Rama in Durbar. “The coronation of Shree Ramah after his conquest over Ravinan.”
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing depicting the coronation of Rama after his defeat of Ravana,
from the Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple in Madurai, from an 'Album of 51 drawings (57 folios) of buildings, sculpture and paintings in the temple and choultry of Tirumala Nayyak at Madura. c.1801-05', by an anonymous artist working in the South India/Madurai style, c. 1801-1805. Each picture is inscribed with a title and a number in ink.
The Minakshi Sundareshvara Temple complex contains two main shrines; one dedicated to Shiva and one to his consort Minakshi, an ancient local divinity. Each shrine is set within its own walled complex containing several subsidiary shrines, mandapams (assembly halls) and artificial pools. The construction of this temple-town was made possible by the wealth and power of Tirumala Nayak (1623-1659). He was the most prolific builder of a long line of Nayaka kings, a dynasty who ruled a large portion of Tamil country in the 16th and 17th centuries. Rama is the hero of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic. In seven books, the story narrates the exile of Rama to the forest with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, the subsequent abduction of Sita by Ravana (the demon-king of Lanka) and the rescue of Sita with the help of Sugriva the king of the monkey tribe and his minister Hanuman. After a fierce battle the city of Lanka was taken, Ravana was killed and Sita was rescued. The carved scene depicted in this drawing represents Rama, reunited with Sita, solemnly crowned to begin his glorious reign of Ayodhya.