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Ravana (pronounced: "RAH-vah-nah") was the main antagonist of Ramayana, one of the major Sanskrit epics of ancient India.
Ravana was born to Ravana and Kaikesi; his siblings were Kumbhakarna, Khara and Dushana and Surpanakha (born Meenakshi). He and Kumbhakarna were the second reincarnations of Jaya and Vijaya, Vishnu's gatekeepers. At some point in his life, he overthrew his half-brother, Kubera, as king of Lanka, the city of gold.
He killed Vidyutjihva, Surpanakha's greedy husband out of self-defense, causing his sister to search the world. After Surpanakha came back to him, Ravana found out that she was humiliated by Vishnu's current incarnation, Rama, his brother Laxmana and his wife Sita. So he had a rakshasa named Maricha distract Rama and Laxmana while being disguised as a golden deer while he kidnapped Sita himself while disguised as a hermit and took her to Lanka. An old vulture named Jatayu tried to rescue her, but Ravana cut his wing off which killed him.
Soon after Ravana arrived home, Hanuman arrived and tried to save her, but Sita refused help unless it was from Rama. This made Hanuman mad and have a tantrum and, unfortunately, the noise attracted Ravana who took the monkey demigod prisoner. Ravana tried to kill him by setting his tail on fire, but Hanuman managed to make his tail grow and escape, setting fire to the city of Lanka.
Later, Rama with the help of the monkey king Sugreeva, attacked Lanka and killed Ravana.
| Then there was the little one...
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Ravana is depicted as having ten heads.
- Ravana is often said to be an example of a dark lord or evil overlord.
- He is the main villain of Ramayana.
- He is a powerful king of Lanka.
- He is very powerful with god-like powers.
- He has many henchman.
- Myths and Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings by Philip Wilkinson