Janakpur

The most important historical reference to Mithila/Janakpur is in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama’s wife Sita Devi (also called Janaki) is said to have been the princess of Videha. Her father, King Janak, found baby Sita in a furrow of a field and raised her as his daughter. When she grew up, the king announced that she should be wed by whoever was able to string the divine bow of Shiva.  Though many royal suitors tried, Lord Rama, prince of Ayodhya, alone could even lift the bow. As Rama and Sita are major figures in Hinduism, Janakpur is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus.

In addition, both the great saints Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, and Vardamana Mahavira, the 24th and final Tirtankara of the jain religion, are said to have lived in Mithila/Janakpur.

Nepal: How to reach Janakpur?

 

By plane:
Janakpur has an airport. The airport is served by a few private airlines, with daily flights to and from Kathmandu. The duration of flight is about 20-25 minutes. The aircrafts are usually small with 17-20-passenger capacity. Airports in nearby India have domestic flights to major Indian cities.

By Train:
It is on the Janakpur railway, which goes to Jaynagar station in India. The track is in poor condition though. It is near to Sitamarhi railway station which is just 45kms and Jaynagar railway station which is just 32kms, both in nearby India. Both stations are connected to important cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai.

By car:
It is possible to drive to the city from any place in India. Jankpur is 20 minutes from the India border. Prior paper work will be needed.

Tourist places in Janakpur Nepal

 

The Janak Temple:

Located in the centre of the city, throughout the year pilgrims come to pay respect to the Ram and Sita. One of the mail attractions of the city is the enactment of their wedding ceremony by decorating temples and monuments, burning lamps during Bibha Panchami. The annual festival is celebrated on the event of Ram and Sita’s marriage and their wedding ceremony is enacted throughout the week. During this entire week the city is bustling with lights.

Ram and Sita are the most important characters of the famous Hindu epic Ramayana. In this story, Ram strings a bow that formerly belonged to Lord Shiva the demolisher and in the procedure, the bow breaks into three pieces. One of the pieces flies up to heaven and another falls down into the depths of the underworld. Today, there is a huge pond called Dhanush Sagar at the very spot. The third piece flies to present day Dhanushadham, which is about 40 kilometers from Janakpur. Visitors in that area will see huge rocks shaped liked a bow. Post this the King agreed to get Lord Rama and Princess Sita(Janaki) get married as he was fearless prince.

Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar:

Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar are two sacred tanks situated near the famous Ram Mandir. Early morning this place encounters several religious ablutions everyday. During ceromonies especially during the enactment of Ram Sita Bibaha these tanks become extremely important. Several other cisterns are also found around the area. The religious conntation regarding each tank is when the Gods would travel many miles all over the Himalayas they would come came and wash their feet and take a bath separately. King Janak built these tank’s after Rama and Sita’s marriage.

 

Rama Navami:

Ram Navami or also typically known Sri Rama Navami is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dashratha and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya. While visting Jankapur you might want to when the festival is happening. At some places the festival lasts the whole nine days of Navratras, hence calling the period Sri Rama Navratra. It is marked by continuous recitals,Akhand Paath, mostly of the Ramacharitamanas, organized several days in advance to culminate on this day, with elaborate kirtan and distribution of prasad after the puja. Images of infant form of Sri Rama are placed on cradles and rocked by devotees. Since Rama is the 7th incarnation of Vishnu having born at noon, temples and family shrines are elaborately decorated and traditional prayers are chanted together by the family in the morning. The annual event occurs in late March and early April.

 

Janaki Mandir:

Janaki Mandir is a Hindu temple located at the heart of Janakpur, Nepal. It is dedicated to goddess Sita and also has a brief history attached to it. Queen Brisabhanu Kunwari of Tikamgarh from central India at the cost of 900,000 built it in AD 1911. The temple was also known as Nau Lakh Mandir or Temple of Nine Lakh rupees. This is an example of Hindi-Rajput architecture and considered as the most important model of Rajput architecture in Nepal.

In 1657, a golden statue of the Goddess Sita was found at the very spot, and Sita is also said to have lived there. The legend had it that it was built on the holy site where Sannyasi Shukishordas found the images of Goddess Sita.  Shurkishordas was the founder of contemporary Janakpur and the great saint and poet who preached about the Sita Upasana philosophy.

Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir:

Next to the Janaki Mandir is the Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir a very important piece of heritage in Janakpur. This temple marks the spot where Rama and Sita were married hundreds of years ago. The temple is a pagoda built in the traditional Nepalese form. It has life size statues of Rama and Sita, the presiding deities of the pagodas. Apart from this there are statues of Rama’s brothers.  The temple was built to honor the wedding. The festival season brings in dramas in theatre in open streets to mark the wedding.The entry hours is 5am-9m and admission is Rs.2.