Janakpurdham March 4: The Mithila Madhyamiki Parikrama, the annual circumambulation of the religious Mithila circuit which starts two weeks before the festival of Holi, has started from Thursday.
Pilgrims, saints and holy men gathered at Kachuri, Mithila Bihari Municipality–8, Dhanusha and officially began their walk which will last 15 days and cover 133 kilometres, reaching various historical and religious places in Dhanusha and Mohattari of Nepal and Bihar of India.
Some of the places the devotees reach are Hanumangadhi, Phulahar, Mathihani, Madai, Dhrubakunda, Kanchanban, Dhanushadham, Satoshar, Audhi, Karuna and Bisaul, among many other temples and shrines. They rest at 15 special places, 13 of which are in Nepal and two are in India. The importance of these resting places as well as of the entire Parikrama is mentioned in the Mithila Mahatmya.
According to the Mahatmya, the pilgrimage started in the 18th century. It is believed that participating in this circumambulation cleanses people of their sins, fulfils their desires and helps attain salvation.
The Parikrama, also known as the Mahakumbha of Mithilanchal, is based around the four Shiva temples located at the four corners of Janakpurdham – Kalyaneshwor, Jaleshwor, Chhireshwor and Sapteshwornath.
Also on Thursday, the palanquin of Goddess Janaki was brought to the Janaki Temple at Janakpurdham from the Mithila Bihari Temple in Kachuri. The palanquin was accompanied by a musical procession and before reaching Janaki Temple, it was taken around the Ratnasagar shrine in Janakpur. On its trip, Janaki’s palanquin was joined by carriages of other gods and goddesses brought from various parts of the city.
The Madhyamiki (central) Parikrama is the most popular of three Mithila circumambulations, with the other two being Brihat (large) and Antargriha (internal). It is participated by hundreds, if not thousands, of people who undertake the walk as a pilgrimage.