of military equipment. The Government of India has launched a Make in India initiative to indigenise manufacturing and reduce dependence on imports, including defence imports and procurement. India has one of the longest military histories, dating back several millennia; the first reference to armies is found in the Vedas as well as the epics Mahabaratha. Classical Indian texts on archery in particular, martial arts in general are known as Dhanurveda. Indian maritime history dates back 5,000 years; the first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BC during the Indus Valley Civilisation period, near the present day port of Mangrol on the Gujarat coast. The Rig Veda written around 1500 BC, credits Varuna with knowledge of the ocean routes and describes naval expeditions. There is reference to the side wings of a vessel called Plava, which gives the ship stability in storm conditions.
A compass, Matsya yantra was used for navigation in the fourth and fifth century AD. The earliest known reference to an organisation devoted to ships in ancient India is in the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BC. Powerful militaries included those of the: Maurya, Chola, Vijayanagara and Maratha empires. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya's mentor and advisor Chanakya's Arthashastra devotes a full chapter on the state department of waterways under navadhyaksha; the term, nava dvipantaragamanam appears in this book in addition to appearing in the Vedic text, Baudhayana Dharmashastra as the interpretation of the term, Samudrasamyanam. Sea lanes between India and neighbouring lands were used for trade for many centuries, are responsible for the widespread influence of Indian Culture on other societies; the Cholas excelled in foreign trade and maritime activity, extending their influence overseas to China and Southeast Asia. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maratha and Kerala fleets were expanded, became the most powerful Naval Forces in the subcontinent, defeating European navies at various times.
The fleet review of the Maratha navy, at which the ships Pal and Qalbat participated, took place at the Ratnagiri fort. The Maratha Kanhoji Angre, Kunjali Marakkar, the Naval chief of Saamoothiri were two notable naval chiefs of the period; the Royal Indian Navy was first established by the British while much of India was under the control of the East India Company. In 1892, it became a maritime component as the Royal Indian Marine. During World War I the Indian Army contributed a number of divisions and independent brigades to the European and Middle Eastern theatres of war. One million Indian troops served overseas. In total, 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war, it fought against the German Empire on the Western Front. Indian divisions were sent to Egypt and nearly 700,000 served in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire. Following WWI, the Indian Armed Forces underwent significant transformation. In 1928, Engineer Sub-lieutenant D. N. Mukherji became the first Indian to receive a commission in the Royal Indian Marine.
In 1932, the Indian Air Force was established as an auxiliary air force.
Shravan is a mythological character whose short life is depicted in Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. Shravan Kumar's parents were hermits, his Parents' names were Malaya. Having become quite aged, they therefore wanted him to take them to the forty places of pilgrimage, it is a typical Hindu belief that a pilgrimage to the various shrines and holy places, undertaken in old age, purifies the soul. At the time, transport was scarce and costly, Shravan Kumar could not afford it, he decided to put each parent in a basket and tie each to an end of a bamboo pole, which he would shoulder while on their pilgrimage. According to Punjabi folklore Shravan's mother was distantly related to King Dhashrath as his sister. According to the legend in Ramayana, while hunting in the forest of Ayodhya, then-Prince Dashratha heard a sound near a lake and unleashed an arrow, hoping to hit an animal; when he crossed the lake to collect his kill, he found that his arrow had fatally struck a teenage boy, bleeding. The boy, Shravan Kumar, told Dasaratha, that he had come to the lake to collect water for his sick and aged parents, who were both blind and whom he had been carrying on a sling.
With his dying breath, Shravan requested the prince to take water to his parents and to tell them what happened. After telling his tale, Shravan succumbed to his wounds and when Dasaratha took water for his parents and told them of his tragic mistake, they were unable to bear the shock. Despite acknowledging that it was an accident, they cursed Dasaratha that he too would experience "Putrashoka". A curse which turned out to be true when he had to suffer the departure of his most beloved and able son Rama who had to be exiled at his own orders Local tradition holds that the place where Shravan died was named Sarvan; the spot where Dashratha shot his arrow came to be known as Sarwara and the place where Shravan's parents died is called Samadha. An old and rough memorial for Shravan on the banks of the lake is now withering away, it is said that there lies a stone statue of Shravan Kumar and as he died of unquenched thirst, if water is poured into the navel of the stone figure, the hole never gets filled up.
Villagers from Sarvan and adjoining places visit the spot every Monday to offer prayers to Shravan, revered as a dutiful son. Mukhed
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
The Skanda Purana is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, is part of Shaivite literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas; the text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda. The earliest text titled Skanda Purana existed by the 8th century CE, but the Skanda Purana that has survived into the modern era exists in many versions, it is considered by scholars, in a historic sense, as among the "shiftiest, living" texts, edited, over many centuries, creating numerous variants. The common elements in the variant editions encyclopedically cover cosmogony, genealogy, festivals, temples, discussion of virtues and evil, of theology and of the nature and qualities of Shiva as the Absolute and the source of true knowledge.
The editions of Skandapurana text provide an encyclopedic travel handbook with meticulous Tirtha Mahatmya, containing geographical locations of pilgrimage centers in India and Tibet, with related legends, parables and stories. This Mahāpurāṇa, like others, is attributed to the sage Vyasa. Haraprasad Shastri and Cecil Bendall, in about 1898, discovered an old palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana in a Kathmandu library in Nepal, written in Gupta script, they dated the manuscript to 8th century CE, on paleographic grounds. This suggests. R. Adriaensen, H. Bakker, H. Isaacson dated the oldest surviving palm-leaf manuscript of Skanda Purana to 810 CE, but Richard Mann adds that earlier versions of the text existed in the 8th century CE. Hans Bakker states that the text specifies holy places and details about the 4th and 5th-century Citraratha of Andhra Pradesh, thus may have an earlier origin; the oldest versions of the Skandapurana texts have been discovered in the Himalayan region of South Asia such as Nepal, the northeastern states of India such as Assam.
The critical editions of the text, for scholarly studies, rely on the Nepalese manuscripts. Additional texts style themselves as khandas of Skandapurana, but these came into existence after the 12th century, it is unclear if their root texts did belong to the Skandapurana, in some cases replaced the corresponding chapters of the original. Some recensions and sections of the Skandapurana manuscripts, states Judit Torzsok, have been traced to be from the 17th century or but the first 162 chapters in many versions are the same as the older Nepalese editions except for occasional omissions and insertions. There are a number of manuscripts that bear the title Skanda Purana; some of these texts, except for the title, have little in common with the well-known Skandapurana traced to the 1st millennium CE. The original text has accrued several additions, it is, therefore difficult to establish an exact date of composition for the Skanda Purana. Stylistically, the Skanda Purana is related to the Mahabharata, it appears that its composers borrowed from the Mahabharata.
The two texts employ similar stock compounds that are not found in the Ramayana. Some of the mythology mentioned in the present version of the Skanda Purana is undoubtedly post-Gupta period, consistent with that of medieval South India; this indicates. The Kashi Khanda, for example, acquired its present form around the mid-13th century CE; the latest part of the text might have been composed in as late as the 15th century CE. The whole corpus of texts which are considered as part of the Skanda Purana is grouped in two ways. According to one tradition, these are grouped in six saṁhitās, each of which consists of several khaṇḍas. According to another tradition, these are grouped in seven khaṇḍas, each named after a major pilgrimage region or site; the chapters are travel guides for pilgrimage tourists. The Maheśvara Khaṇḍa consists of 3 sections: the Kedāra Khaṇḍa the Kaumārikā Khaṇḍa or Kumārikā Khaṇḍa and the Arunācala Khaṇḍa or Arunācala Māhātmya, further divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Viṣṇu Khaṇḍa or Vaiṣṇava Khaṇḍa consists of nine sections: Veṅkaṭācalamāhātmya Puruṣottamakṣetramāhātmya Badarikāśramamāhātmya Kārttikamāsamāhātmya Mārgaśirṣamāsamāhātmya 17 chapters, Mathura Tirtha region) Bhāgavatamāhātmya Vaiśākhamāsamāhātmya Ayodhyāmāhātmya and Vāsudevamāhātmya The Brahma Khaṇḍa has three sections: Setumāhātmya Dharmāraṇya Khaṇḍa and Uttara Khaṇḍa or Brahmottara Khaṇḍa The Kāśī Khaṇḍa is divided into two parts: Pūrvārdha and Uttarārdha The Āvantya Khaṇḍa consists of: Avantikṣetramāhātmya Caturaśītiliṅgamāhātmya and Revā Khaṇḍa The Nāgara Khaṇḍa consists of Tirtha-māhātmya.
The Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa
Chhetri called Kshettriya or Kshetriya, are Nepali speakers of Khas Rajput community originating from medieval India. Chhetri was a caste of administrators and military elites in medieval Khas Kingdom and Gorkha Kingdom; the nobility of Gorkha Kingdom were based from Chhetri families and they had a strong presence in civil administration affairs. The bulk of Prime Ministers of Nepal before democratization of Nepal belonged to this caste as a result of old Gorkhali aristocracy. Gorkha-based aristocratic Chhetri families were Pande dynasty, Basnyat dynasty, Thapa dynasty and Kunwars. Khas Chhetris were traditionally considered a division of the Khas people with Khas Brahmin, they make up 16.6% of Nepal's population according to the 2011 Nepal census, making them the most populous caste or ethnic community in Nepal. Chhetris speak an Indo-Aryan Nepali language as mother tongue. Chhetri is considered a direct derivative of the Sanskrit word Kshatriya. According to the 1854 Legal Code of Nepal, Chhetris are the social group among the sacred thread bearers and twice-born people of the Hindu tradition.
All Chhetris are Hindu. They are thought to be connected to the Khasas mentioned in the ancient Indian literature and the medieval Khasa kingdom. In the early modern history of Nepal, Chhetris played a key role in the Unification of Nepal, providing the core of the Gorkhali army of the mid-18th century. Bir Bhadra Thapa was leading Bharadar during Unification of Nepal, his grandson Bhimsen Thapa became Mukhtiyar of Nepal. Swarup Singh Karki, a leading politician and military officer, belonged to Chhetri family. Abhiman Singh Basnyat of Basnyat dynasty and Damodar Pande of Pande dynasty were both members of Chhetri caste. Jung Bahadur Rana, founder of Rana dynasty belonged to the Chhetri community. During the monarchy, Chhetris continued to dominate the ranks of the Nepalese government, Nepalese Army, Nepalese Police and administration; the most prominent feature of Nepalese Chhetri society has been the ruling Shah dynasty, the Rana Prime Ministers, Pande family, Thapa family, Basnyat family. That marginalized the monarchy, the Chhetri presence in the armed forces and Government of Nepal.
In traditional and administrative professions, Chhetris were given favorable treatment by the royal government. The nobility of Gorkha were from Chhetri families and they had a strong presence in civil administration affairs. All of the Prime Minister of Nepal between 1768 to 1950 were Chhetris with the exception of Ranga Nath Poudyal, being a Brahmin; these number varied after the democratization of Nepal. Between 1951 to 1997, out of the 16 Prime Ministers of Nepal, 5 of them were Chhetris. Chhetri had dominated high military positions and monopolized the military force at the times of Chhetri autocratic administrators like PM Bhimsen Thapa and PM Jung Bahadur Rana. There were 12 Basnyats, 16 Pandes, 6 Thapas and 3 Kunwar officers totalling to 51 Chhetri officers in the year 1841 A. D; the most prominent officers at Shah administration were the Kazis which had control over civil and military functions like a Minister and Military officer combined. Rana Jang Pande, the leader of Pande faction, was the Prime Minister of Nepal in 1841 A.
D. which might have caused large Pande officers at 1841. After the rise Rana dynasty, the number changed to 10 Basnyats, 1 Pandes, 3 Thapas and 26 Kunwar officers totaling to 61 Chhetri officers in the year 1854 A. D. Chhetris dominated the position of the senior officers of the Nepali Army comprising 74.4% of total senior officers in 1967. Chhetris composed of 38.1%, 54.3% and 55.3% of the senior officers in the year 2003, 2004 and 2007 respectively. Clans of the Chhetri include: Adhikari Baniya Basnet Bisht Bhandari Bohra Burathoki Chauhan Gharti Karki Khadka Khatri/Khatri Chhetri Khulal Kunwar Rana Raut Rawal Rayamajhi Rokka Thapa The 2011 Nepal census recorded Chhetris as the largest Hindu adherents in the nation with 43,65,113 people, 99.3% of total Chhetri population. Those Chhetri who follow Hinduism may follow Buddhism; the ancient religion of the Chhetri is Masto which uses nature worship and can still be seen in western Nepal's Karnali district and in India's Gorkhaland. In Nepal's hill districts the Chhetri population rises to 41% compared to 31% Brahmin and 27% other castes.
This exceeds the Kshatriya portion in most regions with predominantly Hindu populations. Chhetris are largest caste group in 21 districts of Nepal as per 2001 Nepal census and 24 districts as per 2011 Nepal census; these twenty four districts are - Dhankuta district, Sankhuwasabha district, Okhaldhunga district, Udayapur district, Ramechhap district, Dolakha District, Salyan district, Surkhet district, Dailekh district, Jajarkot district, Dolpa district, Jumla district, Mugu district, Humla district, Bajura district, Bajhang district, Achham district, Doti district, Kailali district, Dadeldhura district, Baitadi district, Darchula district, Kalikot district and Kanchanpur district. Among them, the district with largest Chhetri population is Kathmandu district with 347,754; the literacy rate among Chhetris is 72.3% as per 2011 Nepal census. As per the Public Service Commission of Nepal and Chhetris were two largest caste group to obtain governmental jobs in the fiscal year 2017-18 though 45% governmental seats are reserved for women, indigenous groups, Dalits, people with disability and those from the backward r
Gandaki Pradesh is one of the seven federal provinces established by the current constitution of Nepal, promulgated on 20 September 2015. Pokhara is the province's capital city, it borders the Tibet of China to the north, Province No. 3 to the east, Karnali Pradesh to the west, Province No. 5 and Uttar Pradesh of India to the south. The total area of the province is 21,504 km². According to the latest census, the population of the province was 2,403,757; the newly elected Provincial Assembly adopted Gandaki Pradesh as the permanent name by replacing its initial name Province no. 4 for in July 2018. The Gandaki Pradesh got its name from River Gandaki. All of the districts of Gandaki Pradesh are irrigated by one of the branches of Gandaki River. Gandaki Pradesh is formed by combining former two Zones of Nepal, they are Gandaki and Dhaulagiri, Nawalpur region of former Nawalparasi District of Lumbini Zone; the name, Gandaki Pradesh is related to Gandaki River Civilization. The province has an area of 21,773 km2, about 14.66% of the total area of Nepal.
The state is extends between 27°-20' N ~ 29°-20' N latitude and 82° 52' E ~ 85°-12' E longitude. In terms of terrain, the province is spread over the Himalayan and Terai region of Nepal; the Governor acts as the head of the province while the Chief Minister is the head of the provincial government. The Chief Judge of the Pokhara High Court is the head of the judiciary; the present Governor, Chief Minister and Chief Judge are Baburam Kunwar, Prithvi Subba Gurung and Purushottam Bhandari. The province has 60 provincial assembly constituencies and 18 federal House of Representative constituencies. Gandaki Pradesh has a unicameral legislature, like that of the other provinces in Nepal; the tenure of provincial assembly is of five years. The Provincial Assembly of Gandaki is temporarily housed at the Town Development Training Centre in Pokhara. Gandaki province is divided into 11 districts. A district is administrated by the head of the District Coordination Committee and the District Administration Officer.
The districts are further dived to rural municipalities. The municipalities include one metropolitan city and 26 municipalities. There are 58 rural municipalities in the province. Baglung District Gorkha District Kaski District Lamjung District Manang District Mustang District Myagdi District Nawalpur District Parbat District Syangja District Tanahun District The province has a population of 2,403,016, just about 9.06% of the total population of Nepal. The population density is about 110 persons per square kilometre; the province has a population growth rate of -0.33%. The sex ratio is 89 males for 100 females, with a total of 948,028 males and 1,144,124 females recorded in 2011; the urban population of the region is 1,452,186 and the rural population is 943,652. About 50.1% of the population in the province are independent population. According to the 2011 Nepal census there are total 88 languages spoken in Gandaki Pradesh. Nepali, Tharu, Kumal, Ghale, Thakali etc are main languages, spoken by communities in Gankldaki Pradesh.
Spoken language is Nepali, spoken by 68.885 percent people of Gandaki Pradesh. Magar is secondly most spoken language with percentage of 9.025 and Gurung is third spoken language with percentage of 7.855. List of provinces of Nepal List of districts of Nepal
Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the epic, traditionally ascribed to the Hindu Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest from the kingdom, by his father King Dasharatha, on request of his second wife Kaikeyi, his travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by Ravana, the great king of Lanka, resulting in a war with him, Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king. There have been many attempts to unravel the epic's historical growth and compositional layers; the Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses, divided into about 500 sargas. In Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya, it depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal husband and the ideal king.
Ramayana was an important influence on Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements; the characters Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Sri Lanka, south-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist and Jain adaptations. There are Cambodian, Filipino, Lao and Malaysian versions of the tale; the name Ramayana is a tatpuruṣa compound of the name Rāma. According to Hindu tradition, the Ramayana itself, the epic belongs to the genre of itihasa like Mahabharata; the definition of itihāsa is a narrative of past events which includes teachings on the goals of human life. According to Hindu tradition, Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga. In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses.
The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of, a palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, Kolkata; the Ramayana text has several regional renderings and sub recensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional revisions: the southern. Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind." There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book. Retellings include Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil, Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu, Madhava Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese, Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan in Bengali, Sarala Das' Vilanka Ramayana and Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana both in Odia, sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas in Awadhi and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam in Malayalam.
Ramayana predates Mahabharata. However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization periods of the eastern part of north India and Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period. By tradition, the text belongs to second of the four eons of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta Yuga to king Dasharatha in the Ikshvaku dynasty; the names of the characters are all known in late Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki. According to the modern academic view, who, according to Bala Kanda, was incarnated as Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the 1st millennium CE. In the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana; this version is depicted as a narration to Yudhishthira. Books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic, while the first and last books are additions, as some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.
The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the Kosala and Magadha regions during the period of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region. Dasharatha is father of Rama, he has three queens, Kausalya, Ka