Welcome To East Champaran

East Champaran, is an administrative district in the state of Bihar in India. The district headquarters are located at Motihari. The district occupies an area of 3969 km2 and has a population of 3,933,636 (as of 2001). East Champaran is a part of Tirhut Division  (Tirhut). It is currently a part of the Red Corridor. As of 2011, it is the second most populous district of Bihar (out of 39), after Patna.

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Demographics

History

Sub-Divisions

Tourist Attractions

Demographics

According to the 2011 census East Champaran district has a population of 5,082,868, roughly equal to the United Arab Emirates or the US state of Colorado. This gives it a ranking of 21st in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 1,281 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,320/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 29.01%. Purbi Champaran has a sex ratio of 901 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 58.26%.

History

On 2nd November 1972 Champaran district was split up Into two districts, viz. Purbi Champaran and Paschim Champaran .The headquarter of Purbi Champaran district is at Motihari .Presently Purbi Champaran consists of Six Subdivisions and Twenty Seven Blocks. Nepal makes its northern boundary, Sitamadhi and Sheohar eastern while Muzaffarpur South and with part of Gopalganj bounds it in western side. The name Champaran owes its origin to Champa-aranya or Champkatanys. Champa or Champaka means Magnolia and  aranya mess forest. Hence, Champaranya means Forest of  Magnolia (CHAMPA) trees. It is popularly believed that the nomenclature here was made while the vest forest part was inhabited by solitary ascetics. It is needless to say that has Purbi means Eastern Side.  The history of Purbi Champaran is a part of parent Champaran district. In the prehistoric period, Champaran constituted a part of the ancient kingdom of Videha .The Aryan Videhas were ordained to settle east of the Gandak or Narayani river. Among the Greatest of the Videha kings was Sirdhwaj Janak an erudite scholar as well as lord temporal and lord spiritual for his subjects. Yajnavalkya was his chief priest who codified the Hindu law known as Yajnavalkya Smriti. Both of his wife Gargi and Maitreyi was renowned scholar. It is Gargi who is credited to compose some of mantras. After the fall of Videhan empire Champaran was ceded to oligarrochial republic of Vrijjan confederacy, with Oligarchcal Vaishali as its capital of the Vriggian confederacy Lichohavis were the most powerful and prominent. For a true imperialist Ajatshatru the emperor of Magadh the power and fame of Vaishali was eyesore. By tact and force he annexed Lichhavis and occupied its capital, Vaishali. He extended his way over the present district of Purbi Champaran which lasted for nearly hundred years. After the Mauryas , the Sungas and the kanvas ruled over Magadh and its vast territories. Archaeological evidences found in Champaran bear testimony of Sunga and Kanva rules here. The Kushans, who were migrant Turks, overran the entire northern India in the first century AD Probably Champaran was a part of the Kushan empire at that time. Banphar Rajputs in the 3rd century AD got way by the Kushans . Champaran later become a part of the Gupta empire. Alongwith Tirhut, Champaran was possibly annexed by Harsha during whose reign Huen- Tesang, the famous Chines pilgrim, visited India. During 750 to 1155 AD Palas were in the possession of Eastern India and Champaran formed the part of their territories. Towards the close of the 10th century Gangaya Deva of the Kalacheeri dynasty conquered Champaran .He gave way to Vikramaditya of the Chalukya dynasty, who was accompanied by adventures from the Carnatic .It is believed that one of the adventures counted the Saka dynasty of Bangal another, Nanyadeva, founded the Carnatic dynasty of Mithila with its capital at Siaraon on the Indo- Nepal border. During 1211 and 1226 first Muslim influences was experienced when Ghyasuddin Iwaz the muslim governor of Bangal extended his a way over Tribhukti or Tirhut .It was however, not a complete conquest and he was only able to have Tirhut from Narsinghdeva a simyaon king, in about 1323 Gnyas- Uddip.Tughiar annexed irabhuk and placed it under Kameshwar Thakur established Sugaon or Thakur dynasty, As Harsinghdeo the last simraon king had taken shelter in Nepal Kameshwar Thakur a Brahmin Rajpandit was installed to regal status. The sugaon dynasty hold Tirabhukti as a tributary province for about a century after the capture of Harsinghdeo . The most famous of the dynasty was Raja Shiva Singh who was adorned by the immortal poet laureate Vidyapati, during the period of Lakshmi Nath Deva Tirabhukti was attached by Sultan Alleuddin Hussain Shah of Bengal and Sikender Lodi of Delhi . A treaty was concluded in 1499 according to which 'Tirahukti , left to Sikandar Lodi subsequently, Sikander Lodi attacked Tirabhukti and made the prince a tributary chief. However, in contravention of the treaty conducted by his father .Nasrat Shah, son of Allauddin Shah attacked Tirbhukti in 1530 annexed the territory, killed the Raja and thus put an end to the Thakur dynasty . Nasrat Shah appointed his son -in -law as viceroy of Tirhut and the coformard it was governed by Muslim Governor .In 1526 Babar dynosted Sikandar Lodi but Champaran could not coming  prominence till the last days of the Muslim rule. During  the close of the Mughal empire, Champaran witnessed ravages of contending armies. prince Al Gauhar later known as Shah Alam invaded Bihar in 1760 and Khadin Hussain, the Governor of Purnit invited with his army to join him. In the mean time, Nawab Sirajudaulla of Bengal had already been  defeated and killed as a result of the joint conspiracy of  Mir Jagarkhan and the British, in June, 1757 . Before Khadim Hussain could meet Shah Alam's forces captain Knox led a British force and defeated him at Hajipur. There after he fled to Bettiah.

With the rest of Bengal Champaran passed into the hands of East India Company in 1764  but military expeditious were still I. necessary to curb the independent spirit of the chiefs. In 1766 , Robert Barkar easily defeated the local chiefs and forced them to pay tribute or revenue  which they had destined till them. however , the Raja of Bettiah did not pay revenues regularly and revolted but was crushed. He fled to Bundelkhand and his estate was consequently confiscated. But to the British it was difficult to manage the affairs of the estate in the make of strong popular resentment. At the time of uprising the estate was restored by the Raja in 1771 . In the mean time for reaching consequences were taking place in neighboring Nepal. A confrontation was going,. In between the Gurkhas, under Prithvi Narayan of Newar line and British forces. Ultimately a treaty was concluded at Sugauli .There remained peace for 25 years followed by  treaty but trouble started after 1840 when a Gurkha troops entered the estate of Raja Ramnagar and extended their claim over his territory. However, Gorkha troops had to retreat due to determined resistance. Later, the Nepalese proved faithfully allies of the British in suppressing the National Movement of  1857. The repression of the Wahabi movement at Patna furthered of seething discontent of tenants against the activities of the administration as well as the Indigo --Planters. The cultivators were forced to grow indigo even in the face of recurring losses in this account . More over many kinds of illegal realization were effected by the landlords. The administration was the cut do - sac of the oppressions. In the beginning of 1857 movement the position of Britishers was precarious. Major Hoimes who was commanding the 12th Irregular cavalry, stationed at sugauli was apparently panicked and proclaimed martial law on his own authority. This measure had not attracted hole-hearted support of higher authorities. Major Holmes lad repressive measures and executed some sepoys. Consequently members of the cavalry  revolted again the authority. The Major his wife and other members of his family were stained. The Soldiers proceeded towards Siwan to join other forces who had risen against the British authority. The revolt was, however calmed down to enlist support Honorary Magistrates from among the indigo planters were appointed and also authorized them to recruit local police. Some of the big estate holders like the Raja of Bettiah even gave support to the British Gurukha troops of  the British were asset to them. The later history of the district is inter woven with the saga of exploitation of the indigo planters. Britain used to get supplies of indigo from her American colonies which ceased after war of .Independence fought in 1776 leading to their freedom. Britain had to depend upon India for supplies of  Indigo. Europeans steered many factories in the indigo producing areas of Bengal and Bihar. Estate of Bettiah and Ramnagar gave lease of land to them on easy terms for cultivation of indigo. The arrangement made for the cultivation of indigo were (1) Zirat and (2)Tenkuthiya . Apparently ,nothing went wrong by the introduction of  both the systems. But actually, the peasants suffered a lot due to both the systems. The wages paid to laborers were extremely low and entirely inadequate. The were forced to labor hard and were severely punished for alleged slackness on their part Sri Raj kumar shukla, an indigo cultivator of  the district having heard about the None Co-operation Movement had by Gandhijee in South Africa met and apprised him about miserable plight of indigo Cultivators in the Champaran District. He persuaded him to visit the district. Almost at same time;The Indian Nation congress in December ,1916 passed at Lucknow a resolution for requesting Government to appoint a committcd of both officials and non-officials to enquire into the agrarian trouble facing the district. Gandhijee paid historic visit to Champaran. His visit was stoutly opposed by the British rulers. An order asking him to leave Champaran was served upon him as soon as he arrived at Motihari. Gandhijee defied the order of the several prominent persons who rallied round him mention may be made of Dr .Rajendra Prasad Acharya Kriplani ,Mahadeo Desai, C.F. Andrews, H.S.Pollock, Anugrah Narayan Singh, Raj Kishore Prasad, Ram Nawami Prasad and Dharnidhar Prasad after considerable struggle Govt. was compelled to lift the ban on Gandhi's stay here for he first time on Indian soil Satyagarh, was successfully put to test. Eventually, a committee of enquiry was appointed by the Govt. under the chairmanship of Sri Frank shy, Gandhijee was also made one of the member of the committee. On the basis of vauled a recommendations of the committee, the Champaran Agraria low (Bihar and Orissa Act I of 1918) was passed. In course of time, the development of synthetic dyes made the cultivation of indigo redundant. In 1920,Gandhijee made an extensive tour of Bihar before launching the non-co-operation movement, which earned full support in the district as well. In 1929 a group of volunteers from Champran district came to demonstrate a against the Simon commission in the same year the 21st session of the Bihar students conference was held at Motihari. As a reaction against the failure of Round table conference held in 1932 there was popular gathering at Motihari to take pledge for Independence. Police lathi charge and fired upon the gatherings. people of Champaran will be remember for their active and significant participation in the National movement.

Sub-Divisions

Motihari Sadar,Areraj,Raxual,Shikarahna,Pakridayal,Chakia,Madhuban,Ranigunj,Chakia Paharpur

Tourist Attractions

Buddhist Stupta, Kesaria:  Historical importance of Bihar has been established again with the discovery of “biggest ever Buddhist Stupa “ at Kesaria in East Champaran district about 120 K.M. from Patna and 30 miles from Vaishali on Indo Nepal border. A team of Archaeological survey of India Officials discovered this Stupa in year 1998 after excavation. The ASI officials have declared that Bihar has the proud privilege of housing the tallest ever-excavated Stupa in the world. The Conservation of Kesaria Stupa is a turning point in the history of conservation in India. Earlier, the ASI team did not realize that the excavated Stupa would be the tallest and largest Stupa in the world. Rising to a height of 104 feet and much reduced than its original height, it is one foot taller than the famous Borobodur Stupa in Java, a world heritage monument. The Kesaria Stupa was 123 feet tall before the 1934 earthquake in Bihar. In the halcyon days when Buddhism thrived in India , the Kesaria Stupa was 150 feet and Borobodur stupa 138 feet tall according to A.S.I. report. At present the height of Kesaria in reduced to 104 feet and Borobodur to 103 feet. The height of ‘Sanchi Stupa ‘ a world heritage monument is 77.50 feet, almost half of Kesaria stupa. Lord Budha on his last Journey spent on memorable height at Kesaria. Here he made source sensational announcements, which was later on recorded in Buddhist Jatak – Story. Buddha here at Kesaria said that in his previous births he ruled as Chakravarti Raja. Buddha also asked Licchivis to return to Vaishali after giving them “BEGGING BOWL.” Recent excavations of Kesaria Stupa by A.S.I. Patna circle throw light on Buddhist history. The excavation reveals the terraces with “Pradakshina path” around the stupa. Move important finding is a humber of figures of Lord Budha in “Bhoomi Sparsh Mudra” and other sitting image. These figures are made of soil and pebbles in each layer. The earthen lamp, decorated bricks and other potteries are other point of attraction. The Buddhist treasure trove has exposed to its full glory to the glee of devotees of the world and the public alike. The archeologists believe the Stupa in kesaria known to the people as “Raja Ben ka DEORA“ was built by Licchivis of Vaishali before Budha attained Nirvana . It is the largest site on the Buddhist route. Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tshang had visited this site of Stupa as per his diary in the seventh century.

 

Ashokan Pillar, Lauriya, Areraj: This Lofty stone column erected by priyadarshee Lord Ashok in 249 BC in village Lauriya under Areraj subdivision is situated on left side of  Areraj – Bettiah road. The pillar, known as “Stambh dharma lekh”, which bears in well preserved and well cut letters six of his edicts, is a single block of polished sand stone, 36 ½ feet in height above the ground with a base diameter of 41.8 inches and a diameter at the top of 37.6 inches. The weight of this portion only is very nearly 34 tons, but as these must be several feet of the shaft sunk in the earth. The actual weight of the whole block must be about 40 tons. This pillar has no Capital. According to report that pillar was crowned with a statue of an animal but it was transferred to Kolkota museum.  The edicts of king Ashoka are most clearly and heartily engraved, and are divided into two distinct portions, that to the worth containing 18 lines and that to the south 23 lines. But now these are not good state of preservation and suffered from the effect of weather. The villages call the pillar as ‘Laur’ that is the phallus and the adjoining village is named after it  Lauriya.The Archaeological Survey of India has classified the Ashokan pillar as a protected monument.

School Started by Gandhi: The schools started by Mahatma Gandhi in the villages of Barharwa Lakhensen and Madhuban are among other important sites of interest in the vicinity of Motihari. Barharwa Lakhansen is a small village in Dhaka block. He with his wife Kasturba Gandhi started a school there in 1917, which is one of the oldest school in this area. Siraunais a village of East Champaran. Kasturba Gandhi once visited here to teach the people the basic educational concepts of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi Memorial:  The foundation stone of this Gandhi memorial pillar was laid on june 10, 1972 by the then Governor, Mr. D.K.Barooch and if was dedicated to the nation by Mr. Vidyakar Kavi, a gandhian, on 18 April 1978. This memorial pillar has been designed by the famous artist of Santiniketan Mr. Nand lal Bose to commemorate the memory of Champaran Satyagah of Mahatma Gandhi who first raised voice against the atrocities of the British Indigo planters against poor peasants of Champaran. The 48 fect long Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Mahatma Gandhi was produced before the court of the then S.D.M., Motihari in violation of orders under section 144 Cr. P. C.  as far back as April 18, 1917. Mahatma Gandhi first Satyagrah was experimented on this soil of Motihari in Champaran and so Champaran has been starting point of India’s independence movement launched by Gandhi ji. Gandhi Museun has on display an array of photographs and relics of the Champaran Satyagraha.

Someshwar Shiv Mandir, Areraj:  Areraj is a holy city of North Bihar which is 28 Km. south West from Motihari linked with pucca road. The famous Someshwar Nath Mahadev Temple is age old which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from other districts as well as Nepal on the occasion of Shrawani Mela (During July-August). Areraj a village has developed up to town and now it is the Headquarter of Areraj Subdivision. Also at Areraj lies an Ashokan pillar attracting tourists throughout the year.

Orwell's birthplace: George Orwell, one of the greatest writers of twentieth century and author of famous books like `Animal Farm' and `Nineteen Eighty-Four', was born in Motihari in 1903. His father Richard Walmesley Blair was a deputy posted in the opium department in Bihar. The cottage, where the famous author was born, lies in the midst of the town. A plaque commemorating has birthplace stands outside the house. Until recently, the town of Motihari was largely unaware of its connection with Orwell. In 2003, Motihari discovered its role in Orwell's life when a number of journalists arrived in the city for Orwell's hundredth birthday. Local officials are making plans for the construction of a museum on Orwell's life. George Orwell's birth place at Motihari in Bihar's East Champaran district will soon be turned into a full-fledged museum. Government of Bihar has decided that Orwell's birth place, the decrepit two-room house on the old opium campus would be preserved for tourists. The department would initiate the process of declaring Orwell's house a protected site in accordance with the provisions of Bihar Ancient Monument (Protection) Act of 1976. The arts and culture department officials have been directed to prepare a restoration and development project of the seven-acre campus of the opium warehouse where Eric Arthur Blair, popularly known as George Orwell, was born in 1903. His father Richard W Blair worked for the opium department during the British rule. Orwell was taken to England by his mother Ida when he was one-year-old, after which he went on to pen one of last century's best dystopian novels '1984' and 'Animal Farm'. A detailed report about the history of the house, its present condition and land records had been sought from the district administration. A team of experts would be sent to Motihari to assess the situation from an archaeological point of view. The state government had declared the birthplace of Orwell here a protected site on December 10, 2010 and the art and culture department had allotted Rs 32 lakh for beautification of the campus and construction of roads, boundary walls, gates and drainage. The boundary walls are under construction and one of the two gates has already been completed.

Raxaul-Gate way to Nepal: Raxaul is a major town in the district of East Champaran. It is the border town of India with Nepal. This town is known as the Gate way to Nepal. It is connected by NH28A and is 32 km away from Chhapawa (on NH28A), 52 km from Motihari (the District Town) and 60 km from Bettiah - the District town of West Champaran. Now this town has been made the Sub-divisional town under the District of East Chaparan. Manjur Alam the famous advocate of Madras High Court, who studied at Eton College England is from Raxaul town. Birganj - the Second Big City of Nepal is just 3 km away from this town. The Sun temple is a temple to the sun god, which is surrounded by water. It is near the police station, situated just beside the market.

Village Madhopur-Govind, East Champaran : Land of Peacocks:  Sometime in the 1960s, Shivkumar Singh and Chandrika Singh from Madhopur-Govind in east Champaran brought a pair of peacock and peahen from a nearby fair to the village. By now the peacock numbers have swelled up to nearly 500. This came to light when the DM of east Champaran asked the local intelligentsia to compile a list of places in the district that could be developed as tourist spots. The peacocks in Madhopur-Govind roam the fields freely and are jealously protected by the villagers who have even constructed a pond for them. The villagers provide the peacocks with seeds while doing the sowing in their fields, instead of protecting them from the peacocks. The big birds in turn feed on snakes in the village, making the fields safe for the villagers.