Hanuman , known also as 'Anjaneya' (son of Anjana), is one of the most important personalities in the Indian epic, the Ramayana. He is a vanara who aided Lord Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) in rescuing his wife, Sita from the Rakshasa king Ravana.--------------Hanuman was born in the Treta Yuga, to Anjana, a female vanara. Anjana was actually an apsaras or a celestial being, named Punjikasthala, who, due to a curse, was born on the earth as a female vanara. The curse was to be removed upon her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.------Along with Kesari, Anjana performed intense prayers to Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the boon they sought.------------Different stories are told as to Hanuman's birth. One is that at the time that Anjana was worshipping Lord Shiva, elsewhere, Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya, was performing the Putrakama Yagna in order to have children. As a result, he received some sacred pudding, to be shared by his three wives, leading to the births of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. By divine ordinance, a kite snatched a fragment of that pudding, and dropped it while flying over the forest where Anjana was engaged in worship. Vayu, the Hindu deity of the wind, delivered the falling pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana, who consumed it. Hanuman was born to her as a result.----------------Being Anjana's son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya (pronounced Aanjanèya), which literally means "arising from Anjani". Hanuman is also considered as the incaranation of Shiva or reflection of Shiva. When Ravana tried to enter into Himalaya's the bode of Shiva, Nandi stopped him and Ravana insulted Nandi as monkey. Nandi cursed Ravana that he will meet the end due to monkeys. In the process word monkey along with panchaksram "Om Namashivaya" hit Shiva. Shiva, to give respect to his devotee, took the form of a vanara, Hanuman.