Ayodhya was a city in Uttar Pradesh, India.
King Dasaratha ruled it.
Dasaratha had three queens and 350 wives.
Names of the three queens : 1. Kausalya 2. Sumitra 3. Kaikeeyi.
Dasaratha didn't have sons for long. He performed a horse sacrifice and a son-giver sacrifice (Putrakaameesht`i sacrifice) to please the Gods and beget children.
He got four sons :
Shri Rama - Eldest son through Kausalya.
Lakshmana - son through Sumitra.
Bharata - son through Kaikeeyi.
S`atrughna - another son through Sumitra.
The sons grew up.
MARRIAGES OF THE BROTHERS
Janaka was the king of the neighboring kingdom Mithila. He had a daughter named 'Sita'.
His brother had daughters named 'Urmila, Mandavi, Srutakirti'.
Rama married Sita.
Lakshmana married Urmila.
Bharata married Mandavi.
Satrughna married Srutakirti.
PROPOSAL TO CORONATE RAMA
The tradition of those days was to crown the primogenitor.
Dasaratha proposed to crown Rama, the very next day .
Dasaratha informed Rama to be ready for the anointment.
Queen Kaikeeyi came to know about it.
She recollected about two boons which Dasaratha had offered her in the past.
She asked Dasaratha to bestow the two boons :
1. Exile Rama to a forest for 14 years.
2. Crown Bharata.
Dasaratha grieved for the turn of the events.
Exile of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to forest
The three moved in the forests for 13 years.
They moved to Dandakaranya forest and settled on the banks of the River Godavari.
Rama killed some demons at the instance of hermits.
Soorpanaka , sister of King Ravana tried to bewitch Rama and Lakshmana.
Lakshmana cut her nose and ears!
Ravana sent a demon named 'Maricha' in the guise of a golden deer as a bait to draw Rama from Sita.
Sita asked Rama to fetch the golden deer.
Rama went far in chase of the deer.
Rama killed the deer. The deer , before dying cries imitating Rama's voice : "Haa Lakshmana! Sitaa!".
Sita became anxious about Rama's safety and sent Lakshmana to help him.
Ravana entered the hermitage of Rama and Sita in the guise of a sage.
Ravana abducted Sita.
Rama and Lakshmana searched for the missing Sita.
They reached the Kingdom 'Kishkindha'.
Vali was the King of Kishkindha.
Vali's Queen : Tara.
Vali's younger brother : Sugriiva.
Sugriiva's wife : Ruma.
-do- son : Angada.
Sugriiva's Minister : Hanuman.
All these characters were monkeys with tails, as per Ramayana. They speak in human voices.
Sugriiva, owing to a misunderstanding , started ruling Kishkindhah, when Vali was trapped in a cave , fighting a demon.
Vali, after returning back was furious believing that his brother ditched him.
He drove away Sugriiva.
Sugriiva became a refugee , thus.
Hanuman met Rama and Lakshmana.
Hanuman brought Sugriva and his followers to Rama and Lakshmana.
Rama and Lakshmana entered into a pact to kill Vali in return for Sugriiva sending his citizens in search of Sita.
Rama killed Vali.
Sugriiva sent forces in all the four directions to search for Sita.
Hanuman et al went in the southern direction. Ravana's Kingdom 'Lanka' was in the South.
Hanuman crossed the sea (presumably Pak Straits, as per pilgrim tradition)
Hanuman found Sita under a tree in Lanka.
Hanuman revealed his identity to Sita,
--delivered a proof of identity given by Rama.
--consoled her, etc. etc ...
Hanuman returned to Kishkindha and informed Rama that Sita was found in Lanka.
He conveyed the message of Sita to Rama.
Rama and Lakshmana, Hanuman, Sugriiva, Angada and their army move towards Lanka, to wage a war against Ravana and bring back Sita.
--Rama threatened Sea with dire consequences if he did not allow a way to Lanka.
--The God of Sea appeared before him and advised him to build a bridge.
--Rama built a bridge in 15 days, and reached Lanka using the bridge.
--Rama sent Angada as emissary to Ravana. Ravana didn't listen.
--Ravana's brother Vibhiishana advised him to return Sita to Rama.