Kokroma Annual Break 2023 - Janakpur
As part of our commitment to supporting marginalised women and providing them with opportunities to learn about other parts of Nepal, Kokroma chose Janakpur as the destination for our annual break. Janakpur is a stark contrast to Kathmandu, situated close to the border with India, and so, much of the population is of Indian origin.
Kokroma enjoy a brief refreshment stop on the way to Janakpur
On the way to Janakpur, a distance of some 230km from Kathmandu along the B.P. Highway, we stopped at the Sindhuli Gadhi War Museum shortly after noon. It is located in the Sindhuli district of Nepal and commemorates the historic battle of Sindhuli Gadhi, which took place in 1779. The museum is situated in the historic Sindhuli Gadhi fort, which was the site of the battle.
Standing on the top of the Sindhuli Ghadi fort looking out across the valley where the battle took place.
Sindhuli Gadhi War Museum
The museum was established in 2019 by the Government of Nepal to preserve the history and legacy of the Sindhuli Gadhi battle. The exhibits at the museum include weapons, artifacts, and documents related to the battle, such as canons, muskets, swords, and shields. we learned about the historical significance of the battle, which was fought between the forces of King Prithvi Narayan Shah of Nepal and the East India Company. The battle played a significant role in the unification of Nepal and was a turning point in Nepali history.
Kokroma team photo at Sindhuli Ghadi War Museum
We arrived in Janakpur shortly after 5pm. The city is located in the southeastern part of Nepal, close to the Indian border. It has a rich history and cultural significance, especially among the Hindu community.
Janaki Temple at night
According to Hindu mythology, Janakpur is the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, a revered figure in Hinduism. The city was once the capital of the ancient Mithila kingdom, which was ruled by King Janak, Sita's father.
Janakpur is also known for its unique Maithili culture, which is celebrated through art, music, dance, and literature. The city is home to many Maithili temples, shrines, and sacred ponds, which are visited by pilgrims from across Nepal and India.
Kokroma team at the Janaki Temple
The Janaki Temple, also known as the Naulakha Mandir, is one of the most famous landmarks in Janakpur. It is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture and is dedicated to Sita. Another popular temple in Janakpur is the Ram Mandir, which is dedicated to Lord Ram.
Sadhus at the Janaki Temple
Our long time friend and local resident Rakesh showed us around the market place and guided us through rambling streets to the market, and after a brief visit to Naulakha Mandir with its magnificent colourful lights we headed for bed.
Janakpur Haat - market place early evening
The following day we gave the ladies a trip into India on the newly inaugurated railway. None of our team had ever been on a train before and it was clear from their social media posts how much they enjoyed the experience.
Kokroma Kokroma team take a ride on the train to India
On the last day Rakesh took us to Janakpur Women's Development Centre where we saw the beautiful Maithili architecture of the area exquisitely renovated in 2021 and home to the beautiful indigenous art of the community.
Maithili architecture at the Janakpur Women's Development Centre
Traditional graphic art by the Maithili community
Kokroma team group photo with the women of the Janakpur Women's Development Centre
Overall, Janakpur is a city that is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and Maithili culture, making it an important destination for those interested in exploring Nepal's rich cultural heritage.
Celebrating Holi at the Janakpur Women's Development Centre
Many thanks to Rakesh Ray and the people of Janakpur for making this such a fabulous culturally enriching experience for all of us at Kokroma.