Being a mighty king who becomes an adversary of Lord Rama, Ravana is one of the main characters in the Ramayana, one of the two famous Indian national epics. Ravana is a demon-king residing on the island of Lanka. He is not an entirely evil character, as he is honestly devoted to Shiva and a capable ruler and famous for his healing powers. The Ramayana epic, in contrast to the even longer Mahabharata epic, has become very popular outside India, though not in Sri Lanka, though the island of Lanka is the setting of the most important episodes of the story, the location of the decisive battle and Sita's fire ordeal in particular. It is in Southeast Asia, that the narrative became popular, as it inspired the first comprehensive epic poems in Thai and Khmer and Malayan languages. Likewise, the Burmese version known as Yama Zatdaw can be called Myanmar's national epic.
In Hindu iconography, Ravana is usually depicted with 10 heads side by side and often with 20 arms. In those representations of Ravana found at Khmer temples in Cambodia (see above lintel carving of West Gate 3 at Preah Khan in Angkor) the number of heads and arms is not fixed and the heads are partly aranged above each other.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka