Rama, the perfect avatar of the Supreme Protector Vishnu, is an all-time favorite among Hindu deities. The most popular symbol of chivalry and virtue, Rama - in the words of Swami Vivekananda - is "the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king."
The seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Rama is said to have taken birth on earth to annihilate the evil forces of the age. He is widely believed to be an actual historical figure - a "tribal hero of ancient India" - whose exploits form the great Hindu epic of Ramayana or The Romance of Rama, written by the ancient Sanskrit poet Valmiki.
Hindus believe that Rama lived in the Treta Yug. But according to historians, Rama was not particularly deified until the 11th century AD. Tulsidas' outstanding retelling of the Sanskrit epic into the vernaculars as the 'Ramcharitmanas', greatly enhanced the popularity of Rama as a Hindu god, and gave rise to various devotional groups.