IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st January, 2024 Culture


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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the newly built Maharishi Valmiki Airport in Ayodhya.
  • The airport is named after Maharishi (great sage) Valmiki, hailed as the author of the oldest version of Ramayana — the story of Lord Ram.


  • Maharishi Valmiki, revered as the Adi Kavi (the first poet), is celebrated as the traditional author of the epic Ramayana, a monumental work in Hindu literature.
  • The Ramayana, consisting of 24,000 shlokas divided into seven cantos, narrates the story of Prince Rama of Ayodhya and his wife Sita, focusing on their trials when Sita is abducted by the demon-king Ravana.

Early Life and Transformation

  • Birth and Spiritual Transformation: Valmiki, initially named Agni Sharma, was born to a Brahmin named Pracheta (Sumali) of the Bhrigu gotra. Legend has it that he met Sage Narada and was inspired to embark on a spiritual journey. Engaged in penance for years, chanting "Mara," which transformed into "Rama," he gained enlightenment and became Valmiki.
  • Transformation from a Thief to a Sage: Some narratives suggest Valmiki's earlier life as a thief named Lohajangha. He underwent a profound transformation after meeting seven sages who guided him towards spirituality.

Significance and Contributions

  • Authorship of the Ramayana: Valmiki is credited as the author of the Ramayana, often revered as the first epic poem in history. The narrative of the Ramayana, including its first shloka, emerged from Valmiki's observations and emotions.
  • Philosophical Contributions: His teachings and ethical insights, particularly through the Ramayana, emphasized virtues, morality, duty, and righteousness, shaping Hindu philosophy and ethical beliefs.

Role in Ramayana and Mahabharata

  • Uttarakanda and Teaching Lava and Kusha: Valmiki played a crucial role in the Uttarakanda of the Ramayana, where Sita sought refuge in his ashram and gave birth to twins, Lava and Kusha, whom Valmiki educated about the epic Ramayana.
  • Influence on Mahabharata: Valmiki's interactions with Yudhisthira in the Mahabharata highlight his guidance on spirituality and the importance of worshipping Lord Shiva.

Reincarnation and Legacy

  • Reincarnation: According to Vishnudharmottara Purana, Valmiki reincarnated as Tulsidas, the revered poet who composed the Ramcharitamanas, an Awadhi-Hindi version of the Ramayana.

Temples and Sites Associated with Valmiki

  • Various temples across India, particularly in the Balmiki sect, revere Valmiki as Lal Beg or Bala Shah.
  • Valmiki Ashram in Chitwan, Nepal, is considered the original hermitage of Valmiki, situated near the Triveni Dham pilgrimage site.

Temples Dedicated to Valmiki:

  • Valmiki Temple, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu:
    • This ancient temple, believed to be around 1300 years old, is situated in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai.
    • It is a revered site dedicated to Valmiki and holds historical significance in the region.
  • Shree Valmiki Mata Maha Samsthana, Rajanahalli, Karnataka:
    • Located in Rajanahalli, Karnataka, this temple is devoted to Valmiki.
    • It is a significant pilgrimage site where devotees pay homage to the revered sage.
  • Valmiki Ashram, Chitwan, Nepal:
    • Situated in the Chitwan district of Nepal, Valmiki Ashram is considered the original hermitage of Valmiki.
    • It is located near the Triveni Dham pilgrimage site and is a revered place among pilgrims.

Balmiki Sect Temples:

  • Temples dedicated to Valmiki, known as Balmiki temples, can be found in various regions of India.
  • These temples are centers of worship for followers of the Balmiki religious sect within Hinduism.
  • They honor Valmiki as Lal Beg or Bala Shah and hold special prayers and celebrations on auspicious occasions like Valmiki Jayanti.

Siddhar Tradition:

Ettukudi Murugan Temple, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu:

  • Within the Siddhar tradition of Tamil Nadu, Valmiki is known as Vanmeegar and is revered as one of the 18 esteemed Siddhars.
  • Ettukudi Murugan Temple houses Valmiki's Jeeva Samadhi, considered a sacred site among his followers.

Other Pilgrimage Sites:

Valmiki Tirath, Amritsar, Punjab:

  • Valmiki Tirath, situated in Amritsar, is considered a sacred site associated with the sage Valmiki.
  • It is believed to be the location where Valmiki once resided during his lifetime.


Valmiki Jayanti (Pargat Diwas):

  • Celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashvin, Valmiki Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki.
  • Devotees and followers of Valmiki observe this day with special prayers, hymns, cultural events, and offerings at temples dedicated to him.


Valmiki's life, transformation, and the monumental Ramayana continue to influence spiritual and literary realms, earning him reverence across cultures and generations. Various temples and commemorative sites stand as testaments to his profound impact and legacy in Hinduism and literature.


Q. Ettukudi Murugan Temple, housing Valmiki's Jeeva Samadhi, is located in which Indian state?

a) Kerala

b) Tamil Nadu

c) Maharashtra

d) Andhra Pradesh

Answer: b)