Ramayana in Palm Leaf Pictures, Citraramayana
A 15th century illustrated version of the Ramayana
First edition. Limited to 2000 copies, hardback in dustwrapper. 29.5 × 23cm, 199pp.
The Ramayana is a Sanskrit epic from ancient India, thought to have been written between the 8th and 4th centuries BCE. It narrates the life of Rama, a legendary prince of Ayodhya in the kingdom of Kosala. The epic follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest urged by his father King Dasharatha, on the request of Rama's stepmother Kaikeyi; his travels across forests in the Indian subcontinent with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana – the king of Lanka, that resulted in war; and Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king amidst jubilation and celebration.
This edition is reproduced from the original palm leaf manuscript entitled Citraramayana, in which the pictures were engraved with an iron stylus covering the story of Rama in full in 318 sequences. The drawings were originally completed in CE (or AD) 1453.
A good reading copy. The glue used by the binders on the pastedowns has seeped through and so the book has heavily browned pastedowns and the dustwrapper flaps are stuck down. However, the contents are in good condition and the book remains in strong readable condition.