Bengaluru, May 25: There is not just one, but several theories proving that one India's greatest epics-Ramayana- is not a myth.
While people like believing that it is a spiritual evidence of the ideal Arya family-a husband bound by family ties in Ram and an obliging wife-Sita, there is more to it.
Barring the feminist approach to the epic, the very discovery of the Ram Setu in the Bay of Bengal opens a whole wide range of speculations for the literati.
After a three-year long research of the route map of Rama's exile, two Chennai-based botanists-P Sudhakar and M Amrithalingam-have proved that all the 182 plants mentioned in Valmiki's Ramayana are very much existing.
"We have tracked the route travelled by Ram and Sita and found that the plant and the animal species mentioned are still there," said Amrithalingam. Sudhakar too confirmed their Latin and Sanskrit names.
Nanditha Krishna, director of the CPR Environment Education Center, under whose supervision the study was conducted said that,"all the sites in the routes are still identifiable. Valmiki could not have imagined it and written with such precision.
For instance, the fact that Ram, Sita and Lakshman were warned before entering the Dandarakanya forest that it was infested with lions and tigers. While there are no lions in the area now (thanks to poaching), the Bhimbetka has prehistoric paintings of lions and tigers together, conforming Valmiki's description.
Valmiki rightly points out that Kishkinda was a dry and moist land and it remains to be the same even now. Similarly the topography, the climate and the flora and the fauna described for Chitrakuta and Panchavati also have striking similarities even now.
Even the documentation of the Ashoka Vana in Sri Lanka matches, leave alone the description of the garden.