The amaizing town of Janakpur is the birthplace of Sita, daughter of King Janaka and wife of Lord Rama. It is said to be the site of Lord Rama and Sita’s wedding. Lord Ram won Sita by picking up Lord Siva’s bow and breaking it here. Janakpur is charged with a devotional mood and is an interesting holy city to visit. It is a worth while place to visit.
It was the capital of the ancient state of Mithila, which used to be part of India. The Maithili language is spoken here. It has its own script and is spoken by around two million people.
Janakpur is located 128 km southeast of Kathmandu, 11 hours by bus, next to the Indian border. For the most part motorized traffic is banned from the city center and there is almost no tourist hustle. So it is a peaceful place. The town has narrows winding streets and dozens of sacred kunds, and is an interesting place to wander around.
You can stop in Janakpur on the way from Kakarbhitta to Kathmandu, as it is just 30 km south of the Mahendra Highway, which is the road you take to get from Kathmandu to Kakarbhitta.
Janaki Mandir (Temple)
This interesting temple is dedicated to Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, who is also known as Janaki. It is massive marble temple in the center of town built in 1911 by an Indian queen. It is believed to be where King Janaka found Sita lying in a ploughed field. The Deities in the temple are Sita, Rama and Rama’s brother’s Laksman, Bharata, and Satrughna.
The inner sanctum is open from 5 to 8 am and 5 to 8 pm. This temple is open to everyone. You can climb the stairs to the roof of the outer building and get a good view of the courtyard. Non-Hindu can enter the temple.
Ram Sita (Janaki) Bibhaha (Viveh) Mandapa
This is a new Nepali pagoda-style temple that honors the wedding of Sita and Rama. Lord Rama and Sita wear full make-up and wedding attire. It is supposed to be built at the place where Sita and Rama were married. There are deities of Sita, Rama and his brothers. It is next door to the Janaki Mandir. You have to deposit your camera near the entry.
It is a Nepalese pagoda-style temple built in 1882. It is southeast of the Janaki Mandir, in the oldest section of the city. Dhanush Sagar is right next to it. This temple is the center point for the Rama Navami festival.
Dhanush Sagar & Ganga Sagar Tanks
This is above the spot where one of the three pieces of Lord Siva’s bow fell into the underworld, when Lord Rama broke it. Including these tanks there are 24 sacred tanks in the city. Dhanush Sagar is next to the Rama Mandir, just southeast of the Janaki Mandir
Sankat Mochan Temple
This temple is dedicated to Hanuman and is also called the Big Monkey Temple. Hanuman is worshipped in the form of a very large rhesus monkey. The monkey is kept in a cage and constantly fed by the pilgrims. Sankat Mochan means one who erases all troubles. This temple is 100m south of Ramanand Chowk. It looks at an ordinary house, so is easy to miss.
The Bibhaha (Viveh) Panchami festival re-enacts the wedding of Rama and Sita. Over 100,000 pilgrims come for this festival. There is a procession with elephants, horses, and decorated chariots with beating drums. It is on the fifth day of the waxing moon in November or early December.
Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama, in March-April, is an important festival that draws over 100,000 people. Dipawali in Oct/Nov is a festive time to visit.
There is an annual one-day Parikrama (circumambulation) of the city on the full moon day of February/March. Many people offer prostrated obeisances along the entire 8km route. It is at the same time as the Holi festival.
Activities: Tour & Sightseeing