An example of Hindu-Koiri Nepali architecture, it is an important place for Hindu pilgrimage
Janakpur is an important place for Hindus from all around the world. The center of Janakpur is dominated by the famous Janaki Mandir, one of the biggest temples in Nepal.
The city of Janakpur in the Eastern Terai region is located in the district of Dhanusa. It is the third-largest city in the terai after Biratnagar and Birgunj and the seventh-largest in Nepal.
In 1657, a golden statue of the Goddess Sita was recovered by saint Sannyasi Shukishordas while plowing the land. The place eventually became the site for the Janaki temple.
It was constructed with inspiration from the Hindu and Koiri style of architecture by the queen of Tikamgarh, Vrish Bhanu in 1910. An example of Hindu-Koiri Nepali architecture, it is considered the most important model of Koiri architecture in Nepal.
Fully built-in bright white and constructed in an area of 4,860 sq. feet in a mixed style of Mughal and Koiri, the temple holds unique features from other temples found in Nepal. It is a three-storied structure made entirely of stone and marble. It has 60 rooms and all are decorated with the flag of Nepal, colored glass, engravings, and paintings, with beautiful lattice windows and turrets.
According to legend, King Janak ruled this area (called Videha) during the Ramayana era. His daughter Janaki (Sita), during her swayambar, chose Lord Rama as her husband, and become the queen of Ayohya. Their marriage ceremony was held on the premises which are popularly known as the Vivah Mandap.
Due to its unique features, religious and historical linkage, the temple is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A Ram Mandir is located about a 10-minute walk from Janaki Mandir and was built by General Amar Singh Thapa in the 17th century, dedicated to Lord Rama.
The architecture of the temple is in the pagoda style. A huge number of devotees visit the temple on Ram Navami and Dashain.
There are almost 200 sacred ponds in the city for ritual baths. The two most important ponds are Ganga Sagar and Dhanush Sagar. Sankatmochan Mandir, Bhootnath Mandir, Rajdevi Mandir are some of the other important religious sites to visit.
Some of the major festivals are Nawami, Vivah Panchami, Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath. The city looks its best and is vibrant like a newly-wed bride around this time of the year.