In the Wikipedia article it states that Ramanujan's tau conjecture was shown to be a consequence of Riemann's hypothesis for varieties over finite fields by the efforts of Michio Kuga, Mikio Sato, Goro Shimura, Yasutaka Ihara, and Pierre Deligne. Do their papers consist of the only published proof of this result? And is this proof of a similar level of difficulty to Deligne's proof of Riemann's hypothesis?

Following the discussion at meta.MO, I'm going to post a good answer from the comments (made by JT) as a "community wiki" answer. I should mention that the Rogawski article mentioned by Tommaso says almost nothing about the proof of Ramanujan's conjecture, but it seems to be a very nice introduction to JacquetLanglands. Deligne reduced Ramanujan's conjecture about the growth of tau to the Weil conjectures (in particular, the Riemann hypothesis) applied to a KugaSato variety, in his paper Formes modulaires et representations ladiques, Seminaire Bourbaki 355. I believe Jay Pottharst has made an English translation available. Deligne then proved the Weil conjectures in his paper La conjecture de Weil. I. As far as I know, all known proofs of this conjecture involve the use of cohomology of varieties over finite fields in an essential way. Added by Emerton: One point to make is that the Weil conjectures (in their basic form, saying that the eigenvalues of Frobenius on the $i$th etale cohomology of a variety over $\mathbb F_q$ have absolute value $q^{i/2}$) apply only to smooth proper varieties. On the other hand, the KugaSato variety is the symmeteric power of the universal elliptic curve over a modular curve, which is not projective. Thus one has to pass to a smooth compactification in order to apply the Weil conjectures, and then hope that this does not mess anything up in the rest of the argument. A certain amount of Deligne's effort in his Bourbaki seminar is devoted to dealing with this issue. If you don't worry about this (i.e. you accept that it all works out okay) then the proof is essentially just EichlerShimura theory (i.e. the relation between modular forms and cohomology of modular curves), but done with etale cohomology, combined with the EichlerShimura congruence relation that connects the $p$th Hecke operator to Frobenius mod $p$. (The latter was treated in the following question.) 

