Janakpur: The birthplace of Sita

Experience the cultural and religious side of Terai in Janakpur

  •   2017-06-08  |  nepaltraveller.com

Janakpur is the birth place of Sita, the place where King Janaki discovered Sita from the earth while ploughing a barren field. It is believed that it was after Sita’s birth that the land of Janak became fertile for vegetation again.

I heard about Janakpur from a friend who had visited the city during Chhath, a festival where women worship the Sun God for a fulfilling life for their spouse. And she had said, “There is nothing more beautiful in Janakpur than the Ram Janaki Temple.”

Janakpur (also known as Janakpurdham), the ancient Mithila town is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus from all over the world. Situated in the southern Terai region, Janakpur is popular because of the majestic Ram Janaki Temple and its connection with the Ramayan.

Janakpur is the birth place of Sita, the place where King Janaki discovered Sita from the earth while ploughing a barren field. It is believed that it was after Sita’s birth that the land of Janak became fertile for vegetation again.

The legendary Ram Janaki Temple lies right at the centre of Janakpur and is a powerful spiritual presence. The temple spread over 4,860 sq ft is built with stone and marble.


One of the sections in the temple that you should take time to admire is the spot where Ram and Sita are believed to reside; they are bright and colourful in their embellished shimmering clothing and jewellery and fervour mystical grandeur and sacredness.

The crowd of devotees visiting the temple even during normal days tells you just how popular it is. Most tourists visit in the evening when it is much cooler and to take in the Ram Janaki Temple with its lighting and decorations.

While you are here, you should also visit the Ram Janaki Vivaha Mandap which displays the actual conference among the deities for the grand wedding. The Shrine is unique with its subtle connotation of Mithila aesthetics and is surrounded with mini temples housing the four couples individually – Ram-Sita, Bharat-Mandavi, Lakshman-Urmila and Shatrugahn-Shrutakirti. Hindu devotees worship at this place mainly on Vivah Panchami every year.

Janakpur has a distinct taste for rich colours and the architecture of temples and the life surrounding these temples are radiant and vibrant. The rickshaw rides are adventurous and the lively bazaars are the other highlights of the city. If you are an art person, you will love shopping for Mithila products (artworks that are characterised by geometrical shapes and drawn and painted with fingers, stems, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments). Janakpur is also the perfect place to buy fabrics and saris besides Mithila bed sheets.

In Janakpur don’t forget to enjoy the Terai-Indian flavour of their food and the varieties of mouth-watering mithai (sweets) like lal mohanbuniya ladookaju barfipista barfijalebi. Janakpur has a lot of small hotels and guest houses with good accommodation facilities but it is advisable to book before you make the trip.

Janakpur is a forgotten charm one and one that Nepal has mostly overlooked when it comes to tourism promotion. The Janaki Mandir by itself is a justifiable reason for making a trip to Janakpur. But, if you do plan to visit the city, the best time to visit Janakpur is during the festival of Chhath.

 

Photographs: Prajwal Maharjan