Ravana loses his heads

Image of demon King Ravana, who has ten heads, being decapitated by a shower of golden arrows. In the bottom right corner, is one of Ravana's demon warriors.

This is the final battle between Rama and Ravana. Rama has pursued Ravana in his chariot and fires golden arrows, which turn into serpents as they reach Ravana. The arrows cut off Ravana's many heads but they immediately grew back again. This goes on for days and nights, and Ravana shoots hundreds of arrows as the two fight to the death.

Matali, Rama's charioteer watches the struggle and suggests that "To kill Ravana you must use the dreaded arrow of Brahma, given to you by Agastya, which never misses its target". So Rama shot the divine arrow, which had the power of the gods in it, which pierced Ravana in the heart and killed him.

This is a detail from an illustration of the battle scene from the Yuddha Kanda (final book of the Ramayana) from a manuscript produced in Udaipur, India in 1652.

Taken from: Ramayana from Udaipur
Author / Creator: Sahib Din (Illustrator)
Publisher: not applicable
Date: 1652
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Add.15297(1) f.166