King Romapada

Romapada (Romapad), also known Chitraratha or Lomapad(a), was a king of Anga and adoptive father of Shanta in the Hindu epic Ramayana.[1]

Romapada was the youngest son of Yadava king Vidarbha. Vidarbha had many sons but his friend King Dharmaratha of Anga was heirless. Thus, Dharmaratha adopted Romapada. When Dharmaratha grew old, he made Romapada as the ruler of Anga.

After Dharmaratha retired to the forest, Romapada became the King of Anga. He married Vershini who was the elder sister of Kausalya (mother of Rama). Kausalya's husband - King Dasharatha of Ayodhya was Romapada's childhood friend. Romapada and Vershini did not have any issue; Dasharatha promised them his first child. A daughter Shanta was born to Dasharatha and Kausalya. Shanta was then adopted by childless Romapada.[2]

Once a Brahmin named Shuvateertha came to Romapada to ask for help but the king called him back in the evening. When he visited in the evening, the king was busy talking with Shanta and ignored Shuvateertha. The Brahmin returned disappointed. The rain-god and king of hevaen, Indra was enraged with the behaviour of the king. Thus, Anga received little rain during monsoons.[2]

Severe drought occurred in the kingdom of Anga and on discussing with the known saints, king came to know that the prevalent situation could be bypassed only if sage Rishyashringa, the son of Vibhandak will visit his country and bless it with the power of his meditation and austerity.[3]

The king thought of various means to bring the sage to his country and he suddenly got the idea that the seer, who had grown aloof from the world and the material pleasure, who don't even know of women could be lured by the charm and beauty of a women only.Thus; he sent beautiful courtesans dressed in attractive clothings and decorated with pleasant smell in order to lure the seer.After all, a courtesan named vaishali was successful in bringing him to the Anga, where he was given grand welcome.[3]

The king had earlier adopted the daughter of his friend Dasharatha called Shanta, who was elder sister of Rama born out of Kausalya.After the seer performed the sacrifice he was given opportunity to choose bride for him from among the daughters of all the known officers, ministers and subordinate rulers present there.The young seer chose Shanta, the adopted daughter of Romapada.[2] Hence, she was married to him and the sage was given position of a prince in the Anga Kingdom.[3]

In the Mahabharata, Adhiratha, the chief charioteer of King Dhritrashtra and adoptive-father of Karna, is said to be Rompada's descendant.[4]