More than just an epic, the Ramayana is a cultural phenomenon. Orginally thought to be written in Sanskrit, more and more scholars are becoming convinced that Valmiki was an oral poet and that it was composed and passed on orally.

A tale that reaches through every part of the Indian subcontinent you will find the Ramayana everywhere. Some of note are Kampan's Iramavataram, "Descent of Rama" written originally in Tamil; Adyaatma Ramayana, "Spiritual Ramayana" written is Sanskrit; and the Ramcaritmanas, "Sacred Lake of Rama's Acts" written by Tulsidas in hindi. (note: these are in order of how old they are thought to be, going from oldest to youngest.)

In 1987 a tv version was made in 78 episodes, and as of the summer of 2000 was still being played. This poem is still as much a part of people's lives today as it was when it was originally composed.