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About this slideshow
The version of the Ramayana told in this slideshow is not a literal or complete retelling of any single classical or modern version of the epic. It is based primarily on the Ramakien, the Ramayana as rewritten by Rama I and Rama II of...
Arrows turn into serpents
In The Ramayana, page 5.8
A flying demon, visible in the upper left corner, shoots arrows that become serpents as they fall. The arrows become wavy as they rain down upon Rama's army. The demon moves actively in a cloud-filled sunset sky painted over a dramatic mountain and landscape...
By Lorraine Aragon.
Baby Sita's gold urn carried in procession (Thai Ramayana mural)
Baby Sita's gold urn carried in procession (Thai Ramayana mural)
In this scene detail from a painted mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple, baby Sita's golden urn is carried to the king's palace in a royal procession. The beautifully dressed king's courtiers, carrying the closed golden urn, pass from the back to the front...
Format: image/photograph
Barge carries Rama's allies across river (Thai Ramayana mural)
Barge carries Rama's allies across river (Thai Ramayana mural)
A simple barge carries Rama's allies across a river on the way home after they have defeated the demon king Ravana. The barge in the middle of the river, and both river shores, are covered with people accompanying Rama and Sita home to their rightful kingdom...
Format: image/photograph
The battle continues
In The Ramayana, page 3.8
This detail of a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple, where Hanuman descends lithely down poles beside a circular well to seize the guards, shows how the powerful and clever monkey god can single-handedly defeat the hapless demons who defend Ravana's palace....
By Lorraine Aragon.
Bharata boating into forest to find Rama (Thai Ramayana mural)
Bharata boating into forest to find Rama (Thai Ramayana mural)
On this mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple, Rama's brother Bharata and his comrades boat into the forest to try to find the exiled Rama after their father dies. The detail shows several long paddled canoes and a large poled platform barge. On each watercraft,...
Format: image/photograph
Bharata tries to give back the throne
In The Ramayana, page 2.3
On this mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple, Rama's brother Bharata and his comrades boat into the forest to try to find the exiled Rama after their father dies. The detail shows several long paddled canoes and a large poled platform barge. On each watercraft,...
By Lorraine Aragon.
The birth of Sita
In The Ramayana, page 1.3
A painted mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple shows the infant Sita sitting in a gold urn as she is discovered by a king ploughing his fields. Beside Sita's urn, which protrudes from the ground, we see the king holding a wooden plough harnessed to an ox. The...
Brown Monkey King striding with sword (Thai Ramayana mural)
Brown Monkey King striding with sword (Thai Ramayana mural)
In this mural from the Emerald Buddha Temple, the Brown Monkey King strides boldly with his right hand grasping his downward sword. The monkey king's head and legs are shown in profile but his torso is rotated so that his shoulders face front. The Brown Monkey...
Format: image/photograph
Close-up detail of Sita's mother in palace (Thai Ramayana mural)
Close-up detail of Sita's mother in palace (Thai Ramayana mural)
This close-up detail from a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple shows Sita's mother, wearing golden clothes and a tall Siamese crown, speaking to several palace women. In this detail taken from the left rear of the larger mural, we see the queen on a raised...
Format: image/photograph
Columned library at Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok
Columned library at Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok
The round library at the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok has a column-supported golden roof with many sculpturally ornamented tiers and one tall, center spire. The central building within compound, the temple library's exterior is covered in detailed gold...
Format: image/photograph
A demon army attacks Rama
In The Ramayana, page 2.14
Standing gracefully on one foot, Prince Rama (at left) shoots an arrow at a group of demons sent by Ravana, as painted on a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple. The demons, depicted in varied animal-like forms, crowd around their elephant mount.
By Lorraine Aragon.
Demon changes into a deer to lure Sita (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon changes into a deer to lure Sita (Thai Ramayana mural)
A two image sequence on a mural painted at the Emerald Buddha Temple depicts a demon's intentional transformation into a deer. In the top image, his legs have turned into those of a golden deer. In the lower image, the demon is fully changed into the deer....
Format: image/photograph
Demon climbs over a walled palace gate (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon climbs over a walled palace gate (Thai Ramayana mural)
A large green demon climbs over a walled gate, as depicted on a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple. The demon dressed in royal gold Siamese clothes plants his left foot and left hand powerfully on a stone gateway and wooden door to push them into the walled...
Format: image/photograph
Demon giant blocks river water with his body (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon giant blocks river water with his body (Thai Ramayana mural)
A demon giant, seen lying beyond Rama's pavillions, blocks the river's water with his body. The fanged demon lies on his side on the ground while holding his huge sword in his right hand. Rama's group is visible in the foreground as they wait in a Siamese-style...
Format: image/photograph
A demon giant blocks the way
In The Ramayana, page 5.5
A demon giant, seen lying beyond Rama's pavilions, blocks the river's water with his body. The fanged demon lies on his side on the ground while holding his huge sword in his right hand. Rama's group is visible in the foreground as they wait in a Siamese-style...
By Lorraine Aragon.
The demon king
In The Ramayana, page 2.5
Ravana sits on a palace platform with two of his wives, as seen on a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple. Ravana has one arm around each wife's neck. The wives both have their right hands held to their faces, as if in grief. Another demon, perhaps a relative...
By Lorraine Aragon.
Demon king Ravana offers treats to Sita (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon king Ravana offers treats to Sita (Thai Ramayana mural)
The demon king Ravana offers treats to Sita as seen on a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple. In this palace porch room, Sita sits and turns her back to Ravana as he holds out a gift for her. Sita's head is turned back towards Ravana and she waves a stick in...
Format: image/photograph
Demon king Ravana with twenty arms (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon king Ravana with twenty arms (Thai Ramayana mural)
This detail on a painted mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple depicts the demon king Ravana siting on a royal pavillion platform and gesturing with twenty arms (ten emerging from each shoulder). Ravana is speaking to another blue-faced demon partially seen at...
Format: image/photograph
Demon king Ravana with two wives (Thai Ramayana mural)
Demon king Ravana with two wives (Thai Ramayana mural)
The demon king Ravana sits on a palace platform with two of his wives, as seen on a mural at the Emerald Buddha Temple. Ravana has one arm around each wife's neck. The wives both have their right hands held to their faces, as if in grief. Another demon, perhaps...
Format: image/photograph