He achieved this feat several years ago, when most of us hadn't even taken birth. Many mortals are also of the opinion that such a thing never really took place in the first place, but nonetheless it is still an epic myth that should be celebrated by every one of you because it signifies the quintessential triumph of good over evil.
Let me tell you the story of this fantastic traveller.
According to many books, this guy was the first born to a very influential man in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. He was supposedly a pretty nice child; brilliant at studies and extra-curricular activities. His father ensured that he was taught by the best teachers available. Everything was hunky-dory and the guy grew up to be a handsome young man.
Since we are talking of days of the yore here, marriages took place at an early age. So here was this guy, hardly out of school and already getting married to an equally beautiful young girl coming from a very affluent family. It was literally a match made in heaven. And the first few years went by blissfully.
Now this guy's father had three wives, and as we all know, this can be a recipe for disaster. There were three sons from the other two wives as well and so some familial issues were bound to crop up. The paramount problem was of the impending power shift in the family. Because our guy was the eldest (and many claimed, the most capable), he was the obvious choice to be the successor of his ageing father's powerful kingdom. But his first stepmother wanted her own biological son to take over the reins of the empire.
Trouble ensued, and finally it was mutually decided that our noble guy pack minimal stuff in his bag and go backpack for a stipulated period of time after which he would be allowed to come back and take what is rightfully his. Although he was supposed to go alone, his wife and his first stepbrother also tagged along for the journey.
The Wife's Abduction
Since our guy was quite a traveller, the backpacking trip lasted for a very long time. They switched locations frequently, but mostly they spent their nights in different forests all across India.
As if the hardships of perennial backpacking were not enough, one day in the Panchvati (now Nashik) forest, the guy's wife got kidnapped by someone thanks to a masterful deceit. What was even more tragic was the fact that it was almost time for all of them to return home. The guy and his stepbrother were left in quite a conundrum then since there were three major issues:
1. There were just the two of them.
2. Since they were absolutely cash-strapped backpackers, they did not have the means to go after the kidnapper.
3. Even if they did somehow manage the means of transport, they still did not know where that foreigner had come from.
The Fortuitous Friendships
Since our main man keeps his best behaviour at all times, he managed to make a lot of friends along his trip. And as the age old saying goes, "A friend in need is a friend indeed". One of his friends somehow managed to find the whereabouts of the guy's wife. The location was found to be somewhere in Sri Lanka, which was crazy far considering there was no modern transport at disposal.
The only way to rescue his wife was to walk down the entire route, but our man did not flinch one bit because now he had an army of powerful friends with him who would travel along ensuring the safe return of his wife. This was the beginning of a great journey.
The Journey And The Triumph
The massive army of noblemen had to travel many a state and an entire country in order to reach the great mansion of the kidnapper, where the guy's wife was kept in hiding. It turned out that the kidnapper was quite an influential person himself and already had an army comprising friends and family waiting to attack the noblemen.
A massive battle ensued, but ultimately the good guy managed to slay the prime baddie and rescued his wife in the process. That journey and the eventual victory are still considered to be the quintessential examples of the triumph of good over evil in the Hindu religion.
The Epic Traveller And His Journey Back Home
The name of the epic traveller is widely believed to be Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram and the Sri Lankan kidnapper was called Ravana. (By the way, some conspiracy theories claim that the latter was not a villain after all.)
Ram's banishment from the kingdom of Ayodhya lasted an entire 14 years, and it's his return to his home and claiming his throne that is celebrated by Indians all over the world.
Tripoto wishes a very Happy Diwali to all of its readers. May the good prevail over evil in each of your lives as well.
Celebrate Travel. Celebrate Diwali.