The ancient Indian epics “Ramayana” and “Mahabharata” contain information about the mysterious civilization of intelligent apes known as “Vanara,” who lived in deep, warm forests and lush jungles. The existence of such species has always been in dispute among scholars who believe that they might be mistaken for tribe people. But the ancient texts and scriptures strongly describe their monkey-like characteristics such as their leaping, hair, fur, and tails.
In Ramayana, a whole army of half-man and half-ape creatures played a pivotal role. They fought with Lord Rama to defeat the demon king of Sri Lanka Raavan and rescued his wife Sita from his captivity. The word vanara itself is derived from two Sanskrit words: vana (“forest”) and nara (“man”), therefore meaning forest-man or forest-dweller.
In addition, Vanaras were said to have strength and agility beyond that of a normal man which is one of the reasons they were able to stand against the demonic armies of Lanka. Some of the vanaras were said to be direct descendants of the gods.
For example, the most famous and powerful of the vanaras, Lord Hanuman was the son of the wind-god Vayu, the primary Hindu deity, and was known to display god-like powers himself. In fact, he shows up in another Indian epic, the Mahabharata, which occurs thousands of years later, implying that he is immortal.
Scholar B Vijayashree, in his journal “A tail’s travel from Treta Yuga to DwaparaYuga,” provided a reference to Hanuman blocking the way of Bheema (a powerful character in Mahabharata) in the Gandhamadana Mountains in the Himalayas.
According to the Ramayana, when Sita was kidnapped by the 10-headed demon-king Ravana, Rama assembled an army of Vanara. It is discovered that Sita was held captive on the island of Lanka. Rama, unable to move his massive forces of ape-men across the ocean, was advised by the sea god to build a bridge across the water. Rama enlisted the help of the Vanara for its construction.
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The Vanaras built a causeway between the mainland to Lanka, constructing it of rocks and boulders, which are described as resembling mountains. The building project is said to have lasted for five days and to have been 100 leagues in length. The bridge, once completed, allowed Rama to transport his army of Vanaras across the ocean to Lanka. Once there, Ravana was killed and Sita, Rama’s wife, was rescued.
The particular bridge, which is commonly known as Ram Setu (Adam’s bridge), had previously been just a myth until NASA images showed up. The exact age of the bridge is complicated to determine. According to Ramayana, its estimated age is 1.7 million years while some study says it is only 18,400 years old.
Dr. Badrinarayanan, the former director of the Geological Survey of India performed a survey of this structure and concluded that it was man-made. He and his team drilled 10 boreholes along the alignment of Adam’s Bridge. What he discovered was startling. About 6 meters below the surface, he found a consistent layer of calcareous sandstone, corals, and boulder-like materials. His team was surprised when they discovered a layer of loose sand, some 4-5 meters further down and then hard rock formations below that.
As we have physical evidence of one of the incidents of Ramayana that involved Vanaras, could they be our earliest ancestors? Could there be some other species of hominid living on the Indian peninsula thousands of years ago? It is entirely possible.
Ancient Origin writes: “Around 2.5 million years ago (just prior to the opening of the Treta Yuga), human evolution took a major leap with the introduction of the genis “Homo”. Homo habilis were the first group of primates that were able to utilize tools. By about 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus and Homo ergaster made their debut. Homo ergaster was found primarily in Africa, while Homo erectus was located in Eurasia. Studies of these two species suggest that Homo ergaster had a smaller cranial capacity while its cousin Homo erectus a larger one. Studies of Homo erectus’ skeletal structure indicate that Homo erectus was robust, which suggests that they were stronger than contemporary man.”
The mystery of the Vanara civilization is yet to be solved, but researchers cannot affirmatively state that a civilization of intelligent ape people once lived on the planet.