When handsome prince Rama married the beautiful Sita, he planned to rule the kingdom with her when his time came to take the throne. However, his wicked stepmother tricked the king into sending them away, and when the old king died she placed her own son on the throne.
Meanwhile Rama and Sita were living in the forest to where they had been exiled. One day Sita saw a beautiful golden deer, and she begged Rama to catch it for her. He didn’t want to leave her alone, but he couldn’t refuse her request, and so he set off in pursuit of the deer.
While Sita was all alone, the evil demon Ravanna appeared and he carried her off. To make sure that Rama would be able to find her again, Sita left a trail of her jewellery behind her him to follow. Fortunately, Ravanna didn’t notice, but Hanuman, the monkey king, did.
Eventually, Rama caught up with the golden deer but as soon as he touched it, it turned into a demon and he realised that he had been tricked.
Quickly he raced back to where he had left Sita and he was devastated to find that she had disappeared.
Hanuman explained what had happened, and showed him the trail of jewels that she had left behind. They followed the trail until it lead them to an island surrounded by rough seas and huge waves crashing on the rocks.
Hanuman was able to fly, and so he flew across to the island to check whether Sita was there. He found her, desperately unhappy at being apart from Rama and refusing to marry Ravanna.
Hanuman flew back to Rama and confirmed that Sita was there, but the problem remained that the island for surrounded by a dangerously stormy sea. Hanuman ordered his monkeys to help, and they build a bridge so that Rama could walk across to the island.
Ravana was furious when he realised what was happening and there was a great battle. Eventually Rama was victorious and he rescued Sita.
Together Rama and Sita set off towards their old kingdom. The people were overjoyed to see the rightful king returning and they lit lamps to guide him home.
This story of the triumph of good over evil celebrated is every year by Hindus in the festival called Diwali, also known as the Festival of Light.