Ravana(Tamil: இராவணன், Sanskrit: रावण, IPA: [ˈrɑːʋəɳə]) is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the Brahmin king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama’s wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha.
This depiction is, however, open to other interpretations. Ravana is described as a devout follower of Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena. He has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions, some of whom believe that his description as a ten-headed person (Daśagrīva) is a reference to him possessing a very thorough knowledge over the 4 Vedas and 6 Upanishads, which made him as powerful as 10 scholars. However, there is mention in Atharvaveda of demonic Brahmans called Dasagva (ten-headed) and Navagva (nine-headed) and the metaphor of a supernatural number of bodyparts to symbolize powers is an ancient one in Indian mythic depictions.
Ravana also authored Ravana Sanhita, a powerful book on the Hindu astrology. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. He is said to have possessed the nectar of immortality, which was stored under his navel, thanks to a celestial boon by Brahma.According to some theories, he was a historical emperor who reigned over Sri Lanka from 2554 BC to 2517 BC.The lake Rakshastaal, a salt water formation in Tibet, high up in Himalayas located right next to fresh-water lake Manasarovar is considered to be the place of severe penance tapasya by Ravana.