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Difference between Kamba Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayan

Kamba Ramayana is the Tamil Version of the Valmiki Ramayana but with original poetic touches of Kamban, the Tamil poet who wrote the epic in Tamil. Here are some of the striking difference between Kamba Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayan.
  • More Poetic indulgence, similes and great idyllic beauty can be found in Kamba Ramayana. 
  • The journey of Dasaratha to Mithila for alliance is described in two shlokas in Valmiki Ramayana. Kamba Ramayana dedicates four chapters to the journey.
  • In Valmiki Ramayana, Ravana carries Mata Sita on his left hand. In Kamba Ramayana, Ravana pull out the entire hermitage along with Sita and carry it to Lanka. She stayed in the same hermitage, which was originally built by Lakshmana during her captivity in Lanka.
  • Guhan is given prominence as is shown as epitome of Bhakti in Kamba Ramayana. Guha is the name of the hunter-chieftain who helps Sri Ram during his exile.
  • In Valmiki Ramayana, Mata Sita is kidnapped by Ravana to avenge Surpanakha’s insult and later he wants to make Sita his wife. But in Kamba Ramayana, Ravana is highly passionate and want to possess Sita. It is this blind passion that is responsible for his worst defeats, disasters and finally death.
  • Jatayu is related to Bhagavan Sri Ram as per Kamban. Sri Ram is accepted by Jatayu as his brother’s son. When a frustrated Sri Ram says that he will destroy the world if he does not get back Mata Sita; Jatayu admonishes Rama, and reminds him that it was his mistake to have left his woman in the forest unprotected. This is a big difference from Valmiki Ramayana. No character in the entire Ramayana admonishes Bhagavan who is the incarnation of Srihari Vishnu.
  • For Kamban, Rama was not a mere manifestation of Vishnu. He was above the Trimurtis (muparam porulukum mudalvon st 124 Tiru Avatara Patalam).
  • Ravana during his last moments states that Rama is not Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesha. He is the ultimate cause of the Vedas. (St. 134 Ravana Vadaippatalam)
  • In Valmiki Ramayan, Tara, wife of Vali, went to live with Sugriva her brother-in-law as his wife. In Kamba Ramayana, Tara lives as a widow.
  • Kamba Ramayana consists of 10,368 verses. Valmiki Ramayana originally consisted of only 6000 verses (But the extended present form has 24,000 verses).
  • The episode of the killing of Hiranya – Hiranya Vadai Patalam is not found in the original Valmiki Ramayana. The chapter was added by Kamban to show that bhakti is more powerful than philosophy. It is narrated by Vibhishana to Ravana to remind him that pride destroys everything.
  • In the Kamba Ramayana, half of the 10,368 verses are dedicated to explaining the battle. The original Valmiki Ramayana only had only a total of 6000 verses. Even in the elongated 24,000 verse Ramayana, Yudha Khanda only consists of 4500 verses.