Bāla Kāṇḍam: Rama and his brothers are born to Dasaratha. He grows into a noble, handsome, virtuous young man. The book concludes with the grand wedding of Rama and Sita. Kampaṉ provides an evocative description of the premarital love of Rama and Sita, following the conventions of Tamil classical poetry. This book consists of 22 chapters and 1389 verses.
Ayodhyā Kāṇḍam: Just as joy suffuses the opening book, gloom and doom are the pervasive emotions of Kampaṉ's second book. It begins with the plans for Rama's coronation, follows him into exile, and concludes with Rama's paduka (wooden sandals) enshrined by his brother, Bharata, as the symbolic ruler of Ayodhya. This book consists of 12 chapters and 1196 verses.
Āraṇya Kāṇḍam: In many ways the heart of the Rāmāyaṇa, this book is characterized by swift-moving action. It contains one of those celebrated sections of Kampaṉ's poem, the description of Surpanakha, her love for Rama, and her mutilation by Lakshmana. Sita is abducted by Ravana and Rama is left bereft without her. This book consists of 13 chapters and 1204 verses.
Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍam: Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, forge an alliance with Sugriva, and Rama kills the monkey-king, Vali, which is compressed into a single day as opposed to over two days in Valmiki. This book consists of 16 chapters and 1004 verses.
Sundara Kāṇḍam: Hanuman leaps across the ocean to seek Sita in Lanka. Unlike Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa, Kampaṉ lavishes attention and detail on the women of Lanka that Hanuman encounters in that city. He also includes detailed descriptions of Hanuman's battles with Ravana's various minions. This book consists of 14 chapters and 1329 verses.
Yuddha Kāṇḍam: The very long final book--the book of war--describes Rama's journey to Lanka and his long battle with Ravana's mighty armies and then with Ravana himself. It concludes with the coronation of Rama. This book consists of 39 chapters and 4222 verses.