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Vanara ( ) popularly refers to the race of ape-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana who were brave and inquisitive by nature. The term Vanara can be described as forest-dweller (vane carati iti vanara). The epic Mahabharata describes them as a forest-dwelling tribe, and mentions their being encountered by Sahadeva, a Pandava general who led a military campaign to south India.
Sculpture of Hanuman, a king among the Vanara, carrying the Dronagiri mountain

In the Ramayana

Vanaras are created by Brahma and other gods to help Rama in battle against Ravana. They are strong and powerful with many godly traits to fight battles. Taking Brahma orders the gods have agreed and accordingly started to parent sons in the semblance of monkeys (Ramayana 1.17.8). The Vanaras took birth in bears and monkeys attaining the shape and valor of the gods and goddesses who created them (Ramayana 1.17.17-18). After Vanaras were created they began to organize into armies and spread across the forests, although some, including Vali, Sugriva, Hanuman, stayed near mount Riskshavat. The Vanaras began to procreate in the forests.

According to the Ramayana, the Vanaras lived primarily in the region of Kishkindha in present-day southern Indiamarker, in the midst of Dandaka Forest, where Lord Rama met them during his search for Sita.[45513] The Vanaras helped Rama in his search, and also in battle against Ravana, Sita's abductor. As described in the epic, the characteristics of the Vanara include being amusing, childish, mildly irritating, badgering, hyperactive, adventurous, bluntly honest, loyal, courageous, and kind.

Well-known Vanara


  1. Balakanda
  2. [1]

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