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Prambanan: Rama killing Kabandha


Rama killing Kabandha
This beautifully carved bas-relief depicts a scene based on an episode from the Indian epic Ramayana. In this scene, Rama is killing Kabandha, an evil rakshasa (demon) with a mouth and eyes in his belly.

Standing with an elegant warrior pose, Rama is about to shoot an arrow towards Kabanda, while his brother Lakshmana watches from behind. Surrounding Kabanda are serpents, a frog, and an unknown figure on the right. The frame on the left is not likely connected to this story because wrong relief slabs were often inserted during the restoration.

According to the story, Kabandha finds Rama and Lakshmana wandering in the forest, looking for Sita. He tries to catch them with the intention of eating them, but they fight him off and about to kill him by severing his hands. Realizing that they are not ordinary human beings, he asks for their identities. Once Kabanda realizes who they are, he begs them to kill him, which would release him from the curse that made him a rakshasa.

Just like Viradha, Kabandha was born a gandharva but cursed by Indra to become a carnivorous rakshasa. Once Kabandha dies at the hands of Rama and Lakshmana, he regains his original gandharva body and advises Rama as to how to find SitaNote: Gandharvas are demigods who possess superb musical skills.

This bas-relief is carved into a three-framed stone panel installed in the inner walls of the balustrade of the corridor surrounding the inner sanctum of the Shiva Temple, the principal temple of the Prambanan complex located 11 miles northeast of Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

Check the Prambanan Bas-Reliefs page to read more about the bas-reliefs in the Prambanan temples.

Ramayana Related Images
Rama, Sita and Lakshmana leaving Ayodhya for exile
King Dasharatha’s funeral
Dancing at the inauguration of Bharata
Ravana abducting Sita
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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