I've came across this question in Quora which got so many answers according to their view.

I think some answers are utterly incorrect. Moreover one answer says it took 1 yr 18 days to return to Ayodhya. I think it contradicts and deviates from the actual information in the scriptures.

But was it really mentioned in valmiki ramayana that they took 20 days to reach Ayodhya from Sri Lanka? What is the actual time he took to return to Ayodhya and how did he returned?

  • 6
    Dussehra and Diwali has nothing to do with Sri Rama. Rama killed Ravana in February and returned to Ayodhya in March/April.
    – Pinakin
    Oct 31, 2016 at 5:01
  • 3
    @ChinmaySarupria Can you provide any source justifying your comment? Oct 31, 2016 at 5:02
  • 3
    @Ganesh.R Vibhishan who was restored as king of lanka by Ram provided Pushpak Viman to Lord Ram. Oct 31, 2016 at 6:39
  • @ChinmaySarupria Even Ive been looking for relation of Diwali with return Of Lord Ram. I Could not find in Valmiki Ramayan the explicit day of return of Ram to Ayodhya.. Can you pls give me link? Oct 31, 2016 at 6:41
  • @ChinmaySarupria When Rama came back to Ayodhya at that time English calendar was live?. Here, I am mentioned because you have referenced here month February, March and April. Apr 7, 2018 at 6:31

5 Answers 5


I do not know how the story of Rama killing Ravana on Vijaya Dashami and returning on Deepawali became famous.

If we go through Valmiki Ramayana. It doesn't give precise information on time span between killing of Ravana and returning of Rama to Ayodhya. Furthermore, it is not possible that Rama killed Ravana on Vijaya Dashami and awaited 20 days there and returned to Ayodhya on Deepawali, as they returned through Pushpak Vimana.

Padma Purana Patala Khanda chapter 36 gives each and every Tithi of Rama's life in detail. The relevant verses from that Chapter are:

संस्कारो रावणादीनाममावस्यादिनेऽभवत् ॥
वैशाखादितिथौ राम उवास रणभूमिषु ।
अभिषिक्तो द्वितीयायां लङ्काराज्ये विभीषणः ॥
सीताशुद्धिस्तृतीयायां देवेभ्यो वरलम्भनम् ।
हत्वा चिरेण लङ्केशं लक्ष्मणाग्रज एव सः ॥
गृहीत्वा जानकीं पुण्यां दुःखितां राक्षसेन तु ।
आदाय परया प्रीत्या जानकीं स न्यवर्तत ॥
वैशाखस्य चतुर्थ्यां तु रामः पुष्पकमाश्रितः ।
विहायसा निवृत्तस्तु भूयोऽयोध्यां पुरीं प्रति ॥
पूर्णे चतुर्दशे वर्षे पञ्चम्यां माधवस्यतु ।
भरद्वाजाश्रमे रामः सगणः समुपाविशत् ॥
नन्दिग्रामे तु षष्ठ्यां स भरतेन समागतः ।
सप्तम्यामाभिषिक्तोऽसावयोध्यायां रघुद्वहः ॥
दशैकाधिकमासांस्तु चतुर्दशाहानि मैथिली ।
उवास रामरहिता रावणस्य निवेशने ॥
द्विचत्वारिंशक वर्षे रामो राज्यमकारयत् ।
सीतायाश्च त्रयस्त्रिंशद्वत्सराश्च तदाऽभवन् ॥
स चतुर्दशवर्षान्ते प्रविश्य च पुरीं प्रभुः।
अयोध्यां मुदितो रामो हत्वा रावणमाहवे॥
भ्रातृभिः सहितस्तत्र रामो राज्यमथाकरोत्।

The obsequial ceremonies of Ravana and others took place on the new-moon day. Rama stayed on the battlefield on the first day of Vaisakha. On the second day of Vaisakha Vibhisana was consecrated on the kingdom (i.e. as the king) of Lanka. On the third day took place the purification of Sita and obtaining boons from gods. Having, after a long time, killed the lord of Lanka, he, the elder brother of Laksmana, accepted the auspicious Janaki, afflicted by the demon (viz. Ravana) and taking her (with him) with great love, he returned. On the fourth day of Vaisakha Rama got into the Puspaka and through the sky again came back to Ayodhya. When the fourteenth year was complete Rama along with his group stayed in Bharadvaja's hermitage on the fifth day of Vaisakha. On the sixth day he met Bharata at Nandigrama. On the seventh the descendant of Raghu (i.e. Rama) was consecrated (as the king) in Ayodhya. MaithilI (i.e. SIta) lived without Rama in the house of Ravana for eleven months and fourteen days. Rama ruled (i.e. was consecrated as the king) when he was forty-two years old. At that time SIta had completed thirty-three years. That lord Rama being delighted entered the city Ayodhya at the end of the fourteenth year and with his brothers ruled there.

Thus Rama got into Pushpaka on 4th of Vaisakha. He lived in Bhardwaja Ashrama on 5th day of Vaisakha. He met Bharata at Nandigrama on 6th day of Vaisakha. Rama was Consecrated as king on 7th day of Vaisakha.

As Deepawali and VinayaDashami falls on Ashwin Kartik and considering 20 days gap between them, it is not possible that Rama killed Ravana on Dashami and returned on Deepawali.

  • Thank you. I also don't know how the story was spreaded. I found this discussion on Quora. I'm just curious to know how they arrived to Ayodhya from Lanka and how much time they took for this journey. Oct 31, 2016 at 17:16
  • @Ganesh.R As told in answer Rama got in Vimana on 4th day of Vaisakh and lived in Bhardwaja ashram in 5th day of Vaisakh.. so it took less than 1 day to come to border of Ayodhya... aa they came from flying Vimana it was a simple thing....
    – Tezz
    Oct 31, 2016 at 17:20
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    @Tezz Nice & precise answer .Do u have the Padma Purana book in sanskrit-english or did u post from an online source?
    – Rickross
    Nov 1, 2016 at 11:52
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    I think the story related to lord Rama's return to Ayodhya is more popular in North India. In south India it is celebrated to mark the victory of lord Krishna and Satyabhama over the demon Narakasura. Nov 5, 2016 at 17:06
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    @Tezz where in Valmiki Ramayan do you find a 15 day moratorium in the midst of the battle as mentioned in both these Purans? Also the traditional duration of the battle has always been mentioned to be 13 days not 87 - hindunet.org/hindu_history/ancient/ramayan/rama_vartak.html. My point is not whether Rama returned in Chaitra or not but that the Ramayan mentioned in these two books is different so should not form the basis of our judgement. Oct 9, 2017 at 16:37

Chapter 30, Dharmaranya Khanda - Brahma Khanda of Skanda Mahapurana - Page 162 - also mentions same tithis as mentioned in Patala Khanda of Padma Purana.

Rama returned to Ayodhya via Pushpaka Vimana. He boarded Pushpaka Vimana on 3rd day of Sukla Paksha of Vaishaka Masam (April/May) and He was coronated on 7th day of Sukla Paksha of Vaishaka Masam.

81-85. The (test of) purity of Sitä took place on the third day. Boons were granted by Devas. Da'aratha came (from heaven and gave his approval to it). After -slaying the lord of Lankä, the lord (Räma), the elder brother of Lakshmana, took with him the meritorious daughter of Janaka, who had been subjected to misery by the demon and re- turned with great pleasure. On the fourth day of Vaisäkha Räma boarded the aerial chariot Pushpaka. He returned by air. On the way to the city of Ayodhyä, when the fourteen year period was complete, on the fifth day of the month of Mädhava (i.e. Vaisäkha), Räma and party camped in the hermitage of Bhäradväja. He came to Nandigräma by Pushpaka on the sixth day.

86-89. The great scion of the family of Raghu was crowned as the king of Ayodhyä on the seventh day. Maithili stayed in the abode of Rävapa separated from Räma for a period of fourteen months and ten days. Räma began to rule the kingdom in his forty-second year. Sitä was then thirty-three years old.

  • The Skand Puran & Padma Puran both mention an 87 day war out of which 15 days was a break. Could these actually be pertaining to the Ramayan that happened in a different Kalpa? Oct 9, 2017 at 11:01
  • 1
    @Dr.VineetAggarwal I think Valmiki Ramayana doesn't mention minute details of tithis. But i'm not sure whether VR and these Puranic Ramanayas are same or not. But Padma Purana mentions explicitly Ramayana of different Kalpa.
    – The Destroyer
    Oct 9, 2017 at 12:54
  • Oh can you please share the link to Padma Puran mentioning it is the Ramayan of a different Kalpa? Also, since the Skanda Puran and Padma Puran versons match so much can we assume they both pertain to the same event? Valmiki Rmayan does not mention specific tithis but the war lasted for 18 days if I remember not 87. Oct 9, 2017 at 14:28

The correct answer would be - it is hard to decide based on Valmiki Ramayan. The other scriptures quoted in answers are most likely talking about a different Ramayan not the one that happened in the current Kalpa.

The Matsya Puran clearly states that the Padma Puran was revealed in the Padma Kalpa which was the last day of the 50th year of Brahma.

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The Ramayan we are talking about happened in the current Varah Kalpa or the 1st day of the 51st year of Brahma.

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Again both Skanda Puran and Padma Puran mention that the Ramayan war lasted for 87 days with a 15 day moratorium in the midst of the battle. Nothing like that is mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayan.

enter image description here

Even if you assume the time when Ram and Lakshman were unconscious it wasn't more than couple of days at most since Hanuman rushed to get the herbs from Himalayas and came back as quickly.

स पर्वतान्वृक्षगणान्सरांसि | नदीस्तटाकानि पुरोत्तमानि | स्फीताञ्जनांस्तानपि सम्प्रपश्यञ् | जगाम वेगात्पितृतुल्यवेगः || ६-७४-५३

Gazing at the hills, flocks of birds, lakes, rivers, pools and excellent towns full of people, that Hanuma with a speed equal to that of the wind-god his father, shot forth towards Himalayas.

Also the traditional duration of the battle has always been mentioned to be 13 days NOT 87 and this analysis clearly talks about the dates even if we do not agree with the time period it comes up with.

So judging by all the evidence, the correct answer should be - based on Valmiki Ramayan, it is difficult to conclusively support or refute the belief that Shri Rama returned to Ayodhya exactly after 20 days.

  • 1
    Very interesting. I did not know Ramayan has happened before!
    – Viraj
    Aug 26, 2019 at 5:00
  • 1
    Very well put points Sir. I don't know why people create controversy on this issue.
    – Viraj
    Nov 7, 2019 at 9:24

Since the war is the first day of the shradha period, God Rama worships His pitru (forefathers) [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 40.18-26]. With the sounds of conches and drums and shouts of ‘Jai Shree Rama’, the fierce war begins against Ravana and his Rakshasa army.

On the battlefield, Kumbhakarna kills innumerable vanara and eats many of them. God Brahma appears before God Rama and advises worship of Goddess Durga, though it is an odd time [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 41.13-14, 42.19-23]. God Rama does as told and goes on to kill the mighty Kumbhakarna after a fierce battle [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.60-68].

Indrajit was killed 15 days after the war had started, the day before amavasya (no-moon) when the shradha period ended [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.93; Mahabhagavata Upapurana 45.20].

If Ravana is allowed to worship Goddess Durga on the coming poornima (full moon day), he cannot be killed. Therefore, God Rama starts worshipping Goddess Durga from the first day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashwina. He fasts during the nights and chants mantra. Devoted worship of Goddess Durga assures the devotee all the desires of the world [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 36.59-73, 42.13-17, 46.1-12; Devi Bhagavatam 3.30.19, 9.1.144-159].

God Rama had not been able to finish off Ravana after ferociously battling for 7 continuous days and nights [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.109].

Finally, on the 10th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashwina, God Rama fires the lethal Brahmastra and finally kills Ravana [Ref: Valmiki Ramayana 6.110]. This day is celebrated even today as Dassehra when the idol of Goddess Durga is immersed in the water [Ref: Mahabhagavata Upapurana 45.34-35]. The preceding days are celebrated as the Navaratri festival, corresponding to God Rama’s worship of the 9 avatara of Goddess Durga (Parvati).

The vanara soldiers return to their respective homes. Vibhishana, God Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Angada, Jambavanta, Sushena, Shatabali, Nala, God Hanuman etc. fly back towards Ayodhya in the pushpaka-vimana. En route, they pick up Tara and Ruma from Kishkindha to accompany them to Ayodhya.

The citizens warmly welcome them all back in Ayodhya, with beautiful flowers and lights across the entire city. This day is celebrated as Diwali by Hindus even today. Diwali symbolizes that there is always a victory of good over evil.

Source: 'Essence of the Fifth Veda' by Gaurang Damani, excerpts from pgs 43, 45, 49, 50, 52, 53, 57, 58


Sri Rama reached Ayodhya in Chaitra month ( March-April).

  1. The vanaras sent in Southern direction in Sarad Ritu (September - October) lost their way and enters in a Big cave and finally reach a big mansion. After coming out of that cave and reaching Ocean, they found that much time was lost and already Vasanta Ritu - Spring season (February - March ) has arrived.

ते वसंतम् अनुप्राप्तम् प्रतिवेद्य परस्परम् | नष्ट संदेश काल अर्था निपेतुर् धरणी तले || ४-५३-५

"On discussing among themselves they found that spring season has arrived, and they also found the purpose of timely messaging about Seetha to Sugreeva is lost, thus they plumped down onto the surface of earth"

After taking guidance of Sampati, Sri Hanuma flew to Lanka on the same day

  1. Sri Hanuma spent 1 full night in Lanka and after meeting Sita and fighting with Rakshasas and he came back on the next day.

  2. After his coming back and narrating his exploits to Vanaras, immediately they flew back to Kishkinda, with a brief sojourn in Madhuvana., on the same day.

  3. Immediately after hearing the news of Sita, Sri Rama started on war expedition on the day when the Nakshtra was Uttara Phalguni .

a) The journey time from kishkinda to Ocean was not provided in Srimad Ramayana.

b) He spent 3 days praying for Ocean god.

तस्य रामस्य सुप्तस्य कुश आस्तीर्णे मही तले | नियमाद् अप्रमत्तस्य निशास् तिस्रो अतिचक्रमुः || ६-२१-१०

Following the scriptural injunction, that Rama who was devoted to his sacred vow, while sleeping on the ground spread with Kusha grass, spent a time of three nights there."

c) 5 days were spent in construction of Bridge to Lanka.

d) 1 Full day was taken to reach Lanka. Sri Rama spent that night on Mount Suvela.

5) On the next day Angada was sent as emissary to Ravana and war began on the same day. On the First (1 day) day of the war , Indrajit bounded Sri Rama and Lakshmana with Nagaastra. However, at the arrival of Garuda, they were relieved.

6) on the 2nd of war Ravana himself enters the battle field, and gets defeated at the hands of and let off by Sri Rama. Kumbakarna was woken up.

7) On the 3rd day of the war Kumbakarna gets killed at the hands of Sri Rama. Indrajit eliminates 67 crores of Vanaras, and Lakshmana gets hurt. Sri Hanuma brings Sanjeevani Hill and Lakshmana gets rejuvenated.

8) On the 4th day of the war , Indrajit gets killed on Krishna Chaturdasi day (It must be Phalguna Month)

अभ्युत्थानं त्वमद्यैव कृष्णपक्षचतुर्दशीम् || ९२-६-६६ कृत्वा निर्याह्यमावास्यां विजयाय बलैर्वृतः |

"Making yourself ready today itself, the fourteenth day of the dark half of this month, you along with the armies, sally forth tomorrow, the moonless day, to victory."

9) The war between Sri Rama and Ravana started on Amavasya day and continued for 1 full day.

10) It was described in Srimad Ramayana that Sri Rama reached the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja, on the fifth (5th) day of lunar month after completion of 14 years of exile.

पूर्णे चतुर्दशे वर्षे पञ्चम्यां लक्ष्मणाग्रजः | भरद्वाजाश्रमं प्राप्य ववन्दे नियतो मुनिम् || ६-१२४-१

After completion of fourteen years of his exile and on the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month , Rama, who was disciplined even now, reaching the hermitage of the sage Bharadwaja, offered his salutation to the sage.

Sri Hanuma conveys to Bharata that on the next day, when the nakshtra (Star) was Pushyami , Sri Rama will reach Ayodhya.

तं गङ्गां पुनरासाद्य वसन्तं मुनिसंनिधौ || ६-१२६-५४ अविघ्नं पुष्ययोगेन श्वो रामं द्रष्टुमर्हसि |

"Reaching the coast-line of Ganga-river again, Rama is staying in the presence of the sage, Bharadwaja. Tomorrow, when the moon will be in conjunction with the asteroid, Pushya you will be able to see Rama, without any obstacle."

After deciding upon the Crown prince ceremony of Sri Rama, the king Dasaratha directs his priests Vasistha, Vamadeva, etc to make arrangements.

चैत्रः श्रीमानयं मासः पुण्यः पुष्पितकाननः | यौवराज्याय रामस्य सर्वमेवोपकल्प्यताम् || २-३-४ राज्ञस्तूपरते वाक्ये जनघोषो महानभूत् |

"This is the glorious and auspicious month of Chaitra, in which the forests bloom with flowers. Let all arrangements be made for the coronation of Rama as prince." While these words of the king were being completed, there was a great delightful uproar of the people."

The king Dasaratha then informs Sri Rama about the ceremony.

यतस्त्वया प्रजाश्चेमाः स्वगुणैरनुरञ्जिताः || २-३-४० तस्मात्त्वं पुष्ययोगेन यौवराज्यमवाप्नुहि |

"O, Rama! As you with your good qualities cherished these people, you get the princely kingdom on the day of Pushyami star (when the moon appears in conjunction with the constellation Pushya).."

On the same day, Sri Rama left for the Forest in order to fulful the boon given by his father to Kaikeyi. So it is Chaitra month in which he left Ayodhya.

So Sri Rama reached Ayodhya again in Chaitra month only (March - April)

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