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

Continents mentioned in the text are Asia, Europe, and the Rest of the World. Swaswara, located on Om Beach in Gokarna, offers a holistic living experience. Piramal Haveli is a recommended accommodation option for those visiting Shekhawati. Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa provides luxury travel options for pilgrims visiting Pushkar. Clarks Awadh offers a chance to experience the vibrant lifestyle of Lucknow. Janakpur Dham, the venue of Ram Janaki's wedding, was once the ancient capital of Mithila and is now located within the political boundaries of Nepal.

The story of Ramayana revolves around two significant journeys or yatras. The second journey, in which Sri Ram travels towards the south and engages in a battle with Ravana of Lanka, is more well-known and widely remembered by the public.

The initial journey he embarks on is to Janakpur alongside his mentor Vishwamitra. It is in a garden in Janakpur where he has his first encounter with Sita Ji. He then proceeds to successfully break Shiva's Dhanush in order to win Sita's hand. As a result, he and his three brothers marry Sita and her three sisters in Janakpur.

In the epic poem Ramcharitmanas, written by Goswami Tulsidas, the wedding of Sri Ram and Janaki is described with intricate and elaborate explanations. 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 he had offered prayers to Haleshwar Mahadev. The specific location, which is now known as Sitamarhi, is where she was found. Sita was then brought up in the palace of Raja Janak at Janakpur.

During the preparations for her wedding, Raja Janak made a proclamation that the person who can successfully break Shiva's bow, known as Dhanush, will be able to marry Sita. The day before the Swayamvara, which is the ceremony where the groom is chosen, Sita and Sri Ram coincidentally encountered each other in a garden. Although they did not exchange words, they both felt a deep connection and understood that they were destined to be together.

Sita offers her prayers to 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 get married. Additionally, Sri Ram's brothers Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan get married to Sita's sisters Mandovi, Urmila, and Shrutikirti, respectively.

The intricate customs performed during a traditional Maithili wedding are connected to the Ramayana tale, just like the warm hospitality shown by Janak. The women of Mithila are proud to have Sri Ram as 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 visit to Ayodhya and my translation of Ayodhya Mahatmya. Despite having been to many places connected to the Ramayana, including various sites in Sri Lanka, I had never had the opportunity to visit Mithila for a long time.

I had previously seen images of a large temple dedicated to Janaki in Janakpur. However, now there is a similarly impressive temple being constructed for Janaki in Ayodhya. This made me realize that it was the perfect opportunity 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 seen from the very beginning. 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 from Galata Ji temple in Jaipur.

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

Upon entering Janakpur Dham, the first thing you notice is a stunning temple situated in the center of a spacious courtyard. The temple is encircled by a continuous corridor, reminiscent of the design commonly found in Shekhawati Havelis.

The white temple is adorned with lively and vivid colors. As I ascended the temple steps, I was greeted by the magnificent sight of Ram Darbar. The scene depicted all four brothers from Mithila, along with their respective wives. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar further enhanced the temple's enchanting ambiance.

The temple corridor's first floor features a Cultural Museum that showcases the story of Sita. The museum utilizes dioramas to vividly portray the events of her life. Personally, I found the Badhai Geet, traditional songs that are played when visitors reach the scene depicting Sita's birth, particularly captivating. However, the most renowned and celebrated scene in the museum is the breaking of the Dhanush (bow) by Sri Ram.

On exhibition, there are various dresses and pieces of jewelry that belonged to Sita Ma.

The walls around are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings, which usually portray the wedding ceremonies of Ram Janaki. However, there is also a fascinating painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which illustrates the path of the parikrama that encircles Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings showcasing the everyday lives of individuals, such as an ironsmith.

After visiting the museum, you ascend to the rooftop of the temple. From this vantage point, you are treated to a complete and breathtaking view of the temple's central area. This particular spot is highly favored by visitors for capturing stunning 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 at the new temple in Ayodhya was also sent from Janakpur. If you visit the temple complex, you will be able to see a large Shila, similar to the one used in the construction of the temple.

Within 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 screen. Despite the absence of light, one can still perceive the various shapes and sizes of the Saligrama stones.

Every day, people show their devotion to these beings by presenting them with fresh flowers. Certain individuals even embellish them with accessories and garments.

The Ram Dhun is being sung on a regular basis at an open platform near the Saligrama room, similar to how it is done at the temples in Ayodhya.

Participating in singing the Ram Naam is the easiest and most straightforward way to engage in worship, particularly during the Kaliyuga era.

The Ram Janaki Vivah Mandap is located within the temple complex, but not within the main temple's boundaries. It is situated on one side and features a Nepalese-style roof that slopes downwards. The Vivah Mandap is essentially an open pavilion where you can observe a depiction of a royal wedding.

Located at the four corners of the platform are four small temples that were built in honor of the four royal couples who were married at this site. Without the names inscribed on the temples, it would be difficult to determine which temple is dedicated to each couple.

Take a stroll around the Janaki Mandap and the garden surrounding the temple. Make a pit stop at the Gau Shala where you have the option to feed the cows if you are interested.

On one of the platforms, there are footprints that indicate the location where the Utsav Murtis are placed when they go out for parikrama.

In the vicinity, there is a compact temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, containing a unique arrangement of eleven lingas merged into a single Shivalinga.

The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur hosts various festivals throughout the year. One of the most significant celebrations is the Vivah Panchami, which takes place on the fifth day of the month of Margsheesh in the Hindu calendar. This festival holds great importance as it commemorates the wedding that occurred in Janakpur.

The festival of Ram Navami, which commemorates the birth of Sri Ram and occurs on the ninth day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Chaitra, is observed with immense enthusiasm. I recently went to the temple a few days prior to Ram Navami and witnessed the preparations being made to mark this auspicious occasion.

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

In addition to Ayodhya, Janakpur is also home to a variety of temples and ponds. There are an impressive 70 ponds scattered throughout the region. Visitors have the opportunity to explore numerous temples during their visit to Janakpur.

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 temple is a stunning example of traditional Nepali architecture. The intricate wood carved panels within the temple are truly captivating.

There are numerous Shivalingas that encircle the Ram Mandir. Additionally, there is a representation of the Devi in the form of a Pindi.

During my visit, I encountered a gathering of women who were joyfully 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 one section of the spacious courtyard, which features a triangular Yagna kunda. The walkway leading to the temple is guarded by lions, symbolizing Raj Debi as 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, also known as Raja Janak. He is referred to as Rajrishi, meaning the Saint King.

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

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

The Ponds of Janakpur include Gangasagar, which is situated near Vivah Mandap on the opposite side of the road. It is believed that the water in this pond was brought 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, please clap your hands.

The Jaleshwar Mahadev Temple is a significant temple 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 place located about 24 km North East of Janakpur, dedicated to the broken bow of Shiva caused by Sri Ram. To visit this site, one would need to stay in Janakpur.

Parikrama is a religious practice where devotees undertake a circumambulation around Janakpur Dham. The Panch Kosi Parikrama specifically covers a distance of five kos (a unit of measurement) around the sacred site. While this Parikrama can be performed on any day, it is customary for regular devotees to undertake it on the day

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

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, there is also an airport in Janakpur itself that provides connections to Kathmandu on the Nepal side.

The duration of the border crossing can vary between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the volume of traffic. You have the option to use your own personal vehicles or take taxis to

The currency used in Janakpur is the Indian currency.

There are not many choices of food available, but there is a wide selection of desserts and fruits. The temple organizes a communal meal every day during lunchtime, and you are invited to have your meal there.

It is recommended to allocate approximately 2 to 3 hours in order to thoroughly explore and enjoy the mentioned attractions

I came across an article about Janakpur Dham and the Janaki Temple in Nepal, and I found it very interesting. The article provided concise and insightful descriptions of the temple and its importance, which helped me visualize it better. I appreciate you sharing this fascinating cultural treasure.

This blog is truly amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the story of Ramayana. Thanks to your blog, I was able to comprehend the tale of Ram and Sita with ease.

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