This complex Kangra painting illustrates multiple juxtaposed narratives. Smoke rises from the funerary pyre of the monkey king Vali, who was murdered by his brother and rival, Sugriva, with the help of Rama. In return, Sugriva pledges the support of the monkey army for Rama’s war with Ravana. At upper left, Rama, seated in a cave, affirms Sugriva’s new standing as the king of the monkeys. A small scene set within the mountains at right shows Sugriva, Hanuman, Lakshmana, and the monkey army returning to their golden capital to crown Sugriva as the new king. Rama does not participate in the coronation, as he must complete his fourteen-year exile to the forest, which is emphasized by the sages in thatched huts in the center of the background.
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper