Hindu - King of Ceylon. The ten-headed demon-king of the Rakshasas. Grandson of Pulashtya. Son of Vishravas. Brother of Kubera, Kumbakharna, Shurpanakha and Vibhishana. Husband of Mandodari. Father of Indrajit. Ravana was originally an angel who was condemned to life on earth for insulting Brahma. His first manifestation was as Hiranyakashipu, the second as Ravana, the third as Shishupala. As Ravana, king of Ceylon, he could assume any shape, even a rock, smoke or a corpse; in one story he turned himself into a chameleon to gain access to the women's quarters and seduced them. He could become as big as a mountain in a moment and, using his twenty arms, could throw hills about. He could be killed only by a mortal, so the gods sent Vishnu in the form of the human Rama to deal with him. Ravana abducted Rama's wife Sita and Rama attacked Trikuta, his fortress in Ceylon, with the monkey forces of Sugriva led by Hanuman, killing all the leaders of the demons. Rama himself cut off Ravana's heads. As fast as Rama cut off one of the heads, another grew to replace it and Ravana was killed only when Rama shot him with an arrow made for the purpose by Brahma. Another version of Ravana's death says that he crawled under Mount Kailasa and tried to smash it. The shaking of the mountain so frightened Parvati, who lived there with Shiva, that the god stamped on the mountain, crushing the demon to death. In some accounts he had ten heads and twenty arms. At times, known as Ravana, Ravan, Ravan, Hiranyakashipa, Hiranyakashipa, Javanese Dasamuka, Javanese Dasamuka, Rawana, Rawana or Dasamuka.

Nearby Myths