- This article is related to Hindu legend. For the Indian film actresses with the name Urvashi see Urvashi (actress) and Urvashi Sharma
Urvashi (Urvaśī, from Ur "heart" + Vashi "one who controls", "one who controls the heart") is an Apsara (nymph) in Hindu legend. She was a celestial maiden in Indra's court and was considered the most beautiful of all the Apsaras.
There are many legends about the birth of Urvashi but the following one is most prevalent.
Once the revered sages Nara-narayana was meditating in the holy shrine of Badrinath situated in the Himalayas. Indra, the king of the Gods, did not want the sage to acquire divine powers through meditation and sent two apsaras to distract him. The sage struck his thigh and created a woman so beautiful that Indra’s apsaras were left matchless. This was Urvashi, named from ur, the Sanskrit word for thigh. After his meditation was complete the sage gifted Urvashi to Indra, and she occupied the pride of place in Indra’s court.
- A Dictionary of Hindu Mythology & Religion by John Dowson