Janakpur (जनकपुर) is a historical and religious city of Nepal.
The city is located about 123 km south-east of Kathmandu, 20 km from the Indian border at 26° 43' 43" N, 085° 55' 30" E.
Origin of name
The most important historical reference to Janakpur is in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where Lord Rama's wife Sita Devi (also called Janaki in Nepal) is said to have been the Nepali princess of Videha.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 Videha, 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, 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, Gautama Buddha, the 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.
The centre of Janakpur is dominated by the impressive Janaki Mandir to the north and west of the bazaar.