Lava or Luv (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. Kusha was the elder of the two and is said to have wheatish golden complexion like their mother, while Lava had blueish complexion like their father. Lava is purported to have founded Lavapuri, that is, the modern day city of Lahore, which is named after him. The Southeast Asian country Laos and the Thai city Lopburi were both named after him. The Sikarwar Rajputs and Leva Patidar are present-day Indo-Aryan ethnic groups who claim to be descendants of Lava. Lava belongs to the Ikshvaku clan or Suryavansh Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India.
Birth and childhood
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. Lava and Kusha were born at the ashram and were educated and trained in military skills under the tutelage of kowshikar.
Battle with Rama
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.
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.
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