Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind." There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last chapters of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author.Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two chapters and the rest of the book.Famous retellings include Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu, Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil (c.

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16th century) in Marathi, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas (c.

16th century) in Awadhi (which is an eastern form of Hindi) and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam in Malayalam.

) is an ancient Indian epic poem which narrates the struggle of the divine prince Rama to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.

Along with the Mahabharata, it forms the Sanskrit Itihasa.

The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the Kosala and Magadha region during the period of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region.

The knowledge of the location of the island of Lanka also lacks detail.

Some cultural evidence, such as the presence of sati in Mahabharata but not in the main body of Ramayana, suggests that Ramayana predates Mahabharata.

However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization period of the eastern part of north India and Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period.

Basing his assumption on these features, archeologist Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia has proposed a date of the 4th century BC for the composition of the text.