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Are there established textual evidence of Rama?

Valmiki, the author of the original Ramayana text was a contemporary to Rama. This has been explicitly stated in the text itself. This story was not penned a few hundred years after the life of Rama. In fact, Valmiki was the guardian to the wife and sons of Rama.

This one fact gives it the credibility of being an authentic historical account. If you look at various historical text world over we find the authors have written about stories which happened few hundred or even few thousand years prior to their times. In such historical texts, the authenticity and the exactness of the material can be questioned.

Ramayana being a popular story of India, many authors down the time line have written their own versions of Ramayana.

Kalidasa, the great Samskrit poet of the 5th century CE wrote his Raghuvamsa, his poetry on Rama.
The Tamil poet Kamban wrote his version of Kamba Ramayana over 1000 years back.
Goswami Tulasidas wrote Ram Charita Manas in the 17th century.

These 3 and such other eminent authors across India have penned the story eulogising the Indian hero and attributing divinity to Rama.

These later day texts cannot be termed as being completely historical, because they are based on the information available at their times.

In contrast to all this the Ramayana written by Valmiki can really be considered as authentic historical text which is why the text has been classified as Itihaasa, meaning ‘it thus happened’.

The Puranic text of India also mention the details on the story of Rama. The stories mentioned in the Puranic texts and the original Ramayana of Valmiki cross validate each other in many a places. This adds further credibility to the Valmiki Ramayana text being rightly termed as Itihaasa – it thus happened – a historical text.