Janakpur, Nepal: Birthplace of Sita
Janakpur, Nepal is one of the important pilgrimage sites in the plain Terai region. The city of Janakpur is situated in Dhanusha District, which is 135 KM (84 Miles) southeast of Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal). Janakpur is religiously as well as the culturally significant destination for tourists. Janakpurdham is another name for Janakpur and it was discovered in the early 18th century.
Janakpur is also the ancient capital of ancient Mithila Culture and is a popular destination as the holy route to worship in Ayodhya, Kashi, and Brij in India. It is also famous as the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Lord Ram. Janakpur was also mentioned in Ramayana. Ram is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and Sita is believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Laxmi as per the Hindu Epic Ramayana.
In the olden times, Janakpur city used to be the land of gods and currently it’s regarded as a living museum. Almost each and every corner of the Janakpur city host a temple of one or other deity which imparts Janakpur’s identity as a holy city. Also, Janakpur is characterized by the presence of numerous ponds, which are considered sacred.
Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City
Janakpur has the population of 173,924 as of 2015 and so it becomes the largest sub-metropolitan city of Nepal. Janakpur has declared as the temporary capital of Province no. 2 for a certain period of time. It is the third largest city of Terai after Biratnagar and Birgunj and the seventh largest in Nepal. Janakpur is around 20 KM from Indian Border in the southern part.
Zip Code of Janakpur
The zip code of Janakpur is 45600. Here are the zip codes of places that fall under Janakpur area in Dhanusha District.
Map of Janakpur
Weather and climate of Janakpur
Since Janakpur is situated in the plain areas of Nepal, the climate is undoubtedly humid subtropical. The climate of Janakpur is classified as warm and temperate.
The summers i.e. the months of April to June are hot, dry and windy whereas the months of July to September are rainy. The winter lasts from the month of October until January, is cold, foggy and dry. Spring season last from February to March.
The average annual temperature of Janakpur is 24.3 degree Celsius. Similarly, the average annual rainfall is 1271 mm. The month of February receives the least amount of rainfall and the average rainfall during this month is 1 mm. July receives the highest amount of rainfall and its average in the month is somewhere around 377 mm.
Janaki Mandir (temple) is one of the biggest temples in Nepal and is the main attraction of Janakpur. The temple situated to the north of the center of Janakpur is dedicated to Mother Sita and it resembles the architectural style of Mughal places in India. Janaki Mandir was built in 1898 AD (1955 BS i.e. under Nepali calendar) by Queen Brisabhanu Junwari of Tikamgarh.
Janaki Mandir is also called the Naulakh Temple (Nine Hundred Thousand temple) and it is because the expenditure for the construction of this temple is said to be Nine hundred thousand rupees.
In the location where Janaki Mandir resides in the present day, a great saint and poet Sannyasi Shurkishordas found a golden statue of the Goddess Sita (the place is supposedly believed to be the birthplace of Sita) in 1657 AD.
Next to the Janaki Mandir is the Ram Sita Bivaha Mandir, the one that marks the place where Lord Ram and Sita got married.
Sri Ram Temple
Similarly, the oldest temple in Janakpur is Sri Ram Temple. The Gorkhali Military Commander Amar Singh Thapa built that during the Anglo-Nepal war.
During the festivals of Ram Nawami, Bivaha Panchami, Chhath, Holi and other festivals, huge fairs are conducted in Janaki Mandir. Ram Nawami marks the birthday of Lord Ram while Bivaha Panchami honors the marriage of Lord Ram and Mother Sita.
Ganga Sagar and Dhanush Sagar
Among many ancient religious and mythological ponds, Ganga Sagar and Dhanush Sagar are considered to be the most sacred ones. If you love being in serenity and also the musical sessions during the evening, you know where to go, right?
Mithila Art (Madhubani Painting)
Mithila is the place of Maithili (a significant language spoken in Eastern Terai of Nepal especially in Janakpur and surrounding) speaking territory. Since ages, the city of Janakpur and surrounding places was richly gifted with unique arts as well as highly educated. The unique art form took its own way and later was called Mithila Art. Mithila art resembles and reflects the natural environment including animals, people, lifestyle, tradition, and culture of the local people.
Besides numerous sacred ponds and temples, another thing not to miss while in Janakpur is Mithila Art, which is also called Madhubani painting. Mithila painting remained as a domestic ritual activity, which was started at least during the 14th century. Later a group of few women began to paint on paper for sale as a new source of family income. In the beginning, they simply painted the traditional images of gods and goddesses and symbolic icons from the wall paintings.
The painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks using natural dyes and pigments and are characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns. Mostly, the artworks are done in primary colors of natural origin on hand and are most famous on paper and clothes, which narrate mythological and religious events.
As the wedding ceremony is considered very special in Maithili society, Mithila arts find a distinct space within the community during that time. During the ceremony, a separate room (which is called Kohabar Ghar i.e. Honeymoon House) is decorated with diverse arts for celebration. The tradition followed for a long time primarily aims to increase the sexual potency and fertility of both the bride and bridegroom. The inner and outer walls of the honeymoon house (Kohabar Ghar) are decorated with beautiful paintings. Similarly, the painting is done on the walls of the house in three places; the Gosaighar (room for a family god), the Kohabar Ghar (the Honeymoon House), and Kohabar-Gharak-Koniya (corridor or outside of the Kohabar Ghar).
Janakpur Today is a Nepali Language daily newspaper published from Janakpurdham and a media group called Janakpur Today Media Group owns this newspaper. This newspaper is widely read by people in Janakpur.
Janakpur Engineering College
Janakpur Engineering College (JEC) is affiliated to Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal and it was established in 2063 BS. The bachelor of Engineering of the Institute of Engineering (IOE), TU being implemented in this college are in Computer, Electronics and Communication and Civil.
Even though the college is named after Janakpur, it is not situated in Janakpur. It is located in Tathali, Bhaktapur.
Central Engineering College Janakpur
Central Engineering College (CEC) was established in 2066 BS and is located in Ramananda Chowk-8, Janakpur. The college lies about 2 KM west of the Janaki Mandir. Central Engineering College is affiliated with Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and offers academic courses including Diploma in Civil Engineering, Diploma in Electrical Program and in affiliation with Purbanchal University, it offers Bachelor In Civil Engineering program as well.
Janakpur Railway is South Asia’s first railway service that connects two countries. Currently, the railway service that connects Janakpur-Jayanagar-Kurtha is being constructed with the assistance of Indian Government, which budgets NRs. 7 billion. And it’s in the final phase, which is soon to start its operation after remaining completely standstill for the last four years.
Hotels in Janakpur
According to the preferences and choices of travelers, Janakpur offers plenty of accommodation options. Ranging from a price of a few hundred to thousands of Rupees, Janakpur has diverse choices for visitors to make. Some of the most popular hotels in Janakpur are Hotel Sita Sharan, Hotel Raj Durbar & Navrang Resort, Hotel Welcome, Hotel City Star And Lodge, Aanand Hotel, Hotel Manaki, Khumbila Hotel among many others.
Janakpur airport is at an elevation of 78 m i.e. 356 ft. above the sea level. The airport has one runway designated 09/27 with an asphalt surface measuring 1,300 by 30 m (4,265 ft by 98 ft). There are daily flights from and to Janakpur via Kathmandu on a regular basis.
Kathmandu to Janakpur
The distance between Kathmandu to Janakpur is 230 KM and it takes around 8-10 hours to reach Janakpur traveling on a local vehicle.
Kathmandu to Janakpur flight
One can choose to fly from Kathmandu to Janakpur as well. There are regular flights to and from Kathmandu until Janakpur. Budhha and Yeti airlines have two flights every day.
Janakpur to Biratnagar
Biratnagar is at a distance of 200 KM towards the Eastern Side from Janakpur. It takes around 4-6 hours to reach Biratnagar on a vehicle from Janakpur. Biratnagar is another important city of Eastern Terai.
Janakpur Cigarette Factory (Janakpur Churot Karkhana)
Janakpur Cigarette Factory (Janakpur Churot Karkhana in Nepali) was established in 1964 and is based in Janakpur Industrial Area, Janakpur Nepal. It was one of the leading tobacco manufacturers in Nepal back then but it was completely closed in 2013. Because this company collapsed, a private company called Surya Nepal overtook its place and is now a leading tobacco company in Nepal.