On the ninth day of the Shukla Paksha, as per the Hindu calendar’s Chaitra month, Ram Nawami is celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Ram. Devotees visit nearby temples of Lord Ram with flowers and other offerings. Recitals of verses from holy scriptures like Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagavatam, Ram Katha, and bhajans, echo throughout the day while some also observe a fast. Ram or Vishnu temples all over Kathmandu Valley and in different parts of Nepal are flooded with devotees on this day. The Ram Janaki Temple or Janaki mandir in Janakpur is also famous for hosting thousands of visitors on this day. On this day many people conduct ‘hom’ and conclude the nine-day festivities of Chaitra Navratri, due to which the festival is also known as Rama Navratri.
According to mythology, the king of Ayodhya, Dasharatha and his three wives Kausalya Sumitra, and Kaikeyi were praying to have children to inherit his empire in the future. One day, Dasharatha was suggested by the great Rishi Vasistha to do the ‘Puthra Kamesti Yagna' to achieve his dream for a child. After completion of the Yagna, he gave kheer to his three wives, right after which Kausalya conceived their first son, Lord Ram. Since then, the date of birth of Ram is celebrated with great vigour.
Though born in a royal family, Ram’s life is described to be full of challenges and unexpected changes. Ram, his wife Sita, and his brother Laxman are exiled into impoverished and difficult circumstances. They experience ethical questions and moral dilemmas. One of the most difficult travails is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the determined and epic efforts of Ram and Laxman to gain her freedom and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds. The entire life story of Ram, Sita and their companions brings into discourse the duties, rights and social responsibilities of an individual. It illustrates dharma and dharmic living through model characters. For these reasons Lord Ram is considered an ideal deity, whereas for his victory over Ravana, Lord Ram is also believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is thus especially celebrated in Vaishnavism.