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Janakpur Tourism And Travel Guide
28° C / 82.5° F
October to March
1 to 2 Days
International Nepal Railway Station Janakpur
Janakpur is a small municipality that forms the headquarters of the Dhanusa District in Nepal. It is locally also known as Janakpurdham, and is believed to be the birthplace of goddess Sita. It was also once the capital of the ancient Mithila Kingdom of Nepal, and has been named after King Janak who was the ruler of the said kingdom.
Today, Janakpur still houses a significant part of its Mithila culture in its monuments and shopping locations. With a wide range of Hindu temples dedicated to various deities within the city, it is a major pilgrimage hub for Hindu devotees and an architecturally significant site for all history buffs. The rising tourism in Janakpur has also given rise to a number of commercial outlets in the city that will prove to be a fun travel experience for the religious and non religious alike. Detailed below is a brief travel guide for your next trip to Janakpur.
How to Reach
The most convenient way to reach Janakpur is to first catch a flight to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, and get onto a subsequent domestic flight to Janakpur Airport. There are daily flights operating between the two cities and the entire flight duration takes less than half an hour. You can choose from a number of airlines like Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air and Sita Airlines that operate small to medium sized aircrafts.
Jayanagar Railway Station and Sitamarhi Railway Station are located only 30 and 45 km away from Janakpur Railway Station respectively and were the only connecting railway lines between India and Nepal. However, the line was shut down in 2014 for renovation and expansion purposes and is scheduled to restart soon. Meanwhile, people can choose to travel from any major city in India to Jayanagar or Sitamarhi and cover the rest of the distance to Janakpur via road.
Regular buses ply between Kathmandu and Janakpur from Kalanki Bus Station and Long Distance Bus Station in Gongobu. The total journey takes about eight hours; it is advisable to take the night bus and reach Janakpur early morning.
The cities of Jayanagar and Sitamarhi in India are also located close enough to the border to catch a bus service between the respective cities and Janakpur. People can also opt to drive themselves or hire a private cab. For those choosing to drive themselves, the nearest highways connecting to Janakpur are Mahendra Highway and BP Koirala Highway.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
A short intermediate autumn season precedes the extreme winter weather. With the monsoons receding rapidly, the temperature starts to cool down and the humidity levels are low enough to enjoy day time sightseeing. The substantially colder months of December and January are some of the best times to explore the city of Janakpur. The chances of rain remain low to none, and the cool temperatures make for an enjoyable time outdoors.
Spring is one of the best seasons to explore the city of Janakpur. After the retreating winters, it is characterized by a short transitional period of pleasant warm temperatures and minimal precipitation that is ideal for sightseeing before the intense summer weather commences.
The months of June and July are the hottest and are best avoided when traveling to Janakpur. The monsoon rains last almost all summer and even the days when it doesn’t rain, the humidity levels are immensely high to be able to enjoy any outdoor activities substantially.
Things to Do
Janakpur features some of the most spectacular temple architecture in the country. With a predominance of Hindu shrines within the city, it forms a major pilgrimage site for devotees and also serves as a heritage site with immense cultural significance. Some of the most prominent monuments in the region are the Janaki Mandir, Ram Mandir and the Ram Sita Vivah Mandap.
Apart from the fascinating temples and shrines, Janakpur also offers the opportunity for tourists to explore its traditional villages and catch a glimpse of the lives of the indigenous population. The closest villages are Kuwa and Phulgama that are only a half hour away from Janakpur and can be reached via local buses. Dhanushadham and Jaleshwor are other nearby locations that also hold religious and cultural significance and are worth paying a visit.
Boating on the Ponds:
The Ganga Sagar, Dhanush Sagar and the Parshuram Kunda are few among the hundreds of ponds in the city that are sacred to the locals and feature as a prime location for celebrations during major festivals every year. These water bodies are also a great location for boating activities for tourists and are a spectacle to watch during night time when the daily prayers and chants take place.
Where to Shop
The native Maithili culture can be observed in various aspects of Janakpur’s livelihood, and locally made products like paper paintings, screen printed clothes and hand-thrown ceramics are some of the finest items to purchase as souvenirs. The best kind of handmade art can be seen at the Women’s Development Centre, which combines the commemoration of ancient Mithila culture with providing the local women with learning and business opportunities.
What To Eat
While Janakpur may not have the most delectable range of food options, some restaurants like the Rooftop Family Restaurant, the Masala Cottage and the City Pride Restaurant are worth checking out; the Rooftop Family is particularly known for their varieties of vegetable curries.