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Prambanan: Ravana kidnapping Sita (Shinta)


Ravana kidnapping Sita (Shinta)
This bas-relief depicts Ravana kidnapping Rama’s wife Sita (known as Shinta in Indonesia), a well-known episode based on the Hindu epic Ramayana. It is carved on the inner wall of the balustrade surrounding the inner sanctum of the Shiva Temple in Prambanan.

In this episode, Mareecha, a rakshasa (demon) and a maternal uncle of Ravana, with his golden deer disguise tricks Rama into moving away from Sita to enable Ravana to abduct her. Rama realizes the trickery and kills the golden deer, i.e., Mareecha. Before Mareecha dies, he imitates Rama’s voice and screams “Oh! Sita, Oh! Lakshmana.” Troubled by this voice, she pleads with Rama’s brother Lakshmana to help Rama.

Before he leaves, Lakshmana draws a line (famously known as the Lakshmana Rekha) around the hermitage and asks Sita not to cross it under any circumstances. When Lakshmana has gone far enough, Ravana disguised as a Sadhu (Ascetic) comes to the hermitage and chants “Bhavati Biksham Dehi” (Oh! mother, give me some alms). When Sita goes inside the hermitage to fetch alms, Ravana tries to follow her, but was unable to cross the Lakshmana Rekha. When she returns, he convinces her to come out of it to give Ravana the alms. As soon as she crosses the Lakshmana Rekha, Ravana grabs her. This is the scene depicted on the bas-relief.

Check the Prambanan Bas-Reliefs page for a detailed explanation of the Ramayana and other bas-reliefs.

Ramayana Related Images
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana leaving Ayodhya for exile
King Dasharatha’s funeral
Dancing at the inauguration of Bharata
Rama slaying Mareecha
Rama killing Viradha
Rama killing Kabandha
Vanara Sené building Rama Setu

Other Related Images
Shiva Temple
Corridor surrounding the inner sanctum of the Shiva Temple

Related Pages
Prambanan, Prambanan Bas-Reliefs, Borobudur, Bali, Indonesia
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Banteay Srei, Cambodia

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