After the vanara chief Sugreeva deploys the vanaras in four directions with detailed route map of the world in search of the abducted Sita. Sugreeva’s knowledge about the world, its geography, the seas, oceans, mountains, cities and its inhabitants described in sections 41-44 of Kishkinda Kanda, intrigues Sri Rama who asks Sugreeva how he was so well versed with the geography of all quarters of the world. 

In Section 46, Verse 131 of Kishkinda Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, Sugreeva, tells Sri Rama, “I have really seen the earth as in the reflection on the surface of a mirror, where the mirror shows all the objects in exactness, and the earth is like the circle of a fireball, where it is encircled with fire-like reddish and brownish and ores, and it appeared to me in my high flight like a cow-hoof-print in the mirror…”. [4-46-13]

Sugreeva describes the world
from his flight as something
similar to hoof-print pattern

He then describes his flight over the world as Vali chases him in the skies – much like the flight-sorties of today.*

In verse 14 he says, “Then on going to eastern direction I saw various trees, enchanting mountains with caves, and also numerous lakes.”

In verse 15 he says, “There I saw the mountain wreathed in with ores, namely Mt. Udaya, the Sun-Rise, and I have also seen the Milk Water Oceans which is forever an abode for apsara-s.” As per the Ramayana Mt. Udaya is located after crossing many oceans and its location was identified by Srila Prabhupada in the Andes Range of South America.

In Verse 16, Sugreeva says , “… and chased by Vali, and flying on, I suddenly veered round and then again, O master off I went.

In the Valmiki Ramyana, Sugreeva is
chased in high flight by Vali around the world.
A present day sortie.

In Verse 17, he continues, “… and changing that direction I again  made for the south crowded with trees belonging to the Vindhya, and embellished with sandal woods.” Sugreeva is now flying over the south of present day India.

Then Sugreeva says, “… seeing Vali in the mountain among the trees, from the south I, pursued by Vali, betook myself to the western quarter…”

“And beholding various countries, and arriving at that foremost  of mountains – the Asta (or the western most point where the sun sets) . Then I turned north and passed the Himvat and Meru and the Northern Sea. But pursued by Vali, refuge find I none.” 

Flying during the Ramyana epoc is not unheard of. In fact the Ramayana is replete with instances of air-travel and space travel. The most well known of all ancient vimanas is of course the Pushpak.

In sections 41-44 of Kishkinda Kanda, Valmiki describes the details of the journey of the vanaras and it is obvious that he has flown way beyond what is the territory of preset day India. For more on the details of the world map mentioned in the Ramayana click here (for north)here (for Far East)here (beyond Far East upto South America), and here for west. 

*Vali ruled the kingdom of Kishkindha; and was once challenged by a raging demon by the name of Maayaavi. Bali accepted his challenge and the demon fled in terror into a deep cave. Vali entered the cave in pursuit of the demon, telling Sugreeva to wait outside. When Vali did not return, and upon hearing demonic shouts in the cave and seeing blood oozing from its mouth, Sugriva concluded that his brother had been killed. Sugeeiva rolled a boulder to seal the cave’s opening, returned to Kishkindha, and assumed kingship over Kishkinda. But when Bali who had prevailed over the demon returned to Kishkinda, Sugreeva was ostracized from the kingdom. It was at this point that Vali pursues Sugreeva in the hope to slay him.


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