Story of Nala & Nila who builds Ram Setu

Rama, aided by an army of vanaras (monkeys), reaches the end of land, but needs to cross over to Lanka to retrieve Sita. The Ramayana credits Nala as the sole builder of the Rama Setu, a bridge across the ocean between Rameswaram and Lanka, enabling the forces of Rama to pass over to Lanka. However, the Ramacharitamanasa credits Nala and his brother Nila for the bridge’s creation. The sea-god Varuna tells Rama that both of them possess the ability to make stones float on water. The tale elaborates on how the two monkeys came to have this power: In their youth these monkeys, being very mischievous, often play by throwing the murtis (holy images) worshipped by the sages in the water. To prevent the sacred images from drowning, the sages decree that any stone tossed by them in water will never submerge. Another tale narrates how as assured by Varuna, the stones dropped by Nala and Nila would forever float, but with the condition that they would drift in the sea without forming a contiguous structure. The version has Hanuman suggest that the name of Rama be written across the stones so that they stick together, and describes the strategy as overcoming the proviso.

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