View the Mewar Ramayana online!

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One of the direct inspirations for my project Ramayana: The Thread of Luminance is discovering the Mewar Miniatures in the exhibition 'The Ramayana Love and Valour in India's Great Epic' - that was nearly 10 years ago, in the summer of 2008. The Library put on display over 200 hand crafted paintings but even that wasn't the complete collection as a small number of these paintings belong to other Gallereis and museum across the world.

Fortunately an early digital project reunites the collection via the internet, in collaboration with the British Library, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum in Mumbai India and the private collection Baroda Museums and Picture Gallery

Most volumes of the manuscript are now in the British Library. They were presented by Maharana Bhim Singh of Mewar to Colonel James Tod who brought them back to Britain in 1823. Other parts have remained in India, held today in three separate institutions and one private collection. Digitisation has made it possible for this long-divided manuscript to be brought together again for the first time in almost 200 years. The majority of text pages in the manuscript have been digitised as well as the paintings so that Valmiki’s work can be read in the original Sanskrit.

You view the complete manuscript with annotations online here