If you’ve been acquainted with Ramayana and celebrate the associated auspicious festivals, you must be familiar with the proximity of the two most prominent ones, i.e. Dussehra and Diwali. Spaced 20 days apart, the festivals mark the journey of Lord Ram back to his hometown – Ayodhya – after killing Ravana and appointing Vibhishana as the new ruler of Lanka.
Now the part that has long been a topic of debate is, how did the convoy manage to cover the huge distance within a span of 20 days? Apart from the ‘Pushpak Viman’ mentioned in the scriptures that allowed Lord Ram, Sita and the others to fly back to Ayodhya in the short time, there have been many theories and over time. People have tried to look for a more practical (or believable) solution to the puzzle.
It seems like, as always, Google has the answer. And what’s even more astonishing is that Google doesn’t even seem to try to look for it. It throws it right at your face with a simple search. A search on Google Maps, i.e.
If you open up Google Maps and ask it for directions from Sri Lanka to Ayodhya, it will show a distance upwards of 3000 km and the fastest route to cover it through a ‘recommended’ mode of transport.
Now the trick is to change the mode of transport to on foot i.e. ‘Walking’. The map quickly shifts the route to one running along the Chennai coastline all the way to Ayodhya through Telangana and other states. Quite astoundingly, the 3152 km route takes 495 hours on foot as per Google Maps.
A simple calculation will show that the 495 hours equate to 20.6 days. That’s eerily close to the amount of time that Lord Rama took for his journey, as mentioned in Ramayana. So, is it on foot, that the prince of Ayodhya travelled back to his homeland?
Please mind that while this might be astounding for many and you might have gotten into a mythical-cum-investigative trance, the perspective should be taken with amusement and nothing else. A hint for this can be deduced from the fact that the route shows a ferry from Colombo to Chennai, includes ‘private roads’ and mentions a ‘restricted usage’ for obvious reasons.
But it does come undeniably close to the scriptures. So yes, for all the theorists out there, Google Maps might just have another for you and i.e. Lord Rama travelled back to Ayodhya on foot and keep in mind, ‘on foot’ can also include a chariot amongst a victory procession that travelled all the way back to the home of Lord Rama.
In case one argues over the exact amount of time taken and maintaining a constant speed throughout, know that the exact location of Lanka is not known and might have been closer to Ayodhya than the point that is mentioned in Google Maps, meaning less distance, more time and hence, more probability.