Sad but true: against the archeological evidences of Mahabharatian places, there are no Ramayan ones, except those consecrated after Tulsidas’ Ramayan, centuries later.
Scholars mourn the lack of empirical evidence of Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Dandakaranya, Lanka, Panchavati, Videha, Kosala; when Buddha was teaching at Savatthi 58 km from Ayodhya, it was called Oudh by pilgrims including Fa Hien and Hieun Tsang.
But ... Yes, but there is some ray of hope. Valmiki scholars are excited by recent developments.
Valmiki’s 'Kishkinda Kand' Section 40-43 offers detailed directions to the four Vaanar brigades hunting for Sita after her abduction. Those to the westbound brigade came up for close scrutiny:
This route’s ultimate culmination was Mt. Asta (अस्त) or Sunset Mountain. What do they cross before Ast?
Valmiki described a route due west from the Vindhyas, from a point where “the sindhu falls into the sea” i.e. either where the Narmada entered the Arabian sea or the Indus entered it at Karachi, taking the Vanaras to the Persian Gulf. (The word ‘sindhu’ also meant ‘river’). The next landmark was a Mt. Meru, after which the team had to look out for an elusive 'gigantic ten-leaved date-palm-tree, which was completely golden and shone forth with a marvelous podium'. Assyrian artifacts with stylized palm trees suggested some sacred connotations.
Ironically, the search party that went east had more luck in crossing oceans to “three leafed palm tree etched on Sunrise mountain i.e. a mountain near Mt. Udaya, visible from the ocean”. That three-leafed palm tree visible from the ocean, could be the ancient Paracas Trident of Peru etched on the mountain in the Andes chain in South America! Picture below:
Certainly enhances possibility of finding a similar one in the west, somewhere in the mountains of Iran or Iraq, doesn’t it?
The next landmarks were a Hemgiri peak that touched the sky, a waterlogged mountain, Paariyatra, along the sea and a Mt. Vajra that shone like a diamond -- the Zagros Range on the Persian shore. At that ocean’s 4th quarter would be Mt. Chakravan with its megalithic circular wheel with 1000 spokes structure, built by the 'celestial architect' 'Vishwakarma, atop a mountain. Otherwise the Sudarshan chakra was accepted as Vishkarma’s celestial weapon.
Which is this rounded city across seas and mountains west of India? Possibilities mind-boggling, from Armenia, to Iran, Iraq and Russia.
= Armenia’s circular 'Yerevan', among the oldest continually inhabited cities, at the heart of the Armenian Ayrarat highland with a Mt. Ararat 64 ‘yojanas’ away.(6-15 kms); even Narek close by for Narak. Very possible old names “Chakravan” and “Varaaha” may have been corrupted to “Yeravan” and “Ararat”.
= Today’s Baghdad, built on prehistoric ruins, also resembles Valmiki’s circular city description.
= Firuzabad in Iran, then “Gor”, the Sassanid capital and also a weapon. Possibly built on the Ramayan’s Chakravan’s ruins?
The ancient city of 'Gor' in Iran.
= Russain circular Vedic city, 'Arkaim', deemed a weapon storage facility.
The ancient city of Arkaim
Next week: More on Sita and where was dasrath?