Regional Compositions of Sri Ramayana, Part Eleven

BY: SUN STAFF - 12.2 2018

Varnasi Rama Lila

Serial presentation of the preeminent versions of Sri Ramayana.


There are countless different manuscripts in which the Ramayana and related pastimes of Lord Rama are composed in the form of Sanskrit dramas. Approximately fifty of them are listed below.

Abhinava-Raghava of Kshiraswamin, written during 10th Century.

Abhiseka Nataka of Bhasa starts with the killing of Bali, then Rama meeting Varuna and crossing the ocean.

Ananda-raghava is a drama on the Ramayana theme. Its author, Rajacudamani Diksita was the son of Srinivasa and Kamakshi and was patronised by king Raghunatha of Tanjore. He flourished in the last part of the 16th Century.

Anandaraghava describes in five acts the story of Rama from his marriage to coronation.

Abhirama-mani of Sundaramisra is a drama in seven acts based on Ramayana, written in 1599 A.D.

Abhirama-raghava, a lost Ramayana drama known only through the reference made to it by singabhupala. It may be assigned to the 13th Century.

Adbhuta-darpana of Mahadeva is a Ramayana drama in ten acts. Mahadeva is the son of Krsna Suri of Tanjore and belongs to the 17th Century.

Amogha-raghav, a lost Ramayana drama known only through the reference made to it by singabhupala. It may be assigned to the 13th Century.

Anargha-Raghava of Murari, written during 9th or 10th Century.

Ascharya-choodamani of Shaktibhadra, written around 9th Century. Based on Ramayana.

Bala-Ramyana of Raj-shekhara in ten acts, written during 9th or 10th Century.

Chalita-Rama based on Rama's later life. It was written in the 9th Century. Surpanakha plans a plot and Sita is exiled.

Dutangada of Subhata. The Prologue of this play states that it was represented at the court of Tribhuvanapala, a Calukya king of Anhilvad who reigned in 1242-1243 A.D., at a spring festival held in honour of the dead king Kumarapala, who restored the Saiva temple of Devapattana in Kathiawad.

Another Dutangada of Ramachandra.

Janaka jananada of kalya Lakshmi Narsingh, based on the Ramayana of Jaimini Ashwamedha. In this play, Lava and Kusha fight with the army of Rama, who protects the horse of Ashwamedha.

Janaki-parinaya is a Ramayana drama by Ramabhadra Diksita, 17th Century There are two more dramas by this name, one by Narayana Bhatta and the other by Sitarama.

Janaki-Raghava, written around 12th Century. Another Janaki-Ragava of Yuvraja Ramasinha was written in 1625 A.D.

Kritya-Rawana, written during 9th Century.

Kundamala of Dinnaga, based on Uttara-ramayana. Sita is exiled by Rama and gives kundamala to the river for the safe birth of her son. She gives birth to twins, and they sing Ramayana in Rama's court.

Lalita-raghava is drama on the Ramayana by Ramapani deva, middle of the 18th Century

A second Maha-Nataka was written by Madhusudana around the 14th Century.

Maha-Nataka of Damodara, written around 11th Century.

Mahaviracharita of Bhavabhuti, based on Ramayana. This play starts with Rama's arrival at the hermitage of Visvamitra and ends with His coronation.

Marica-Vancitaka, Ramayana story in five acts, written during 11th Century.

Maithili-kalyana of Hastimalla, based on the marriage of Sita. Written around the 9th Century.

Maya-puspaka, written during 9th Century.

Prasana-Raghava of Jayadeva, a drama in seven acts written around 12th Century.

Pratima Natak of Bhasa which starts with Rama's coronation.

Raghavananda is a Ramayana-drama by Venkatesvara, belonging to the last quarter of the 17th Century, written in the court of Sahaji and Serfoji of Tanjore (1684-1728 A.D.)

Raghavabhyudaya of Ramachandra, written around 12th Century. There are three other dramas by the same name written by Gangadhara (1294-1325 A.D.), Bhagavan Raya and Venkatesvara.

Raghu-vilasa of Ramachandra, written around 12th Century.

Rama-Charita, drama based on Ramayana, written during 9th Century.

Ramabhyudaya of Ramadeva vyasa in two acts, written during the 15th Century.

Ramabhyudaya of Yashovarman in six acts, written during the 7th Century.

Ramananada of Shrigadita, based on Ramayana, written during 9th Century.

Rama-vikrama, a lost Ramayana drama known only through the reference made to it by Sagaranandin. It is most likely a work of the 12th Century.


Swapana-Dasanana of Bhimata, based on a dream of Ravana. Written around the 6th or 7th Century.

Uddata-Raghava by Mayu-raja, also called Anagaharsha, written around 8th Century.

Ullagha-raghava of Somesvara, a Ramayana drama belonging to the 13th Century. Somesvara was the court poet of Viradhavala and of Gujarat (1219-1271). The manuscript of this drama is preserved in Baroda library.

Unmatta-raghava of Bhaskara, written around 14th Century, offers a curious tale of Rama. Sita enters into a garden forbidden to the womenfolk and is transformed into a gazelle. Rama wanders in her search and gives his maddened soliloquies. The sage Agasta takes pity and relieves Sita of the curse of Durvasa, which was the cause of her transformation because once Durvasa was disturbed by a gazelle.

Unmatta-raghava of Mahadeva sastri.

Uttara-rama-charita of Bhavabhuti, based on the later life of Rama. The play starts with Sita blessed by sage Astavkara.

Vali-Vadha, written during 10th Century. It is a preksanka type drama.

Yagna-falam of Bhasa, which starts with Dasratha's enjoyment of the birth of his sons from yagna.