The World of Valmiki-41
Rama. Lakshmana and Viswamitra go to Mithila
Starting from Ayodhya they spend the first night on the banks of Sarayu near the confluence of Sarayu and Ganga, situated in Anga country. Crossing Sarayu they enter the country called Malada and Karusha which was in those days being harassed by Tataka. They then reach Siddhasrama, where Viswamitra was performing the yajna. (1-23 to 29 sargas) From Siddhasrama they travel to Mithila, where on the way they halt on the banks of Shona for a night. The country around, which was once ruled by Kusha had 5 hills between which flowed the river Sumagadhi. After crossing Shona, they reached Ganga on the banks of which they rested for the night. After crossing Ganga they reached Vishala city on the northern banks of Ganga. From Vishala they travelled to Mithila on the outskirts of which was Gautama's hermitage.
Janaka's messengers sent to fetch Dasaratha from Ayodhya took three nights to cover the route. Janaka's brother Kusadhwaja who ruled Kampilya was brought to Ayodhya from Kampilya. ( 1-30 to 77)
Rama's travel to Chitrakuta
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spend their first night of exile on the banks of Tamasa. Traveling beyond the borders of Kosala, they cross rivers Vedasruti, Gomati and syandikaa they reach Srungaverapura on the banks of Ganga. After spending a night there they cross Ganga and enter Vatsa country.
They next reach Bharadwaja hermitage, which was on the confluence of Yamuna and Ganga. Ten krosas away from Bharadwaja hermitage was Citrakuta hill.
Bharadwaja directs them to travel on the banks of west-flowing Yamuna and then to cross Amsumati river. There would be a banyan tree and a krosa away from there one approaches a blue forest. That is the rout to Chitrakuta says Bharadwaja.
Rama,Sita and Lakshmana cross Yamuna and Amsumati and reach the banyan tree. They further travelled for a distance of a Krosa and moved around the Yamuna forest. Then they proceeded to Chitrakuta where river Malyavati flowed near by. (2- 46 to 57)
Messengers from Ayodhya travel to Rajagriha, Capital of Kekaya.
They travelled along Malini to the south of Aparatala and to the North of Pralamba mountains and crossed Ganga at Hastinavati. Travelling westward they reached Panchala country through Kurujangala. They reached Saradanda river. After paying due respects to a banyan tree on the western bank of Saradanda, they entered the city of Kulinga. Passing through the villages of Tejobhibhavana and Abhikala, they crossed river Ikshumati and reached the Sudama mountain in Bahlika country. After visiting the Vishnupada at the top of Sudama mountain and observing Vipasa, Salmali and other rivers they proceeded on a highway to reach Girivraja, the capital of Kekaya country. (2-68)
Bharata's journey from Girivraja to Ayodhya
Bharata travelling east from Girivraja he crossed rivers Sudama and Hladini and west flowing Shatadru.
Crossing another stream at village Ailadhana he reached Apara mountain. Crossing a river he reached Salyakarshana region lying in the south eastern direction. Taking a bath in Silavaha river he crossed Mahasaila mountain and reached Chaitraratha forest. He crossed Saraswathy and Ganga and entered the northern part of Viramatsya country and then the Bharunda forest. After crossing river Kulinga, he crossed Yamuna. Finding that it was difficult to cross Ganga at village Amsudhana, he crossed it at Pragvata city. He then crossed river Kuttikoshtika and reached village Dharmavardhana. Then he passed through villages Jambuprastha, south of Torana and Varutha. He travelled east to Ujjihana city and thence to village Sarvatirtha. Crossing river Uttanika and other streams he reached village Hastiprushtaka. Crossing river Kuttika, he crossed Kapivati at Lohitya.
Crossing river Sthanumati at Ekasala and river Gomati at Vinata he reached Kalinganagara and then Ayodhya. He took seven days to reach Ayodhya (having taken a longer and easier route.) (2-71)
Bharata's journey to Chitrakuta
From Ayodhya Bharata travels to the banks of Ganga and reaches Sringaverapura. He crosses Ganga and reaches Bharadwaja hermitage. Bharadwaja gives directions to reach Chitrakuta as follows: " At a distance of two and a half yojana's from here is Chitrakuta mountain. To the north of it flows Mandakini. Between the mountain and the river is the hermitage of Rama." (2-92 to 93) [ Do Mandakini and Malyavati refer to the same river?]
After visiting Atri's hermitage they move to Dandaka forest where they meet sages in a cluster of hermitages. Then they travel to the hermitages of Sharabhanga and Sutikshna. They spend around ten years moving from hermitage to hermitage and again return to Sutikshna's hermitage from where they travel to the hermitage of Agastya via the hermitage of Agastya's brother. Agastya advises them to stay at a place called Panchavati, which was on the banks of Godavari. (3)
Rama and Lakshmana travel in search of Sita
Kabandha advises them to travel west and reach Pampa lake after crossing several hills. On the banks of Pampa lake was Matanga forest where Shabari, woman-sage stayed. Rishyamuka where Vali had taken refuge was near the Pampa lake.(3)
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