By now the sun had set and it was night. But the moon shone brightly and Hanumaan was glad that the moon's light would help him in his search.
As he was walking along in amazement at the beauty of the great city and with anxiety about how to overcome the master of such wealth and military power, he was rudely accosted by the terrible-looking Guardian goddess of the city.
"Who are you, little monkey? How did you manage to come here and why are you here at all? Speak the truth."
"Yes, I am indeed a little monkey and I have come here to look at this beautiful city. I shall go back after I have gone round and seen everything and satisfied my curiosity."
The deity struck an angry blow at the monkey. Hanuman returned the blow carelessly with his left hand. It doubled her up with agony on the ground. But soon she got up and remembered the prophecy that, when a monkey should strike and throw her down, the city she guarded would be destroyed.
She said to herself: "Raavana's sins are many and grievous. The end of Lanka is approaching. The word of the gods is about to be fulfilled." And she stood aside. The goddess of Lanka was not a servant of Ravana. She was the spirit of the city.
Hanumaan climbed over the wall and jumped into the city. It was part of the ancient code of warfare that one should not enter the enemy's fortress through the regular gate, but should make his entry in an out-of-the-way manner. He entered the fortress of Lanka with his left foot foremost, for that meant defeat for the enemy.
He went along the royal street which was strewn with beautiful flowers. Clambering up the mansions and moving along on their roofs, he admired the beauty of the city. The Raakshasa mansions and streets and their decorations shone with great beauty.
The sounds of classical music were heard. In some houses mantras were being chanted. In some others Vedic chants were heard. In others songs celebrating the heroic exploits and glory of Raavana were being sung.The city was filled with sounds indicating a full and joyous life.
After passing through many mansions and gardens, he arrived at Raavana's own palace, the central glory of splendid Lanka. It was in every way a heaven on earth worthy of Raavana's great power and glory; it filled Hanumaan with wonder. Passing through many gates, he entered the innermost private apartment of Raavana where he saw the Pushpaka Vimaana. It was a magic vehicle obtained from Brahma by Kubera. Defeating Kubera, Raavana brought it to Lanka as his booty. As from Vasishtha's cow, in the Pushpaka car one could get anything one desired or go to any place he wanted.
Hanumaan looked at all these sleeping women, to see if any of them could be Seeta. Suddenly, he realized his folly and said to himself: "It is certain that Sita is not in this crowd. What a fool am I to search for her in this company! This is no place for her."
He entered another room where he saw Ravana stretched on a luxurious bed. His form and majestic splendour made even Hanuman tremble for a moment. After a complete search, Hanuman thought: "I have entered every nook and corner. Against all the rules of propriety, I have even looked at every one in the women's chambers. But all in vain."