Lakshmana Rejects Surpanakha; Rama and Sita Play Chaupad
From a pata (narrative scroll) illustrating scenes from the Ramayana
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
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.