This post is dedicated to Nepal Janakpur Janaki temple, pilgrims of Hindu and Mithila. Janakpur is the Capital of Ancient Mithila and Pilgrims of Hindus. Janakpur situated in the Terai region of Nepal is one of the historic cities of Nepal and lies 20 km south of the (East-West Highway) Mahendra Highway. Janakpur, the most famous city in Nepal is associated with a rich historical past.
Janakpur is a beautiful and historic city dating back to ancient times. It was the capital city of the kingdom of Mithila in the past. Mithila was the capital of the Videha (bodyless) spiritual Janakas, the rulers who were the embodiment of spiritual attainment.
Janakpur is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India and Nepal. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to Janakpur to pay homage to the goddess Sita. Janakpur is also home to the world-famous Mithila paintings. These paintings are created by the women of Mithila and depict scenes from Hindu mythology.
The city of Janakpur was founded by King Janaka, who was the father of Sita. In Hindu mythology, Sita is the wife of Lord Ram. She is considered to be an incarnation of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and prosperity. Janakpur is thus a very important place for Hindus who believe in this mythology.
Mithila painting is a type of folk art that originated in the region surrounding Janakpur. The women of Mithila use natural dyes to create beautiful paintings on walls and cloth. These paintings usually depict scenes from Hindu mythology or everyday life in Mithila. The colors and patterns used in Mithila painting are said to be auspicious and bring good luck.
Legend has it that Sita, the heroine of the Hindu epic Ramayana, was born here and later married the equally revered Lord Ram. Sita, who was the wife of the legendary hero Rama of the epic ‘Ramayana’ was born in Janakpur.
A great center of learning for scholars in ancient times, Janakpur once had hundreds of sages who contributed substantially to Hindu philosophy, with one of their oldest works being the famous Upanisad Brihadarandyaka written in the form of a dialogue that deals with the gods, the nature of Brahma, the supreme reality and the introduction to the self.
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Janakpur is a city of dozens of holy pools, with several ancient sites, some of which have yet to be identified. The famous object for adoration in Janakpur is the Janaki temple which is sometimes compared with the Taj Mahal of India.
A simple construction to start with, the present structure owes its existence to King Pralapa Singh and his consort who donated hundreds of thousands of silver coins when they were blessed with a child by Sita, enshrined within the temple. Started in about 1895, it took several years to evolve into its present shape and was completed in 1911.
Janakpur’s landmark is no doubt the popular Janaki Temple in the middle of the bazaar which is dedicated to Sita. A simple but beautiful building nonetheless, the present structure owes its existence to King Pralapa Singh and his consort who donated 900,000 silver coins when they were blessed with a child by Sita.
The construction of the temple began in 1895 and took years to evolve into its present form and was completed in 1911. Occupying an area of 4,860 sq. feet, it has a mixed style of Islamic and Rajput Domes.
This three-storied structure is made entirely of stone and marble rising to 50m. All 60 rooms of the temple are decorated with stained glass, engravings, and paintings, with beautiful latticed windows and turrets.
Besides the religious importance, Janakpur is also the center for the revival of the ancient Mithila art and craft. As a tradition, Mithila women have always been decorating the walls of their houses with paintings depicting figures from Hindu mythology in abstract forms, sometimes resembling a mandala.
Janakpur is heavily influenced by the Mithila region of Bihar, a state in the eastern part of India. The place offers an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn about Mithila culture and its people. The city is famous for Mithila artifacts such as Mithila paintings and potteries.
The city’s most famous landmark is the large and artistic marble temple of Janaki, built by queen Vrisa Bhanu of the Indian state of Tikamgarh in the early twentieth century. The Janaki Temple is also popularly known as the Naulakha temple because nine lakh (900,000 rupees) were supposedly spent on its construction. Close to the Janaki temple is another ancient shrine known as the Ram temple.
Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple in November/December for Vivah Panchami ( marriage over 5 days ), the town s major annual festival when the marriage of Sita and Rama is celebrated with various re-enactments. It is a popular place for modern-day weddings.
This is a predominantly Hindu place. Every year, millions of tourists come here to pay their tribute to Lord Rama and Sita. ‘Bibaha Panchami’ is a popular festival that commemorates the marriage of the two epical characters mentioned above. Pilgrims have been coming to Janakpur since the 4th Century BC.
Predominantly inhabited by Maithilis, it has its language, script, and a rich artistic tradition and culture. The religious Mithila art is well known in the local and international art world.
One of the other big festivals celebrated in Janakpur is the Chhat, when people worship the Sun God (Surya). Devotees gather once at sunset and then the next day at dawn by the holy rivers, offerings fruits and setting burning lamps afloat on the river’s surface.
As the sun comes up or when the sun sets, prayers are said facing the sun. Many enter the water while others stand on the shore to pay homage.
Nepal Janakpur Janaki Temple: Pilgrims of Hindu and Mithila
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