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Trip to Janakpur (Travel of City), birth place of Goddess Janaki (Sita)

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 by ER Saurav Shrestha under Tour

Tags: Janakpur, Janaki temple,Sankat Mochan, Holi Festival

My first official trip was to Janakpur , the birth place of Goddess Janaki (Sita), daughter of King Janaka and wife of Lord Rama. Janakpur is located 128 km southeast of Kathmandu, 11 hours by bus, next to the Indian border. By air you can reach Janakpur in 20 minutes, so I grab my flight from Tribhuwan Domestic Airport. Although it was summer time I left Kathmandu for a new adventure.
 
Janakpur was the capital of the ancient state of Mithila, which used to be part of India. The Maithili language is spoken here. It has its own script and is spoken by around two million people. 

As Janakpur is the terai region of Nepal it’s too hot and humid with temperature of 45 degrees. So if you want to visit Janakpur you better grab a sunscreen, sun glass and mosquito repellent. For the most part motorized traffic is banned from the city center and there is almost no tourist hustle. So it is a peaceful place. There tourist office (20755) on Station Rd east of Bhanu Chowk, close to the railway station. Open Sunday to Thursday 10 am to 4 pm, Friday until 3 pm. It closes an hour earlier from November to January. It has a brochure about Janakpur and can give information about festivals. The Nepal Rastra Bank in the southern part of town changes money. Nepal Bangladesh Bank, Nepal Investment Bank, Citizens Bank Int. Ltd., at Bhanu Chowk, changes cash, but not travelers’ cheques. Some of the telephone places on Station road have email facilities.

The main attraction of Janakpur is Janaki temple, Lord Hanuman’s (Bajranbali) wooden statue,Ram Mandhir, Dhanus Sagar, Ganga Sagar and Sankat Mochan Temple. The one International Railway is situated at Janakpur. Two narrow-gauge lines end at Janakpur, one going east to Jaynagar, just over the Indian border, and the other northwest to Bijalpura. Both train lines are about 30km long. Taking a train is a nice way to see the countryside. The Bibhaha (Viveh) Panchami festival re-enacts the wedding of Rama and Sita. Over 100,000 pilgrims come for this festival. There is a procession with elephants, horses, and decorated chariots with beating drums. It is on the fifth day of the waxing moon in November or early December. 
Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama, in March-April, is an important festival that draws over 100,000 people. Dipawali in Oct/Nov is a festive time to visit. There is an annual one-day Parikrama (circumambulation) of the city on the full moon day of February/March. Many people offer prostrated obeisances along the entire 8km route. It is at the same time as the Holi festival.

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