Lava (Ramayana)

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Lava and Kusa, the sons of Rāma.

Lava or Luv[1] (Sanskrit: लव meaning "particle", Telugu: లవుడు, Tamil: இலவன், Malay: Tilawi, Indonesian: Lawa, Khmer: Jupalaks, Lao: Phra Lao, Thai: Phra Lop) and his twin brother Kusha, were the children of Lord Rama and his wife Sita, whose story is recounted in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Lava was the elder of the two and is said to have blue complexion like their father, while Kusha had wheatish golden complexion like their mother. Once sita goes to fetch water from the lake carrying the infant lava in her arms, the sage valmiki comes to ashram from outside and asks where is sita to that the ashram people say she has gone to fetch water with other ladies but he does not see the child in the cradle of lava, he thinks demons should have taken the baby so he immediately gets some dry grass (darbha or kusha in sanskrit) and clones a baby by the time sita comes to the ashram, this is how kusha is born or he gets the name kusha. Lava is purported to have founded Lavapuri,[2] that is, the modern day city of Lahore,[3] which is named after him.[4] The Southeast Asian country Laos[5] and the Thai city Lopburi were both named after him. The Leva Patidar is present-day Indo-Aryan ethnic groups who claim to be descendants of Lava. Lava belongs to Ikshvaku clan or Suryavansh Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India.


Birth and childhood[edit]

According to Ramayana Sita was banished from the kingdom of Ayodhya by Rama due to the gossip of kingdom folk. She took refuge in the ashram of sage Valmiki located on the banks of the Tamsa river.[8] Lava and Kusha were born at the ashram and were educated and trained in military skills under the tutelage of kowshikar.

Battle with Rama[edit]

Lava and Kusha engage Lakshmana in battle
Rama fighting Lava and Kusha

When Rama performed the Ashvamedha Yagya, the sacrifice horse strayed into their forest, which was captured by Lava and Kusha. Unaware that the horse belonged to Rama and he was their father, they engaged in conflict and defeated Rama's army led by his brothers. Eventually, Rama himself came to battle his own sons. After Hanuman and Valmiki's intervention, Rama knows the truth and invites them to return to Ayodhya.

Temple associated with Lava (or Loh) in Lahore Fort

Later history[edit]

Lava and Kusha became rulers after their father Rama and founded the cities of Lahore (called Lavapuri in ancient times) and Kasur respectively. The king of Kosala Raghava Rama installed his son Lava at Sravasti and Kusha at Kushavati.

[9] There is a temple associated with Lava (or Loh) inside Shahi Qila, Lahore.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lohana Community United Kingdom
  2. ^ Bombay Historical Society (1946). Annual bibliography of Indian history and Indology, Volume 4. p. 257. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  3. ^ Baqir, Muhammad (1985). Lahore, past and present. B.R. Pub. Corp. pp. 19–20. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  4. ^ Masudul Hasan (1978). Guide to Lahore. Ferozsons. 
  5. ^ Mishra, P.K. (1999). Studies In Hindu And Buddhist Art. Abhinav Publications. p. 356. 
  6. ^ Diwan Bherumal Mahirchand Advani. Trans. by Narain Sobhraj Kimatrai. The Source of Sindhi Surnames. Chapter 6. 1947.
  7. ^ Leva Gurjars ancestry
  8. ^ Vishvanath Limaye (1984). Historic Rama of Valmiki. Gyan Ganga Prakashan. 
  9. ^ Nadiem, Ihsan N (2005). Punjab: land, history, people. Al-Faisal Nashran. p. 111. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  10. ^ Ahmed, Shoaib. "Lahore Fort dungeons to re-open after more than a century." Daily Times. November 3, 2004.