Lava (Ramayana)

Lava (Sanskrit: लव) [1] and his twin brother Kusha, were the children of Rama and Sita. Their story is recounted in the Hindu epic, Ramayana and its other versions. He is said to have a whitish golden complexion like their mother, while Kusha had a blackish complexion like their father.

Lava, one of Rāma’s sons..jpg
Lava, one of twin sons of Rama and Sita
TextsRamayana and its other versions
Personal information

Lava is purported to have founded Lavapuri[2] (the modern day city of Lahore),[3] which is named after him.[4]

Birth and childhoodEdit

Valmiki trains Lava and Kusha in the Art of Archery
The Sage Valmiki, teaching Ramayana to Lava and Kusa

The first chapter of Ramayana, Balakanda mentioned Valmiki narrating the Ramayana to his disciple's Lava and Kusha. But their birth and childhood story is mentioned in the last chapter Uttara Kanda which is not believed to be the original work of Valmiki.[5][6] According to the legend, Sita banished herself from the kingdom due to the gossip of the kingdom folk about her sanctity. She chose self-exile and took refuge in the ashram of Sage Valmiki located on the banks of the Tamsa river.[7] Lava and Kusha were born at the ashram and were educated and trained in military skills under the tutelage of Sage Valmiki. They also learned the story of Rama.

Kusha and Lava recite Ramayana in Court of Rama

During an Ashvamedha Yagya held by Rama, Sage Valmiki along with Lava and Kusha, attended with Sita in disguise.

Lava and Kusha chanted the Ramayana in the presence of Rama and a vast audience. When Lava and Kusha recited about Sita's exile, Rama became grief-stricken and Valmiki produced Sita. Sita, struck with embarrassment and grief, called upon the earth, her mother (Bhūmi), to receive her and as the ground opened, she vanished into it. Rama then learnt that Lava and Kusha were his children.

In some versions, Lava and Kusha capture the horse of the sacrifice and defeat Rama's brothers and their army and when Rama came to fight with them, Sita intervened and unites father and sons.

Later historyEdit

Lava and Kusha became rulers after their father Rama and founded the cities of Lavapuri (current day "Lahore") and Kasur respectively. The king of Kosala Raghava Rama installed his son Lava at Sravasti and Kusha at Kushavati.[8]

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lohana History". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  2. ^ Bombay Historical Society (1946). Annual bibliography of Indian history and Indology, Volume 4. p. 257.
  3. ^ Baqir, Muhammad (1985). Lahore, past and present. B.R. Pub. Corp. pp. 19–20. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  4. ^ Masudul Hasan (1978). Guide to Lahore. Ferozsons.
  5. ^ "Uttara Kanda of Ramayana was edited during 5th century BCE - Puranas". BooksFact - Ancient Knowledge & Wisdom. 26 April 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  6. ^ Rao, T. S. Sha ma; Litent (1 January 2014). Lava Kusha. Litent.
  7. ^ Vishvanath Limaye (1984). Historic Rama of Valmiki. Gyan Ganga Prakashan.
  8. ^ Nadiem, Ihsan N (2005). Punjab: land, history, people. Al-Faisal Nashran. p. 111. ISBN 9789695034347. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
  9. ^ Ahmed, Shoaib. "Lahore Fort dungeons to re-open after more than a century." Daily Times. 3 November 2004.