On return to Ayodhya, Bharata announced to the public assembly:
"This kingdom is Rama's. For the time being, he has asked me to be in charge. In my brother's place I have installed his sandals. Deriving my authority from them I shall do my work as king."
Accordingly, Bharata stayed in nearby Nandigraama town and with the help of ministers ruled the kingdom as a religious duty until Rama should return after completing his forest life.
BHARATA put RAMA'S sandals on the throne and took a vow that he would not enter the Kingdom till RAMA came back. He ruled in place of RAMA, not from the King's palace, but from a hut on the outskirts of the city.