Various other western authors have made a study of the culture and history of the Ramayana, such as Philip Lutgendorf in his book Ramas Story in Shivas City, California University; Joe Burkhalter Flueckiger and Laurie Sears in The Boundaries of Traditional Ramayana and Mahabharata Performances in South and Southeast Asia, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; W. Smith on Ramayan Traditions in Eastern India, University of Stockholm, and others.
There are also numerous places that are indicated as the locations where various events happened in reference to the pastimes of Lord Rama and Sita. I have personally visited many of these places, such as Ramesvaram, Nasik, Hampi, and others where there are particular locations and sites that are related to the events that took place in the life and adventures of Lord Rama.
Often times, scholars use the astronomical signs mentioned in our ancient texts to date those texts.
The problem with this is that they do not provide definitive dates in themselves, but provide dates with repetitious cycles unless additional information is taken into account.
By Stephen Knapp As of late, in the year 2007, the idea of whether Lord Rama exists or not has been called into question, by no less than some of the politicians in India.