The journey to the birthplace of Goddess Sita was adventurous. The Air India flight landed safe on Bihar’s capital Patna at 1 PM and we had to travel another 5 hours by a private car to reach the designated town- Sitamarhi.
“Which are the places to visit in Sitamarhi,” I asked the Car driver on way.
“Oh, you are visiting for the first time Madam,” he started. “It is a beautiful town. Lot of greenery! And the most famous attraction is Punaura, the place where Goddess Sita appeared as a gift to King Janak.” He shared.
“As a gift? She was the daughter to Janak, right?” I enquired.
“Yes, but in those times, kings used to get children in form of blessings. Sita Maiyaa (Mother) was a blessing from Dharti (Land).” He explained.
We reached Sitamarhi at 7 PM and it was already dark. The driver helped us find a reasonably comfortable hotel where I had the famous Litti-Choukha (a famous dish from Bihar) for dinner and slept off.
The morning showed me the town, the people, the food and lot more! Sitamarhi is a small but advanced town comprising several convent schools, fashion markets, cake and pizza houses, theatres and modern mentality. Landing at Punaura in the afternoon, the guide showed me the land from where Goddess Sita had come up. Her tiny footprints were engraved on the flooring of the temple created in the vicinity. I found people visiting the temple with lot of faith and hope. I hope Goddess Sita listens to them and frees them from their problems.
“Yes, if you make a wish with true heart, Sita Maiyya fulfills it. Then you need to come back to the temple to thank her,” said the guide.
The temple is surrounded by a beautiful park and pond, beautified with several Sanskrit Shlokas written on stones and walls around. The peaceful atmosphere hinted me why people from all over the world come to India for their soul-searching endevours. I could find few tourists who had arrived all the way from London to visit the temple. This indeed was a famous town!
Outside the temple I found several stalls selling the famous Mithila painting. It is believed that King Janak had hired special craft-men to design his palace with Mithila paintings during Sita’s marriage with Ram. These paintings are created with a special ball-pen and unique set of colours. They are exported in bulk to international market.
The famous Janaki temple situated in Sitamarhi is also dedicated to Goddess Sita. The temple, made of white marble receives more than 1000 devotees daily. “You know Madam, whenever a girl is born in the town, people visit the temple and pray that the girl owns the traits of Goddess Sita, who is considered to be an ideal daughter to King Janak and an ideal wife to Lord Rama,” informed the guide. Yes, faith rules strongly.
As I left the town to venture to some other ‘less-heard but impactful’ place, I took an idol of Goddess Sita with me. I believe it will remind me of the devotion of the people of Sitamarhi.
They say – True belief can make stones melt!
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