Ramayana

Rama and Lakshmana going to the Jungle

This shadow puppet of Rama and his brother Lakshmana is a Togalu Gombeyatta puppet, a shadow puppet tradition of Karnataka, India. It translates to the dance of leather puppets, with ‘Togalu’ meaning leather, ‘Gombe’ meaning a doll or a puppet and ‘atta’ meaning dance.  Southern Indian shadow play is known to be the oldest in the… Read more »

Raja Harishchandra

This shadow puppet of Raja Harishchandra is from Tholu Bommalaata, puppet tradition of Andhra Pradesh in India. Here, ‘tholu’ means leather, ‘bommalu,’ puppets; and ‘aata’ dance. King Harishchandra is shown carrying a bow and a pack of arrows with a dagger on his waistband. Raja Harishchandra appears in ancient texts such as Markandeya Purana, Mahabharata… Read more »

Rama

This shadow puppet of Rama is from Tholu Bommalaata, puppet tradition of Andhra Pradesh in India. Here, ‘tholu’ means leather, ‘bommalu,’ puppets; and ‘aata’ dance. Valmiki, in his epic Ramayana, describes Rama, as an ideal personality and compares him with numerous gods and sages with many virtues. Rama is committed to Dharma even when exiled… Read more »

In defence of Sita

The festival of light fast approaches, which of course reminds us of the legend behind the pomp and its heroine, Sita. Queen, Goddess, icon, Sita is a woman exemplar, revered for her beauty, grace and loyalty. But in modern times, Sita has had to pass frequent tests of feminist fire. If she is denigrated, it’s… Read more »

Epic Journey

An outstanding new exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art showcases 30 beautiful paintings created between the 17th and 19th centuries that narrate the Ramayana across a range of artistic styles. Absolutely unmissable.