EP - 4 Janakpur Dham, Nepal | Mata Janaki Temple | Dhanusha Dham, Punaura Dham, Sitamarhi Bihar

EP - 4 Janakpur Dham, Nepal |  Mata Janaki Temple | Dhanusha Dham, Punaura Dham, Sitamarhi Bihar

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So, it is said that the Dhanush broke into three parts. One was thrown into the sky! The second part went into the Paataal (Hell). And the third part landed at the 'Dhanusha Dham.'

The place is about 20-25 KM in the East direction from here. Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Right now, we are in Janakpur, the land of Raja Janak! Right now, you are looking at the Janak Chowk area.

A little further is the Ram Chowk. There is also a pond nearby. It is an ancient belief that when Bhagwan Ram broke the Shiv Dhanush...

...one of its three parts was thrown here. This is what the devotees believe. Today's journey begins with a visit to the temple of Raja Janak! Right now, I am standing where Raja Janak took his last breath. Inside the temple, I had the darshan of Raja Janak's body during the 'Manthan.'

The idol that we saw inside is headless. As I told you, that idol represents his body after the Manthan. There is an idol of Raja Janak's wife, Sunaina Devi. And next to her is Sita Mata. On the other hand of Raja Janak is the idol of Sadanand Ji Maharaj. He was the Rajguru (royal priest) of Raja Janak.

I have told you already that this is the place where Raja Janak spent his last days. He used to live in an accommodation roughly the size of this temple. By then, he had donated his entire kingdom to his daughter and son-in-law.

There are many more stories related to Raja Janak and Mata Sita. Today we will visit all the temples connected to those stories. I will also share with you all the relevant information. Now let us go out of the temple premises. Let us have some breakfast first. After that, we will visit more temples.

I walked for about two minutes. Now I am standing in front of the Ma Raj Devi Temple. She is the 'Kul-Devi' (Family Deity) of Raja Janak. We will visit here after we have had our breakfast. There is a lane right next to the temple.

We are going into that lane for breakfast. There are 3-4 shops inside this lane, selling Poori-Aloo curry for breakfast. The specialty of this place is that... ...while we make wholewheat pooris at home... ...here they use rice flour to make pooris. They have given me five pooris in one plate. Its cost is 50 Nepalese rupees. I also got myself a separate order of pakoras (fritters).

These are made of Moong Dal. I've taken the first bite of poori with Aloo-Tamatar (potato & tomato) chutney. Now, let us taste it with the curry. The curry is sour because of tomatoes. It also has a wonderful flavour of Jeera (cumin seeds).

And it is spicy because of the whole red chilies. It tastes good! There is simplicity in its taste. Yummy! Lovely! To sum up, today's breakfast has been exemplary. A good start to the day! We will leave here in another 10-15 minutes.

Then we will take you on a tour of Janakpur. We will share with you all that we see on this tour. I would suggest you catch up on the previous episodes if you haven't already. We began this journey from Darbhanga, Madhubani, in Bihar. We spent three days in Madhubani. From there, we travelled for about 60 KM to reach Janakpur.

Now, our breakfast is done! It was a 5-minute walk to reach the main temple of Janakpur. Come, let us go inside. Inside the temple, I had the darshan of Bhagwan Ram and his brothers. I also had the darshan of Sita Mata and her sisters. The temple is open from 8 AM to 8 PM. Those are darshan timings though the temple remains closed from 12 PM to 4 PM.

We have with us Virendra Ji. You told me that you are a local and work as a journalist. So, tell me one thing. I just had darshan of idols of Bhagwan Ram, his brothers, Sita Mata, her sisters. How old would these idols be? Those are marble idols established here by the Queen of Tikamgarh.

The Sita Mata's idol is ancient. There was a man named Surya Kishore Das who lived in Lohagarh in Madhya Pradesh. At that time, the whole Janakpur was a huge jungle. I am talking about the time between 17th and 18th century. So, this man had a dream. In his dream, the idol asked for help to find a home for itself.

So, he went out in search of Janakpur. When he reached here, he dreamed of the idol telling him to be left there. He was told in his dream that Janakpur would be where the idol is found. From Lohagarh, he came on foot to Gangasagar and took a bath.

He was tired so he took a nap under a huge tree. In another dream he was the place where he would locate the idol. Surya Kishore Das dug up the idol, and brought it to Janakpur. Gradually, this place became inhabited.

There was a Sena dynasty of Makwanpur. This dynasty established this temple here originally and the town spread further. Eventually, it was the Queen of Tikamgarh who got built this grand temple as we see it. Inside, we saw the ancient idol of Sita Mata. It is ancient! It was a divine experience to visit this ancient temple. So beautiful! Thank you very much! Very nice! It is by chance that he has seen our recent episodes of Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu.

That's how we connected and I requested him to introduce this temple to viewers. That made things easier for us. Thank you! Thank you! Now, I will show you the place, which was the marriage hall of Bhagwan Ram & Sita Ma. Entry ticket is for Rs 7 (Indian) and Rs 10 (Nepalese). Indian rupees 7! What we call 'Vivaah Mandap' (Marriage Hall) is called 'Marwah' in local language.

This Mandap is built at the time of a wedding. This place has been developed in a way that tourists can visit here... ...and see for themselves the kind of Mandap used for weddings. I just visited the Vivaah Mandap! Raja Dashrath's family is seated on one side of the Mandap. Raja Janak's family is seated on the opposite side. In the centre, Bhagwan Ram and Mata Sita are sitting together.

In the middle of two sides is the 'Vidhi' (holy fire). That is part of the Yajna. Family priests, Sadanand ji Maharaj & Vishwamitra Ji are seated opposite each other. And, of course, Guru Vashishth. It felt good to see all this.

The walls are adorned with idols of different deities in Hinduism. These idols showcase that all these deities were present during the wedding ceremony. There are four other temples around this main Mandap.

These four temples are located in four different directions. These four temples.... ...are known as 'Kohbar Ghar' in the local language. Raja Dashrath had four sons while Raja Janak had four daughters. After their marriage, the four couples stayed in the four Kohbar Ghar! Right! There is a 'Mani Mandap' about 1.5 to 2 KM from here. The actual wedding ceremony took place in the Mani Mandap. We are going to visit there as well.

This place, however, was developed because... ...the devotees visit Ma Janaki's temple and... ...since this place is nearby, devotees find it easy to visit here as well. The Janaki Mata temple that we visited earlier... ...once used to be the palace of Raja Janak. Today it is Janaki Mata's Temple. Now, let's leave this temple complex.

We will visit the actual place where the 'Sita Swayamvar' was organised. Please come! Finally, we have reached that place! This is where Bhagwan Ram and Sita Mata were wedded. I am feeling so good here. They have built a temple here.

We can't visit here because... ...it is closed now and will reopen at 4 PM. We met the Pujari (priest) here, who is standing next to me. And you are a local? Yes! As per my knowledge, this is the place where the wedding ceremony took place. Yes! This is the real Marwah! When you say 'Marwah', you mean the actual 'Vivaah Mandap.'

Yes! The one, which includes the Kohbar Ghar? Yes! According to the culture of Mithilanchal (Mithila region)... ...all the main rituals of the wedding happen inside the Marwah. I mean inside the Mandap. And the 'Saat-Pheras' (7 rounds) taken around the holy fire... ...happen inside that. So, this is the Marwah where Bhagwan Ram and Mata Janaki got married! Awesome! I am curious to know where the 'Swayamvar' took place. Swayamvar took place inside Raja Janak's Palace... ...which, nowadays, is Mata Janaki Temple. Janaki Ji's Temple! The place we visited this morning. it was Raja Janak's Palace.

Yes! So, obviously, the Swayamvar took place at that place. Yes, at that palace. It felt so good to meet you here and I would really want... ...and hope that this place is developed into a better destination. Like, right now, not many tourists are even aware of this place. Many tourists don't know the reality. They just visit the temple and... Yes, they don't know.

...they aren't knowing about this place. This is a very holy place. I hope that all that I want about this place would happen in the future and... ...like us, many more tourists will visit here. Yes, of course! So beautiful! Thank you! Jai Siya Ram! Jai Siya Ram! We have reached the Dhanusha Dham! Before entering the temple, look at all this Tej Patta (Bay leaves)! Outside the temple, at least 8-10 persons are selling Tej Patta. How much for a kilogram in Nepalese rupees? Hundred Nepalese rupees! Hundred rupees! It is said in the Ramayana that... ...Sita was born out of the Earth. (Recites a Ramayana verse) She was found in Sitamarhi, Punaura.

All these places were earlier a part of Mithila region. From there, the King brought her to his capital, Janakpur. Valmiki Ramayana further says that when Sita reached seven years of age... ...and her mother, Sunaina, asked her... ...to clean the Dhanusha (bow). Little Sita went, picked up the 'Pinaki' Dhanush with her left hand and... ...cleaned it with her right hand before placing it back. This scene left Janak amazed that his seven-year-old daughter...

...could pick up the Dhanush so easily. He became sure that someone in the world would match her as a partner. That is why he organised a 'Dhanush-Yajna.' The Dhanush Yajna was organised in Janakpur. (Again recites Ramayana verse) Bhagwan (Ram) picked up and broke the Pinaki Dhanush into three parts. One part flew away into the sky. That part is represented in Dhanushkodi, in Rameshwaram, floating by the sea.

This is why in our Shastras (ancient scriptures), Rameshwaram has... ...also been described as 'Dhanusha Dham.' The left part was thrown into the Paataal (Hell). There is a huge pond near the Janakpur Ram Temple, called "Dhanushagar." It is also called the 'Dhanusha Kshetra.'

Yes! The middle part of the Dhanusha landed here. (Reciting Ramayana verse) The middle part! So, Valmiki describes in Ramayana that from Janakpur, towards the East... ...like you travelled into the East direction... The distance, during that time, was measured differently than it is today. So, this is the main part of the Dhanush, here.

Alright! This is that part! This tree is based on that part of Dhanush. As per the scientists, this tree is at least 550 years old. It could also be older than that. Now, this part of Dhanush is growing longer constantly in the East direction. It is growing a fresh offshoot near the base of the Trishul (trident). Is it growing on its own? It is growing on its own, while the Goverdhan mountain is getting reduced in size.

And this Dhanush is growing inversely proportional to the mountain. This is why no permanent boundary has been built around it. This is an indication for this region of 'Panchkoshi.' This water level indicates the amount of rainfall this region will receive. It is imperative that this water level remains as high as possible for good crop yield. If it goes down too much, it is considered a bad omen.

This tells us what the future holds in store for this region. This formation looks like a 'Rudraksh.' Science says that what you see here isn't a stone completely. Now, it could have been a metal but it doesn't work with a magnet.

You could say it is hardened lava from a nearby volcano... ...but there is no such volcano nearby. Therefore, the management tries to keep this in as natural circumstances as possible. This is a brief story of this place.

Jai Shri Dhanusha Dham! Jai Siya Ram! The time is 3 PM. We are back in Janakpur now. We will have lunch here. Mithila Thali by Chef Santosh Shah! Janakpurdham! Let's go! Yesterday night, we recorded a video here for our BTS channel.

During the shoot, I couldn't pay attention to these Mithila paintings. But now that I am looking at these, the paintings are impressive! This painting tells us about Sita Mata's birth. This place is Sitamarhi, which we are going to visit today. Sita Mata is shown playing childhood games. This is the scene depicting that. These are some household activities being carried out.

This scene is from the Phulhar where... .. Sita Mata and Bhagwan Shri Ram... ...had their first meeting. We visited this place yesterday. I ordered a Special Thali for lunch. Now let us see what they have served in the Thali. Let's start from here. This is Tarua, which I have eaten several times in the past few days. Right! This is called 'Tilori.'

It is made with rice flour. This is an essential part of Mithila cuisine. Sevaiyaan (vermicelli) we all know of! We also know it is yogurt! This is a dish very different for me.

It is known as 'Birria' here. You know "Bethu", also known as 'Bathu' (Pigweed). Its leaves are dried and coated with Dal before being cooked in a curry. It is first coated with Dal and then cooked as a curry. Kadhi Bari! The Bari in this dish are fritters made of plain Besan (chickpea flour).

This is called 'Gatta.' This dish is somewhat similar to the Rajasthani 'Gatte ki Sabzi.' This dish also has 'Chana' (chickpeas) in it.

Both are cooked together. This Dal is made by mixing 4-5 types of lentils together. Aloo-Bhujiya (Softened potatoes)! This is a chutney made with...

...Til (sesame seeds), tomatoes, and dhaniya (fresh coriander). I have observed that... ...when I was in Madhubani... ...I used to see that... ...there was simplicity in the food served to us. And there was minimal use of spices. The same simplicity is maintained in the food we are having here in Janakpur...

...but the use of spices has been reduced further. In this Dal that I am eating here... ...I can enjoy the pure taste of Dal. We know that using too many spices overpowers the actual flavour of food... ...but this food is highly simple in flavours. Look at the texture of this Dal. See, you might confuse this dish with the Gatta Curry of Rajasthan... ...it won't be right. Because this is a different dish.

This dish tastes of the 'Gatta' made with Besan but... ...the chickpea curry has completely changed the overall flavour. I am highly impressed with this combination that I am having for the first time. It looks like this Kadhi is made with 'Makhana' (Foxnuts). But these dumplings are made with Besan and are called 'Bari.' When I visited here last night...

...I noticed that this Kadhi Bari has a very sour flavour. Now I am going to eat this dish called 'Birria.' It is not served in routine here. We had to call them in advance and ask for this dish. So, they got it prepared for us. When we eat Bathu leaves at home...

...those are very juicy! It is a green vegetable. Here, we are eating it in a dried form. If you aren't told it is Bathu, it becomes difficult to identify it. Moreover, the Dal used as a coating here has completely altered the taste. I asked the staff here...

...which of these items isn't served in routine here. They said the dishes that aren't served in routine are Birria and Gatta. They don't serve these dishes regularly. However, they serve if someone calls in advance and the ingredients are available. For example, if dried Bathu is available, they would serve Birria. To sum up, I enjoyed my meal here.

In fact, I am going to enjoy this meal for 15-20 more minutes. After that, we will leave here for Sitamarhi. It will take us approximately an hour to reach there. I will join you again after a short while in Sitamarhi. From Janakpur, we travelled a distance of 26 KM and...

...we have reached Bhitta More. We crossed into Nepal through a different border. And we are leaving Nepal through here. Now, we will travel 40 KM in this direction and reach Sitamarhi. So, we can safely assume the journey from Janakpur to Sitamarhi is 1.5 hours long.

A Nepali vehicle travelling from Janakpur to Sitamarhi doesn't need to pay any taxes. But if you're travelling from India to Janakpur, as we said in the previous episode... ...per-day tax for a four-wheeler and two-wheeler is Rs 600 & Rs 200, respectively. And if you are travelling on foot, no tax needs to be paid. Anybody can travel on foot and it is tax-free! However, if a Nepali vehicle has to travel beyond Sitamarhi...

...it would have to pay tax through its embassy in India. This is all the knowledge I wanted to share with you. As of today, there are at least 5-6 border crossing points through which... ...you can drive into Nepal. And as for two-wheeler drivers and on-footers, there are many more such points.

Right now, I am at the Sitamarhi Dham. The time is 7.30 PM. We had reached here at about 6.15 PM.

We arrived here when the evening aarti (prayer ceremony) was underway. So, we took part in the aarti and it felt so good! To attend the aarti here. That is over now. To learn more details about this place...

...and its significance... ...we have with us the Pujari Ji. I requested him to share some details with us. When it was Mithila region, Raja Janak was its king. During Raja Janak's reign, this region faced a severe famine. The whole population was affected by the famine. The prominent astrologers of that time predicted rainfall... ...if Raja Janak would plough the land himself. When Raja Janak arrived here to plough the land...

...according to the Vishnu Purana, he was accompanied by 88,000 sages & hermits. Those sages and hermits needed to be put up in proper accommodations. Those accommodations were built here. In Mithila, we call rooms made of thatch as "Marhai."

The ones you call "Jhuggi-Jhopdi." The place where he actually ploughed is 6 KM North from here... ...and it is called 'Haleshwar Sthan.' Before that, the king performed the 'Haleshti Yajna' for Bhagwan Mahadev. And then he ploughed the land. The place where he ran the plough is 6 KM from here. Well, we consider it 4 KM but the GPS says it is 6 KM.

So, we have accepted it as 6 KM distance. From there he ploughed land till the Sita-Kund, which used to be a flatland. While he was ploughing there,... ...he found Sita ji through divine intervention. As soon as Raja Janak picked up baby Sita in his arms,... ...it started to rain and Gods blessed this land with prosperity. Since then, it is believed that whatever this land receives is due to Sita's blessings. She came into the arms of Raja Janak through a divine intervention.

The king then decided to adopt Sita as his daughter and take care of her. After she came into Raja Janak's life, she came to be known as 'Janak-putri Janaki.' Later that day, the rain kept falling in abundance. To save themselves, people ran into the thatched accommodations. The rain fell continuously for 6 days.

On the 6th day, we celebrate the birth of a child as 'Chhathhi.' That Chhathhi ceremony took place at Sitamarhi. At the Chhathhi, the baby was named Sita & this name was given by Narad ji. When we plough land with hal (plough), it has sharp blades to turn the soil. Those blades are known as 'Sit.'

The turned soil is known as 'Sirawal.' In regional languages, it is also called "Gaddha." Both the names, when put together, result into 'Sita.'

This is why the baby was named 'Sita' and... ...since at that time, they were putting up in thatched houses called 'Marhai"... ...thus the name 'Sitamarhai.' We call it Sitamarhi today and from 'Puniyarai' has turned into 'Punaura.' This place became 'Janaki Janambhoomi Punaura Dham.' The place where baby's 6-day ceremony was celebrated became Sitamarhi. And the place where Haleshti Yajna was performed became Haleshwar Sthan.

This is the history of this place in brief. So nice! Jai Janaki Maharani Ki! Janaki Janambhoomi Punaura Dham ki Jai! Will you also tell us something about the darshan we are having here? These are four idols, two of Ram Ji and two of Sita ji. On either side of these idols are Laxman-Urmila Ji and Bharat - Mandavi ji. It means there are three brothers and three sisters in this frame.

You may ask why there are two Ram and Sita? For centuries, we kept two idols here - one each of Ram ji and Sita ji. But in 2004, the idol of Ram ji was stolen. When the original idol couldn't be recovered, the District Collector arranged...

...for a replacement so that the prayers could continue unabated. Afterwards, the police did their best and the idol was recovered after another 3 months. On being recovered, the idol was placed inside here. Thus, we have two Ram and two Sita here. Now you might ask why Shatrughan ji is missing here. So, you will find Shatrughan ji at 3 places. He is seen with his 3 brothers, their wives, and his wife, in Ayodhya, his birthplace.

Janakpur is his in-laws' place, there you will see all four brothers with their wives. There is a place called 'Madhurai', where he slayed demon king Lavanasur. He was declared king of that place afterwards. There are four Yugas (eras) - Kalyug, Satyug, Dwapar, Treta! Across these four eras, only 2 men have been crowned kings with the predecessor alive. First name is that of Vibhishan ji.

Ram ji established him as king while Ravana was still alive. And the second is Shatrughan ji. He was sent to fight Lavanasur after being anointed the king. He became the king when he returned after slaying Lavanasur.

This is the story of this place. Janaki Maharani ki... ...Jai!! Janaki Janambhoomi Punaura Dham ki... ...Jai!! I am out of the temple complex now. It felt so good to be visiting here. We had planned this tour very well in a way.

We had planned to travel from Janakpur to Sitamarhi, and then on to Patna. However, if we could have come here earlier... ...we could have shown you the surroundings properly because... ...there is a pond on the backside of this temple complex. It isn't clearly visible in the dark. We could see it properly during day time.

Right! Now, we are leaving here for Patna. We will end the day in Patna. I am going to say Bye to you here. Right! We will now meet in our next episode, which could be a journey to Vaishali or Patna.

I will plan it once I am in Patna. Right now, I am standing outside the 'Ma Janaki Janamshtali, Punaura Dham.' Alright then! We will meet again soon. Jai Siya Ram! Thanks for your time!

2024-04-22 16:34

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