It is a joyous occasion for the people of Ayodhya that their beloved prince Rama returns safely after fourteen years of exile. The coronation ceremony of Rama and Sita.
Read the earlier chapters: Ramayana Told Through Pictures: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part 15 Part 16 Part 17 Part 18 Part 19 Part 20 Part 21 Part 22 Part 23
Vibhishana requests Rama to remain at Lanka for some more time, but Rama declines the invitation. Fourteen years of exile have just ended, and the much awaited family reunion beckons him. Vibhishana arranges the Pushpaka Vimana to transport Rama and others to Ayodhya. He also honours the monkeys with gold and precious stones.
Vibhishana, Sugriva and Hanuman travel with Rama to Ayodhya to witness his coronation-ceremony.
As the winged chariot soars in the sky, Rama recalls and shares with the group the many thrilling incidents that colored their lives when the three were together. Sita is eager to know the momentous happenings of the last one year that have taken place after her abduction. Rama shows her the bridge they built to cross the sea, the hill where he met Sugriva the first time, where he killed Vali, and so on.
Finally, they reach Bharadwaja’s ashram. Hanuman approaches Guha and Bharata in Nandigrama and informs Rama’s impending return to Ayodhya.
The aerial car lands at Nandigrama. Bharata welcomes Rama and others, by embracing them and by greeting them joyously. Rama too offers his salutations to all his mothers, who come to receive him. Rama commands Pushpaka Vimana and the charioteer to return to Kubera, the lord of riches to whom it originally belonged.
The city of Ayodhya is submerged in the sea of joy. Rama and Bharata meet.
At the request of Bharata to take back the kingdom of Ayodhya, Rama accepts the offer. Rama, is taken on a procession seated on a richly decorated chariot, accompanied by Bharata, Shatrughna, Lakshmana and Vibhishana on caparisoned elephants. Vasishta consecrates Rama with water from several holy rivers. Vasishta and other priests officiating the coronation-ceremony adorn Rama with a crown of matchless lustre. Then, Rama gives away presents to the priests as well as Sugriva and Angada. Rama presents a pearl-necklace to Sita and Sita presents that necklace in turn to Hanuman. Rama further gives away presents to Vibhishana, Sugriva, Jambhavan and others on the occasion. Rama bids farewell to monkeys.
Bharata’s penance is at an end and his heart is filled with joy.
And do Rama and Sita live happily ever after? No, there is once again a banishment, but this time it is a pregnant Sita who is to left to live in the forest. But this forms the ‘Uttara Kanda’ of Ramayana. Many believe this was not written by Valmiki at all, and is a later interpolation.
I must take leave of you now. Until next time.