During the Treta Yug/ period about 12,000 years ago Janakpur used to be the capital of King Janak’s Kingdom of Mithila. Known as the capital of Province 2 today, Janakpur the birthplace of Janaki or Sita, the consort of Lord Ram, is an important religious pilgrimage site in the Terai plains, in south central Nepal. Apart from being mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana, Janakpur is also famous for its temples, ponds, Mithila art and vibrant festivals. The prime attraction of Janakpur is the magnificent temple dedicated to Sita called the Janaki Mandir.
Janakpur or Janakpurdham is a sub-metropolitan city located in Dhanusha District, Madhesh Province, Nepal. It is a head quarter of Dhanusha district and the capital of Madhesh Province. By the name Janakpurdham it becomes clear that the city is a religious hub for Hindus. It is believed that the city was founded in the early 12th century. According to tradition and archeological evidence Janakpurdham was the capital of the Videha dynasty that ruled the Mithila region in ancient times.
Janakpur is currently the most populated sub metropolitan city of Nepal. There is transportation in between Janakpur and Jaynagar of India via train. Janakpur is a holy city where one can experience diverse culture, tradition, religion, arts and languages. The best season to visit Janakpur is May, July and August.
THINGS TO DO IN JANAKPUR
1. Pray at Janaki Temple
Janaki temple generally belongs to Hindus dedicated to the Goddess Sita. There are about 70 temples around the main shrine of the Janaki Temple. The temple is named after the legendary king Janak (father of Goddess Sita). The temple is one of the biggest pilgrimage sites for all Hindus present in the world. It is famous for its temples and ponds. The three storied temple made up of stone and marble in bright white colour attracts every one. It covers an area of about 4860 square feet. The temple is structured in famous Rajput architecture in Nepal. The temple consists of 60 rooms, which are all adorned with coloured glass, elegant and ancient paintings and engraved with spectacular engravings. The entire structure of Janaki temple flaunts a classic blend of classical and Neo-classical designs.
2. Get blessing at Ram Mandir (Ram Temple)
Ram Mandir is a Hindu temple that is located in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India, at the site of Ram Janmabhoomi (Lord Ram’s birth place), according to the Ramayana. Deities Surya, Ganesha, Shiva, Durga, Vishnu and Brahma are also dedicated in the premises. It is worth visiting at Ram Mandir if anyone is in Janakpur.
4. Visit Ram Sita Vivah Mandap
The place where God Rama and Goddess Sita got married is known as Rama Janaki Vivah Mandap. It is visited by thousands of pilgrims to pay homage to Sita at the time of Vivah Panchami. The marriage day of Sita and Rama is usually celebrated on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in November/December. The mandap is decorated so gorgeously and is located in the southwest region of the Janaki Mandir. It resembles a part of a palace with sturdy pillars, elegant arches and stunning domes. At the centre of the mandap, the legendary wedding ceremony was depicted. The statues of Goddess Sita and Lord Rama can be seen at the centre while some sages and their parents can be seen seated on parallel pedestals facing each other. The attires give a sense of the ancient royal celebration. Devotees can offer their prayers and sit in complete silence to soak in the tranquil vibe of the temple.
5. Visit Sindhuli Gadhi (Sindhuli Fort)
Sindhuli Gadhi lies in Sindhuli District of Janakpur Zone. Sindhuli Gadhi is a historical fort and tourist destination in central Nepal. Sindhuli Gadhi is famous for the battle took place in between the then Gorkha Army (under the command of Khajanchi Bir Bhadra Upadhyay and Sardar Banshu Gurung) and the British troop headed by Captain Kinloch. The Gorkha force defeated the British troop in November 1767 (Kartik 24, 1824 BS). It is currently a tourist attraction.
6. Visit Swargdwari
It is located at the west side of Gangasagar, a holy pond. Swargdwari means gate to swarg (gate to heaven). In Hinduism, there could be life after death and this place is considered as a gate to heaven for the dead people.
7. Roam at Gangasagar Holy Pond
Gangasagar is the holy pond in Janakpur which is located near Rama Mandir (Temple). It is believed that the water for this pond had been brought from the Ganga River, one of the holy rivers for Hindus. This pond looks magical at nighttime. It is beautifully decorated during Chhath festival. Visitors can also enjoy a boat ride on the pond.
8. Take bathe in Dhanush Sagar
Dhanush Sagar is a sacred pond located near the famous Rama Mandir of Janakpur. It is also the largest ceremonial pond in the city. Visitors can see several small shrines all around the perimeter and vendors selling flowers and other ritual objects for worshipping. Taking bathe in the pond is considered sacred by the devotees.
FESTIVALS and FOOD
Ram Navami, Vivah Panchami, Chhath, Deepawali are the famous festivals celebrated in Janakpuri. Littles are eaten with a sour and spicy ‘chutney’ (pickle) made of raw mangoes, samosa, Ghevar (a disc-shaped cake made up of flour-based dough) are some of the important dishes of Janakpur.