According to Ramayana, Sitamarhi (also known as Sita Samahit Sthal) is a sacred place where sita, the main character of Ramayana, entered the Earth. This holy place was carved out of Muzaffarpur district and became a separate district on December 11, 1972. It is situated in Tirhut district located in the northern part of the Bihar, and is in close vicinity of the Nepal border. The place is near the bank of river Ganga and just besides national highway No. 2. The major roads connecting the district are NH 77 and NH 104. The district headquarters is located in Dumra, five kilometers south of Sitamarhi.
Mythological importance of Sitamarhi
- According to legends, the temple in Sitamarhi is the place where Sita Maa went into Earth willingly after Lord Rama asked her to perform another Agni-Pariksha for living in the ashram of Valmiki Rishi in the forests of Sitamarhi.
- Punaura Dham, near Sitamarhi, is the place where Sita was born when Raja Janak was ploughing the field for impressing Indra Deva to rain as the state was facing drought. The plough struck an earthern pot and Sita came out of it.
- After more than 500 years, a Hindu ascetic named Birbal Das got to know about the mythological history of the place and built a temple over there, the Janaki Temple.
- The district is often bereaved by many natural calamities, including excess flooding because of mis-management of the river banks by both civilians and government officials. The town had suffered lot of destruction during Nepal-Bihar earthquake in 1934.
- In the past, Sitamarhi has also witnessed communal violence led by local politicians and now forms a part of the Red Corridor of eastern India which experiences extensive Naxalite communist insurgency. But currently both the leading communities here are in a good affinity and the district has produced many political leaders like Ram Dulari Sinha (Former Union Minister) and Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha (Former MP & Freedom Fighter).
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- The place was also visited by Swami Jitendranath Tirth and he had a desire to build a splendid memorial of Maa Sita. The Sita Samahit temple was built with the help of Satya Narain Prakash Punj, promoter of Punj Lloyd Limited, New Delhi and it stands exactly on the mount where Sita Ji is believed to be descended into Earth. There is also the tomb of Hajrat Daata Shah Rahmatullah Alaihe in Harpurwa village of Sitamarhi district.
- According to a survey, the place has been pointed as a great Hindu religious site. The holiness of the place could be evaluated from the fact that the entire landscape of Sitamarhi is spotted with various temples, co-related to various mythological stories of Ramayana. It is the spiritual centre for many sages and saints and is being visited by a number of pilgrims with deep faith and devotion.
- Apart from its recognition as Religious destination, the place also holds other allures that make one’s trip more enjoyable. The place has synchronised the ethnicity, heritage and mythology beautifully and in a proud manner.
Complied by Pashchiema Bhatia. Twitter: @pashchiema5