Rama vanquishes the Sea (Ram sagar darpa haran)

Raja Ravi Varma and Ravi Varma Press, Karla, Lonavala1928

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation

The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation
Bengaluru, India

Rama and his army reach the shore on their way to Lanka. They are unable to cross over as the sea is very violent. The Lord of the Sea is requested to pacify himself, however, he refuses to appear. This enrages Rama who then proclaims, ‘Calmness, forgiveness, gentleness and politeness of speech- these virtues of the noble are misconstrued as weakness when directed towards those bereft of these virtues.’ Rama then picks up his bow and aims an arrow empowered with the strength of Brahma and aims it at the Sea. At this juncture, the Lord of the Sea manifests himself before Rama and begs his pardon.

The Lord of the Sea explains to Rama that a request to cross the sea is opposed to the very nature of the sea. The Lord of the Sea however makes an exception and permits a bridge to be built between India and Lanka.

This marks the beginning of the crossing over of the army from India to Lanka.

This print from the Ravi Varma Press is derived from a painting by Raja Ravi Varma and depicts Rama’s ferocity against the Lord of the Sea. Rama is seen adopting an angry stance while being pacified by the Lord of the Sea and his consorts.


  • Title: Rama vanquishes the Sea (Ram sagar darpa haran)
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma, Ravi Varma Press, Karla, Lonavala
  • Date Created: 1928
  • Physical Dimensions: 50 x 35 cms
  • Provenance: The Hemamalini and Ganesh Shivaswamy collection, Bengaluru
  • Subject Keywords: Raja Ravi Varma, Hinduism, Ramayan, Gigapixel
  • Type: Chromolithograph
  • Rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru.
  • Creator's Biography: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was a prolific Indian artist who is recognized for his resorting to the academic realistic style of painting. His portraits of English and Indian royalty and aristocracy were well received. His paintings on Hindu religious and mythological subjects and paintings from classical and literary sources were highly sought after even during his lifetime. He painted several copies of his works and this demand led to the suggestion to have his paintings printed in the form of oleographs. The Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) and commenced operations in 1894. Many of Ravi Varma's paintings were printed as chromolithographs at this Press. These chromolithographs would have a tremendous impact on religion, society and aesthetics. They went on to democratize art leading to immortalize Ravi Varma in the minds of the people of the Indian subcontinent.

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