Viswamitra and the two princes spent
the night on the bank of the river Sarayu. Before retiring Viswamitra
initiated the princes in two secret mantras Bala and Atibala, which had
the virtue of guarding them from fatigue and harm.
They were the guests of the rishis that night, and the following morning, after performing the usual rites, the sage and his pupils set out on their journey and reached the Ganga. They crossed the river on a raft got ready for them by the rishis.
Having crossed the Ganga, Viswaamitra and the princes made their difficult way through a dense forest made dreadful by the roar of wild beasts.
"This," Viswaamitra said, "is the Dandaka forest. For long people lived here happily till Taataka, the raakshasi and her son Maareecha created havoc and changed this into the dreadful wilderness it now is. They are still in this forest. And none dare enter it for fear of Taataka. She is equal in strength to a score of elephants. I have brought you here to rid the forest of this great enemy.
After a great fight, Rama and Lakshmana succeeded in killing Taataka with their arrows.