The Ramayana consisting of 24,000 verses was written by sage Valmiki in Sanskrit. It is divided into 6 kandas namely Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda, Aranya Kanda, Kiskindha Kanda, Sundara Kanda and Yudh Kanda. The 7th kanda, the Uttara Kanda is generally regarded as a later addition to Valmiki's Ramayana.
Kamban is the author of the Tamil version of Ramayana - Iramavataram (The Avatar of Rama).
The Telugu version of Ramayana, Ranganatha Ramayanam was written by Gona Budda Reddy.
Krittvasi Ramayana is the Bengali version of Ramayana written by Krittibas Ojha.
Ramcharit Manas was written by Tulsidas in Awadhi (a Hindi dialect).
The Mahabharata written by Ved Vyas in Sanskrit is the world's largest epic with around 1,00,000 verses divided into 18 parvas.
The Bhagavad Gita with 700 verses is a part of the Mahabharata.
The Vedas are believed to have been complied by Krishna Dwipayana also known as Ved Vyasa.
The Vedas have been written in Vedic Sanskrit.
There are four Vedas, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda.
The Rig Veda is the oldest and also the largest of all the Vedas.
The Rig Veda contains hymns of praise to several deities. Most of the hymns are devoted to Indra and Agni.
Gayatri Mantra is contained in the Rig Veda. It is an invocation to the Sun God.
Sama Veda is almost entirely based on the Rig Veda.
The origins of Indian classical music are attributed to Sama Veda.
The Yajur Veda has two branches - the black (Krishna) and the white (Shukla).
The Yajur Veda contains chants which accompany ancient rites.
The Atharva Veda primarily consists of spells and charms to ward off diseases and to influence events.
Ayurveda has its origins in Atharva Veda.
The four Upvedas are Ayurveda, Dhanurveda, Gandharvaveda (music), and Shilpaveda (art and architecture).
Schools of Vedic Philosophy
Sankhya or the Cosmic principle school
Nyaya or the Logical school
Vaisheshak or the Atomic school
Purva Mimansa or the Ritualistic school
Uttara Mimansa or the Theological school
Important Pilgrimage Centres of Hinduism
On the banks of
Confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati
Four Dhams of Hinduism
Dham (Pilgrimage Place)
The 12 Jyotirlingas
Name of the Jyotirlinga
5. Parli Vaijnath
6. Bhima Shankar
Important points to remember on Islam
The Islamic calendar is known as the Hijri. It starts from 622 A.D. the year in which Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Madina.
The Hijri has 12 lunar months and the year consists of 354 or 355 days.
The month of Ramadan (9th month) is the holiest of the 12 months in which eating and drinking during daylight hours is prohibited. It is believed that in this month the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet.
Ramzan-Id or Id-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar.
Id-e-Milad is the festival which celebrates the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
Moharrum is the mourning day for the Shias who mourn the death of Ali, 4th Caliph of Islam.
Moharrum is also the first month of the Islamic calendar. The day of mourning, Moharrum falls on the 10th day of the month.
Id-u-zuha or Bakr-I-d, the story behind the celebration of the festival is that Abraham on being ordered by God to sacrifice his son Ismael blindfolded himself before killing. When he removed the blindfold he found his son safe and ram slain on the altar.
Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca is performed during the month of Dhu al-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic Calender. Bakr-I-d is celebrated on the 10th day of the same month.
The five important tenets of Islam which every devout Muslim is bound to follow are :
Offer Namaz five times a day.
Believe that there is no God but Allah.
Visit Mecca at least once in his life time i.e. perform Haz.
Give alms to the poor.
Fast in the month of Ramadan.
Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti
Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra in Uttar Pradesh
Dargah of Haji Ali
Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti
Ajmer in Rajasthan
Dargah of Khwaja Nizamuddin Awliya
Important points to remember on Christianity
The birth place of Jesus Christ is Bethlehum. Its present day location is in West Bank in Palestine.
The forty days period of fasting before Good Friday is called Lent.
Good Friday is the day of Jesus Christ death while Easter, the Sunday which follows Good Friday is the day of his resurrection.
Judas Iscariot was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original apostles of Jesus, and the one who betrayed him.
The first Christian saint to visit India was St Thomas in 52 A.D.
The country with the highest number of Christians in the world is the United States of America.
The first authorized version of the Bible also known as King James’ version was published in 1611.
The Ten Commandments were brought to the people from God by Moses
Gregorian Calendar (Christian Era) came into being from 1582. Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII to provide corrections in the Julian Calendar.
Pope, the head of Roman Catholic Church resides in Vatican City, a landlocked country in Italy, also the smallest country in the world.
All Saints Day is the day for all saints who have no special day of their own. It is celebrated on 1 Nov every year. It is immediately followed by All Souls Day on 2 Nov.
The founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha was born at Lumbini located in present day Nepal.
Gautama Buddha's original name was Siddhartha and he was the son of King Suddodhana of Kapilvastu.
He attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya and gave his first sermon at Sarnath. Bodhgaya is located in Bihar, while Sarnath is in Uttar Pradesh.
The state of Bihar is named after Buddhist 'Vihara' - the residential quarters of Buddhist monks.
The first day of the Buddhist calendar is Vaishakhi Purnima.
Vesak or Buddha Purnima is the day which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Buddha.
The Indian state with the maximum number of Buddhists is Maharashtra.
The country with the largest Buddhist population is China.
Six Buddhist councils have been held so far as follows :
Immediately after the death of Gautama Buddha.
After about 100 years after his death.
During the reign of Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC.
During the reign of King Kanishka around 100 AD
From 1888 to 1871 in Mandalay, Burma
From 1954 to 1956 at Rangoon, Burma.
The Leshan Giant Buddha in China is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world.
The Borobudur Temple in Java, Indonesia is the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Jataka tales are about the Buddha’s previous lives in various forms before he was born as a human being.
Mahayana and Hinayana are the two sects in Buddhism.
Ladakh (J & K)
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery
Spiti valley (H.P.)
Bomdila (Arunachal Pradesh)
Zanskar (J & K)
Important points to remember on Jainism
The founder of Jainism, Vardhamana Mahavira was born at Vaisali located in Bihar.
His father's name was King Siddhartha and mother was Queen Trishala.
Thirthankara is a saviour who has succeeded in crossing over life’s stream of rebirths and has made a path for others to follow, in short, a path maker. Jainism had 24 thirthankaras.
The first thirthankara was named Rishab who is also regarded as the real founder of Jainism.
Mahavira was the 24th Thirthankara, while Parshava was the 23rd thirthankara.
Jain comes from the word ‘Jina’ which means 'the conqueror'.
Mahavira gave his 1st sermon called Divya Dhwani at Mt Vipul in Rajgriha.
Chandragupta Maurya embraced Jainism before his death.
Shwetamber and Digamber are the two main sects of Jainism. The followers of Shwetamber sect wear white clothes (Shwet for white and amber for clothes) while the followers of Digamber sect do not wear any clothes (Dig for sky and amber for clothes).
First Jain Council was held at Patliputra under the chairmanship of Sthulabhadra in 300 B.C. It resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas replacing the lost 14 Purvas.
Second Jain Council was held at Vallabhi under the chairmainship of Devardhi in 521 A.D. It resulted in the final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism was born at Talwandi in Lahore district of Pakistan, He is credited with starting the Langar (the system of providing food to all visitors in Gurudwaras).
The birthday of Guru Nanak is celebrated on full moon day of the Kartik month.
Guru Angad invented the Gurumukhi script
Guru Ramdas is credited with the establishment of the city of Amritsar.
Guru Arjun Dev is considered the author of the sacred text ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ He is also credited with the construction of the Golden Temple at
Amritsar. Guru Arjun Dev was tortured to death by the then Mughal Emperor Jahangir.
Guru Arjan Dev got the foundation of Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) laid by a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore.
Guru Hargovind called himself the Sachcha Badshah (True Emperor).
The symbol of Sikh faith is known as the Khanda.
The concept of "Miri Piri" was highlighted by Guru Hargobind who wore two kirpans, one to symbolize the concept of Miri or temporal authority and the second to symbolize the concept of Piri or spiritual authority.
Guru Hargobind was imprisoned in the Gwalior fort for 3 years by Mughal Emperor Jahangir. He is known as Bandi Chod Baba for securing the release of 52 Hindu princes who were imprisoned with him at the fort.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb and Gurudwara Shish Ganj in Delhi stands at the place where he was executed.
Guru Gobind Singh, the last guru founded the Khalsa Sect making it mandatory for all Sikhs to possess five Ks –
Kripan (a sword),
Kesh (long hair),
Place of Birth
Place of Death
Guru Nanak Dev (1469 to 1539)
Nankana Sahib Punjab (Pakistan)
Kartarpur Sahib (Pakistan)
Guru Angad Dev (1504 to 1552)
Khadur Sahib, Amritsar
Guru Amar Das (1479 to 1574)
Goindwal Sahib, Punjab
Guru Ram Das (1534 to 1581)
Guru Arjan Dev (1563 to 1606)
Guru Hargobind (1595 to 1644)
Kiratpur Sahib (Punjab)
Guru Har Rai (1630 to 1661)
Kiratpur Sahib (Punjab)
Kiratpur Sahib (Punjab)
Guru Har Krishan (1656 to 1664)
Kiratpur Sahib (Punjab)
Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621 to
Guru Gobind Singh (1666 to
Hazur Sahib, Nanded (Maharashtra)
Baha'I Faith originated in Iran
The founder of the faith was Baha-u-llah.
The Lotus temple at New Delhi belongs to the Baha'I faith.
The religion followed by Jews is known as Judaism.
Judaism was founded by Moses.
The sacred text of the Jews is the Torah.
The Jews place of worship is called the Synagogue.
The founder of Zoroastrianism is Zoroaster or Zarusthar.
It was formed around 6 B.C. in Iran.
Zoroastrians are also called Parsees.
The sacred book of the Parsees is Zend Avesta and their place of worship is the Fire Temple
Parsee new year is called the Navroze.
The Tower of Silence or Dakhma is the place where Parsees dispose off their dead.
The founder of Confucianism is Confucius, a Chinese teacher who lived during 599 - 479 BC.
The Analects are the sacred texts of Confucianism.