The painting depicts the king of Lanka, the ten headed Ravan. He is attended by his servants. One can see the capital city of Lanka with its grandeur in the background.
Dussehra is one of the most important festivals in India. The word Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit word Dasha (ten) and Hara (defeat) and it signifies the victory of Ram over Ravan (the ten-headed demon king). On this day, huge effigies of Ravan are burnt with fireworks, which symbolise the quelling of darkness, by light. This festival is celebrated as a victory of good over evil.
In the northern, western and central parts of India, the celebration takes place over 10 days. People organise dance and drama skits that are based on Ramayana. These plays are very popular all over the world and known as Ramleela. It is celebrated in honour of Lord Ram.
Dussehra is also celebrated as Vijayadashami and signifies the killing of the demon Mahishasura by goddess Durga on the tenth day of Navratri.
Indian Miniature Paintings
Opaque water colour on paper
18th Century CE
30.7 x 32.5 cms