Daughter of King Janaka of Janakpur and his wife Queen Sunaina, Urmila is one of the key characters in epic ‘Ramayana’. She was the younger sister of Sita.She married Lord Rama’s younger brother Lakshmana and gave birth to two sons Angada and Chandraketu.
When Rama broke the bow, King Dashratha (Rama’s father) went to King Janak’s kingdom to talk about wedding date and time where he saw Princess Urmila. This was the time when she was betrothed to Rama’s younger brother.
Rama and Lakshmana married the two sisters on the same day.
When Lakshmana along with Rama and Sita went to exile, Urmila insisted her husband to take her along but he asked her to stay back and take care of his parents.The first night in the forest, Rama and Sita went to sleep but Lakshmana couldn’t do so as he had to take care of his brother and sister-in-law day and night. So he was keeping an eye on them.
After some time, Goddess Nidra (Goddess of sleep) came and asked Lakshmana to sleep. But he politely refused her saying he had to take care of them and requested her to excuse him for 14 years as he could perform his duties without any difficulty.
The Goddess was impressed by Lakshmana’s love for Rama and Sita. But she added that somebody had to bear his sleep. Without thinking too much, Lakshmana requested her to go to his wife Urmila as he knew she would accept it.
When the Goddess reached and explained everything to Urmila, she accepted her proposal. She then slept day and night for the next 14 years till the trio came back to Ayodhya.
Also Read| Ramayana through illustrations: Ayodhya Kand