Name of the Temple

Sri Sitama temple

Period of origin

Treta yuga

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sitama

Sthalapuranam:

There are two places known as Sitamarhi one where Sita was found by Raja Janak while ploughing the fields in Bihar, and the other where Sita returned to the lap of Mother Earth near Allahabad where stands the Ashram of Rishi Valmiki on the holy banks of the Ganga. The epic Ramayana was authored by Valmiki, who made his Ashram near this spot. Sita was not born (Ajanma) she was found by Raja Janak in an earthen pitcher while ploughing a field hence she is known as the daughter of the earth. Swami Jiterndranand Tirth , a saint from Rishikesh while travelling on foot along the holy Ganga in 1991 in search of God and self realisation, experienced something unique and great after covering around 900 kms. This was a small sleepy village, known as ‘Sitamarhi’. The locals believed that Sita had descended into the earth at this very place, situated next to Valmiki Ashram , a little distance away from the Ganga. Swamiji saw a small valley with a mound in the middle surrounded by four small hillocks. He was surprised to see that the earthen mound could not be washed away though a water stream had been flowing regularly at the place for centuries together. Swamiji decided to break his journey and stay there. He cleansed a portion of that mound and started meditating there. He felt some vibrations and realized the bliss of Sita. Then he found a typical grass grown on the slope of the hillocks which was worshipped by the local womanfolk as the sacred hair of Maa Sita.

Sitamarhi is the place where sita entered into the earth. Marriage of Ram-Sita, and the consequent separation was pre-determined. When Narad Muni had to undergo humiliation at the ‘Swayamavar’ of Vishwamohini, he had cursed Lord Vishnu that he too would have to experience the agony of separation from his beloved in ‘Treta Yug‘. Thus Lord Ram could not enjoy the company of Sita. The couple had to spend 14 years in exile and it was then that Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, king of Lanka. She had to spend a long time in the confinement of Ravana. Later, when Ravana was killed by Lord Ram and Sita was taken to Ayodhya , people questioned her purity as she had spent a long time in Ravana’s confinement. Lord Ram who was the model of ideal conduct honoured the verdict of the people and sent Sita to exile once again, where the twins Luv & Kush were born. Meanwhile in Ayodhya , Lord Ram conducted the Ashwamedha Yajna, and the horse of the Yagna was held by Luv and Kush who had been educated and trained as great warriors by Rishi Valmiki . When Lord Ram came face to face with the twins who challenged him to a duel, Rishi Valmiki intervened and told Ram that Luv & Kush were his sons, and that Sita was living in his Ashram. He asked Ram to take Sita back to Ayodhya and perform the Ashwamedh Yagna by sitting beside his wife. Ram told Valmiki that he would take Sita back only if she re-established her purity before the people of Ayodhya. Sita could not bear the insult anymore and prayed to Mother Earth to give shelter to her. Mother Earth erupted and Sita entered into it. Lord Ram was stunned to see this unexpected development and tried to stop Sita from entering the earth but could catch her hair only. This story of Sita’s second exile is emotionally narrated by Valmiki in his Ramayana and then by Kalidas in “Raghuvansham” besides Radheshyam in his Ramayana.

Getting inspiration from Swami Jiterdranand Tirth, business magnate Shri Satya Narayan Prakash Punj and his wife Indu Punj decided to develop this place into a religious tourist place by raising a beautiful Shri Sita Temple on the mound surrounded by a stream of water. An ancient temple of Maa Sita also exists there within the premises of the new complex, where people light lamps to get their wishes fulfilled.

Shree Sita temple comprises of two storeys. In the basement, a beautiful white statue of Maa Sita is installed to depict her descending into the lap of Mother Earth while on the upper storey, Maa Sita stands as a worshipped goddess. The walls of the temple depict the important events of that period. The foundation stone of this magnificent temple was laid by none other than the first lady of India, Mrs Vimla Sharma, wife of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then President of India.

Once the place was visited by Swami Jitendranand Tirth and he had desired that a very magnificent memorial to Sitaji be built here. The Sita Samahit temple stands exactly on the mound where Bhagwati Sitaji descended into Mother Earth. This was built with the kind help of Shri. Satya Narain Prakash Punj, promoter of Punj Lloyd Limited, New Delhi who was inspired by his mother. Within the campus of the main temple there exists temples of Maa Sita & Lord Shiva. There also stands 108 ft. high statue of Ram Bhakt Hanuman installed on an artificial rock of 20 ft. Under this hillock there is a cave having small temple of Hanumanji.

Route:

The holy place of Sitamarhi is situated almost midway from Allahabad and Varanasi, The two cities of religious importance. Jangiganj and Bhiti are situated on the GT Road (National Highway-2, also known as Sher Shah Suri Marg) from where roads lead to Sitamarhi. It is 13 Kms from Jangiganj and just 7 Kms from Bhiti. One can get bus or taxi from Gopiganj, an important town between Allahabad and Varanasi.

Temple Timings:

6am to 6pm all days a week