These are some amazing facts from Valmiki Ramayana in random order:
Dhundu a rakshas mentioned in Ramayana was a volcano
In ancient days ‘Patala’ was a name given to parts of South-america since it was cut off from the real world, also it has a time difference of about 12 hrs from the Asian countries; navigation was not possible easily nor was air travel possible hence it was virtually cut off from real civilized world. It was abode of Asuras.
In Kishkindha kaand Valmiki, through Sugriv mentions of a trident which is described as: trishiraaH kaa.ncanaH ketuH taalaH tasya mahaatmanaH | sthaapitaH parvatasya agre viraajati sa vedikaH || 4-40-53
A golden pylon resembling a palm tree with three branches as its heads is established on the peak of that mountain as the insignia of that great-souled Ananta, and it will be lustrous with a golden podium.
Also mentioned are the places like Yava dwipa- Java Island, Suvarna dwipa- Sumatra, Antartica- as the land of yama; Vanaras were sent to every part of the world in search of Sita.
Pragjyotishpur-todays Assam and beyond (parts of China) where Narakasura reigned (he was later killed by Krishna)
Hanuman ‘LEAPT’ the sea and not fly as shown in TV serials; he had the ability to leap great distances also he used to run with great speed.
The Vanaras (men and women) had a custom of marrying more than one spouse (as evident in Vali-Sugriv-tara episode)
River Ganga is ‘man-made’ (Will post later )
Bay of Bengal was a land once and it was dug up by 60,000 sons of Sagar hence the name ‘Saagar’ for the sea; The southern part of India is tapered because of such digging; King Sagar was a great philantrophist
The Videha kings (Janaka) were also Ikshvakus ,they were direct descendent of Vikukshi but since only the first son is entitled with the family name they weren’t refered as Ikshvaku; other prominent Ikshvakus were Andhra Ikshvaku and Vishala (today’s Vaishali provence) Ikshvaku
- Ahalya was not in the form of a stone but was meditating, when Ram and Lakshman along with rishi Vishwamitra visit Gautam ashram; Ahlaya host sall three of them also it is Ram and Lakshman who touch her feet to get blessing and Ahalya reciprocates.
- Shabari doesn’t give tasted fruits to Ram , she to hosts Rama and Lakshman and attains salvation there after.
- Bramharishi Valmiki also known as Ratnakara Pratechasa since he was the tenth child of Pracheta is the original author (ofcourse) but his epic or mahakavya has been edited and re-edited several times. One such editor was Rksha bhargava- a bhrigu vanshi.
- Ramayana (of Valmiki) got a major ‘face-lift’ during the Gupta period (Of Samudra Gupta time) when this epic was edited heavily ,things such as Rama’s shiva worship was deleted since guptas were not Shiva’s worshipers also the breaking of Shiva’s bow was very popularized and even it was portrayed that rishi Agastya never worshipped Shiva, deleting of Rameshwaram episodes etc.
- Ramayana was only for the elite masses; this is one of the main reasons for regional devotes to write Ramayana in several languages which gave it a religious look and thus its social-political and economic impact was reduced to such an extent that today Ramayana is viewed as only a religious text 😦