Janakpur, the gateway to Mithila, is the capital of an ancient state of Mithila-a well known Hindu kingdom and the centre of Maithil culture during the Treta Yug, or period, nearly 12,000 years ago. It is the birth place of Sita (Janaki) where wedding ceremony of Sita and Ram were held. Sita and Ram are the two central characters of great Hindu epic Ramayan.
Named after the legendary King Janak, Janakpur has become a great pilgrimage site for Hindus today. Besides the religious importance, Janakpur is also the center for the revival of the ancient Mithila art and craft.
Surrounded by rivers like Dudhmati, Jalad, Rato, Balan and Kamala, Janakpur is famous for its temples and ponds. The widely spoken languages of this region are Maithili, Nepali, Hindi, Bhojpuri and Awadhi. The major festivals celebrated are Vivah Panchami, Ram Navami, Holi, Vijaya Dashami, Deepawali and Chhat.
If you happen to be in Nepal for Nepal Temples and Pagodas Tour the temples of Janakpur will definitively create new cultural and religious insights. The noted temples and places to visit in Janakpur are shown here.
one of the top attractions of Janakpur, was built in 1898 AD by Queen Brisabhanu Kunwar of Tikamgargh. It reflects a fine blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. The dome of the temple is designed in the fashion of a palace in Rajasthan. The doors are ornately decorated with silver. And it is said that the statue of Sita, the presiding deity of the temple, was found in the Sarya River near Ayodhya.
Dhanush Sagar, Ganga Sagar and Parshuram Kunda
Janakpurdham is said to have as many as 115 ancient ponds of historical and mythological importance. Among the ponds, Ganga Sagar, Parshuram Kunda and Dhanusha Sagar are held extremely sacred. Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar are two sacred ponds situated near the Ram Mandir. Here, people perform religious ablutions during the early morning hours. However, during the festivals, these ponds become extremely important in the sense that religious ceremonies conducted here. You can also find numerous cisterns all along the place. This also has religious connotations. In fact, these were built by King Janak who anticipated the arrival of Gods after the holy marriage of Rama and Sita. Likewise, Parshuram Kunda is said to be the pond where Maharishi Parshuram bathed to quell his anger after his confrontation with Ram over the breaking of the sacred bow of Shiva. It lies 4 km west of Dhanushadham. The pond is picturesque, with lotus flowers floating on it and lush trees on its southern banks.
Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir
It is another important place of interest in Janakpur. Almost next door to the Janaki Mandir, this rather bizarre temple marks the spot where Rama and Sita were married. This is actually a pagoda built in the traditional Nepalese form. Apart from these, you will also find the statues of the brothers of Rama. This pagoda was built to commemorate the wedding of Rama and Sita.
Ram Mandir, another must visit temple in Mithila, is the oldest temple in Janakpur. It was built by the Gorkhali general Amar Singh Thapa. It is in pagoda style and is located to southeast of the Janaki Mandir. Ram, the Prince of Ayodhya, is the presiding deity of the temple.
Jaleshwar, in the south of Janakpur near the Indian border, is famous for Shiva temple known as Jaleshwar Mahadev. The Shiva lingam here is situated about 20 feet below the surface of the temple and is reached by a narrow stone stairway. Most of the time it lies immersed in water, hence the name Jaleshwar, which literally means Lord of the Water. There are two large ponds on either side of the temple.
Dhanushadham, situated 18 km north-east of Janakpurdham, is believed to be the place where the broken remains of the divine Shiva bow fell after Ram broke it to obtain Sita’s hand in marriage. A fossilized fragment of the broken piece is still believed to be present here. Every Sunday in the month of Magh (January/ February), a Makar Mela takes place – a tradition that has been continued since Vedic times. Tens of thousands Hindu devotees from around the world flock here to pay homage to this place.
During rooming around the temples of Janakpur, do not forget to make a short excursion into the village life of Janakpur. While strolling around the villages of Janakpur you can see traditional villages. The traditional villages in Janakpur showcase Mithili art and culture. Many of the villages are built in the traditional Mithila style, with mud walls decorated with colorful paintings of people and animals.