Balivadham (Killing of Bali)
This is the fifth of the eight Ramayana stories written by Kottarakkara Thampuran, the architect of Ramanattam which later evolved into Kathakali. He is believed to have lived in the 17th century. The plot covers part of Aranyakanda and part of Kishkinda kanda till the slaying of Bali.
Akambanan the spy informs Ravana that Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are staying in Panchavati and that Lakshmana mutilated Ravana’s sister Soorpanakha. Ravana vows to kidnap Sita and wreak revenge on Rama. He enlists the help of his uncle Maricha who takes the form of a golden deer to entice Sita. Rama goes to capture the deer on Sita’s request but realises it’s a trick. He kills Maricha who cries out in the voice of Rama to deceive Sita. Though Lakshmana tells Sita that it is a trick being played by the demons, she prevails upon him and sends him out to look for Rama. Ravana arrives in the hermitage disguised as an ascetic and kidnaps Sita. On the way the bird Jatayu tries in vain to stop Ravana and gets killed, but not before informing Rama about the kidnap.
Sugreeva, staying in Rishyamookachala, sees Rama and Lakshmana approaching and sends Hanuman to learn about their mission. Rama forges a pact with Sugreeva and agrees to kill his brother Bali in return for help in locating Sita. Sugreeva challenges his brother to war and as they are engaged in fighting Rama sends an arrow from his hiding place killing Bali. Rama crowns Sugreeva the king of Kishkindha.
Ravana, Akambanan, Bali, Sugreeva, Mareecha, Jatayu, Sreerama, Lakshmana, Mandodari, Sita, Tara and Angada
Translated by Achuthan TK