Janakpur

Janakpur is the capital of Dhanusa District in Nepal. The city is also known as Janakpurdham, which was founded in the early 18th century and was the capital of Ancient Mithila ruled by the Videha dynasty. Today, Janakpur is a famous religious and cultural destination. The city is located about 123 km (76 mi) south-east of Kathmandu. The Nepal Railways operates between Janakpur and India.
It is home to the historic 500-year old Janaki Temple, a major attraction for Indian Hindu pilgrims and international tourists. Janakpur is also the birthplace of the Goddess Sita and place of her marriage to the God Ram while the “city of ponds” is also home for Nepal’s only railway and railhead, and many annual colourful festivals. Dhanusha (Janakpur in particular) is regarded as the world centre of Mithila Culture.
Population: 169,287
Area: 38.69 mi²


Languages
Maithili language is widely spoken in the area as the first language. Nepali, Hindi, Marwari and English are well-understood. Languages like Bhojpuri and Awadhi are also understood but less frequently used.


Climate
Janakpur’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Janakpur. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Cwa. The average annual temperature in Janakpur is 24.3 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1271 mm. The least amount of rainfall occurs in February. The average in this month is 1 mm. The greatest amount of precipitation occurs in July, with an average of 377 mm. The temperatures are highest on average in June, at around 29.5 °C. The lowest average temperatures in the year occur in January, when it is around 15.9 °C.

 
Economy
Janakpur is one of the fast developing cities of Nepal and is the fifth sub-metropolitan city of Nepal. The city has good health care facilities and a number of parks as well as good private schools and colleges and Internet service providers. There are medical and engineering colleges which are affiliated to the Tribhuvan University. The economy is mostly based on tourism, agriculture and local industries. The paintings on pottery, walls and courtyards made by Maithili women are known as Madhubani art. Janakpur attracts migrants from the surrounding area, who move to the city for medical care, education and jobs. The largest employer was the Janakpur Cigarette Factory Limited and Janakpur Railway until 2013, now both are closed due to political corruption.

 
Culture
The centre of Janakpur is dominated by the impressive Janaki Mandir to the north and west of the bazaar. This temple, one of the biggest in Nepal, was built in 1898 (1955 in the Nepali calendar) by Queen Brisabhanu Kunwari of Tikamgarh. It is also called “Nau Lakha Mandir” after the cost of construction, said to be nine lakh rupees. 1657, the great saint and poet Sannyasi Shurkishordas discovered a golden statue of the Goddess Sita at the place where she was born, which ultimately became the location of the current Janaki Mandir, the Temple of Sita. Queen Brisabhanu Kunwari of Tikamgarh had the Janaki Mandir built in 1911. The temple is architecturally unique in Nepal. Its inner sanctum contains a flower-bedecked statue of Sita that was apparently miraculously found in the Saryu River near Ayodhya. Statues of Rama and his half-brothers Lakshman, Bharat and Satrughna stand by Sita. In the early evenings the temple is lit with colourful lights and filled with hundreds of pilgrims expressing devotion for Sita and Rama. Adjacent to the Janaki Mandir is the Rama Sita Bibaha Mandir, a building that marks the place where Rama and Sita were married.
The oldest temple in Janakpur is Sri Ram Temple, built by the Gurkhali soldier Amar Singh Thapa. Pilgrims also visit the more than 200 sacred ponds in the city for ritual baths. The two most important, Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar, are located close to the city centre. The Vivah Mandap temple is situated next to the Janaki Mandir. Ram Tower is located to the south of Ram Temple. It was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.


Transportation
Janakpur has a domestic airport ( IATA: JKR, ICAO: VNJP) with most flights connecting to Kathmandu. The narrow-gauge Janakpur Railway is the only operational railway in Nepal. It connects Janakpur to the Indian tow of Jaynagar. Bicycle is common mode of transportation. Frequent bus services operate between Janakpur and other cities on Nepal. Within the city, travellers may hire manually pulled cycle rickshaws or City bus and taxi.

Activities

Janaki Mandir
Janaki Mandir is a Hindu temple of Janakpur in Mithila region of Nepal, dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sita. It is the primary temple of Maithali native indigenous to Nepal. It is an example of Hindu-Rajput Nepali architecture. It is often considered the most important model of Rajput architecture in Nepal. Fully built in bright white and constructed in an area of 4,860 sq. feet in a mixed style of Islamic and Rajput domes, the temple is 50 meters high. It is a three-storied structure made entirely of stone and marble. All its 60 rooms are decorated with the flag of Nepal, colored glass, engravings and paintings, with beautiful lattice windows and turrets.


Dhanush Sagar & Ganga Sagar
‘Dhanush Sagar’ and ‘Ganga Sagar are two sacred tanks situated near the Ram Mandir. Here, people perform religious ablutions during the early morning hours. However, during the festivals, these tanks become extremely important in the sense that religious ceremonies conducted here. You can also find numerous cisterns all along the place. This also has religious connotations. In fact, these were built by King Janak who anticipated the arrival of Gods after the holy marriage of Rama and Sita.


Rama Navami
This festival forms an important aspect of your tours to Janakpur. It commemorates the holy birthday of Lord Rama. It is an annual event and occurs during the period of late March and early April. Huge processions throughout the city of are common phenomena at this time of the year. Witnessing Rama Navami is one of the major components of tours to Janakpur.


Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir
The ‘Ram Sita Bibaha Mandir’ is yet another important place of tourist interest in Janakpur. Do not forget to include this in your tours to Janakpur. This is actually a pagoda built in the traditional Nepalese form. It is interesting to see the life-size statues of Rama and Sita, the presiding deities of the pagoda. Apart from these, you will also find the statues of the brothers of Rama. This pagoda was built to commemorate the wedding of Rama and Sita. Throughout the festival there are dramas in theaters and in open streets remaking the marriage ceremony of Ram and Sita.


Accommodation

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