Do you know that lord Rama had a sister named Shanta?
Yes its true that besides Lord Rama, Lakshamana, Shaktrughan and Bharat, there was a sister Shanta who has been mentioned in many literatures. However, there are two such temples in the country where Shanta is worshipped. It is believed that Shanta was the princess of Angadesh, who was married to the sage Shringi. Sage Shringi had also performed a son attainment yagya at the place of King Dasharatha.
There are many beliefs about Shanta which are mentioned in Bhagwat Purana, Adbhut Ramayana and historians.
Some epics say that Shriram also had two sisters, one of whom is named Shanta and the other is named Kukbi. It is said that nothing much is said about Kukbi. There is not much written about her but there is a lot about Shanta. She was older than the four brothers.
Shanta was a very promising girl, perfect in every field, she had a unique knowledge in every field.
Shanta was actually the daughter of King Dasharatha and Kaushalya, but a few years after she was born, for some reason, King Dasharatha gave Shanta to King Rompad of Angadesh. It is said that Lord Rama’s elder sister was raised by King Rompad and his wife Varshini, who were the aunt of Rani Kaushalya’s sister i.e. Ram. It is said that Varshini was childless and once in Ayodhya she asked for a child in laughter and Dasharatha agreed to this. She then kept her word and thus Shanta became the princess of Anga country.
Shanta’s unique knowledge of the Vedas and arts and crafts was a plus to the fact that she was very beautiful. One day King Rompad was busy having a conversation with Shanta when a boy from the Brahmin caste came to ask the king for help in farming during monsoon days.
Raja Romapada did not pay heed to the request of the Brahmin boy. Angered by his neglect, the Brahmin left from there. Indra dev, Rain God, also got angry with this insult to his devotee. Making it a major reason for receiving very little rainfall during the monsoon season. There was an outcry due to the drought.
To get rid of this problem, Romapada went to Rishi Shringa and requested Shringa to perform a yagya. After the yagya was performed according to the words of Shring, the country received rain and the problem of drought was brought to an end. Pleased with this, Raja Rompad married his daughter Devi Shanta to Shringa.
Lord Rama’s elder sister, Devi Shanta is worshiped in the Shringa Rishi temple that is situated in Kullu, Himachal. This temple is situated at a distance of 50 kms away from Kullu. An idol of Goddess Shanta is also installed there, in this temple Goddess Shanta and her husband Shring Rishi are worshiped together.
Devotees from all over the world come for ‘darshan’ to worship both. The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great grandeur in the temple of Goddess Shanta.