- HB Kham
Spectacular, exotic and captivating Janaki temple, situated in the heart of Janakpur (founded in the 18th century) is the core center of Mithila artistry, religious pilgrimage, and cultural tourism.
The most revered temple is dedicated to Hindu goddess Sita, who was a consort of Hindu God-lord Rama of the Indian kingdom of Ayodhya. Thus, the sacred site testifying the cultural affinity between India and Nepal.
The beautiful and stunning structure of Janaki temple displays exuberant classical and neoclassical architectural style- a blend of Hindi Rajputs and Mughal domes. It is also deemed to be one of the best examples of Hindu-Koiri Nepali architecture.
Janaki Temple Known as Naul Lakh Mandir
The temple is also known as Nau Lakh Mandir, as this temple was constructed at a cost of nine hundred thousand rupees. Actually, King Pralapa Singh and his queen had donated 900000 silver coins to build this temple, which had begun in 1895 and finished in 1911.
The concrete ancient archaeological evidence of the presence of Janakapur is yet to be found. Myths, legends, and epics are the only source of this popular site.
The temple sprawls over an area of over 4860 sq. feet and has three stories structure and 50 meter high. There are 60 rooms in all, which are all embellished with Maithali arts, paintings, engravings, stained glass, bewitching latticed windows, and turrets. The temple is built by marbles and stones.
Paragon of Perfect Artistry
The monument also displays vestiges of 11th and 12th century AD. The temple is a paragon of perfect artistry. Janakpur was simply a cluster of rustic villages and not exposed to the outside world until the 1950s.
The bustling historical temple is more interesting to visit during the festivals of Chhat, Ram Navami, Vivaha Panchami, Dasain and Tihar. The people from the Indian state of Bihar and other parts of Nepal come here to engage in the nuptial ceremony at the place where Lord Ram and Sita had started their golden nuptial days. Sita is regarded as the best paragon of female virtue and honesty.
The modern founder of Janakpur, poet, and sage named Shurkishordas had found the gilded statue of Sita in 1657. And this temple is built on the sacred site, where Sita was discovered in a mud pot found in a furrow while Janak plowed the field. There is a legend related to the birth of Sita.
In ancient times, Janakpur was the Kingdom of Videhas, where Janak was the King. Once there was a drought in the kingdom. The subjects were panic struck. Then they all went to King Janak to seek solutions to their problems.
King Janak could not shirk from his social responsibilities. He promised the people that he would do all possible means to relieve them of their problems. The king asked all pundits of his royal palace to come up with some solutions.
One of the priests then suggested to the King that the God of Rain –Indra -must be appeased to bring rainfall. And to appease lord Indra, the king should plow the barren land.
King Janak instantly agreed to plow the field. While plowing the field, the blade of his plow got stuck up against something in the ground. And there emerged a mud pot in the furrow. From the pot emerged a female baby.
King Janak adopted this baby and named her Sita. The princess Sita, later on, grew up and married Ram (Lord Ram, an Indian prince from the kingdom of Ayodhya). Ram had won the hands of Sita in marriage in the competition held among various kings and princes by lifting the bow of Lord Shiva, which was not possible to be lifted by an ordinary man. It is believed that Ram was the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and Sita, Parvati herself.
Therefore, this temple is also popular among Hindus as “Shree Ram Janaki Temple”. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists come to this temple, from India, Sri Lanka to worship Lord Ram and Sita.
How to get there?
Janakpur is hardly 124 km far from Kathmandu. You can also take a half an hour’s flight from Kathmandu.
Good time to visit:
The months of May- July, and August are suggestive as the best time to visit Janaki temple.
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