Janakpur, a holy city in Nepal
Janakpur, also known as Janakpurdham, which denotes a sacred place, is unquestionably Tarai’s most fascinating and mystical city just 165km to the east of Birgani. It is at religious sites here that those traveling the Hindu pilgrimage circuit are required to make a stop to show their respect.
Janakpur has been identified through Hindu mythology as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Mithila. It was here that much of northern India was controlled during the tenth and the third century BC. Mithila finally came under the strict control of the Mauryan Empire in the third century BC. Thereafter it came under hardships and was neglected for two millenniums until the arrival of Guru Ramananda, founder of the sect of the formidable Sita and in doing so revived the city to its former glory as a religious center during the seventh century.
It can be quite disconcerting as everything in Janakpur is immersed in the Indian culture to the point that one could mistakenly think they were in India. The only difference is the political government governing the area. Janakpur is a great delight to visit. Traffic is all but non-existent with all motorized traffic banned from the center of the city, which means you can have a relatively peaceful stroll around the city.
At the same time though, Janakpur is a thriving city with so much going on its hard to keep up, so if you are thinking of a limited stay its best to rethink and allow for a couple of days to fully absorb this amazing atmosphere that will surround you for the duration of your stay. It must be noted that accommodation, restaurants and other facilities for tourists do not really exist in this area and so its important to speak to your travel agent, do research and make sure your prepared. Something else of great fortune to the city is its only operational railway in existence in all of Nepal just so happens to resides here making for an entertaining adventure to say the least!