Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila in Nepal

Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila in Nepal

Exploring Janakpur Dham: The Ancient Capital of Mithila in Nepal

Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world offer various destinations for holistic living and luxury travel experiences. One such destination is Swaswara, located at Om Beach in Gokarna, which provides a holistic living experience. For those seeking accommodation in Shekhawati, Piramal Haveli is a recommended option. The Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa in the pilgrim's city of Pushkar offers luxurious travel experiences. Clarks Awadh provides a chance to experience the vibrant life of Lucknow. Janakpur Dham, the venue of Ram Janaki's wedding, holds historical significance as the ancient capital of Mithila. Although it is now part of Nepal politically, it remains culturally connected to Mithilanchal. This region, known as Dhanush, gets its name from the broken bow of the Ramayana era.

The story of Ramayana revolves around two significant journeys, known as Yatras. The second Yatra, in which Sri Ram heads south and engages in a battle with Ravana of Lanka, is the more well-known and widely remembered by the public.

He embarks on his initial journey to Janakpur accompanied by his mentor Vishwamitra. It is in a garden there that he encounters Sita Ji for the first time. Subsequently, he successfully breaks the Dhanush of Shiva in order to earn the privilege of marrying Sita. Alongside his three brothers, he ties the knot with Sita and her three sisters in the city of Janakpur.

Goswami Tulsidas provides a detailed account of the wedding between Sri Ram and Janaki in his work, Ramcharitmanas. The festival known as Vivah Panchami, which marks the date of their wedding, continues to be celebrated in Janakpur and Ayodhya.

The tale of Ma Sita begins when Raja Janak of Mithila discovered her in a field after performing prayers to Haleshwar Mahadev. The present-day location of this incident is known as Sitamarhi. Sita was then brought up in the palace of Raja Janak at Janakpur.

During the preparations for her wedding, Raja Janak made a proclamation stating that the person who could successfully break Shiva's bow, known as Dhanush, would be granted the opportunity to marry Sita. The day before the Swayamvara, which was the ceremony where the groom would be chosen, Sita ji and Sri Ram unexpectedly encountered each other in a garden. Although they did not exchange words, they both felt a strong connection and knew deep down that they were destined to be together.

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

The intricate ceremonies observed during a Maithili wedding are linked to the Ramayana tale, just like Janak's warm and welcoming nature. Women from Mithila feel proud that Sri Ram is their son-in-law, giving them the freedom to playfully tease him. The folk songs of Mithila also commemorate this special bond.

I had always wanted to visit Janakpur Dham ever since I visited Ayodhya and translated the Ayodhya Mahatmya. I have traveled to many places that are connected to the Ramayana, including various sites in Sri Lanka, but I had yet to visit Mithila for a long time.

I had previously come across images of a magnificent Janaki temple in Janakpur. With the construction of an equally impressive temple for Janaki in Ayodhya, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to visit her temple in her ancestral home.

The temple is incredibly large and it immediately brought to mind the Haveli of Srinathiji in Nathdwara. The architectural style of Rajasthan is clearly visible upon first glance. I attempted to establish 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 as Naulakha Mandir because Rani Vrish Bhanu of Tikamgarh invested a significant amount of money, around nine lakh gold coins, to construct this temple in 1910 CE. It was erected on the site where a golden statue of Ma Sita was found in the 17th CE. According to the 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 in white marble. Upon arriving, you remove your shoes before proceeding towards the door. The surroundings are bustling with devotees, among them are numerous newly married couples dressed in their elegant wedding attire.

Upon entering Janakpur Dham, you will be greeted by a stunning temple situated in the center of a courtyard. The temple is encompassed by a corridor that encircles it on all sides, reminiscent of the architectural style found in a Shekhawati Haveli.

The white temple is adorned with vivid and lively colors. As I ascended the temple steps, I was greeted by the magnificent sight of the Ram Darbar. Standing before me were all four brothers with their respective wives from Mithila. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar enhanced the temple's atmosphere with its radiant glow.

The first floor of the temple corridor is home to a cultural museum that showcases the story of Sita. The museum utilizes dioramas to illustrate the narrative. One particular highlight is the Badhai Geet that plays when visitors reach the scene depicting Sita's birth. However, the most renowned and celebrated scene in the museum is the breaking of the Dhanush by Sri Ram.

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

The walls that enclose the area are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings. These paintings usually portray the wedding ceremonies of Ram and Janaki. However, there is also a fascinating painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which illustrates the path of the parikrama that surrounds Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings that depict the everyday lives of people, such as an ironsmith.

Upon exiting the museum, you find yourself on the temple's rooftop. Here, you are treated to a breathtaking, 360-degree view of the temple situated in the center. This spot is renowned as a beloved location for capturing picturesque 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. Visitors to the temple complex can observe a large Shila, similar to the one used in the temple's construction.

Inside the temple, there is a specific room solely devoted to housing millions of Saligramas. These sacred stones are stored in a container with multiple layers, and can only be observed through a mesh. Despite the darkness, you can still perceive the various shapes and sizes of the Saligrama stones.

Every day, these beings receive worship and reverence, as shown by the presence of newly picked flowers that are offered to them. Additionally, it is not uncommon for some of them to be embellished

In a similar manner to the temples in Ayodhya, the Ram Dhun is being sung nonstop at an outdoor location adjacent to the Saligrama chamber.

Participating in singing the Ram Naam is a straightforward method of worship, particularly suitable for the current era known as Kaliyuga.

The Ram Janaki Vivah Mandap is located within the temple complex, but it is situated outside the main temple boundaries. It is a pavilion-like structure with a sloping roof in the Nepalese style. The Vivah Mandap is mostly open, allowing for a view of the royal wedding scene that is depicted inside.

There are four small temples located at each corner of the platform. These temples are dedicated to the four royal couples who were married here. Without the names mentioned on them, it would be difficult to determine which temple belongs to each 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 option to feed the cows if you desire.

On one of the platforms, there are visible footprints. This is the designated spot where the Utsav Murtis are placed when they are taken out for parikrama.

In one Shivalinga, there is a small temple dedicated to Shiva, which contains a collection of eleven lingas.

The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur hosts various festivals, with the most significant one being Vivah Panchami. This festival takes place on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Margsheesh and commemorates the wedding that occurred in Janakpur.

The celebration of Ram Navami, which commemorates the birth of Sri Ram and takes place on Chaitra Shukla Navami, is observed with immense enthusiasm. I had the opportunity to visit the temple a few days prior to Ram Navami, and it was evident that preparations were underway for the joyous occasion.

Dashain is a significant celebration in Nepal that is widely known as Dussehra. To learn more about this festival, you can refer to our book titled "Navaratri – When Devi Comes Home."

Janakpur, similar to Ayodhya, is a city abundant with temples and ponds. In fact, there are approximately 70 ponds in the area. Additionally, there are numerous temples that visitors can explore and admire.

The Ram Mandir is a small temple situated near the Janaki temple and across from the Dhanush Sagar pond. Constructed by Amar Singh Thapa, this stunning temple showcases traditional Nepali architecture and features intricately carved wooden panels that are truly captivating.

There are numerous Shivalingas located around the Ram Mandir. Additionally, there is a Devi deity in the form of a Pindi present in the vicinity.

During my visit, I encountered a gathering of females engaged in singing Bhajans.

The Raj Debi Temple is situated next to the Ram Mandir and is specifically devoted to the Kuldevi of Janaka, known as Raj Debi. It is positioned in a corner of the spacious courtyard, which features a triangular Yagna kunda. The presence of lions along the pathway signifies 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 Raja Janak, the king of Janakpur. Raja Janak is often referred to as Rajrishi or the Saint King.

The Lakshman Mandir is situated at the very beginning of the Janaki Mandir.

Janakpur also hosts several other temples such as the Sankat Mochan Temple, which is devoted to Hanuman ji, the Kapileshwar Temple, and the Bhootnath Mandir.

Janakpur's Ponds

Gangasagar, situated near the Vivah Mandap on the opposite side of the road, is said to have water sourced from the Ganga river.

The name Ram S

Dhanush Sagar is situated in close proximity to the Ram Mandir.

Ratna Sagar is

Dashrath Kund is a

Kamal Kund is a

Sita Maiyya, the name that is being called out

The Jaleshwar Mahadev Temple is a significant temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated approximately 16 km away from Janakpur and can be reached while traveling towards Sitamarhi.

Dhanush Dham is a place located approximately 24 km North East of Janakpur and is dedicated to the broken bow of Lord Shiva, which was broken by Sri Ram. To visit Dhanush Dham, it is necessary to stay in Janakpur.

Parikrama refers to a religious ritual known as Panch Kosi Parikrama which involves circumambulating the Janakpur Dham. While this Parikrama can be performed on any day, devout followers usually choose to do it specifically on the day of Holika Dahan.

Due to a lack of time, I wasn't able to visit the Gangasagar Public library and Handicrafts museum, but they are also worth checking out.

If you are planning to visit Janakpur Dham, it is important to note that the nearest airport and train station is located in Darbhanga, which is approximately a 2-hour drive away. However, there is also an airport in Janakpur itself, connecting to Kathmandu on the Nepal side.

The duration of crossing the border depends on the traffic and usually takes between 20 to 40 minutes. To reach Janakpur, you have the option of using your own vehicle or

The currency used in Janakpur is the Indian currency.

There are not many choices when it comes to food, but there are plenty of desserts and fruits to choose from. The temple organizes a bhandara every day during lunchtime, where you are invited to have a meal.

It would be ideal to allocate approximately 2-3 hours in order to thoroughly explore and observe the mentioned attractions

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 image in my head. I appreciate you sharing this fascinating cultural treasure!

This blog is absolutely fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the tale of Ramayana. Thanks to your blog, I had a clear understanding of the story of Ram and Sita.

Please provide a response. You can cancel your response at any time. I would like to store my name, email, and website information in this browser for future comments.

In this code snippet, the value of the HTML element with the ID "ak_js_1" is being set to the current timestamp using JavaScript.

Sign up

Most Read Articles

Understanding the Economic Importance of Mahua Flower in Chhattisgarh

A Guide to Hong Kong Festivals – Cultural Traditions for Every Month

George Calombaris from MasterChef Australia Visits Colombo

Hua Hin – A Luxurious Beach Destination in Thailand

Exploring the Tourist Attractions of Pelling in West Sikkim


Related Blogs

Leave a Reply