Lakshmana Rejects Surpanakha; Rama and Sita Play Chaupad
From a pata (narrative scroll) illustrating scenes from the Ramayana

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Hugli, West Bengal, Bengal Region, India, Asia

c. Early 19th century

Opaque watercolor on cloth-backed paper

Image: 16 3/4 × 19 3/16 inches (42.5 × 48.7 cm) Sheet: 17 7/8 × 20 1/16 inches (45.4 × 51 cm) Mount: 18 9/16 × 21 15/16 inches (47.1 × 55.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Stella Kramrisch Collection, 1994

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This fragment of a Bengali pata (painted scroll) depicts events from the epic Ramayana. The scene takes place in the forest where the hero-god Rama (with dark-blue skin) has been exiled with his beautiful wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana. On the right side, Rama and Sita play a board game called chaupad. On the left side, Lakshmana rejects the advances of Surpanakha, sister of the demon-king Ravana. According to the tale, Surpanakha complains to her brother of her harsh treatment, and Ravana sends his henchman Maricha, disguised as a golden deer, to lure Rama and Lakshmana away from Sita.