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Janaki Temple, Janakpur

Abhishek Subedi May 25, 2020

Janaki temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Sita. There are about 70 temples around the main shrine of the Janaki Temple. The temple is named after the legendary king Janak. The  temple has become one of the biggest pilgrimage sites for Hindus all round the world. It is famous for its temples and ponds. The temple is coloured in bright white colour and covers an area of about 4860 square feet.

It is the three storied structure made entirely of stone and marble. The temple is considered as the most important model of Rajput architecture in Nepal. It is the epitome of ancient craftsmanship. The temple rises 50m high above the ground and accommodates 60 rooms, which are all adorned with coloured glass, elegant and ancient paintings and engraved with spectacular engravings. The entire structure of Janaki temple flaunts a classic blend of classical and Neo classical designs.

JanakiTemple

History of the Janaki Temple

According to myths and purans, Janakpur is the birthplace of  Goddess Sita. According to Ramayan, Janakpur was the realm of mighty King Janak who discovered the infant Sita under the ploughed farmland. The  golden statue of the Goddess Sita was found in 1657 AD. According to legend, it was Sannyasi Shurkishordas who found the images of Goddess Sita. He was the founder of modern Janakpur and poet who wrote about Sita Upasana.

The current temple stands on the same exact place where the golden statue was found. The holy spot of the temple is believed to be the place where this Hindu deity once lived during her time on Earth. Vrisha Bhanu Devi, queen of the Indian state of Tikamgarhm ordered the construction of the temple in 1910 AD. The temple was constructed  at the cost of Rupees Nine Lakh( Nine Hundred Thousand). So the temple is also well renowned as ‘Naulakha Mandir’. Myths have also claimed that King Janak performed the worship of Shiva-Dhanus on this site.

Location of Janaki Temple

The temple is located in the Janakpurdham of the Dhanusa district. The temple lies in the Terai region of the country. It is in the Mithila region of Nepal. The temple lies to the south-east part of the nation. It is about 225 km from the Kathmandu valley. There are about 115 ancient ponds of historical and mythological importance around this holy site. The temple also offers tourists with the attraction of the mango orchards.

Design of The Temple

Janaki temple is the important model of KOIRI architecture. The bright white coloured temple is built in a mixed style of Mughal and Koiri domes. All the 6o rooms of this holy place are decorated with the flag of Nepal. The main shrine of the temple contains the scripture of Goddess Sita, Lord Ram and Laxman. It is well decorated with coloured glass, engravings, paintings, beautiful lattice windows and turrets. The front yard of the Janaki temple joins with the large area of free and open space. The front wing of the temple is totally symmetrical in design with white facade and four tower-like structures called turrets. Different small shrines and temples in dome shaped structures are also located in the periphery of the temple. 

The temple has two entry doorways to enter the temple complex. The east entrance has high tall doors with arch-like structure. The north-east entrance is as same as the east entrance in terms of appearances, structure and size.  The animal figure as a guardian is present at the north-east entrance. The connecting bridge connects the central temple with the dharmasalas and other subsidiary shrines. Central temple complex door has coloured glass which looks like a rose window as in western architecture. There is also a small museum which documents the ancient Mithila art and animation film of the wedding of Lord Ram and Sita.  

Pilgrimage

Every year thousands of pilgrims from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and other countries visit here to offer their prayers and devotions to the Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. The reference of the Janakpur city in the holy scripture has been credited to attract the thousands of devotees from different parts of the country and the world. Travellers from every corner of the world visit this sacred Hindu temple. The temple is crowded with visitors from Nepal and India during the months of November and December for Vivah Panchami. It’s the annual festival in which the marriage of Goddess Sita and Lord Ram is celebrated.

Festivals Celebrated

The main festivals celebrated in the temple annually  are as follows:

  • Vivah Panchami: It is the annual festival in which the marriage of Goddess Sita and Lord Ram is celebrated. The numerous sacred rites and rituals are performed on this day. On this day large numbers of pilgrims pay their visit to the temple in order to worship the sculpture of Sita statue placed in the inner sanctum. The temple is visited by women, decorated in their best vivid saris for this particular occasion.
  • Ram Nawami
  • Dashain
  • Tihar
  • Chhath

My trip to Janaki temple

I went on a two day trip to Janaki temple with my family. The main purpose of this trip was to pay our visit to the Janaki temple. On the first day we took the bus from Kathmandu to Janakpur. We arrived at Janakpur around 3 pm, we were tired from our whole day’s bus drive. We had booked the hotel from the oyo app. Took the short stroll around the Janakpur city and went back to the hotel as we were too tired.

The second day we visited the Janaki temple.  I noticed that the design of the temple was different from the other temple. The carvings and paintings of the temple were the true examples of the fine arts and architecture.  As the main purpose of the trip was fulfilled, we visited other monuments of this area like Ram Mandir, Ram Sita Vivah Mandap, Sankatmochan Temple and Bhootnath Temple. I was nagging the whole time because the city was too hot . We went back to the hotel and had dinner at the hotel. We took the bus back to Kathmandu the next morning.

Janaki temple is the true example of perfect and fine art. We can visit this temple and pay our devotions to the Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. Tourists can visit Janaki temple and get acquainted with its diverse cultural and natural appeal.

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