Sugriva Takes Rama to the Mountain Cave Where Sita's Jewels Are Kept
Page from a dispersed series of the Ramayana
Artist/maker unknown, India
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This painting illustrates an episode from the fourth section of the Ramayana, the Kishkindhakanda, which describes the politics of Kishkindha-the monkey kingdom-and tells how the monkeys helped Rama in his quest to rescue Sita. This scene results from an earlier incident. As Sita was carried to Lanka in Ravana's flying chariot, she spied five monkeys on a mountaintop. Hoping to give Rama a clue to her whereabouts, she threw down her shawl and jewelry, which the monkeys picked up and hid in a cave. In the lower left, Rama and Lakshmana meet Hanuman, commander of the monkey army. In the upper right, the exiled monkey-king Sugriva (white) tells the brothers about seeing Sita in Ravana's chariot, and brings her shawl and jewels from the cave.