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Painting . Bali, Indonesia, Southeast Asia. Tabing Temple Painting depicting 'The Bridge to Langka' story from the Balinese Hindu epic 'Ramayana'. Artist unknown, early 19th Century. Anthony Forge Collection. AM Balinese Collection E74168. Image: Howard Hughes
© Australian Museum

This episode from the Ramayana story depicts the building of causeway from the mainland (of India) to Langka (Sri Lanka). God Rama, heir to the Indian throne of Ayodhya, seeks to rescue his wife Sita, who has been abducted by the demon king Rawana and taken to his island fortress of Langka. While Rama raises the animal kingdom into an army, Hanoman, the White Monkey general, flies to Langka to find Sita. The army that finally sets her free, crosses the sea on a bridge built by warrior monkeys.

This painting is the subject of a detailed examination by Peter Worsley titled ‘E74168’ in the Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 1984, Volume 18, pp.64-109.