The centre of Janakpur is dominated by the impressive Janaki Mandir to the north and west of the bazaar. This temple, one of the biggest in Nepal, was built in 1898 (1955 in the Nepali calendar) by Queen Brisabhanu Kunwari of Tikamgarh. It is also called “Nau Lakha Mandir” after the cost of construction, said to be nine lakh rupees.
In 1657, the great saint and poet Sannyasi Shurkishordas discovered a golden statue of the Goddess Sita at the place where she was born, which ultimately became the location of the current Janaki Mandir, the Temple of Sita.
Queen Brisabhanu Kunwari of Tikamgarh had the Janaki Mandir built in 1911. The temple is architecturally unique in Nepal. Its inner sanctum contains a flower-covered statue of Sita that was apparently miraculously found in the Saryu River near Ayodhya. Statues of Rama and his half-brothers Lakshman, Bharat and Satrughna stand by Sita. In the early evenings the temple is lit with colourful lights and filled with hundreds of pilgrims expressing devotion for Sita and Rama. Adjacent to the Janaki Mandir is the Rama Sita Vivaha Mandir, a building that marks the place where Rama and Sita were married.