JANAK PUR RAILWAY STATION [NEPAL]
JAYNAGAR STATION [INDIA]:-
LOCOMOTIVE NAMED 'SEETA'
LOCOMOTIVE NAMED 'PASUPATI'
LOCOMOTIVE NAMED SEETA-RAM
Flying from Kathmandu to Janakpur is virtually like time travel. As the trusty old Avro discharges its passengers and you pick up your luggage in the tiny, shed-like arrival hall, you look for your transport into town. Sure enough, there it is - no shiny taxis, no sleek airport bus, but a dozen or so creaky cycle rickshaws. So, after half an hour on a flying miracle machine you suddenly find yourself dumped on a greasy seat, being laboriously pedalled over a bumpy country road. Your pilot is now a sweaty, skinny figure, who clearly has to use all his weight to get the vehicle moving. Your ears, still buzzing with the noise of the aeroplane engines, can hardly adjust to the quiet countryside and the squeaking of the pedals. A contrast if ever there was one!
Things move slowly in Janakpur. The town has it all - plenty of temples, scenic bathing tanks, fertile countryside and even Nepal's only railway line - but it still hasn't made it onto the tourist map. This may change soon, however, as efforts are underway to turn Janakpur into a major tourist and pilgrim destination.
Janakpur's focal point is the magnificent Janaki Mandir, a temple devoted to Sita, the divine heroine of the Hindu epic Ramayana.
As you approach the centre of town, you suddenly see the Janaki Mandir's Moghul-style towers rise above the surrounding buildings The temple was built in 1911 by the Rani of Tikamagarh (Central India), at a cost of 900,000 Rupees - in those days a dizzying amount of money. In local parlance, the temple is also called Nau Lakha Mandir or 'Temple of 900,000 Rupees'. In 1657, a golden statue of the Goddess Sita was found at the very spot, and Sita is also said to have lived there - indeed, another name for Sita is JanakiBesides the Janaki Mandir, Janakpur has 120 lesser temples, plus 24 bathing tanks, some of them surrounded by strikingly beautiful countryside
The railway was constructed in the 1930s, mainly to transport goods, but these days, the wagons are teeming with people