Hanuman Leaps to Lanka



Hanuman Leaps to Lanka


ca. 1680s


India, Malwa


Ink and watercolor on paper
Framed: 11 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (28.6 x 36.8 cm)
Image (visible): 7 3/4 x 11 in. (19.7 x 27.9 cm)

Object Number



Numbered "48" on verso.
Rama and his companions have now joined forces with the forest monkeys to retrieve Sita. Sugriva, king of the monkeys, sends Hanuman (center), his nephew Angada (right), and the king of the bears, Jambavan (left), south in search of Sita. After they realize Sita is being held captive on the island of Lanka, Jambavan convinces Hanuman to use his superhuman powers to leap across the ocean to find her. Here, Hanuman wears both the prayer beads and white markings of an ascetic and the garb of a wealthy royal, marking his status as Rama’s devotee and equal. He wields his signature weapon, a mace, as he leaps from Mount Mahendra across the ocean toward Ravana’s fort, ornately painted with vases on display in niches. Ravana may be morally bankrupt, but his demon kingdom flourishes. The depiction of Jambavan as a bear—here depicted with a very humanlike beard—highlights an interesting evolution in this character. In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Jambavan is king of the apes, but later tellings understand him to be king of the bears, diversifying Rama’s allies.

Credit Line

Gift of Jayantilal K. and Geeta J. Patel & Family to further the study of Hinduism


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2015.
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On View



“Hanuman Leaps to Lanka,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed February 28, 2024, https://digitalprojects.carlos.emory.edu/items/show/6826.


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