The Search for Sita

- August 14, 2020

When Rama was in need of help to carry out a search mission for Sita, it was the king of Kishkindha, Sugriva, who heard his call. Sugriva, along with his trusted minister, Hanuman, got crores of vanaras ready to comb the lands for Sita’s location. He divided his humongous army and allocated team leads for each group, pointing each of them in different directions. The valiant Shatabali and his army of one lakh vanaras, as well as the sons of Yama, who were Shatabali’s counsellors, headed to the Northern Quarter.

While the search was tedious, the monkey army got to witness some of the most magical places on their journey. Each direction had unique yet equally charming locations. Here’s how Sugriva described these magical places in the Ramayana’s Kishkindha Kand.

Illustration: Durgesh Velhal

“Search the land of the Mlecchas, the Pulindas and the lands of the Kurus. Go to towns of the Yavanas and Sakas, and the land of the Daradas.”

Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

“Search the Himalayas. Go to Sage Soma’s ashram and from there to the huge Kala mountain where the gold mines lie. Beyond that is the mountain Sudarshana and after that the mountain Devasakha.”

Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

“Devasakha is the refuge of birds where all types of trees grow. Look for Sita and Ravana in the forests, near the waterfalls and in the caves.”

Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

“Then quickly cross the barren land beyond, devoid of all life, and reach the white Kailasha mountain. Here stands the palace of Kubera, the lord of wealth, like a white cloud with gold decorations. It also has a pond filled with lotus and lilies and crowded with swans.”

Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

“Next, you will reach the Krauncha mountain where you must search in the caves before going to the e barren but wish-fulfilling peak, Manasa. Beyond Krauncha is Mount Mainaka, the abode of Mayasura. Passing beyond you will come to an ashram where Vaikhanasa and Valakhilya live. Ask them about Sita. Beyond this flows the Sailoda river on the banks of which grow hollow bamboos that make a whistling sound as the wind passes through.”

Illustration: Ritoparna Hazra

“Thereafter stretches the Northern Sea with the gold mountain, Somagiri, rising from its middle. Here dwell Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. You must not venture north of the Uttara Kurus. The moment you see Somagiri, you must hastily turn back.”

“Rama is the best of men, and has helped us greatly. When this task is done and Rama is pleased, our purpose will be accomplished and we will be released from our debt. Using all your intelligence and abilities, explore these inaccessible places and return to me. I will reward you greatly.”

Find out the other magical places mentioned in the Kishkindha Kand in our six-volume Valmiki’s Ramayana box-set, now available on the ACK Comic app, as well as Amazon, Flipkart, and other major e-tailers.  

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