The University of Melbourne holds a collection of thirty vibrant Madhubani paintings on paper from North India. Originally acquired in 1982 as an aid in teaching Hindu mythology by the then-Department of Indian Studies, the collection reflects the strong connections between the University’s cultural collections and its teaching programs. This image depicts Lord Rama’s triumphant return to Ayodhaya after rescuing his wife Sita from the demon-king Ravana. The annual Diwali festival of lights is connected with Rama’s return, and takes on a broader significance as a celebration of the triumph of light over dark and good over evil.
Lord Hanuman, Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana: triumphal return to Ayodhaya from Lanka in the aerial chariot 1982
brush and ink on paper
The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Purchased by the Department of Indian Studies 1982