Ramayan is a highly successful Indian television series created, written, and directed by Ramanand Sagar. The 78-episode series originally aired weekly on Doordarshan from January 25, 1987, to July 31, 1988, on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. IST. It is a television adaptation of the ancient Indian religious epic of the same name and is primarily based on Valmiki's Ramayan and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas. It is also partly derived from portions of Kamban's Kambaramayanam and other works.
Vishwamitra releases Ram and Lakshman from his service and departs Ayodhya. King Dashrath decides to appoint Ram as his heir and and abdicate from the throne. While the whole of Ayodhya celebrates, Kaikeyi's maid Manthra disapproves and schemes to install Prince Bharath as the king.
Celebrations mark the proclamation of Ram as heir to the throne but Manthra provokes Kaikayee into sabotaging the coronation. Manthra advises Kaikayee to utilise the 2 boons that were given to her by King Dashrath many years ago. The first boon is to install Bharath as the king of Ayodhya and the second boon is to send Ram into VanaVaas for 14 years.
Kaikayee demands that King Dasharath fulfill a promise he made a long time ago in the form of two boons. Unable to change her mind, Dasharath is forced to appoint Bharath as the future king while Ram is asked to go into exile in the forest for 14 years.
Ram prepares to go to the forest. Sita and Lakshman also resolve to go to forest with Ram.
King Dasharath denounces Kaikayi as his wife and falls into a deep depression due to separation from Ram. The grief stricken people of Ayodhya try to stop Ram from going to the forest, but Ram is steadfast in his determination to go to the forest.
Ram, Lakshman and Sita are welcomed by Guha, king of the Nishadas, who arranges for the trio to cross the river Ganga by boat.
After fulfilling the condition of Khevat, Ram, Lakshman and Sita cross the Ganga and meet Rishi Bharadwaja at his ashram. They take leave of Guha and proceed to Chitrakoot.
Ram, Lakshman and Sita pay a visit to Maharishi Valmiki who advises them to settle in Chitrakoot.
Sumant returns to Ayodhya alone having failed in convincing Ram and Sita to return to Ayodhya. King Dasharath mourns the separation from his son. In depression, he remembers a a curse laid on him for a mistake he made in his youth. Story of Shravan Kumar is narrated. King Dashrath dies.
In Nanihal, Bharath has a strange premonition. Sage Vasishta and Sumant send a messenger to Kaikeya kingdom asking Bharath and Shatrughna to return to Ayodhya. Bharath returns to Ayodhya only to find that his father is dead and his older brother exiled.
Bharath performs King Dasharath's last rites. Bharath rejects Ayodhya's crown. Bharath decided to crown Shri Ram in the forest and return with him bring him back to Ayodhya.
Bharath & Shatrughan are accompanied by the gurus, the queens, the courtiers & the people of Ayodhya to the forest. They reach the outskirts of the territory of Nishadraj. Guha suspects Bharath's intentions but gets convinced of his good intentions after meeting him. They meet sage Bharadwaj,
Lakshman sees Bharath approaching them in the forest with Ayodhya's army and incorrectly assumes that Bharath wishes to wage war and kill Ram. Ram cautions Lakshman against such rash decisions and that Bharath would never harm them. Reunion of Shri Ram & Bharath. Lakshman apologies to Bharath for doubting him. Bharath informs Ram and Lakshman of king Dashrath's death and the brothers are grief-stricken hearing the news.
In Chitrakoot, Bharath conducts a meeting to plead with Shri Ram to return to Ayodhya. Ram refuses to return before 14 years in order to honour his father's promise. King Janak arrives in Chitrakoot and when asked to adjudicate the issue of Ram's return to Ayodhya decides that Ram is correct in his stance. Bharath returns to Ayodhya with Shri Ram's 'Paduka'.
Shri Rams Paduka is installed on the throne of Ayodhya. Bharath dons the sages robe & rules Ayodhya as Shri Ram's representative from Nandigram,
Sita meets sage Atri & mother Anusuiya. Ram, Lakshman & Sita arrive at Sage Sharbhanga's ashram. Anusuya gifts sita jewels and clothes that never get soiled.
In Dandakaranya, seeing the bones of the sages, Shri Ram vows to take revenge on the demons who harass and kill sages and rishis involved in religious practices. Shri Ram meets Sage Sutikshna. Shri Ram meets Maharshi Agastya & receives divine weapons from him
First meeting of Ram with Jatayu. Jatayu tells Ram of his friendship with King Dasharath. Shri Ram, Lakshman & Sita decide to stay in Panchavati. Shurpanaka's attempt to charm Shri Ram and Lakshman. Lakshman cuts off Shurpanaka's nose when she attempts to kill Sita.
Shurpanaka provokes her brothers, Demons Khar & Dooshan to avenge her insult. Shri Ram kills Khar & Dooshan single handedly & destroys their army. Shurpanaka laments in Ravans court and asks him to avenge her insult.
Ravan decides to kidnap Sita and seeks the support of Mareech. Mareech reluctantly agrees and becomes golden deer. Shri Ram, at Sita's behest, goes after the deer
Shri Ram shoots Mareech who is in the form of golden deer. Mareech calls out to Lakshman and Sita while he is dying, mimicing Ram's voice. Sita forces Lakshman to go to Ram's aid, leaving her unguarded. Lakshman draws Lakshman Rekha before leaving. Ravan in the disguise of a brahman tricks Sita to cross Lakshman Rekha and uses the chance to kidnaps Sita. Jatayu gives chase to Ravan, fights him and tries to save Sita but is mortally wounded by Ravan.
Shri Ram & Lakshman meet wounded Jatayu. Jatayu tell Ram of Sita's kidnapping by Ravan and dies. Shri Ram performs the last rites of Jatayu. In Lanka, Ravan send Sita to Ashoka Vatika.
In forest Shri Ram kills Khabanda on his request and releases him from the curse of Rishi Sthulshira. He tells Shri Ram that he would get help from Sugriv and asks Shri Ram to proceed towards Shabari's ashram. Shri Ram & lakshman reach Shabaris ashram. Shabari is overwhelmed as she meets her lord. She offers fruits to him and finally leaves the earth to go to her guru.
Sugriv notices two strangers & sends Hanuman to investigate. Hanuman meets the strangers and recognizes them as Shri Ram and Lakshman. Hanuman happily carries the two brothers on his shoulders to the top of the hill to meet Sugriv.
Friendship blossoms between Shri Ram & Sugriv. Shri Ram sees Sita's jewels & becomes emotional. He promises Sugriv his help to vanquish Vali.