Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila

Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila

Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila

Continents like Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world offer various destinations for holistic living and luxury travel. One such place is Swaswara at Om Beach in Gokarna, which promotes a holistic way of living. For accommodation in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended option. In the pilgrim's city of Pushkar, Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa provides a luxurious travel experience. Another place to experience the Lucknow way of life is Clarks Awadh. Janakpur Dham, the venue of Ram Janaki's wedding, is an ancient capital of Mithila. Although it is located within the political boundaries of Nepal, it remains culturally significant as a part of Mithilanchal. The district of Nepal where Janakpur is situated is called Dhanush, named after the bow that was broken during the Ramayana era.

The Ramayana story consists of two important journeys, known as Yatras. The second journey, in which Sri Ram travels towards the south and battles with Ravana of Lanka, is more widely recognized and remembered by the public.

He embarks on his initial journey to Janakpur alongside his mentor Vishwamitra. It is in a garden there that he encounters Sita Ji for the first time. Afterwards, he undertakes the task of breaking Shiva's Dhanush in order to win Sita's hand in marriage. Eventually, he and his three brothers wed Sita and her three sisters in Janakpur.

Goswami Tulsidas provides a detailed account of the wedding between Sri Ram and Janaki in Ramcharitmanas. The festival of Vivah Panchami, which commemorates the date of their wedding, is still celebrated in Janakpur and Ayodhya.

The tale of Ma Sita begins when she was discovered in a field by Raja Janak of Mithila after he had paid homage to Haleshwar Mahadev. The location, which is now known as Sitamarhi, is where she was found. Ma Sita was then brought up in the palace of Raja Janak, situated in Janakpur.

During the period of her wedding, Raja Janak made a proclamation that the person who could successfully break Shiva's bow, also known as Dhanush, would win the opportunity to marry Sita. Just a day before the Swayamvara, which is the ceremony of selecting a groom, Sita and Sri Ram coincidentally encountered each other in a garden. Although they did not exchange any words, they both sensed a strong connection and believed that their destinies were intertwined.

Sita offers her prayers to the goddess Gauri or Parvati and quietly expresses her desire to marry Sri Ram. As fate would have it, Sri Ram successfully breaks the bow and they are married. In addition, Sri Ram's brothers Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan also get married to Sita's sisters Mandovi, Urmila, and Shrutikirti respectively.

The intricate traditions and customs followed during a Maithili wedding have a connection to the Ramayana tale, just like the warm hospitality of Janak. The women of Mithila feel proud that Sri Ram is their son-in-law and enjoy teasing him. The folk songs of Mithila also honor this special relationship.

I had always wanted to visit Janakpur Dham ever since I visited Ayodhya and studied the Ayodhya Mahatmya. Despite having been to many places connected to the Ramayana, such as various sites in Sri Lanka, I had never been able to visit Mithila for a long time.

I had previously seen images of a large temple dedicated to the goddess Janaki in Janakpur. However, now a similarly magnificent temple is being constructed for Janaki in Ayodhya. I believe it is now the perfect time to visit her temple in her original homeland.

The temple is very large and it immediately brought to mind the Haveli of Srinathiji in Nathdwara. The architectural style of Rajasthan is clearly visible upon first seeing the temple. I attempted to find a connection between the two, but it was during a conversation with the priest that I discovered the temple was actually constructed by the saints of Galata Ji temple in Jaipur.

The Naulakha Mandir, also known as the temple, was constructed by Rani Vrish Bhanu of Tikamgarh in the year 1910 CE. She invested a significant amount of nine lakh gold coins in building this temple. The temple was erected on the site where a golden statue of Ma Sita was found during the 17th CE. According to the UNESCO website, the oldest sections of the temple can be traced back to the 11th and 12th CE.

Outside the main entrance of the temple, there is a spacious area covered in white marble. As you approach the door, you remove your shoes. The surroundings are bustling with devotees, among them are numerous newly married couples dressed in their elegant wedding attire.

Once you enter Janakpur Dham, you will be greeted by a stunning temple situated in the center of a spacious courtyard. This temple is encircled by a corridor that runs around it, reminiscent of the architecture found in a Shekhawati Haveli.

The temple, painted in vibrant and lively colors, stood before me as I ascended its steps. The magnificent Ram Darbar, featuring the four brothers and their wives from Mithila, was displayed in all its glory. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar enhanced the temple's aura with its own luminosity.

The first floor of the temple corridor is home to a cultural museum that shares the story of Sita. The museum features dioramas that visually depict the narrative. One of my favorite aspects was the Badhai Geet, which are played when visitors reach the scene of Sita's birth. However, the most renowned scene in the museum is the breaking of the Dhanush by Sri Ram, which is highly celebrated.

Various dresses and pieces of jewelry belonging to Sita Ma are currently being exhibited.

The walls surrounding the area are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings. These paintings usually showcase the traditional wedding rituals of Ram and Janaki. However, there is also a unique painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which depicts the path of the parikrama that encircles Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings that capture the everyday life of various individuals, such as an ironsmith.

After leaving the museum, you emerge onto the temple's rooftop. Here, you can enjoy a complete panoramic view of the temple situated in the center. This spot is highly popular for capturing photographs.

The Saligrama Mandir is a temple that is known for its use of Saligrama stones, which are sourced from the Gandaki river in Nepal. Interestingly, the stone used for creating the Sri Ram Murti at the new temple in Ayodhya was also obtained from Janakpur. Within the temple complex, there is a large Shila that resembles the ones found in the area.

Inside the temple, there is a special room solely dedicated to millions of Saligramas. These sacred stones are stored in a container with multiple levels, and they can only be observed through a mesh barrier. Despite the darkness of the room, one can still admire the various shapes and sizes of the Saligrama stones.

Every day, people show their devotion to these beings by offering them fresh flowers. Certain individuals among them are also embellished with jewelry and garments.

The melodious Ram Dhun is being sung constantly on an open platform near the Saligrama room, similar to how it is sung in the temples of Ayodhya.

Participating and singing the Ram Naam is a straightforward and accessible method of worship, particularly during the Kaliyuga era.

The Ram Janaki Vivah Mandap is located within the temple complex but not within the main temple boundary. It is a pavilion-like structure with a slanted Nepalese roof. Inside, there is a depiction of a royal wedding scene.

There are four small temples located on the corners of the platform, each dedicated to one of the four royal couples who were married here. Without the names displayed on the temples, it would be difficult to determine which temple belongs to which couple.

Take a stroll around the Janaki Mandap and the garden surrounding the temple. If you wish, you can make a pit stop at the Gau Shala and feed the cows.

On one of the platforms, there are visible footprints. These footprints mark the spot where the Utsav Murtis are placed when they go out for parikrama.

In this location, there is a compact temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Inside the temple, there is a unique feature called Ekadash linga, which consists of eleven smaller lingas that are combined

The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur hosts several festivals, with the most significant one being Vivah Panchami. This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar month of Margsheesh and holds great importance as it commemorates the wedding that took place in Janakpur.

Ram Navami, which marks the birth of Sri Ram and is observed on the ninth day of the bright half of the Chaitra month, is commemorated with immense enthusiasm. Prior to Ram Navami, I had the opportunity to visit the temple where preparations were underway to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

Dashain or Dussehra holds significant importance as a major festival celebrated in Nepal. For further insights, you can refer to our book titled "Navaratri – When Devi Comes Home," which delves into the details

Janakpur, similar to Ayodhya, is abundant with temples and ponds. The area boasts around 70 ponds, along with numerous temples that are worth visiting.

The Ram Mandir is a small temple situated near the Janaki temple and across from the Dhanush Sagar pond. It was constructed by Amar Singh Thapa and showcases the exquisite beauty of traditional Nepali architecture. The temple is adorned with intricately carved wooden panels that will captivate your senses.

There are several Shivalingas around the Ram Mandir. Additionally, there is a Devi in the form of a Pindi.

During my visit, I encountered a gathering of women engaged in the activity of singing Bhajans.

The Raj Debi Temple is situated adjacent to the Ram Mandir and is specifically dedicated to the Kuldevi of Janaka, known as Raj Debi. Positioned in a corner of the spacious courtyard, the temple is accompanied by a triangular Yagna kunda. The presence of lions along the walkway signifies that Raj Debi is considered a manifestation of Durga.

Located between Janaki Mandir and Ram Mandir, there is a vibrant orange temple situated right in the middle of the road. This temple is specifically dedicated to the ruler of Janakpur, known as Raja Janak. He is often referred to as Rajrishi or the Saint King.

The Lakshman Mandir can be found at the very beginning of the Janaki Mandir.

Janakpur is home to several other temples apart from the Sankat Mochan Temple, which is devoted to Hanuman ji. These include the Kapileshwar Temple and the Bhootnath Mandir.

There are ponds in Janakpur, and one of them is called Gangasagar. This pond is situated near Vivah Mandap, just across the road. It is said that the water in this pond was brought from the Ganges River.

The name Ram S

Dhanush Sagar is situated in proximity to the Ram Mandir.

Ratna Sagar is

Dashrath Kund is a

Kamal Kund is a

Sita Maiyya, please clap your hands.

The Jaleshwar Mahadev Temple is a significant temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated approximately 16 kilometers away from Janakpur, along the route to Sitamarhi.

Dhanush Dham is a sacred site located about 24 km North East of Janakpur, dedicated to the broken bow of Lord Shiva, which was shattered by Sri Ram. To visit this site, one would need to stay in Janakpur.

Parikrama refers to the act of circumambulating around a sacred place. In the case of Janakpur Dham, there is a Panch Kosi Parikrama that involves circling around the area. While this Parikrama can be undertaken on any day, it is commonly observed by devoted individuals on the day of Holika Dahan.

Unfortunately, I was unable to visit the Gangasagar Public library and Handicrafts museum due to a lack of time.

If you are planning to visit Janakpur Dham, keep in mind that the closest airport and train station is located in Darbhanga, which is approximately a 2-hour drive away. However, if you are coming from Nepal, there is an airport in Janakpur that provides connections to Kathmandu.

The time it takes to cross the border varies from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic. To reach Janakpur, you have the option to use your

The Indian currency is accepted in Janakpur.

There are not many food choices available, but there is a good variety of desserts and fruits. Additionally, the temple organizes a communal meal, known as a bhandara, every day during lunchtime, and visitors are invited to join and

It is recommended to allocate approximately 2-3 hours to fully enjoy and explore the mentioned attractions.

I came across an article about Janakpur Dham and the Janaki Temple in Nepal, and I was fascinated by it. The article provided detailed and informative descriptions of the temple and its importance, which allowed me to imagine it vividly. Thank you for sharing this remarkable cultural treasure!

What an amazing blog! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the tale of Ramayana. Thanks to your blog, I was able to comprehend the story of Ram and Sita effortlessly.

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