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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Mithila, MithIlA, Mithilaa

Mithīlā literally means ‘where enemies are routed’.

Mithīlā has been a well-known city in the epics and the purāṇas. Here the king Janaka,[1] father of Sītā, lived and ruled over his kingdom, the Videha. It was built by the king Mithi, grandson of Ikṣvāku. It is sometimes identified with Janakpur in Uttar Pradesh near Nepal border. Others think it is Tirhut in Bihar. The epics and the purāṇas have described it as a grand and majestic city.


  1. Janaka is also known as Vaideha or Sīradhvaja.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore