Slaying of Vali
The image shows a part of the frieze carved into the outer wall of the Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple in Karnataka, India. It depicts a scene based on an episode from Ramayana in which Rama slays Vali, the Monkey King of Kishkindha, by shooting an arrow through seven trees.
On the left is Rama standing with a bow and shooting an arrow, and on the right are Vali and Sugriva engaged in a wrestling match. The seven trees are in the middle carved with dents to show the arrow is piercing through them.
The Slaying of Vali is a popular theme for carvings in many Hindu temples in India and Southeast Asia. According to the story, Sugriva, Vali’s younger brother, secretly desired Vali’s throne. When Rama approached Sugriva seeking his help to find his wife Sita kidnapped by Ravana, Sugriva saw an opportunity to fulfill his desire. As a condition to look for Rama’s wife, Sugriva asked Rama to help topple Vali. Rama agreed to this condition and allied with Sugriva.
Rama and Sugriva devised a plan to defeat Vali. As per the plan, Sugriva invited Vali for a duel, and during the fight, Rama, who was hiding behind the trees, killed Vali by shooting an arrow through them.
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