In the classic text ‘Ramayana’, he is found kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha.
It is said that Ravana ruled Lanka for several hundred years prior to the times of Ramayana, when he was killed by prince Rama for kidnapping his wife Sita.
Some believe Ramayana to be a semi-fiction woven around a real King who ruled over Sri Lanka from 2554 to 2517 BC.
Sri Lankan lore has it that Sri Lanka under the scholarly Ravana saw great advancements in science and medicine. The ‘Dhandu Monara’ or the aero plane which he flew is held as an example of great scientific achievements made during his regime while Ravana also holds a high position as a physician and there exists, to this day, seven books on Ayurveda in his name. He is also believed to have authored Ravana Sanhita, an anthology of Hindu astrology and his description as a ten-headed person, Daśamukha or Daśagrīva, is believed to be a reference to his vast knowledge and intelligence.