The Ramayana (Sanskrit: रामायण, Rāmāyaṇa, IPA: [rɑːˈmɑːjəɳə Tamil: இராமாயணம், Irāmāyaṇam] ?) is one of the great epics of Nepal and India. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti), considered to be itihāasa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana ("going, advancing"), translating to "Rama's Journey". The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas), and tells the story of Rama (an avatar of the Hindu Supreme-God Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the king of Sri Lanka, Ravan. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma.
Wood carving is a form of working wood by means of a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculptural ornamentation of a wooden object. The phrase may also refer to the finished product, from individual sculptures, to hand-worked mouldings composing part of a tracery.
The making of sculpture in wood has been extremely widely practiced, but survives much less well than the other main materials such as stone and bronze, being vulnerable to decay, insect damage, and fire. It therefore forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures. Outdoor wood sculpture does not last long in most parts of the world, so that we have little idea how the totem pole tradition developed. Many of the most important sculptures of China and Japan in particular are in wood, and the great majority of African sculpture and that of Oceania and other regions. Wood is light, so suitable for masks and other sculpture intended to be carried, and can take very fine detail. It is also much easier to work than stone.
Some of the finest extant examples of early European wood carving are from the Middle Ages in Germany, Italy and France, where the typical themes of that era were Christian iconography. In England many complete examples remain from the 16th and 17th century, where oak was the preferred medium in this case