Janakpurdham

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Janakpurdham
जनकपुर नगरपालिका
Mithila Nagri
Municipality
Janki Mandir of Janakpur Janaki Mandir
Janki Mandir of Janakpur Janaki Mandir
Janakpurdham is located in Nepal
Janakpurdham
Janakpurdham
Location in Nepal
Coordinates: 26°43′43″N 85°55′30″E / 26.72861°N 85.92500°E / 26.72861; 85.92500Coordinates: 26°43′43″N 85°55′30″E / 26.72861°N 85.92500°E / 26.72861; 85.92500
Country    Nepal
Admin. division Janakpur Zone
District Dhanusa District
Government
 • Type Municipality
Population
 • Total 97,997
Postal code 45600
Area code(s)

NT Fixed-Line: 041 NT Cell  : 98440, 98441, 98442, 98540, 98541

NCell Cell  : 98048,98148,98076,98176, 98016

Janakpur IPA: [dʒəŋɑkpʊr] ) also known as Janakpurdham, is one of the historical and religious cities of Nepal. Janakpur is the administrative headquarters of Dhanusa District of the Janakpur Zone and in 2011 had a population of 97,997.[1] The city is located about 123 km[2] south-east of Kathmandu, 20 km from the Indian border[1] at 26° 43' 43" N, 085° 55' 30" E. Janakpur has a substantial tourism industry due to its significance in the Hindu religion[3] and is home to the only operational railway in Nepal, the Janakpur Railway.

History[edit]

Deities of Sri Sita Devi (far right) and Sri Rama (center) (with Sri Lakshmana (far left) and Sri Hanuman (below seated))

The Janakpur zone (Janakpuranchal) historically called Mithilanchal, is the place where ancient Maithili culture originated. It has also given birth to Chhath festival, Maithili language and script in this ancient city of Nepal.

The first millennium BC text Shatapatha Brahmana tells that the Nepalese Maithil king Māthava Videgha, led by his priest Gotama Rahugana, first crossed the Sadānirā (Gandaki) river and founded the South Asian kingdom of Videha, whose capital city was Janakpur of Nepal. As Gotama Rahugana composed many hymns in the Rgveda, these events must date to the Rgvedic period.

The most important historical reference to Janakpur is in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi (also called Janaki in Nepal) is said to have been the Nepali princess of Videha. Her father, King Janak of Nepal, found baby Sita in a furrow of a field in visit to Siraha and raised her as his daughter. When she grew up, the king announced that she should be wed by whoever was able to string the divine bow of Shiva. Though many royal suitors tried, Lord Rama, Indian prince of Ayodhya, alone could even lift the bow. As Rama and Sita are major figures in Hinduism, Janakpur is an important Nepalese pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world.

In addition, both the great Nepali saints Gautama Buddha, founder of buddhism, and Vardamana Mahavira, the 24th and final Tirthankara of the Jain religion, are said to have lived in Janakpur. The region was an important centre for Nepalese history of Mithila during the first millennium.

Geography and climate[edit]

Ratna Sagar, Janakpur

Janakpur is located in the Terai, alluvial, forested and marshy terrain at the base of the Himalaya mountain range. The major rivers surrounding Janakpur are Dudhmati, Jalad, Rato, Balan and Kamala. Janakpur is famous for its temples and the numerous ponds which carry significant religious importance.

One can see all the six seasons in Janakpur. Basant ritu (Spring - February/March), Grisma ritu (Summer - April/May/June), Barsha ritu (Rainy - July/August), Sharad ritu (Autumn - September/October), Hemanta ritu (Autumn-winter - November/December), Shishir ritu (Winter - December/January).

The best time to visit Janakpur is from September to March as the weather is pleasant and several festivals fall during this period.

Economy[edit]

Janakpur is one of the fast developing cities of Nepal and is on the way to meet the criteria for being the 5th Sub-Metropolitan city of Nepal. The city has good health care facilities and lots of park in city, as well as good private schools and colleges and Internet service providers. The economy is mostly based on agriculture and local industries.

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 till 2013, now both are closed. There are also two poles factories and one hume pipe factory.

Shiva Chowk, Janakpur

Transport[edit]

A train at Janakpur railway station.
Janakpur Airport Terminal

The narrow-gauge Janakpur Railway is the only operational railway in Nepal. It connects Janakpur to the Indian border at Siraha on the Nepal side with a customs checkpoint for goods and Jaynagar, Bihar.

Janakpur has a domestic airport (IATA: JKRICAO: VNJP) with most flights connecting to Kathmandu. Frequent bus services operate between Janakpur and other cities of Nepal. Within the city, travelers may hire cycle rickshaws or take city buses and taxis. Local people also use bicycles.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Buddha Air Kathmandu [4]
Gorkha Airlines Kathmandu [5]
Guna Airlines Kathmandu [6]
Sita Air Kathmandu [7]
Yeti Airlines Kathmandu [8]

Demographics[edit]

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

Culture[edit]

Temples and festivals[edit]

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 Kunwar of Tikamgarh.[9] It is also called "Nau Lakha Mandir" after the cost of construction, said to be nine (nau) lakh. The oldest temple in Janakpur is Ram Mandir, built by the Gurkhali soldier Amar Singh Thapa.[9] 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 where Lord Rama and Sita are said to have been married. It is situated next to the Janki Mandir.

Chhath in Janakpur

Major religious celebrations include the major Hindu festivals such as Deepawali, and Vijayadashami.[9] followed by spectacular Chhath (sun worship) six days after Deepawali. Both the festivals Deepawali and Chhath are heavily celebrated with a carnival-like atmosphere. The locals take pride in the way these festivals are celebrated.

On the full moon day of February/March before the festival of Holi, a one-day Parikrama (circumambulation) of the city is celebrated. Many people offer prostrated obeisances along the entire eight km route. Two other festivals honor Rama and Sita: Rama Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama, in March–April, draws thousands of pilgrims.[10] And the Vivah Panchami or Vivah festival re-enacts the wedding of Rama and Sita at the famous Vivah Mandap temple on the fifth day of the waxing moon in November or early December(after Kartik Purnima),where Rama broke the bow of Shiva.

Pilgrims stay in one of the city's five good hotels or small guest houses. There are also five fully equipped dharmashalas (cheap lodgings for pilgrims).

Janakpur Railway Station Platform

Art[edit]

Maithili women are known for their traditional art, especially their paintings on pottery, walls and courtyards. These Mithila Paintings are famous internationally.

Entertainment[edit]

Janakpur has five movie theaters (asha cinemahall, girija hall, hanuman theater, neelam theater, ram janki picture palace) . They show new and old movies in Maithili, Bhojpuri, Nepali and Hindi. Hollywood movies are not that much popular among the locals. Apart from this, several stage shows, concerts and plays are occasionally organized by the local clubs and organizations. Prominent among these is Mithila Natyakala Parishad(MINAP), which is a not-for-profit organization, claiming to be dedicated towards promoting Mithila culture.[11]

Hospitals and Nursing Homes[edit]

Government

Janakpur Zonal Hospital
  • Janakpur Zonal Hospital

Private Hospitals

  • Dhanusha Hospital Pvt Ltd
  • City Hospital and Research Centre
  • Paradise Hospital
  • Janaki Eye Hospital
  • Mithila Hospital
  • Janakpur Nursing Home
  • Janaki Teaching City Hospital
  • Janaki Health Care and Research Center

Hotels[edit]

Janakpur has several hotels and restaurants which offer food and accommodation. These include

  • Hotel Manaki
  • Hotel Welcome
  • Hotel Rama
  • Hotel Sita Palace
  • Hotel Adarsh
  • Rooftop

There are also several cheaper lodges and Dharamsala (cheap accommodations) for pilgrims. PagalaBaba Dharmashala is one of the famous dharmasala located in Janakpur

Education[edit]

Janakpur has good educational facilities and several elites of the country were schooled here, including the first president of the Federal Republic of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. There are many private and government schools and colleges located in Janakpurdham. The oldest government school for higher studies is Ra.Ra. Bahumukhi Campus(RR Multiple Campus), which is affiliated to Tribhuwan University. It offers undergraduate and post-graduate courses in several disciplines. Janakpur also boasts of having a medical college, Janaki Medical College,[12] which is also affiliated to Tribhuwan University.

Colleges[edit]

  • Janaki Medical College
  • Dhanusha Science Campus
  • Model Multiple College
  • Universal Academy
  • Janakpur Campus
  • Rajarshi Campus
  • Mithila Institute of Technology
  • Vigyan Adhyayan Kendra
  • R.R. Multiple Campus
  • New S.M. Campus
  • Public Youth Campus
  • New English Campus

Media[edit]

The local media of Janakpur primarily consists of several community radio stations and a few print newspapers.

Janakpurdham has 7 Community radio Stations[citation needed].

  • Radio Janakpur 97.0MHz
  • Mithila Sanchar Samuha 106.6MHz
  • Radio Today 91MHz
  • Janaki FM 106MHz
  • Radio Mithila 100.8MHz
  • Janakpur FM 101.80MHz
  • Mithilanchal Music FM 99.4MHz

The major daily newspapers are:

  • Janakpur Today
  • Janakpur Express
  • Mithila.com
  • The Reporter Time
  • A2z Online News Update

Banks[edit]

Nepal rastiya bank: janakpur
  • Nepal rastiya bank
  • Nepal banijiya bank
  • Nepal bank ltd
  • Agriculture Development bank
  • Everest bank
  • Nepal inverstment bank
  • kist bank
  • NMB bank
  • Macchapuchre bank
  • bank of kathmandu
  • NIC ASIA bank
  • Nabil bank
  • Prabhu bikash bank
  • Nepal sbi bank
  • National Co-operative Bank

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://cbs.gov.np/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/VDC_Municipality.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.distancefromto.net/between/Kathmandu/Janakpur
  3. ^ Samiti, Rastriya Samachar. "More Indian tourists visit Janakpurdham". Himalayan Times. 18 JANUARY 2004.
  4. ^ "Flight schedule". Buddha Air. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Destinations". Gorkha Airlines. Retrieved 8 June 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.gunaairlines.com/destination/index.php
  7. ^ "Destinations". Sita Air. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Scheduled flights". Yeti Airlines. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Tourism in Janakpur stays undeveloped" by Rastriya Samachar Samiti. The Himalyan Times, 13 April. Accessed September 2008
  10. ^ http://www.nepalvista.com/travel/janakpur.html
  11. ^ http://minapjanakpur.org/
  12. ^ Janaki Medical College