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Ram Navmi 


Ramanavami celebrates the birth of Shri Rama or Ramachandra. Ram is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the preserver. Lord Vishnu took the seventh avtaar named Ram who killed Ravan, the evil king, on the 9th day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, hence the day is celebrated as Ram Navmi. In some parts of India, it is a nine-day festival, coinciding with the Vasanta Navaratri.

Go to Brief Story Of Rama

RAMAYANA : The epic known as the Ramayana is one of the great epics of India. The story of Rama was first written by the great sage Vaalmeeki in about the 4th century B.C. Rama is supposed to have lived during the 8th or 7th century B.C. This epic poem Ramayana is recited as a poem and has been passed on to the present age by word of mouth. The Ramayana is written in Sanskrit. It is composed of verses called "Sholkas" which in turn make up chapters called "Sargas". A group of Sargas together form a book called "Kandas". There are 7 Kandas or books comprising the Ramayana.

  1. Bal Kanda, the boyhood sections.
  2. Ayodhya Kanda, the section at Ayodhya, including the banishment of Rama.
  3. Aranya Kanda, the forest section, including Rama's life in the forest and Sita's abduction by Ravana.
  4. Kishkindha Kanda, the section describing Rama's stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his monkey ally, Sugriva.
  5. Sundara Kanda, the beautiful section, including the description of Rama's passage to Lanka and his arrival there.
  6. Yuddha Kanda, the war section, describing the war with Ravana, his death, Ramayana the recovery of Sita, and the return to Ayodhya. It is also known as the Lanka Kanda.
  7. Uttara Kanda, the later section, including Rama's life in Ayodhya as king, the banishment of Sita, the birth of her two sons, Sita's test of innocence, her return to her mother, and Rama's "Jala samadhi". This section was added after the main story had been written.

The Ramayana is the source of many stories told to children to teach them about duty, correct behavior and other moral concepts. The Ramayana has been made into a long TV serial which colorfully depicts the Ramayana. It is available as a 12 VHS cassette set priced around $260.00. Directed by film maker Ramanand Sagar. The show was so popular on Doordarshan that streets would be deserted during the time the show aired...just like the Superbowl here in the US. So over-powering are the performances of the stars in this serial that Arun Govil came to be identified as Ram and Deepika as Sita.


Amar Chitra Katha which is a very famous Comics Publication Company has put the stories of Ramayana into pictures and comics for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Other famous versions of Ramayana include Shri Ram Charit Manas in avadhii (old hindi) by Swami Tulasidas and Kambarís Kambaraamayanam in Tamil.

RAM CHARIT MANAS : Ram Lila, the enactment of the story of Lord Rama is believed to have been started by great Swami Tulsidas. The Ram  Charit Manas, written by him till today forms the basis of Ram Lila performances. Many schools put up plays based on the Ramayana. Excerpts from the Rama Charit Manas are recited during this day and festival. People of all castes and creeds participate in these gatherings to listen to the stories and their explanations offered by the learned. In some places, Rama Lila is associated with Vijayadashmi celebrations in late September and early October and also with Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama.

FASTING : People also chant  Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu, and offer flowers and fruit to the god. People fast throughout the day, breaking the fast only at midnight with fruit.

CELEBRATIONS : Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, is the focus of great pomp and celebrations. A huge fair is organized for two days. "Rath yatras" or 'chariot processions' of Ram and his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee and king of the monkeys - Hanuman are held from many temples. At the Kanaka Bhawan Temple in Ayodhya, thousands of pilgrims converge and colorful processions are held. Shri Ram is said to have been born at mid day, when a priest formally announces his birth by placing a coconut in a cradle and at midday.

In some parts of India, especially Bihar, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, public gatherings called Satsangs are organized to commemorate the birth of Rama. In Nagpur, Maharashtra, the Ram Janmostav Shubhayatra is celebrated with very high spirit at the Shri Poddareshwar Ram mandir, Nagpur which was built in 1923. Over a 100 floats participate depicting various inspiring incidents from the life of Lord Rama.

Many devotees stay awake on the previous night in many of the US Hindu temples, in anticipation of Lord Ram's birth. A havan is performed and they sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Ram and rock his image in cradles to celebrate his birth.



Print this out and read it to your kids

Retiring King Dasaratha of Ayodha chooses his son Rama as his heir. Dasharatha, the wise and just king of Ayodhya, had three wives. The eldest queen, Kaushalya, had a son named Rama. The second queen, Keikeyi, had a son named Bharata, and the youngest queen, Sumitra, had two sons named Lakshmana and Shatrughna. His second wife Kaikeyi asks that he appoint her son Bharata, instead. Kaikeyi pleads that he owes her two favors, and she feels misfortune will come upon her if he doesn't crown Bharata king and banish or exile Rama to the forest for fourteen years. The king reluctantly agrees, so Rama goes with his beautiful wife, Sita, and his brother Laksman, leaving their riches to live a simple life. 

Bharata is away from Ayodhya when this happens. On his return, when his mother tells him what she has done, he is enraged. He loves and respects his brother Rama and does not want to rule in his place. He sets out in search of Rama and finds him at the entrance of the forest. However, no amount of persuasion can convince Rama to return, for he believes that he has to fulfil his duties towards his father and mother "dharma", by following his father's instructions. He refuses to return to Ayodhya until his exile has ended. Bharata returns to Ayodhya with Rama's slippers, which he places on the throne as Rama's symbol and rules as his brother's regent.

In the forest the three meet the demoness Shurpanakha who falls in love with Rama. Rama refuses her advances and Laksmana wounds her. She flees to her brother Ravana, ruler of the island kingdom of Lanka (known as the 10 headed demon). After hearing Surpanakha's report of the beauty of Sita, Ravana decides that he must have Sita and changes himself into in wandering holy man to find her in the forest. Sita crosses the "Lakshman Resha" and when Rama and Laksmana are distracted, Ravana carries Sita off to Lanka.

Sita mourns in Ravana's garden in Lanka, while Rama and Laksmana enlist the services of Hanuman who becomes a devotee of Rama. Hanuman the monkey king, helps them find Sita. Hanuman, able to make himself larger or smaller, starts his search for Sita by taking a giant step to the Island of Lanka. Carrying Rama's ring he finds Sita and identifies himself as Rama's messenger. Sita is delighted, but Hanuman is caught and Ravana sets Hanuman's tail on fire. Hanuman escapes but sets fire to Lanka.

Rama, Laksmana, Hanuman, and his monkey army lay siege on Lanka. The monkeys make a bridge to Lanka, and after a long battle with spears, bows and arrows, Rama kills Ravana, the 10 headed demon. Rama is reluctant to accept Sita back, because he questions her chastity. She has lived in the home of another man for almost a year. But Sita proves her innocence by an ordeal of fire or Agni. Proving her chastity by remaining unscathed by the fire, she rejoins Rama.

Yet there are people in the kingdom who are unhappy about the fact that their queen had lived in the house of another man for so long. Rama convinced that his queen has to be above suspicion banishes a pregnant Sita from Ayodhya. She goes to live in the ashram of sage Valmiki and bears twin sons Luv and Kush, who as young men become reunited with their father, the god-king Rama.

At this time Sita is again asked to prove herself with the ordeal of fire but this time she cannot bear this cruelty by Shri Rama and asks "mother earth" to swallow her. She cannot be saved by her son Kush. Shri Ram cannot bear the thought of Sita gone so he decides to sacrifice himself to the Sarayu river and does "Jala Samadhi".

Here is a common chant for Shri Rama :

Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare



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