After a day's stay in the City of Visaala, Viswaamitra and his party left for
Mithila. On the way, not far from Mithila, they saw a beautiful aashrama which seemed
untenanted. Raama asked Viswaamitra: "Whose is this aashrama with ancient trees? Why
does such a beautiful abode stand deserted?"
"This aashrama is subject to a curse.
Sage Gautama lived here with his wife Ahalya, spending his days in peace and holy
meditation. One day during the sage's absence from the aashrama, Indra, filled with unholy
desire for the beautiful Ahalya, Entered it disguised as Gautama and approached the lady
with urgent solicitation. She was not deceived by the impersonation, but vain of her
beauty and proud that it had won her the love of the lord of the celestials, she lost her
judgment and yielded to his desire.