Balmiki Ashram, the sadhana Bhumi of Balmiki, the author of the Ramayana, is popular, but the government does not seem to have paid attention to it. It is believed that sage Balmiki wrote the Ramayana in Sanskrit at the Valmiki Ashram where Sita came after Lord Rama’s abandonment.
Balmiki Ashram is an important religious, mythological and historical site of Nepal located within the Chitwan National Park of Chitwan District. Balmiki Ashram belongs to Madi Municipality Ward No. 1 of Chitwan District. It is said that Balmiki, who performed Yajna in this place, composed poetry including Ramayana. For India, it is very easy to reach the ashram. India has made the way to the ashram very easy even though it is unpaved.
For the people of Chitwan, it is a diamond, but Nepalis could not recognize the diamond. Just as Mount Everest in the north of Nepal is the Great Wall, it can be considered the Great Wall in the south.
The history of Balmiki Ashram is said to be 1.75 million years old. The story is that Sita came to Valmiki Ashram to free her horse after giving birth to two sons at Tapodhan Balmiki Ashram and mastering archery by giving birth to two sons. Due to the interest of the then King Mahendra towards this ashram in 2022 BS, the structure that was built at that time has not been improved.
The Balmiki Ashram, which was excavated in 1965 by a joint team of archaeologists from both Nepal and India, belongs to Madi Municipality, Ward No. 1.
Religious and Cultural Significance
Sita’s underworld entrance, priceless Gaurishankar conch, Havanaddhar monument, Lovekush’s birth place, Sita’s Silauto, Lovekush’s horse-tied pole, Eighty-eight thousand sages’ tank.
Thousands of tourists from Nepal and India visit the ashram. A kneeling idol of Hanuman, rarely seen in the world, has been replaced outside the temple of Sita. Located on the border of Nepal and India, this ashram attracts more Indian religious tourists than Nepalese.
Historical and Mythological Beliefs
Ratnakar, a notorious bandit, became a Maharshi Valmiki after attaining theology. The area is also associated with Sita and Love-Kush. The mythological significance of Hinduism is also described in the Ramayana of the ashram.
According to legend, Sita, who became pregnant and reached Balmiki Ashram, gave birth to Lovekush in that area. His education was also done in the same place. It is said that Sita Patal fled from the same place.
There are complaints that the popular area for religious tourists is being overshadowed due to lack of proper protection of the ashram. Balmiki Ashram has been overshadowed due to lack of proper publicity and development. The main reason for the lack of proper development of the Valmiki Ashram is the lack of publicity and the difficult geographical situation.
According to local stakeholders, the Valmiki Ashram will become an important religious tourist destination in Nepal if the existing structures are protected, drinking water, electricity, toilets and transportation are facilitated.
Around the ashram, an old dug well, a silo and iron used by Sita, a stone to keep a jug, the birthplace of Love-Kush, a pole tied by Lovekush holding a horse of Ashwamedha Yajna, a place (pathshala) where Valmiki sage taught Lovekush, 88,000 sages burnt. Archaeological sites and objects including Kunda, Vishnu Chakra, ancient Havanadwar can be observed.
Due to the lack of direct access to this religious place from Nepal, the number of religious tourists is also declining. Despite efforts to connect the ashram with Trivenidham, the bridge has not been constructed yet as it falls under Chitwan National Park. Some time ago, there was an initiative to build a suspension bridge from Gajendra Moksha Dham in Triveni to Narayani. A joint team of archaeologists from both Nepal and India discovered the ancient Balmiki Ashram here in 1965, and the artifacts are now in danger.
There is a danger of ruining the very existence of the archeological objects while operating, digging and erasing them and there is no one in the ashram to take care of them.
How to reach Balmiki Ashram
The ashram can be reached by crossing the Gandak Barrage Bridge at Triveni in Nawalparasi district, passing through the town of Valmiki in India, and taking a boat ride through the jungle for an hour through Nepal.