Ramayan is a television series based on the Hindu Epic, Ramayana. The series was written and directed by Ramanand Sagar and originally aired on Doordarshan in 1987. The leading roles of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita were played by Arun Govil, Sunil Lahri and Deepika Chikhalia. The epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are the cultural and religious heritage of India. Children used to hear these stories from their grandparents and other elders. In the late 1980s, new generations of Indians became familiar with the epics through television. Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan was telecast by Doordarshan and it became hugely popular among viewers. The writer based his script on the original Valmiki Ramayana and also on Tulsidas’ Hindi Ramayan. The story follows the fortunes of Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, who is sent on exile by the machinations of his step-mother Kaikeyi and her manipulative maid, Mantara. He is accompanied on his fourteen year exile by his wife, Sita and his brother, Lakshmana.