Exploring the Cultural Significance of Janakpur Dham: A Journey through Ramayana and Nepal

Exploring the Cultural Significance of Janakpur Dham: A Journey through Ramayana and Nepal

Exploring the Cultural Significance of Janakpur Dham: A Journey through Ramayana and Nepal

Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world are all popular travel destinations. If you're looking for a holistic living experience, Swaswara at Om Beach in Gokarna is a great choice. For accommodation in Shekhawati, consider staying at Piramal Haveli. If you're seeking luxury travel in a pilgrim's city, the Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa is the place to go. Experience the Lucknow life at Clarks Awadh. Janakpur Dham, the venue of Ram Janaki Wedding, is an ancient capital located in Mithila. Although it is now within the political boundaries of Nepal, it remains culturally connected to Mithilanchal. This district, which includes Janakpur, is known as Dhanush due to the bow that was broken here during the Ramayana era.

The Ramayana story consists of two important journeys called Yatras. The second journey, in which Sri Ram travels southwards and battles Ravana of Lanka, is more well-known in the public's recollection.

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 win Sita's hand in marriage. Furthermore, he and his three brothers also marry Sita's three sisters in Janakpur.

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

The tale of Ma Sita begins when Raja Janak of Mithila discovered her in a field after offering his prayers to Haleshwar Mahadev. This particular location is now known as Sitamarhi. Sita was then brought up in the grand palace of 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 be granted the opportunity to marry Sita. Just one day before the Swayamvara, a ceremony where Sita would choose her groom, Sita and Sri Ram coincidentally encountered each other in a garden. Although they didn't exchange words, they both had a deep understanding that they were destined to be together.

Sita offers her prayers to Gauri or Parvati and privately expresses her desire to marry Sri Ram. By fate, Sri Ram successfully breaks the bow and ends up marrying Sita. Additionally, his brothers Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan are married to Sita's sisters Mandovi, Urmila, and Shrutikirti, respectively.

The intricate customs and traditions of a wedding in the Maithili culture are connected to the story of the Ramayana, including the warm hospitality displayed by Janak. The women of Mithila are 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 visit to Ayodhya and my translation of the Ayodhya Mahatmya. Despite having been to many places related to the Ramayana, such as various sites in Sri Lanka, I had yet to visit Mithila for a long time.

I had previously come across images of a large Janaki temple located in Janakpur. However, now there is a similarly impressive temple being constructed for Janaki in Ayodhya. This made me feel that it was the perfect time to visit her temple in her original hometown.

The temple is extremely large and it instantly brought to mind the Haveli of Srinathiji in Nathdwara. The architectural style of Rajasthan is clearly visible at first glance. 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 the Galata Ji temple in Jaipur.

The temple is known by the name Naulakha Mandir because Rani Vrish Bhanu of Tikamgarh invested nearly nine lakh gold coins to construct this temple in 1910 CE. It was constructed at a location 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. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering, so you do the same and make your way towards the door. The surroundings are bustling with devotees, and among them, you notice several newly married couples dressed in their beautiful wedding attire.

Upon entering Janakpur Dham, one will immediately notice a stunning temple situated in the center of a spacious courtyard. The temple is encircled by a corridor that runs along all sides, resembling the architectural style of a Shekhawati Haveli.

The white temple is adorned with vivid and lively colors. I ascended the temple steps and was greeted by the magnificent sight of the Ram Darbar. I observed all four brothers and their four wives from Mithila. On the day of my visit, the golden shringar enhanced the temple's unique atmosphere.

The temple corridor's first floor is home to a cultural museum that showcases the story of Sita. Within the museum, there are dioramas that depict the various events of her life. One particular highlight is the Badhai Geet, which is played when visitors arrive at the scene of Sita's birth. However, the most renowned and celebrated moment in the museum is the depiction of Sri Ram breaking the Dhanush.

Displayed are the dresses and jewelry belonging to Sita Ma.

The walls around are adorned with Mithila or Madhubani Paintings, which usually show the wedding ceremonies of Ram Janaki's wedding. However, there is also an intriguing painting called Mithila Parikrama Dola, which portrays the path of parikrama that surrounds Janakpur. Additionally, there are paintings depicting the everyday activities of people, such as an ironsmith.

After leaving the museum, you emerge onto the temple rooftop. This vantage point provides a complete 360-degree view of the temple situated in the center. It is a highly popular spot for taking 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 brought 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.

There is a specific room within the temple that is solely devoted to housing millions of Saligramas. These sacred stones are stored in a container with multiple tiers, and can only be observed through a mesh barrier. Within this room, one can witness Saligrama stones of various shapes and sizes, even in complete darkness.

Every day, these individuals are revered and honored, as shown by the presentation of fresh flowers. Some of them are embellished with jewelry and clothing.

The melodious chant of Ram Sita Dhun resonates constantly at an outdoor venue near the Saligrama room, resembling the atmosphere of the Ayodhya temples.

Participating in singing the Ram Naam is an easy and straightforward method of worship, particularly well-suited for the current era known as Kaliyuga.

The Ram Janaki Vivah Mandap is located within the temple complex but is separate from the main temple. It is a pavilion with a slanting roof that follows the traditional Nepalese architectural style. Inside, there is a depiction of a royal wedding scene.

There are four small temples located on the four corners of the platform. These temples were built to honor the four royal couples who were married at this location. Without the names displayed on them, it would be difficult to determine which temple corresponds to each couple.

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

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

In one Shivalinga, there is a tiny temple dedicated to Shiva, which contains eleven lingas united together.

The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur is known for its vibrant festivals. One of the most significant celebrations held here is Vivah Panchami, which takes place on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Margsheesh. This festival holds great importance as it commemorates the wedding that occurred in Janakpur.

The festival of Ram Navami, which marks the birth of Sri Ram and is observed on the ninth day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, is celebrated with immense enthusiasm. I had the opportunity to visit the temple a couple of days prior to Ram Navami, where the preparations for the grand celebration were in full swing.

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

Janakpur, similar to Ayodhya, is abundant in temples and ponds. The area is home to approximately 70 ponds. Numerous temples can be visited in 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 showcases exquisite Nepali architecture and features intricately carved wooden panels that are truly captivating.

There are several Shivalingas positioned around 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 engaging in the activity of singing Bhajans.

The Raj Debi Temple is situated near the Ram Mandir and is specifically devoted to the Kuldevi of Janaka, known as Raj Debi. It is situated in one corner of a spacious courtyard that contains a triangular Yagna kunda. The presence of lions along the pathway signifies that Raj Debi is considered a manifestation of Durga.

There is a temple situated in the middle of the road, between Janaki Mandir and Ram Mandir, which is painted in a vibrant orange color. This temple is specifically devoted to the ruler of Janakpur, known as Raja Janak. He is also referred to as Rajrishi, meaning the King Saint.

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

Janakpur also houses 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, which is situated near Vivah Mandap on the opposite side of the road, is said to have water that was brought from the Ganga river.

The name "Ram

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

Ratna Sagar is

Dashrath Kund is a

Kamal Kund is a

Sita, the divine mother, please bless us.

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

Dhanush Dham is a sacred site located approximately 24 km northeast of Janakpur. It is dedicated to the bow of Shiva, which was broken by Sri Ram. To visit Dhanush Dham, one must stay in Janakpur.

Parikrama refers to the act of circumambulating around the sacred site of Janakpur Dham. While one can perform this pilgrimage any day, devout followers typically choose to do so on the occasion of Holika Dahan.

Due to a lack of time, I unfortunately missed out on visiting the Gangasagar Public Library and Handicrafts Museum.

Janakpur Dham is located approximately two hours away from the nearest airport and train station in Darbhanga. On the Nepal side, there is also an airport in Janakpur that offers connections to Kathmandu.

The amount of time it takes to cross the border depends on the traffic and can range from 20 to 40 minutes. If you prefer, you have the option to use your own

The currency used in Janakpur, Nepal is the Indian

There is a lack of variety in the food options, but there is an abundance of sweets and fruits to choose from. The temple holds a bhandara every day during lunchtime where you are invited to have a meal.

To fully enjoy and explore the mentioned attractions, it is recommended to allocate approximately 2-3 hours of your

I came across your interesting article about Janakpur Dham and the Janaki Temple in Nepal, which caught my attention. Your brief yet informative descriptions of the temple and its importance created a clear image in my head. I appreciate you sharing this fascinating cultural treasure!

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

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment. Don't forget to save your name, email, and website for future comments.

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