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The Story of Bali and Sugreeva

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The Bali and Sugreeva story is based on the Ramayana.  Bali and Sugreeva are very well known by many in India. It talks about how Bali became the king. This story will teach you:  

  • How ego can lead to loss.

  • If you do wrong to someone, it will come back to you.

Introduction to the Story of Bali and Sugreeva

Monkeys were king in the town of Kishkinda, near a wilderness known as Pampa Forest. Many years ago, two monkey brothers ruled this kingdom: Bali and Sugreeva. Bali threw Sugreeva out of the kingdom over a small misunderstanding and was unwilling to listen to him because of his anger and ego. Bali, son of the god Indra and stronger than his brother Sugreeva (son of Surya), won most battles between them. So, when Sugreeva met Rama, he asked for his help to defeat his brother. This is the story that shows the battle between Rama and Bali and how Sugreeva defeated his brother and became king of Kishkinda. This story teaches us that even the most powerful people can be defeated. So, it is essential to be humble.

Summary of the Bali and Sugreeva Story

One day, while fighting with the demon Mayavi, Bali was forced to enter a cave. He instructed Sugreeva to go there after him and guard it until he returned. The sound of their roaring fights swirled through Sugreeva's ears, and after nearly a month passed without either of them coming out, he assumed Mayavi had killed Bali.

Despite his grief, Sugreeva returned to Kishkinda and became king again. But one day, Bali returned and thought that Sugreeva had betrayed him. He overcame his anger and became stronger. He defeated Sugreeva, regained control of the kingdom and took away his wife forcefully; all this made him Sugreeva's enemy for life.

Sugreeva was a kind-hearted monkey by nature. He and his friends, Nala, Neela, Jambavanta, and Maruti, lived together. Maruti, Sugreeva's dear friend and the minister of his army, was very powerful but quite intelligent. Maruti, meaning "Guardian of Power," was the son of Vayu God. His mother, Anjana, was an angel. They lived safely on Rishimukh Mountain, as Bali could not reach it due to a curse.

One day, Rama and Lakshmana reached Rishimukh Mountain while searching for Sita. They told Sugreeva their entire story. Sugreeva and Maruti agreed to help Rama rescue Sita only if he would aid them in killing Bali. Only then could Sugreeva reclaim his kingdom, which the giant king of Kishkindha had usurped.

After hearing about the life of Sugreeva after his defeat, Rama promised Sugreeva that he would kill Bali and give him the kingdom of Kishkindha if Sugreeva would help Rama rescue Sita from Lanka. Everyone was happy with this arrangement; the monkeys congratulated each other for their success.

Rama instructed Sugreeva to challenge Bali to a wrestling match, but since the two brothers looked so much alike, Rama got confused about who to aim his arrow at. So, Rama asked Sugreeva to wear a garland, a symbol of victory. Then the battle began in earnest again, and soon Bali fell dead from an arrow shot by Rama himself. Rama assisted Sugreeva in regaining his kingdom of Kishkinda. Bali's son Angad helped with the war against Ravana.

Injured Bali asked Rama the reason for killing him though he was not his enemy. Rama replied, “though Sugreeva was his younger brother and Sugreeva's wife is like a mother, he forcefully took her as if she were his own without any hesitation.” With this in mind, Rama slew Bali because of his friendship with Sugreeva and also because of Bali's cunning sin.

Bali entering the cave to fight Mayavi and Sugreeva waiting outside

Bali Entering the Cave to Fight Mayavi and Sugreeva Waiting Outside

Moral of the Bali and Sugreeva Story

This mythological story talks about the life of Sugreeva after his defeat and it also helps children to understand the relevance of Sugreeva to the greatest epic Rmayana. This story lets kids know about the enmity between Bali and Sugreeva and how Bali’s pride became the reason for his fall. This story is exemplary in teaching kids how important it is to be humble in life. Like any mythological story, this story too teaches kids that goodness will always win over evil. So, it is essential to be good and courageous in life.

Note to the Parents

Since the story of Bali and Sugreeva deals with Bali’s fall, this story is a great example to teach kids about building personality. This mythological story can inculcate the traits of humbleness, strength, truthfulness and strength of character in kids which can help kids to become better people in life.

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FAQs on The Story of Bali and Sugreeva

1. Who wrote Ramayana?

The Ramayana is the oldest and most important epic in India and is believed to have been written by Valmiki. The story was passed down orally, from one generation to the next, for many years before Valmiki finally wrote it down.

2. Where did Sugreeva and Hanuman meet?

In the Ramayana, Sugreeva and Hanuman met at Rishyamukha mountain. Sugreeva and Hanuman had a long history together. They had fought together as brothers-in-arms many times before. 

3. Who is Maruti?

Maruti is the name of an avatar of Lord Shiva. He is also known as Hanumana, who helped Lord Rama in his battle against Ravana in Ramayana.


The Bali and Sugreeva story is based on the Ramayana.  Bali and Sugreeva are very well known by many in India. It talks about how Bali became the king. This story will teach you:  

  • How ego can lead to loss.

  • If you do wrong to someone, it will come back to you.