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 and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various destinations for holistic living. One such place is Swaswara, located at Om Beach in Gokarna. For a stay in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended option. If you're looking for luxury travel in the pilgrim's city, Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is a great choice. Experience the Lucknow life with Clarks Awadh. Janakpur Dham serves as the venue for the wedding of Ram and Janaki. It was once the capital of Mithila and although it is now part of Nepal politically, it still remains culturally significant as part of Mithilanchal. The district in Nepal that includes Janakpur is called Dhanush, named after the bow that was broken here during the Ramayana era.

The story of Ramayana revolves around two significant journeys or Yatras. The latter one, in which Sri Ram travels towards the south and engages in a battle with Ravana of Lanka, is the more renowned and well-known among the general public.

His journey begins with his mentor Vishwamitra as they travel to Janakpur. It is in a beautiful garden there that he has his first encounter with Sita Ji. Later, he successfully breaks the Dhanush of Shiva in order to win Sita's hand in marriage. Additionally, his three brothers also marry Sita's three sisters in Janakpur.

In the Ramcharitmanas, Goswami Tulsidas provides a detailed description of the wedding between Sri Ram and Janaki. 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 Raja Janak of Mithila discovered her in a field after performing a worship to Haleshwar Mahadev. The present-day location of this event is known as Sitamarhi. Sita was then brought up in the palace of Raja Janak, located in Janakpur.

On the day of her wedding, Raja Janak made a proclamation that the person who can successfully break Shiva's bow, known as the Dhanush, will be granted the opportunity to marry Sita. A day before the ceremony where Sita will choose her groom, she and Sri Ram coincidentally meet in a garden. Although they do not exchange words, they both have an undeniable feeling that they are destined to be together.

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

The Maithili wedding ceremonies are intricately connected to the Ramayana tale, just like the generous hospitality of Janak. The women of Mithila feel proud that Sri Ram is their son-in-law and enjoy playfully teasing him. The folk songs of Mithila also commemorate this special relationship.

I had always wanted to visit Janakpur Dham after my exploration of Ayodhya and translation of Ayodhya Mahatmya. Despite having visited many places related to the Ramayana, including various sites in Sri Lanka, I had not yet been able to visit Mithila for a long time.

I had previously seen pictures or videos of a massive temple dedicated to Janaki in Janakpur. However, now there is another magnificent temple being constructed for Janaki in Ayodhya. I believe it is a suitable time to visit her temple in her original hometown.

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 it. I attempted to find a connection between the two, but it was during a conversation with the priest at this temple that I discovered it was actually built by the saints of Galata Ji temple in Jaipur.

The temple is known by the name Naulakha Mandir because it was constructed by Rani Vrish Bhanu of Tikamgarh at a cost of nearly nine lakh gold coins in 1910 CE. The temple was built on the site where a golden statue of Ma Sita was found in the 17th CE. According to information provided on 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 with white marble flooring. As you approach the door, you politely remove your shoes. The surroundings are bustling with devotees, among them numerous recently married couples dressed in their exquisite wedding attire.

Upon entering Janakpur Dham, one is greeted by a captivating temple situated within a courtyard. This temple is encompassed by a continuous corridor, similar to the design of a Shekhawati Haveli.

The temple, which is predominantly white, is adorned with vivid and lively hues. As I ascended the temple steps, I was greeted with the magnificent sight of the Ram Darbar. The depiction showcased all four brothers from Mithila along with their respective wives. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar enhanced the temple's atmosphere, creating a radiant ambiance.

The first floor of the temple corridor is home to a cultural museum that showcases the story of Sita. The museum features dioramas that depict various parts of her story. One of my favorite parts was the scene of Sita's birth, where they play beautiful songs called Badhai Geet. However, the most famous and celebrated scene at the museum is the breaking of the Dhanush by Sri Ram.

The exhibition showcases various dresses and jewelry that belong to Sita Ma.

The walls that enclose the area are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings. These paintings usually illustrate the wedding rituals of Ram Janaki. However, there is also a fascinating painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which showcases the path that encircles Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings that depict the everyday life of individuals, such as an ironsmith.

After visiting the museum, you emerge onto the temple's rooftop. From this vantage point, you are able to take in a complete and expansive view of the temple 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 found in the Gandaki river in Nepal. Interestingly, the stone used to create the Sri Ram Murti at the new temple in Ayodhya was also sourced from Janakpur. If you visit the temple complex, you will be able to see a large Shila that is similar to the one used for the Sri Ram Murti.

Inside the temple, there is a specific room that is solely devoted to housing countless Saligramas. These sacred stones are stored in a container with multiple levels, and they can only be observed through a mesh. Despite the darkness of the room, one can still witness the diverse assortment of Saligrama stones, each varying in shape and size.

Every day, people worship them and it is clear from the presence of fresh flowers that are offered to them. Some of these entities are decorated with jewelry and clothing.

The continuous singing of Ram Dhun is taking place at an open platform near the Saligrama room, similar to the temples in Ayodhya.

Participating in singing the Ram Naam is a straightforward and effective method of worship, especially during the Kaliyuga era.

Located within the temple complex, but not inside the main temple, is the Ram Janaki Vivah Mandap. This structure, featuring a slanted Nepalese roof, serves as an open pavilion. Upon entering, one can witness a depiction of a royal wedding scene.

At each of the platform's four corners, there are four small temples honoring the four royal couples who were married here. Without the names inscribed on them, 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. Make a pause at the Gau Shala, where you have the opportunity to feed the cows if you are interested.

One of the platforms displays visible footprints, which serve as a resting place for the Utsav Murtis during their parikrama.

In this location, there is a compact Shiva temple that contains eleven lingas grouped together within one Shivalinga.

Janaki Mandir in Janakpur hosts various festivals, with the most significant one being Vivah Panchami. This festival holds great importance as it commemorates the wedding that took place in Janakpur.

The occasion of Ram Navami, which commemorates the birth of Sri Ram and takes place on the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Chaitra, is observed with immense enthusiasm. I had the opportunity to visit the temple a few days prior to Ram Navami, and preparations were in full swing to mark this festive occasion.

Dashain, also known as Dussehra, is a significant celebration observed in Nepal. For further information on this festive occasion, we recommend referring to our book titled "Navaratri – When Devi Comes Home."

Janakpur, similar to Ayodhya, has numerous temples and ponds scattered throughout the region. In fact, there are approximately 70 ponds in Janakpur. If you visit, you will have the opportunity to witness several temples.

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 stunning Nepali architecture. The temple features intricately carved wooden panels that are captivating to behold.

There are numerous Shivalingas in the vicinity of the Ram Mandir. Additionally, there is a manifestation of the Devi in the shape of a Pindi.

During my visit, I encountered a gathering of women who were engaged in 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. The temple is positioned in a corner of the spacious courtyard, which features a triangular Yagna kunda. The presence of lions along the pathway symbolizes that Raj Debi is considered a manifestation of Durga.

Located between Janaki Mandir and Ram Mandir, there is a vibrant orange temple situated in the middle of the road. This temple is specifically devoted to the ruler of Janakpur, known as Raja Janak, who is revered 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 temples, such as the Sankat Mochan Temple which is devoted to Hanuman ji, the Kapileshwar Temple, and the Bhootnath Mandir.

Janakpur's Ponds

Gangasagar, which is situated near Vivah Mandap and can be reached by crossing the road, is known for its connection to the Ganga river. It is believed that the water in this pond was actually brought from the Ganga.

This is a name

Dhanush Sagar is situated in the vicinity of 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 place of worship dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. It is situated approximately 16 kilometers away from Janakpur, along the route to Sitamarhi.

Dhanush Dham is a sacred site located approximately 24 kilometers northeast of Janakpur. It is devoted to the Shiva's Dhanush, or Bow, which was shattered by Sri Ram. To visit Dhanush Dham, it is necessary to stay in Janakpur.

Parikrama, known as Panch Kosi Parikrama, is a religious practice that involves circumambulating the Janakpur Dham. While it can be performed on any day, dedicated followers typically choose to do it specifically on the day of Holika Dahan.

Due to lack of time, I was unable to visit the Gangasagar Public library and Handicrafts museum, but they are both worth seeing.

If you are planning to travel to Janakpur Dham, keep in mind that the closest airport and train station is located in Darbhanga, which is approximately a 2-hour drive away. Additionally, on the Nepal side, there is an airport in Janakpur that offers connections to Kathmandu.

The time it takes to cross the border varies between 20 and 40 minutes, mainly depending on the traffic conditions. You have the option to use your own personal vehicle or take a

The currency used in Janakpur is the Indian currency.

There are not many choices for food, but you can find plenty of desserts and fruits. Every day during lunchtime, the temple organizes a bhandara where you are invited to have a meal.

It would be ideal to allocate approximately 2 to 3 hours in order to fully enjoy and explore the mentioned

I came across an article about Janakpur Dham and the Janaki Temple in Nepal, and I found it very interesting. The article provided a brief yet informative description of the temple and its importance, which helped me visualize it better. I appreciate you sharing this exceptional cultural treasure.

This blog is truly excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the story of Ramayana, and thanks to your blog, I was able to easily comprehend the tale of Ram and Sita.

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