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By this time, Seeta reached the age of marriage. Though he tried hard, her father Janaka was not able to choose a prince worthy of Seeta for a long time. Many kings came to Mithila, seeking Seeta's hand, but in Janaka's view none of them was good enough. The King anxiously thought over the matter and came to a decision.  Long ago, pleased with a yagna performed by Janaka, Varuna the sea-God had presented to him Shiva's bow and two quivers. That was an ancient heavenly bow, which no ordinary man could even move. 

Since only a very exceptional man could be considered worthy of Seeta, Janaka issued this proclamation: "Seeta, my daughter, will be given in marriage to the prince who can lift, bend and string the bow of Siva which Varuna gave me and to none other."

Many princes who had heard of Seeta's beauty, went to Mithila only to try but returned disappointed. None could fulfill the condition. It is said that even Ravana came and tried to win the hand of Sita, but he too failed to lift the bow. It was at this point in time that Rama reached Mithila.