Janakpur

Janakpur is a Terai town in central Nepal, 375km southeast of Kathmandu and the birthplace of Janaki Sita. Places of interest in this city include the Janaki Temple, Biwaha Mandap, and numerous beautiful ponds. The most famous landmark in Janakpur is the Janaki Temple. The Janaki Mandir in Janakpur is also place of great importance for the followers of Hinduism. The Janaki Mandir is an artistic marble temple of Sita (known as Janaki) which is popularly known as Naulakha Mandir which literally means 900,000 (a popular way of saying incalculable). The temple was built by Queen Brishabhanu of Tikamgarh of India. Janakpur is also a place for learning Mithila painting. While Thangka paintings portray the Tibetan Buddhist rituals in Nepal’s north, the Mithila paintings illustrate the social and religious lifestyle in Nepal’s southern plains. Interestingly, Mithila paintings traditionally seem to be the domain of the women only, the men started taking interest only later for commercial and identity interests. This rather neglected town is the capital of ancient Mithila Kingdom described in the holy literature of Ramayana. Many pilgrims from Nepal and India attend mock wedding processions for the wedding of the Goddess Sita and the God Ram, locally called the Bibah Panchami. Thousands of pilgrims from Nepal and India attend the celebration. Religious festivals, pilgrimages trade fairs and other festivities are held here on Bivaha Panchami and Ram Navami.

Near Janakpur lies the ancient place of Dhanushadham, another important religious site for the Hindus. The Dhanusha pond is believed to have been made by the pieces of arrow broken by the God Rama at Janak’s Durbar. There are several other ponds in the area, and the famous temples there are Ram Mandir, Ganesh Mandir, Panchamukhi Hanuman Mandir, Baba Makhandada Kuti etc.