Mewar Ramayana manuscripts

Digitally reuniting the manuscripts

Partners

  • British Library (BL)
  • CSMVA Mumbai
  • Baroda Museum
  • Rajastan Oriental Institute
  • Tata Trust

Aims

  • To  create a complete digital version of the Mewar Ramayana manuscripts which are held in four partner institutions

Project details

About the manuscripts
The seventeenth century Mewar Ramayana manuscripts depict one of the greatest and most enduring stories, the story of Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his wife Sita. This story is still regularly performed in dance, shadow-puppet theatre and dance around the world.

The manuscripts were produced for Rana Jaga Singh of Mewar in his court studio at Udaipur and are considered fundamental to the art and culture of India.

The BL has four and a half of the stunning seven volumes, featuring over 400 vividly illustrated paintings of the ancient Sanskrit epic.

Reuniting the Mewar Ramayana manuscript
The small grant provided by the World Collections Programme has enabled colleagues from the BL to visit partner institutions to discuss a proposal to create a digital version  of the entire Mewar Ramayana manuscript.

This collaborative project between the partner institutions will create a website enabling researchers and members of the public to freely access the completed manuscript. The partners are currently fundraising for the cost of creating this digital version.

Image:
Sugriva sends out his monkey army to search for Sita. Rama gives Hanuman his ring as a token by which Sita can recognise him (detail) © British Library

A detail from one of the Mewar Ramayana manuscripts. Show a large version of this image