Janakpurdham

Jankimadir

Janakpur, also known as Janakpurdham, is one of the historical and religious city of Nepal. Janakpur is the administrative headquarter of Dhanusa District of the Janakpur Zone and has a population of approximately 80,000. Janakpur has a substantial tourist industry due to its significance in the Hindu religion and is home to the only operational railway in Nepal, the Janakpur Railway.Janakpur, historically called Mithilanchal, is the centre of the ancient Maithil culture, which has its own language and script.

The first millennium BC text Shatapatha Brahmana tells that the king Mathava Videgha, led by his priest Gotama Rahugana, first crossed the Sadanira (Gandaka) river and founded the kingdom of Videha, whose capital city was Mithila. As Gotama Rahugana composed many hymns in the Rgveda, these events must date to the Rgvedic period.

The most important historical reference to Mithila/Janakpur is in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi (also called Janaki) is said to have been the princess of Videha. Her father, King Janak, found baby Sita in a furrow of a field 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, prince of Ayodhya, alone could even lift the bow. As Rama and Sita are major figures in Hinduism, Janakpur is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus.

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

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