Wedding ceremony of Urmila.
AffiliationAvatar of Nagalakshmi
TextsRamayana and its other versions
Personal information
  • Janaka (father)
  • Sunayana (mother)
SiblingsSita (foster-sister)
Mandavi (cousin)
Shrutakirti (cousin)
DynastyVideha (by birth)
Raghuvamsha (by marriage)

Urmila (Sanskrit: ऊर्मिला, romanizedŪrmilā) is a princess featured in the Ramayana. She is the daughter of King Janaka of Mithila and Queen Sunayana. Sita, the female protagonist of the epic, is her elder adoptive sister.[1] She becomes the wife of Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama. She is considered to be an incarnation of Nagalakshmi. [2][3]


Urmila was married to King Dasharatha's third son, Lakshmana. They had two sons named Angada and Chandraketu. She is described as being as dedicated to Sita as Lakshmana was to Rama.

When Lakshmana joined Rama and Sita in their exile, Urmila was ready to accompany him, but he hesitated and asked her to stay back in Ayodhya to take care of his aging parents. According to a legend, Urmila slept continuously for fourteen years. It is believed that during these fourteen years of exile, her husband also never slept to protect his brother and sister-in-law. On the first night of exile, when Rama and Sita were sleeping, the deity Nidra appeared to Lakshmana, and he requested her to offer him the boon of not requiring sleep. The goddess asked him that she could grant his wish, but someone else would have to take his place asleep. Lakshmana wondered if his wife could sleep instead of him. After hearing this, Nidra enquired Urmila regarding this, and the latter happily accepted the task. Urmila is notable for this unparalleled sacrifice, which is called Urmila Nidra.[4][5]

According to another legend, it is said that when Lakshmana came to inform Urmila of his decision to join Rama in his exile, she was dressed as a queen. Lakshmana grew angry with her and compared her with Kaikeyi. This is stated to be a deliberate act of provocation to alleviate Lakshmana's guilt of leaving her behind so that he could take care of her brother and sister-in-law. When Sita learned of this, she remarked that hundreds of her would not be able to match Urmila's sacrifice.


In Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, there is a temple dedicated to Lakshman and Urmila. The temple was built in 1870 AD by the then ruler Balwant Singh of Bharatpur and is considered as a royal temple by the royal family of Bharatpur State.[6]

In Bhind district there is another temple dedicated to them. [7]

In the Medak district of Telangana, there is a temple called Sri Kalyana Ramachandra Sannadhi that is dedicated to Lakshman and Urmila. This temple is the only one in India that has installed statues of Rama's brothers and their wives.[8][9]


  1. ^ Moor, Edward (1810). The Hindu Pantheon. J. Johnson. p. 316.
  2. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (24 June 2012). "Urmila, Urmilā, Ūrmilā: 9 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  3. ^ Agarwal, Shubhi (20 April 2022). LakshmiLa : The Eternal Love Story. Om Books International. ISBN 978-93-92834-21-9.
  4. ^ Reeja Radhakrishnan (28 March 2014). "Urmila, The Sleeping Princess". Indian Express. Chennai. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Ramayana: Check 13 lesser-known facts". Jagranjosh.com. 5 August 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Temple Profile: Mandir Shri Laxman Ji". Government of Rajasthan. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  7. ^ https://hindi.news18.com/news/madhya-pradesh/bhind-here-laxman-urmila-is-worshiped-not-ram-janaki-6715357.html
  8. ^ "Sri Kalyana Ramachandra Swamy temple: Small wonder on a hillock". Deccan Chronicle. 3 December 2017.
  9. ^ "This unique Rama temple near Hyderabad where Hanuman finds no place". The News Minute. 17 April 2016.

Further reading