The Ramayana is the most celebrated epic poem in South and Southeast Asia. It tells the journey of prince Rama, from his banishment from the kingdom of Ayodhya, to his triumphant return. Denied the throne on the eve of his coronation, Rama finds himself exiled to the forest for 14 years, accompanied by his devoted wife and brother, Sita and Lakshmana.
We've created a puzzle from a painting that depicts Rama's eventual coronation. Visit the virtual exhibition for "Tell the Whole Story from Beginning to End": The Ramayana in Indian Painting to familiarize yourself with the narrative.
Click here to see the entire painting.
Indian paintings can contain many scenes within a single image; sometimes, text that appears at the top of an image will offer instructions on how to "read" the painting. As you complete this puzzle, look for the following moments:
- In the center of the image, Rama sits on a throne. He is clothed in gold, his crowned head is ringed by a shining halo, and he holds his characteristic bow and arrow.
- Below his throne sit the ritual vessels used in Rama's consecration.
- Sita sits at Rama's left.
- Rama's brothers stand behind the throne bearing the implements of kingship.
- At the front edge of the pavilion, to the left, Rama’s monkey allies, joined by the demon defector Vibhishana—here in human form—attend their new king. To the right sit a group of Brahmin ascetics who have come from the forest to pay their regards.