Ravana, in Hinduism, the 10-headed king of the demons. According to Hindu mythology Ravana was born to a great sage Vishrava and his wife, princess Kaikesi. He was born in the Devagana, as his grandfather, the sage Pulastya, was one of the ten Prajapatis or mind-born sons of Brahma and one of the Saptarishi or the Seven Great Sages during the age of Manu.Ravana’s siblings include Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna and Ahiravana and a step brother Kubera, from whom he usurped the Kingdom of Lanka. It is said that Ravana ruled Lanka for several hundred years prior to the times of Ramayana, when he was killed by prince Rama for kidnapping his wife Sita. Ravana’s real name was Dasamukha which literally means one who carries ten heads. Valmiki’s Ramayana narrates the story about how Dasamukha got the name Ravana. Once Ravana infuriated the great monkey king Vaali who was praying on the mountain. Agitated Vaali trapped Ravana. Ravana kept howling until Vaali released him from the trapping. Since then people forgot Dasamukha and remembered Ravana. The demon that was well known for his evil powers had great faith in almighty. He was a believer of the supernatural beings. Ravana was a faithful devotee of lord Shiva, one of the incarnations of lord Vishnu. While possessed with obsession to manifest Lanka, Ravana confronted Shiva. Ravana tried to move on the mountain Kailash, the home of the lord Shiva. In anger Lord Shiva punished Ravana by pressing him under his little toe. Ravana howled and danced to please lord Shiva. Then on Ravana worshipped lord Shiva with unconditional devotion. During this chance meeting with Shiva, Ravana composed Shiva tandava stotram. Ravana’s sister Shurpanakha was fascinated by Rama and she proposed him for marriage. Rama refused her proposal as he was already married to Sita. Then Shurpanakha pleaded Laxman, Rama’s brother to marry her. In a fit of rage Laxman chopped off her nose. Ravana got angry and to take revenge he kidnapped Sita.Sita was in his captive for nearly a year. Later she had to go through Agnipariksha to prove her chastity. Some facts in the mythology say that during her abduction, Ravana persuaded her to be his wife but never touched her. Other facts say that he kidnapped Sita only to take revenge of Laxman’s behavior towards his sister.When Hanuman (Rama’s great devotee) was on his way back from Lanka to inform Rama about Sita’s whereabouts, the demons in the Lanka set his tail on fire. But with his powers Hanuman increased the size of his tail and Lanka was burnt. Rama with the help of Hanuman set off to Lanka once he got to know about the Sita’s kidnap.
Ravana, in Hinduism, the 10-headed king of the demons. Ravana is described as having 10 heads and 20 arms and is vividly portrayed in Rajasthani painting of incidents of the Ramayana, flying away with Sita, fighting with Rama, and sitting with his demon councillors.