Filter by Publisher
More Publishers
Filter by Author
More Authors


Numerous peoples of the subcontinent swear by the Awadhi version of the great Indian epic. Written by the prolific Tulsidas, Ramacharitmanas captures the essence of what devotion means in the Orient. In terms of medieval Indian poetry, Tulsidas' Ramayana belongs to the Sagun school of the Bhakti literature movement. There is a rebellious angle to this popular version of the Ramayana - the fact that it was written in the Awadhi vernacular came as a challenge to the dominance of Bramhanical Sanskrit of the time.


Q1. What is the difference between Tulsidas Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayana?

Both are based on the life of Lord Ram but the main difference between the two is their author and the time when they were written. Ramayana was written by Sage Valmiki in Treta Yuga (Rama was born at the end of the Second Age or Treta-yuga and he came into the world specifically at the bidding of the gods to deal with the fearsome multi-headed demon Ravana). Ramcharitmanas was written by Tulsidas in Kaliyuga (Hindus believe that human civilization was spiritually degraded during the Kali Yuga era. This era is called the Dark Age because people are as far away from God as possible.). Valmiki has used the ‘Shlokas’ format in Ramayana, while Tulsidas has used the ‘Chaupais’ format in Ramcharitmanas.

Q2. Why did Akbar imprison Tulsidas?

Tulsidas was invited by Mughal Emperor Akbar in his court to display his magical powers after hearing a lot about the poet from Khan-e-Khana Rahim and Toder Mal. When Tulsidas declined, he was imprisoned. It was during this time in prison Tulsi Das started writing Hanuman Chalisa.

Q3. How old is Tulsidas Ramayana?

Tulsidas died at the age of 91 on 31 July 1623 (Shravan month of the year Vikram 1680) in Assi Ghat on the bank of the river Ganga. Assi Ghat is one of the many ghats of Ganga River. It is believed to be the last of 80 holy ghats in Varanasi in ancient times. To most visitors to Varanasi, it is known for being a place where long-term foreign students, researchers, and tourists live. With hosting Subah-e-Banaras in the morning, Assi ghat provides a spectacular notion of river Ganga.

Q4. How does Chandrabati's Ramayana challenge the Ramayana narrative of Valmiki and Tulsidas?

Chandrabati often intrudes into the text and directly addresses the characters herself. The Chandrabati Ramayana does not tell us about the route of Rama, but it tells us all about the life's journey of a woman – a complete biological life-cycle – her birth, her marriage, her pregnancy, childbirth, maturity and death.

Q5. What is the real name of Tulsidas?

Tulsidas was born as Rambola Dubey. According to a legend, Tulsidas took 12 months to come out in this world, till then he stayed in the womb of his mother. He had 32 teeth from his birth and looked like a five-year-old boy. After his birth, he started enchanting the name of Rama instead of crying. That’s why he was named Rambola, he himself stated in Vinaya Patrika.