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Janakpur– Where Lord Ram Married Goddess Sita
Janakpur or colloquially known as Janakpur Dham is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination in Nepal. According to Devnagari Script, Janak, pur and Dham means Father, Village and Renowned Place for Pilgrimage respectively. Steeped in religious texts as a land where Goddess Sita was discovered in a furrow in a ploughed field during Treta Yuga. Janakpur was the capital of Mithila kingdom and was ruled by King Janak at that time. Hence, the divine child spent her childhood here. Her epic marriage with Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu also took place here during a sacred Swayamvara event. As part of succeeding in this event, one had to break the divine bow of Shiva. Only a few could bear the weight of this divine bow. When all the rulers failed in their attempt, Sage Vishwamitra who was accompanied by Prince Rama and Lakshamana asked the former to attempt this.
Rama in his first attempt only lifted the bow and broke it, resulting in the divine marriage of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. Even after 12,000 years later, the region still is revered as the maternal kingdom of Sita and is followed by many pilgrims. There are many temples in Janakpur that still hold the divine essence of this divine marriage.
Shree Janaki Mandir – Sri Janaki Mandir is dedicated to Goddess Sita who was also known as Janaki, daughter of King Janak. Built completely in marble, this temple was built by Queen Brishbhanu Kunwari, wife of King Pratap Singh of Orchha Kingdom of Madhya Pradesh, India in 1874. Inspired by the Mughal architecture, the temple complex features “Sheesh Mahal” made of mirrors. Janaki Mahal complex is the center of attraction for it houses the idols of Sita and Ram. Behind this temple is the Janak-Sunaiyana Mandir, dedicated to the father and mother of Goddess Sita. There is also a Vivah Mandap, where it is believed that the divine couple took seven vows of togetherness.
Shree Ram Mandir – Shree Ram Mandir is the oldest temple of Janakpur Dham and features oldest idols of the divine couple, Rama Sita. Built in 1782 by Amar Singh Thapa, the temple is located on the western banks of the holy Dhanush Sagar.
Raj Devi Mandir – This temple is dedicated to the patron deity of King Janak, Goddess Rajeshwari. The temple becomes the center of attraction during Durga Pooja, or Dashain festival celebration. Special worship is performed in the morning and evening by devotees from Nepal and India during this period.
Shree Janak Mandir - Shree Janak Mandir is dedicated to King Janak, the father of Sita. He is worshipped as a father figure by localites.
Dulha-Dulhan (Bridegroom And Bride) Mandir- This temple is dedicated to the Ram and Sita as a couple dressed as bride and groom.
Dhanushadham – Located 20 km away from Janakpurdham, Dhanushadham is believed to possess a fossilized fragment of the Shiva’s divine bow after Lord Ram broke it into three pieces during the Bow-Breaking Ceremony held here. It was the prime condition for marrying Sita.
A special Makar Mela festival is celebrated every Sunday in the month of Magh (January-February.) During this occasion, thousands of devotees visit Dhanushadham to pay homage to the fossilised bow piece.
How to reach Janakpur
Air - Janakpur has a domestic airport having connecting flights to Kathmandu.
Road - Janakpur is connected via other cities of Nepal through road as well. Tourists can rent a car to visit this pilgrimage site.
Best Time to Reach Janakpur
The best time to visit Janakpur is from September to March as the weather is pleasant and several festivals fall during this period.
Festivals of Janakpur
Diwali, Deepawali, Dashain, Chhath – Sun Worship and special Makar Mela are celebrated with great excitement in Janakpur.