Did Valmiki Rishi write two different Ramayan epics?

My answer to Did Valmiki Rishi write two different Ramayan epics?

Answer by Vijayendra Mohanty:

As far as we know, no he didn’t. The Valmiki Ramayana is considered the original Ramayana because it is the oldest written version of the story of King Ram. But there are other versions of the story which were written later and not by him.

Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas[1] is one example. So is Kambana’s Ramayanam[2].

Many also believe that there were oral versions (unwritten) of the story going around the subcontinent before Valmiki penned the tale down. According to an essay by AK Ramanujan[3] which became the subject of some controversy in 2008, there are 300 Ramayanas in circulation, many of them very different from each other.

The Ramayana has been retold many times since its inception. Some of these are modern retellings by authors such as Ashok Banker[4] and Amish Tripathi[5]. There are also graphic novel adaptations of the story — one is even from the viewpoint of Princess Sita.


[1] Ramcharitmanas – Wikipedia

[2] Ramavataram – Wikipedia

[3] A.K. Ramanujan: 'Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation'

[4] Ramayana series by Ashok K. Banker

[5] Sita: Warrior of Mithila – Wikipedia

Did Valmiki Rishi write two different Ramayan epics?