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Recently, we as a group stumbled upon a question,
"Historically, which event happened first - the Ramayana or the Mahabharata"?

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    Several characters of Ramayana were discussed in Mahabharata; e.g. Shri Hanuman was on the flag of the Arjuna's chariot. According to some archaeology researches (e.g. Ramsetu, Dwarika), Ramayana happened around 7-7.5k years back and Mahabharata around 5k years back. – iammilind Sep 10 '15 at 8:44
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Ramayana happened before Mahabharata.

Some of the characters like Jambavana and Shri Hanuman are referred in Mahabharata with their Ramayana backdrop. Even Shri ParashuRama is also referred who is said to born even before Ramayana.

During discourse of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, Lord Krishna refers himself as Shri Rama as below:
BG 10.31

Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Rāma, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

Now "Parashu Rama" is also referred as "Rama" at many places in Mahabharata, however in this particular case I believe wielder of weapon is emphasizing on Kshatriya ability and hence it's more likely to be Shri Rama.

According to archaeology research, many experts believe that Ramayana happened approximately 7000-7500 years ago. (refer Ram setu). But it could be few more thousands year earlier as well.

Regarding Mahabharata majority of the people believe it to be happened nearly 5000 years ago. There is also a research on ancient Dwarka city's remains under water.

There are some other answers which suggest, Ramayana happening many more thousands years ahead of Mahabharata. To me that seems highly unrealistic and extremely less likely. Putting that question for your reference:

Did the Mahabharata and the Ramayana happen in the current Yuga cycle in the current Manvantara?

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Ramayana happened before Mahabharat

Ramayana is story of Ram son of King Dashrath and who is seventh incarnation(avataar) of Lord Vishnu where as Mahabharat contains moments of Krishna's life who is son of Vasudev and who is eightth incarnation(avataar) of Lord Vishnu so clearly Ramayana happened before Mahabharat

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