Illustrated Ramayana – Part 11

Life was peaceful at Panchavati, but not for long.

One cold winter day, when the princes were returning to the cottage from the river, they were met by a rakshasi by name Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana.

The rakshasi who was disguised as a beautiful maiden said she had fallen in love with the handsome princes and one of them must marry her. But as neither of them would listen she became angry.

Surpanakha swore that she would harm the princes and rushed towards Sita to eat her up. Rama asked Lakshmana to deal with her. As a Kshatriya prince, Lakshmana would not kill a woman; so he cut her nose and ears and let her go alive.

Thoroughly disgraced and bleeding all over, Surpanakha hastened to Janasthana where her brother, Khara, was the chieftain. Khara was enraged at the wrong done to his sister.

Accompanied by his fourteen generals, each commanding a thousand rakshasas, Khara rushed to Panchavati. But Rama met them single-handed. The rakshasas fell like skittles.

One after the other the fourteen generals were killed.

Undaunted, Khara continued the fight. When his turn came to take the field, Khara armed himself with a huge club and advanced on Rama. The prince of Ayodhya let go a stinging arrow from his powerful bow and that was the end of Khara.