So far, we have heard of Ravana as the cruel king of Lanka who abducted Sita while she was in exile with Lord Rama and how Lord Rama crossed all hurdles to rescue her from the shackles of the pitiless Ravana. However, Mandodari, Ravana’s wife is one of the least discussed, yet significant, characters of Ramayana.
Mandodari, the queen consort of Ravana was actually a very pious and righteous character. She was the one who had the courage to abhor the abduction of Sita despite being Ravana’s wife. Apart from being audacious, she was also the dutiful wife who repeatedly reminded Ravana of his sins and guided him to the right path. Ravana however, did not consider her opinions to be important and was always a person of his own free will.
It is believed that Mandodari first met Ravana in Bilveshvarnath Temple, situated in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. According to mythology, Mandodari used to worship Lord Shiva in this temple. Impressed with Mandodari’s devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before her and granted her a wish. It was by the grace of Lord Shiva that she got married to Ravana in this temple.
It is believed that at that time, there was a pond in temple in which Mandodari took a bath every morning before offering prayers inside the temple. The Bilveshvarnath temple is known for its extremely small doors and its entrance which looks like that of the Badrinath temple of Uttarakhand.
The temple is of immense religious significance and it is believed that Lord Shiva fulfills all wishes of devotees who offer prayers here. Apart from the Shiva Linga, the temple also houses idols of the goddess Parvati, lord Ganesha and lord Bhairav.