Legend has it that if Indra's garland fell on someone they would die. King Aja and his wife Indumati are enjoying an intimate moment when Indra's garland falls on her and she dies. The distress in Aja's face has been magnificently captured by Ravi Varma.


  • Title: King Aja's Lament
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Creator Nationality: Indian
  • Date: 1903-06
  • Date Created: 1903-01
  • Location Created: Travancore, Kerala
  • Physical Dimensions: 27.5 x 20 cms
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • External Link: Portrayal of Indra's Fatal Garland
  • Collection: Private Collection
  • Biography: Raja Ravi Varma: Painter of Colonial India by Rupika Chawla
  • About the Artist: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), India’s foremost artist, who took art to the masses, hailed from Kilimanoor, in the erstwhile state of Travancore. From a very young age, Ravi Varma, was drawn towards art, imbibing techniques from his uncle and mentor Raja Raja Varma and his mother, Umayamba Bayi, a poet in her own right. Varma was much sought after by the Royals and owing to his popularity and reputation, his spectacular and richly-textured works were prolific. His realistic portrayals of contemporary figures and interpretations of religious and mythological figures fetched him instant and enduring success, lifting his standing in the art world. If the Royals and his countrymen were in awe of this great talent, the international world was spellbound by his imagination and creativity. He ensured that art would be accessible to all, through reproductions of his paintings which were made available, and affordable to everyone.

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