Did Dasharatha have 60,000 wives?


The claim of Dasharatha having 60,000 wives is from later versions of the Ramayana, particularly the Kamba Ramayana. But as far as the Valmiki Ramayana goes, Dasharatha has at least 350 wives, as described in the Ayodhya Kanda of the Ramayana:

That king Dasaratha, who speaks truth, whose mind is virtuous, who is like an ocean by his depth of character and who is blemish less like a sky, replied to Sumantra as follows: "Oh, Sumantra! bring all my wives, who are here. Surrounded by all of them, I want to see the virtuous Rama." Sumantra, after entering the gynaecium, spoke these words to those women as follows: "Oh, the venerable ladies! The king is calling you. Go there without delay." All those women, asked thus by Sumantra as per the king's orders, went to his palace, after knowing the instructions of their husband. Encircling Kausalya, three hundred fifty women, steadfast in their vow (of devotion to their husband), with their eyes reddened, went there slowly.

Note that he tells his minister Sumantra to bring the wives "who are here", so it's possible that Dasaratha had more wives who happened to not be present in the gynaecium [place for women].

In any case, it's still true that he only had three queens, Kausalya, Kaikeyii, and Sumitra.

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