Janakpur city is the birth place of Goddess Sita, and is the home of the unique Mithila culture in Nepal
Janakpur city, the Headquarter of Dhanusha district of Nepal, is about 84 miles (135 km) from Kathmandu. This is a popular city in the terai region. (Terai = lower part of Nepal having Flat-Land). Janakpur is also known as Janakpurdham (Dham in Nepali means a scared region) It has a temple named Janaki, which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Sita. This region also offers an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about Mithila culture, and people from in and around this peaceful region of Nepal. Hindu pilgrims from India and Nepal visit this region to pay their respect to the Goddess, while many foreigners make a side-trip to the region to learn about the unique Janakpur-life!
Places to visit in Janakpur
Janakpur has the Janaki Temple (Mandir in Nepali) which is dedicated to Goddess Sita, and also has a Ram and Sita Marriage Mandhir (or also known as Ram and Sita Bibaha Mandhir in Nepali) which is said to have been built in the spot where they got married. Marriage anniversary of Ram and Sita is observed every year here through a festival which is also observed throughout Nepal.
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. Throughout the festival there are dramas in theaters and in open streets re-making the marriage ceremony of Ram and Sita. According to Hindu, Ram and Sita took birth to free the earth from the cruelty and sins of the demon King Ravana (Ravan). To learn more about the Hindu Goddess, see web link at the end of this page.
Visit the Rama Mandhir, a pagoda-style temple built in 1882, which is located south-east of the Janaki Mandhir. On the Rama Nawami or also written as Ram Navami festival (the celebration of Lord Ram’s Birthday), this temple gets thousands of visitors. Ram Nawami is also called as Chaitay Dashain, and it falls on Chaitra 13 2063 (Nepali Calendar) or April 27 2007 (English Calendar)
Mithila Culture of Janakpur
Mithila culture is found in the Terai region of Nepal such as the Janakpur region and also found all the way upto the Northern Bihar state of India. Legend has it that Janakpur was the capital of Mithila, and the palace of King Janak, Goddess Sita’s father. Often Sita is known by many names such as Janaki or Mythili. Mithila culture is rich with its own language known as Maithili, and with its own traditions, customs, arts and music. Many Mithila arts and paintings have historical and religious meanings, such arts are produced by many villagers specifically women’s draw paintings having colorful and thought provoking objects such as animals, Gods and Goddess which are painted on the walls of homes using simple colors such as clays and mud
Ram and SitaOne of the greatest epics of all time is Ramayan, which is a Hindu story of God Ram and his wife Goddess Sita, their marriage, their struggle, sacrifice, and many facets of life. Ram marries Sita, then has to live for years in isolation from her before returning back to his royal palace. Sita is captured by Demon named Rawan. In the end, Sita disappears under the ground, and she is regarded as the Goddess of the Earth. Sita, the incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, is regarded as the perfect daughter, wife, and mother, and the most beloved diety in Hindu countries like Nepal and India.
Festivals in Janakpur
Jhula and Bol Bum are two important festivals which are celebrated with great pride and enjoyment along with other Nepali festivals such as Dashain and Tihar. During Jhula and Bol Dum, the Janaki temple is packed with people. One other important festival is Chhath celebrated by Maithalis in Janakpur. It is a four days festival. A group of men and women dip in Ganga Sagar, a popular lake in the area, then worship the rising and setting of the sun for four days to receive blessings for peace and prosperity.
Vibhaha Panchami, which falls between November to December, is a popular festival of Janakpur. The occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita to Ram, one of the most celebrated Hindu divinities. Janaki temple is the center of the attraction to commemorate this day and to celebrate the marriage anniversary of Ram and Sita. Thousands of pilgrims from India, Nepal and India pour into the region during this festival season.
Ram Nawami, the celebration of Ram’s birthday attracts visitors to the Ram Mandhir and many Hindu pilgrims visit this temple on that day. This Year, Ram Nawami is on April 27 2007