Jankpur is a busy historic religious centre. Â It is home to the historic 500-year old Janaki Temple, a major attraction for Indian Hindu pilgrims and international tourists. Janakpur is also the birthplace of the Goddess Sita and place of her marriage to the God Ram while the â€œcity of pondsâ€ is also home for Nepalâ€™s only railway and railhead (a tourist attraction for steam international locomotive enthusiasts), and many annual colourful festivals. Dhanusha (Janakpur in particular) is regarded as the world centre of Mithila Culture.
The Janaki Temple
The Janaki Temple, located in the center of the city, is well known in the Hindu Kingdom. Sita the wife of the legendary hero Ram was born in Janakpur. Throughout the year, many pilgrims come to pay their respects to Ram and Sita who are the main religious attractions in Janakpur. In the Janakpur region, one of such festival is the enactment of the wedding ceremony, decorating temples and monuments, burning of oil-lamps surrounding the temple and other historical sites in the region. The city is thronged by worshippers and visitors alike especially during the festival of Bibah Panchami. ThisÂ annual festivalÂ is celebrated on the occasion of Ram and Sitaâ€™s marriage and their wedding ceremony is enacted throughout the week. During this period, the city is enlivened by the wedding festivities. Ram and Sita (Janaki) are the two central characters of the great Hindu epic Ramayan. In the story, Ram strings a bow that originally belonged to Lord Shiva the Destroyer and in the process, the bow breaks into three pieces. One piece flies up to heaven. Another falls down into theÂ depthsÂ of the underworld. Today, there is a huge pond called Dhanush Sagar above the very spot. The third piece flies to present day Dhanushadham, about 40 kilometers from Janakpur. There, visitors will see huge rocks shaped liked a bow. Thus, after Ramâ€™s successful attempt to string the bow, Janakiâ€™sÂ father, KingJanakgiveshisdaughterâ€™shandinmarriagetothebraveprinceofAyodhya.
Dhanush Sagarâ€™ and â€˜Ganga Sagar are two sacred tanks situated near the Ram Mandir. Here, people perform religious ablutions during the early morning hours. However, during the festivals, these tanks becomeÂ extremelyÂ important in the sense that religious ceremonies conducted here. You can also find numerousÂ cisternsÂ all along the place. This also has religious connotations. In fact, these were built by King Janak who anticipated the arrival of Gods after the holy marriage of Rama and Sita.
This festival forms an important aspect of your tours to Janakpur. It commemorates the holy birthday of Lord Rama. It is an annual event and occurs during the period of late March and early April. Huge processions throughout the city of are common phenomena at this time of the year. Witnessing Rama Navami is one of the major components of tours to Janakpur.
Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir
The â€˜Ram Sita Bibaha Mandirâ€™ is yet another important place of tourist interest in Janakpur. Do not forget to include this in your tours to Janakpur. This is actually a pagoda built in the traditional Nepalese form. It is interesting to see the life-size statues of Rama and Sita, the presiding deities of the pagoda. Apart from these, you will also find the statues of the brothers of Rama. This pagoda was built to commemorate the wedding of Rama and Sita. Throughout the festival there are dramas in theaters and inÂ openÂ streets remaking the marriage ceremony of Ram and Sita.
Dugdhmati River – This river as name suggested was created from Milk. When Mother sita was beneath earth before manifesting herself to King janak, she was being fedÂ milk from above the ground by Mother earth as kamadhenu cow.In her ecstacy of feeding Sitadevi, Milk flowed all the udders and this overflowed as a small river. This river Dughdmati was created that time because of this milk.Â This has been a very sacred place of bhajan for many saints in this region. The colour of the water is ever since of whitish origin.