Matihani, having the great historical and religious importance, is located in the Mahottari, Nepal. It is one of the municipalities of this district. It was formed by compromising the 9 wards of the previous 9 VDCs in 2016. According the 2011 census, the total population of this region is 31,026, which covers the total area of 29 square kilometres.
This municipality also shares the border with India. The southern part is connected with India. Other remaining part lies within Nepal. Such as northern part lies in Pigauna, Dhairapur and Simardhai, western part covers the Parsa Pateli, and Suga Vawani, and finally, eastern part is in Tulsiyahi Nikas. This municipality is located in lower part of Nepal i.e., Terai, so it is just 90m above the sea level.
1. Laxmi Narayan Temple
Matihani is not only popular for its historical facts, but also for the religious significance. Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the famous temples in this municipality. It is the second largest Laxmi Narayan in Nepal, which is in the central of Matihani. This temple is surrounded by the holy pond, known as Laxmi Narayan Pond. Both of this temple and pond carries the great value as the marriage ceremony of Lord Rama and Mata Sita isrelated to these two holy sites.
The design and theme of this temple is based on the Mithila. The exterior and interior of this temple look very attractive and aesthetic. It is painted in orange colour. After entering to this temple, you can see big open ground, which is filled with lush green plants and trees. The inner part of this temple is designed with the image and painting of different gods and goddesses.
According to the holy book of Hindu, Ramayana, the soil was taken from here to build the altar for the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita Mata. It is said that Rama took the avatar of Narayan (Lord Vishnu) to destroy the Ravan. So, in this temple, Lord Ram is worshipped as the incarnation of Laxmi Narayan. Many visitors from the different parts of Nepal as well as India flock in this temple during the Ram Navami in Chaitra. There is also the famous and biggest Matth of Laxmi Narayan.
During the ruling period of Sen Dynasty, the king of that time visited the Tasmaniya Baba, who was living and meditating in the forest of the Matihani. The king was not having son, so he visited him with the intention of getting his problem solved. He told the saint all his problems and asked for the solution. As a solution, saint told him to build the school and temple in the centre of Matihani and you will be blessed with the son from the blessings of Lord Vishnu. After hearing this, king couldn’t deny it, so he built the Sanskrit School, and Laxmi Narayan Temple as per the suggestion of saint. After a few months, he was blessed with a son. Even today, people visit this temple with the wish of having children.
One of the main reasons behind the consideration of Matihani as a holy land is because so many things about this place is mentioned in Ramayana. As per the tradition of Mithila, marriage was conducted only after performing the Matkor ceremony. This ceremony is celebrated when groom visit the bride for the marriage. Since, Matihani is in the border, so mud was taken from the Laxmi Narayana Pond, which is nearby to the Laxmi Narayan temple, to conduct the Matkor of Mata Sita. Even today, during the Bibah Panchami, the procession of Mata Sita is taken from Janakpur to Matkor, and mud is dug from the pond.
Matihani is still not fully developed when it comes to literacy rate. After completing the school, students are forced to migrate to other regions to achieve the higher studies. Also, there are only a few schools. The teachers in those schools are not experienced and professional. Likewise, the proper facilities are not provided to students. As per the local people, their children either must go to Damodar Academy in Nepal, which is around 10km away from Mathihani or Delhi Public School in India, which is around 5km away and have to cross the Nepal-India border.
In Matihani district, a few government schools have been established. However, because of the lack of quality education and facilities, these schools are also getting closed slowly. So, it can be said that the overall education system of Matihani is not so good. It is sad that still the government and provincial ministers are not taking any steps towards its improvement.
Located in the lower elevation, you can find the subtropical climate in this place. It is characterized by the hot and humid weather.
Best Time to Visit
Matihani can be visited throughout the year; however, to experience the comfortable journey, spring (March, April, and May), Autumn (September, October, and November), and Winter (December, January, and February) is best time to travel there. Because of extreme hot climate, storm, and rainfall, it is not ideal choice to visit Matihani in Summer/Monsoon (June, July, and August).
Matihani is 240km away from the Capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu. You have the option of both flight and overland transportation. If you want to avoid the difficulties from the road travelling, then you can directly fly from Kathmandu to Janakpur Airport. From there, Matihani is 15km, which is easily accessible by local buses. If you want to enjoy the long drive, then you can drive along the Jaleshowr-Matihani road by driving from Kathmandu to Jaleshowr.
Being the historical site of Nepal, this municipality carries the charm and beautiful story related to the Treta Yuga. It carries the huge potential in making the identification of Nepal popular worldwide. So, let us help in promoting this place by making people aware about the existence of such a historical shrine in Nepal.
-Article written by: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal