Janaki Temple is one of the renowned Hindu temples which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Sita. Janaki Temple is popularly known as “Naulakha Temple” (meaning “nine lakhs”) is the most renowned pilgrimage of Janakpur. The cost for the construction of the temple was about the same amount of money: rupees nine lakhs or nine hundred thousand, hence the name Naulakha is given to the temple.
It was built by Queen Brisbhanu Kunwar of Tikamgarh (Central India) in 1911 A.D. Originally it was an illustration of Hindu Rajput architecture with a blend of Moghul Architecture in Nepal. The temple is built on the spot where Mahatma Surkishor, a contemporary of Chaturbhuj Giri, found the golden idol of Janaki (Sita), and Sita is said to have lived there.
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The legend reveals it that it was built on the holy site where Sannyasi Shurkishordas had found the image of Goddess Sita. In fact, Shurkishordas was the founder of modern Janakpur and the great saint and poet who had preached about the “Sita-Upasana” (also called Sita Upanishad) Philosophy.
Legend has claimed that King Janak(Seeradhwaj) performed the worship of Shiva-Dhanus on this site.
The main attraction is the Janaki Temple (Naulakha) itself. Temple is fully built-in bright white and constructed in an area of 4,860 sq. feet. 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. According to legends and epics, King Janak ruled this area (called Videha) during the Ramayana period.
Many other temples, important shrines and huts were built in this area during the last two centuries. There is a grand Ram Sita “Vivaha Mandap“, built in the complex of this temple. This Vivaha Mandap is an excellent example of Nepalese Architecture. It has several Panoramic and standard roof structure in the form of Mandaps (pavillions) propped on the smooth and ornamented columns of marble, which are erected on the square platforms. This building is the major attraction for the tourist due to its location amidst magnificent landscape(garden).
Main Festival in Janaki Temple
Vivah Panchami is the annual and main festival of Janakpur celebrated in the month of November/December. In this festival, the marriage of Sita and Ram is celebrated with numerous sacred rites and rituals. During the festival, the temple is decorated with special arts, lights and bhajans are sung daily. We can experience the euphoric as well as the spiritual atmosphere around the temple’s premises.
Janaki or Sita had chosen Lord Rama as her husband during her engagement. Their marriage ceremony had occurred in the nearby temple which is called as Vivaha Mandap in the complex of Janaki temple.
How to reach Janaki Temple
The cheapest way to get Janaki Temple is to take a bus that you can find from the major cities of Nepal like Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, Butwal, etc. Similarly, you can travel by flying from Kathmandu to Janakpur. Nearly two plane flies from Kathmandu to Janakpur every day.