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Tourist Places To Visit In Janakpur
A vital part of Hindu mythology and religious heritage site, Janakpur is a small town serving as the headquarters of Dhanusa District in southern Nepal. The illustrious city is most renowned for being the birthplace of goddess Sita, and also the site of her marriage to Lord Ram. A number of temples in the city are devoted to these deities and celebrate their union with immense festivities each year.
Originally the capital of the ancient Mithila Kingdom, the city and its religious significance was lost to conquests millennia ago that saw the subsequent rise of Buddhism and Jainism. In 1657, the city was rediscovered when the saint Shurkishordas uncovered a golden statue of Sita, which reaffirmed the historical importance of the site and founded the modern day Janakpur. Make a journey to this fascinating city and let the following list help you decide on some of the best places to visit in Janakpur.
Janaki Mandir is a popular tourist spot that is the biggest temple in Nepal and is also believed to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita. Built in 1910 by Queen Brisha Bhanu Kunwar of Tikamgarh, the splendid monument is also known as ‘Naulakha Temple’- named after the nine hundred thousand gold coins that were spent in its construction.
The white-colored three-storied architecture of the temple is an exquisite combination of Hindu, Mughal and Nepali Koiri design and is constructed entirely in marble. Apart from the main idol of Sita in the centre, beautiful works of art like glass paintings, carvings, delicately patterned windows and additional smaller shrines feature as an important part of the temple complex. With the presence of a mosque towards the back of the temple and a total of 60 chambers within the walls of the temple compound, the structure has become a culturally significant heritage site for the city.
The monument serves as a prominent seat for celebration of festivals like Vivah Panchami, Janaki Navami, Jhula, and Dashain, when the temple is decked with lights and echoes of bhajans resound far and wide.
Ram Sita Vivah Mandap
The marriage site of the Hindu deities Ram and Sita has been commemorated by the construction of a monument that is known as the Ram Sita Vivah Mandap. It is a traditional Nepali style pagoda-roofed structure made entirely in marble that has been designed to resemble the palace. It is situated in the southwest area of the Janaki Mandir and houses life sized idols of Ram and Sita dressed in colorful attire in the very centre of the Mandap depicting their wedding ceremony. The rest of the area within the Mandap features statues of their parents, sages and Ram’s brothers.
The Vivah Panchami is celebrated on the 5th day of Shukla Paksha where thousands of devotees flock to the site to pay homage to their union.
Located in the southeast direction of the Janaki Mandir, Ram Mandir is believed to be the oldest temple in Janakpur. It was constructed by Amar Singh Thapa, a Gurkha General, and has been built in the traditional style of pagoda tiers that is native to Nepali architecture design. Dedicated to Lord Ram, it houses an idol of the deity in its main hall, with numerous smaller shrines dedicted to other deities like Hanuman, Shiva and the goddess Durga spread across the complex.
The annual festival of Ram Navmi witnesses large throngs of pilgrims who visit the sacred temple to celebrate the birth of Lord Ram, along with the festival of Vivah Panchami to celebrate the marriage of Ram to Sita.
Rajdevi Mandir is also located close to the Ram Mandir and is a popular spot for devotees during the annual festival of Dashain. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga and on the 8th day of Dashain, thousands of animals are sacrificed here and offered to the goddess.
Jaleshwar is a border town between India and Nepal around 14 km away from Janakpur. It is mostly known for the temple of Jaleshwarnath Mahadev, which is an architectural marvel dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its main attraction is the Shiva Lingam located 20 feet below the temple that marks it as a popular pilgrimage site.
Dolakha Bhimsen Mandir
Also known as Bhimeshwar Mandir, this temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Bhim. The interesting monument is a roofless structure with an idol that is triangular in shape and made entirely in carved stone. It is believed that at different times of the day, the stone idol takes on the appearance of three different deities; Bhim, the Lord Shiva and the Goddess Bhagwati.
Swargdwari & Bhoothnath Mandir
Located on the west bank of Ganga Sagar, Swargdwari was once a cemetery that has been converted into a park that also houses a small Hindu temple known as Bhoothnath Mandir. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Bhoothnath who is the god of death and reincarnation. Swargdwari can literally be translated to ‘Gateway to Heaven’; as a local belief, this park serves as a gateway to heaven for the people buried here.