Continents such as Asia and Europe, as well as the rest of the world, offer various destinations for holistic living. One such destination is Swaswara, located on Om Beach in Gokarna. If you are looking for accommodation in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a great option to consider. For a luxurious travel experience in the pilgrimage city of Pushkar, you can choose to stay at the Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa. Clarks Awadh offers a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant lifestyle of Lucknow. Another notable location is Janakpur Dham, which served as the ancient capital of Mithila. While it is now part of Nepal politically, its cultural significance remains tied to Mithilanchal. This district, known as Dhanush, derived its name from the broken bow of the Ramayana era that was located here.
The story of Ramayana consists of two significant journeys, known as Yatras. The latter journey, in which Sri Ram travels towards the south and engages in a battle with Ravana of Lanka, is more well-known and remembered by the general public.
The protagonist embarks on his initial journey to Janakpur alongside his mentor Vishwamitra. It is in a garden there that he has his first encounter with Sita Ji. Subsequently, he proceeds to successfully break Shiva's Dhanush in order to earn Sita's hand in marriage. Eventually, he and his three siblings all marry 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. He found her after performing a worship ceremony for Haleshwar Mahadev. The location where this happened is now known as Sitamarhi. Sita was then brought up in the palace of Raja Janak in Janakpur.
During the preparations for her wedding, Raja Janak made a proclamation that the person who could successfully break Shiva's bow, known as Dhanush, would earn the opportunity to marry Sita. Just before the Swayamvara, which was the ceremony where the groom would be chosen, Sita and Sri Ram coincidentally encountered each other in a garden. Although they didn't exchange any words, they both intuitively felt a deep connection and understood that they were destined to be with each other.
Sita offers a prayer 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. Additionally, Sri Ram's brothers Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan also marry Sita's sisters Mandovi, Urmila, and Shrutikirti respectively.
The intricate customs and traditions followed during a Maithili wedding have their roots in the Ramayana tale, just like the warm hospitality shown by Janak. The women of Mithila feel a sense of pride as Sri Ram is their son-in-law, giving them the freedom to playfully tease him. The folk songs of Mithila joyfully commemorate this special bond.
I had always wanted to visit Janakpur Dham after my previous exploration of Ayodhya and translation of the Ayodhya Mahatmya. I have already visited many places related to the Ramayana, including various sites in Sri Lanka, but I had yet to visit Mithila for a long time.
Before, I had seen images of a massive temple dedicated to Janaki in Janakpur. However, now there is an equally magnificent temple 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 massive and instantly brought to mind the Haveli of Srinathiji in Nathdwara. The architectural style of Rajasthan is clearly visible from the very first glance. I attempted to find a connection between the two, but it was during a conversation with the priest at the temple that I discovered it was actually built by the saints of Galata Ji temple in Jaipur.
The temple is commonly known as Naulakha Mandir because it was constructed by Rani Vrish Bhanu of Tikamgarh using approximately nine lakh gold coins in the year 1910 CE. The temple was built at a location 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 paved with white marble. As you approach the door, you respectfully remove your shoes. The surroundings are bustling with worshippers, among whom are numerous newly married couples adorned in their elegant wedding attire.
Upon entering Janakpur Dham, one is greeted by a stunning temple situated within a spacious courtyard. The temple is encircled by a continuous corridor resembling the design of a Shekhawati Haveli.
The white temple is adorned with vivid and lively colors. I ascended the temple steps and was met with the magnificent sight of the Ram Darbar. The four brothers and their four wives from Mithila were all present. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar enhanced the temple's radiant atmosphere.
The first floor of the temple corridor is home to a cultural museum that showcases the story of Sita. The museum uses dioramas to portray the different parts of her story. One of the highlights is the Badhai Geet, which is played when visitors reach the scene depicting Sita's birth. However, the most famous and celebrated scene in the museum is the breaking of Dhanush by Sri Ram.
Various dresses and pieces of jewelry belonging to Sita Ma are currently being showcased.
The walls in the surrounding area are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings, which commonly portray the wedding ceremonies of Ram and Janaki. However, there is also a fascinating painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which showcases the path of parikrama that encircles Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings that depict the everyday lives of various individuals, such as an ironsmith.
After visiting the museum, you step out onto the temple's rooftop. From this vantage point, you are able to enjoy a complete and expansive view of the temple situated in the center. This location is particularly popular among visitors for capturing memorable 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 to create the Sri Ram Murti in the new temple in Ayodhya was also sent from Janakpur. Visitors to the temple complex can observe a large Shila, similar to the one used for the Sri Ram Murti.
Inside the temple, there is a special room that is solely dedicated to housing millions of Saligramas. These sacred stones are stored in a container with multiple tiers, and they can only be observed through a mesh barrier. Despite the darkness of the room, one can still marvel at the diverse assortment of Saligrama stones, which come in various shapes and sizes.
Every day, people show their devotion to them by offering fresh flowers. Some of these individuals are even embellished with jewelry and clothing.
Similar to the temples in Ayodhya, the Ram Dhun is being sung without interruption at an outdoor venue located near the Saligrama room.
One can participate in singing the Ram Naam, which is considered the easiest form of worship, particularly during the Kaliyuga era.
Located within the temple complex, but separate from the main temple, is the Vivah Mandap. This building has a sloping roof in the Nepalese style and is essentially an open pavilion. Inside, you can witness a depiction of a royal wedding.
There are four small temples located on the four corners of the platform. These temples are dedicated to the four royal couples who were married here. Without the names inscribed on them, it would be difficult to identify which temple belongs to which couple.
Take a leisurely stroll around the Janaki Mandap and the surrounding garden of the temple. While exploring, make sure to make a stop at the Gau Shala, where you have the opportunity to feed
On one of the platforms, there are visible footprints. These footprints signify the location where the Utsav Murtis are placed when they go out for parikrama.
In this location, there exists a compact temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Inside the temple, there is a unique arrangement of eleven lingas, which are sacred symbols representing Shiva, combined together within a
The most significant festival held at Janaki Mandir in Janakpur is Vivah Panchami, which takes place on the fifth day of the waxing phase of the month of Margsheesh. This festival holds great importance in Janakpur as it commemorates the wedding that occurred in this very location.
The festival of Ram Navami, which commemorates the birth of Sri Ram and takes place on the ninth day of the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra, is enthusiastically celebrated. I recently went to the temple a few days before Ram Navami and noticed that preparations were underway to celebrate the festival.
The festival of Dashain or Dussehra holds great significance in Nepal. If you want to learn more about this festival, you can find detailed information in our book titled "Navaratri – When Devi Comes Home."
Janakpur, similar to Ayodhya, is abundant with temples and ponds. The area boasts approximately 70 ponds and numerous temples for visitors to explore.
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 exquisite Nepali architecture. The temple features intricately carved wooden panels that are truly captivating.
There are several Shivalingas situated around the Ram Mandir. Additionally, the presence of Devi can be found in the form of a Pindi.
During my visit, I encountered a gathering of women who were engaged in singing Bhajans.
The Raj Debi Temple is situated beside the Ram Mandir and is specifically devoted to the Kuldevi of Janaka, known as Raj Debi. It can be found in a corner of the spacious courtyard, which features a triangular Yagna kunda. The walkway leading to the temple is protected by lion statues, symbolizing her connection to Durga.
There is a temple located between Janaki Mandir and Ram Mandir, positioned directly in the center of the road. This temple is painted in a vibrant orange color and is dedicated to the king of Janakpur, known as Raja Janak. He is also referred to as Rajrishi or the Saint King.
The Lakshman Mandir is situated at the very beginning of the Janaki Mandir.
Janakpur is home to several other temples, such as the Sankat Mochan Temple, which is devoted to Hanuman ji, the Kapileshwar Temple, and the Bhootnath Mandir.
Janakpur is home to several ponds, one of which is Gangasagar. This pond is situated near Vivah Mandap, just across the road. According to local beliefs, the water in this pond was brought all the way from the holy Ganges River.
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Dhanush Sagar is situated in proximity to the Ram Mandir.
The name "Ratna
Dashrath Kund is a
Kamal Kund is a
Sita, the Mother Goddess, is being praised.
The Jaleshwar Mahadev Temple is a significant temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. It can be found approximately 16 kilometers away from Janakpur, while on the route to Sitamarhi.
Dhanush Dham is a place dedicated to the broken bow of Shiva, which was shattered by Sri Ram. It is located approximately 24 km northeast of Janakpur. To visit Dhanush Dham, one must stay in Janakpur.
Parikrama is a religious practice in which people go around the Janakpur Dham in a Panch Kosi route. While this Parikrama can be done on any day, devoted individuals usually choose to do it on the day of Holika Dahan.
Due to a lack of time, I unfortunately had to miss out on visiting the Gangasagar Public library and Handicrafts museum.
If you are planning a trip to Janakpur Dham, it is important to know that the closest airport and train station is located in Darbhanga, which is approximately a 2-hour drive away. However, there is also an airport in Janakpur that connects to Kathmandu on the Nepal side.
The duration of crossing the border varies between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the amount of traffic. You have the option to use your own vehicles or hire taxis to travel to
The currency used in Janakpur is the Indian currency.
There are not many choices for food, but there is a good selection of desserts and fruits. The temple organizes a communal meal called bhandara every day during lunchtime, and visitors are invited to join and have their meals there.
It is recommended to allocate a span of approximately 2 to 3 hours in order to fully and leisurely
I came across an interesting article about Janakpur Dham and the Janaki Temple in Nepal that caught my attention. The author's brief yet informative explanations of the temple and its importance created a clear and vivid image in my imagination. I appreciate you for sharing this remarkable cultural treasure!
This blog is absolutely fantastic. 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.
Please refrain from leaving a comment. I would like to save my name, email, and website for future reference when I make a comment.
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