It is told that Rama, as the first son in a family, was the heir to the Ayodya kingdom but the king's second wife, through her treachery forced the king to crown her own son as the King of Ayodya and asked him to send Rama and his wife into exile.Because he respected his father, Rama went with his wife called Sita and his beloved younger brother, Laksmana into a forest called Dandaka. Usually the first act of the ballet depicts Rama and entourage in the heart of the Dandaka forest.Rahwana, the evil King of Alengka, enchanted by the beauty of Sita, wanted to have her as his concubine.
He sent one of his knights, Marica, to temp Sita by transforming himself into a golden deer. Sita, captivated by her curiosity, asked her husband to catch the golden deer.The next act explains how Rama succeeds in hunting the golden deer but as his arrow struck the golden deer it transformed back into Marica. Meanwhile Sita heard a distant cry for help. Laksmana, who had been asked by his brother to look after his sister-in-law, tried to explain to her that the cry sounds very suspicious. But nevertheless, Sita was convinced that someone was in need of help. So she sent Laksmana to look for this person and to help whoever it is.
In his desperate attempt, Laksmana asked Sita, no matter what would happen, to stay inside the guarding circle that he created.Rahwana, knowing that Sita was protected by the circle transforms himself into an old priest. He approaches Sita and asks her for a drink. Sita, without hesitation, extends her hands beyond the circle to hand him the water. Rahwana takes the advantage, snatches her hand and takes her to his palace in Alengka.On the way, Rahwana encounters a mighty eagle Jatayu. By every means possible, Jatayu tries to rescue Sita from the evil king but fails and is killed by Rahwana.Rama and Laksmana find the dying Jatayu who tells them the whole story of what had happened to Sita.In his attempt to release his wife, Rama seeks the help from
Hanoman and his monkey soldiers. Hanoman finds Sita in the palace's garden. She had been asked by Rahwana to marry him but she would rather die. Hanoman convinces Sita that he is Rama's messenger and talks of a plan.Rahwana catches Hanoman and burns his tail but in so doing, set fire to the palace's' gardens. The pyrotechnics can be very impressive.In the last act, Rama and his troops are depicted attacking Rakhwana's palace.
Finally Rama manages to kill Rahwana and therefore takes his wife back to his country.The abridged version ends here but if you see paintings in Kamasan style based on the Ramayana story, you would notice that in the last of serialised paintings, Sita had to prove she was still pure, and had not been tainted by Rahwana, by plunging herself into a fire. Because of her faith in her husband, God saved her from the fire and she lived happily ever after with Rama.The Indian version reveals a very different ending with Sita saved by Mother Earth, never returning to her husband.indo