Photographer's Note

Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being Mahabharata. It is the story of Rama, an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu, who gives up his kingdom of Ayodhya and goes to the forest along with his wife and brother for 13 years due to his father’s boon to his step wife. There his wife is kidnapped by the demon king Ravana from Sri Lanka. Rama along with his army of monkeys goes there, kills Ravana and his army of demons, rescues Sita and regains the kingship.

The scene depicted here is as follows. Rama in his wanderings through the forest reaches the banks of the river Ganga and needs to get to the other side. Guha the boatman is a great devotee of Rama and is seeing him for the first time. He is over come with joy. He says, “My Lord! Your feet by touching Ahalya who was cursed to be a stone was freed from her curse! My livelihood is this boat. Will this also turn into a woman?” He then washes his feet and takes him to the other side.

The scene is depicted through Bharatanatyam. Tracing its origins to the Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on classical Indian dance, written by sage Bharatha, Bharatha Natyam is a highly traditional and stylised South Indian dance form.

It went into disrepute in the middle ages due to prevalent social conditions. The renaissance of the art form was possible mainly due to the efforts of luminaries such as E. Krishna Iyer, T. Balasaraswati, Kumbakonam K. Bhanumati and Rukmini Devi Arundale among others in the early decades of the last century. Currently the dance form enjoys world wide popularity and appreciation.

No post processing done except resizing for TE.

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Additional Photos by Guru Prasad (gpsony) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 128 W: 13 N: 97] (448)
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