Damayanti Talking to Hamsum about Nalan Raja Ravi Varma Oil Paintings Picture Images Gallery

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Damayantiyum Hamsavum pinne Nalanum :-)

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The story is a side story of the epic MAHABHARATHAM. Nala is a king belonging to the chandravamsha. He falls in love with damayanti, the daughter of King Bhima of Vidarbha and marries her with the help of the swan hamsam. Jealous evil-doer Kali casts a spell on him, instigates his brother Pushkara to challenge him to a game of dice. Nala loses everything in the game and is sent off to the forest with Damayanti. Unable to protect Damayanti -- who refuses Nala's requests to go to the safety of her father -- he leaves her while she is asleep. Damayanti overcomes a python with the help of a Kattalan -- a forest man -- and later his lust, joins a caravan of traders and reaches Vidarbha. Bitten by the magical serpent Karkkotaka, Nala enters a disguised form, takes up the name Bahuka and joins the King Rtuparna of Kosala as a super charioteer and cook. Damayanti sends Sudeva to Kosala to see if Nala was hiding there. Sudeva lies about a second wedding of Damayanti in Rtuparna's court that takes place the next day. Hopeful of marrying Damayanti Rtuparna speeds off to Vidarbha, but Nala is the only one who can command the horses to reach there on time. Amazed at Bahuka's ability, Rtuparna learns the mantra to control the horses from him and gives him a mantra to control dice in return. Kali is unable to maintain his spell on Nala and is driven out at this point. The wedding story turn out to be unfounded when they reach Vidarbha. Damayanti, however, sends her friend Keshini to spy on Bahuka. She reports Bahuka has all the capabilities only Nala is supposed to have. Damayanti finally approaches Bahuka who accepts her, but not before doubting her innocence. They return to their country, overthrow Pushkara and live happily.

The attakkatha (libretto/drama) was composed by Unnayi Warrier, whose time is believed to be from 1675 to 1716. It is written to be enacted over four full nights and is divided into first, second, third, and fourth days.


Damayanti and Keshini observe as Rtuparna's chariot arrives as only Nala can command it fast enough to get there on that day. Damayanti is disappointed the charioteer was an ugly man unlike Nala and sends Keshini to find out about that man.

Keshini approaches Bahuka and asks him about him and his master. She also asks him directly if he knew anything about Nala. She receives evasive answers, but spies on him conducting chores. Pots fill magically with water and fire burns without fuel, and dying flowers get revived: all powers Nala possesses.

Keshini reports to Damayanti that it was indeed Nala and provides the above as proof. Damayanti wonders to herself if it was proper for her to go out to meet this man. She convinces herself that it was proper and sets out to meet him.

Damayanti approaches Bahuka and asks him if he was Nala. Overcome by joy on seeing Damayanti, Bahuka tells all. He wears the magic cloth and sheds the ugly form of Bahuka. He also overcomes his initial thrill and questions Damayanti harshly on her attempts at a remarriage. She says it was just a plot to get Nala to Vidarbha but he is not convinced. Gods intervene with a message from the heavens attesting Damayanti's innocence and the two are united in joy .

Other Paintings related to this Hamsam & Damayanti

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