Going by the great epic Ramayana, we all know Mandodari as the chief consort of the King of Lanka, Ravan. She is described as beautiful, pious and is extolled as one of the Panchkanyas. Here are some facts about Mandodari, an epitome of perfection and beauty.
1. Mandodari was the daughter of Mayasura, son of Saptarishi Kashyapa and wife Diti. He went on to become an Asura King. He ruled Mayarastra the present day Meerut. He is said to have married an Apsara called Hema and had 3 children, Mayavi, Dundhubhi, and Mandodari.
2. Mandodari was the adopted daughter to Mayasura and Hema. They had 2 sons after which they longed for a daughter. They offered prayers to Lord Shiva who in return of their devotion gifted them with a daughter whom they found in a well near to their place of worship whom they readily accepted as Mandodari.
3. Once, an apsara named Madhura arrived at Kailash, to pay respect to Lord Shiva in the absence of Lord’s wife Parvati. This was the time when Madhura has clandestine coitus with Lord Shiva. However, when Parvati returns, she sees traces of ashes from Lord Shiva’s body on Madhura’s breasts. Goddess Parvati gets angry and curses Madhura to live as a frog in a well for 12 years. Lord Shiva, however, consoles apsara Madhura and states that after 12 years, she will once again become a beautiful woman who’ll marry a mighty man. This is how Mayasura met Mandodari when she started shouting from a well after completing 12 years of her curse.
4. Although it is believed that Ravan had a lust for women, he loved Mandodari and married her. They had 3 children, Meghnath, Atikaya and Akshay Kumar.
5. Since Mandodari was an Apsara, she was extremely beautiful. She was more beautiful than Sita because of which Lord Hanuman mistook her for Sita when he went to Lanka for the first time.
6. Mandodari was a righteous woman. She knew her husband has a weakness for women and she always tried to changes his path from Adharma to Dharma. Since she was a loyal and obedient wife, she always stood by Ravan’s side.
7. Once when Ravan proposed marriage to Sita, she refused to which he drew his sword to kill her but it was Mandodari who saved Sita and taught Ravan that killing a woman would be a heinous crime.
8. It is believed that after Ravan’s death, Mandodari married Vibhishan.