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Shiv Temple and Sagar Pokhra
|Elevation||65 m (213 ft)|
|• Official||Bhojpuri, Hindi, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||53% male : 47% female ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Paschim Champaran|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Bettiah|
Bettiah (Bɛtɪjɑː,Bɛtɪjɑː) is a city and the administrative headquarters of the West Champaran district (Tirhut Division)  - (Tirhut), near Indo-Nepal border, 225 kilometres north-west of Patna, in Bihar. It was the seat of the majestic Bettiah Raj, established in the 17th century. Its palaces and temples narrate its magnificent history. It has a Roman Catholic Mission, which was established in 1740 and the municipality, established in 1869. It came on the rail-map of the country, as early as 1883 and witnessed the first experiment with non-violence by Mahatma Gandhi in India during his Struggle for the Abolition of Indigo Plantation in 1917. It is an agricultural trade centre and has several industries, like, sugar, leather, brass, besides food processing centres.
Back in 1244 A.D., Gangeshwar Dev, a Bhumihar Brahmin of Jaitharia clan settled at Jaithar in Champaran.  One of his descendants, Agar Sen acquired large territory in the reign of Emperor Jehangir and was bestowed the title of 'Raja' by Emperor Shah Jahan. In 1659, he was succeeded by his son Raja Guj Singh, who built the palace of the family at Bettiah. He died in 1694 A.D. The palace stands today but serves as marketplace due to the neglect of authorities.
In 1765, when the East India Company acquired the Diwani Bettiah Raj held the largest territory under its jurisdiction. It consisted of all of Champaran except for a small portion held by the Ram Nagar Raj (also held by Bhumihar Brahmin family).
Maharaja Sir Harendra Kishore Singh was the last king of Bettiah Raj. He was born in 1854 and succeeded his father, the late Maharaja Rajendra Kishore Singh Bahadur in 1883. In 1884, he received the title of Maharaja Bahadur as a personal distinction and a Khilat and a sanad from the hands of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson. He was created an Knight Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire on 1 March 1889. He was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of Bengal in January, 1891. He was also a member of The Asiatic Society He was the last ruler of Bettiah Raj. Maharaja Sir Harendra Kishore Singh Bahadur died heirless on March 26, 1893, leaving behind two widows, Maharani Sheo Ratna Kunwar and Maharani Janki Kunwar. Lt. Governor of Bengal came personally to Bettiah to offer his condolence on his death. Bettiah Raj's 1800 square miles yielding a rental of almost 2 million rupees made it the second largest zamindari in Bihar.
Maharani Sheo Ratna Kunwar who succeeded to the estate of Maharaja Harendra Kishore Singh on his death as his senior widow died on March 24, 1896. Upon her death, Maharani Janki Kunwar became entitled to the possession of the estate. Since it was found that Maharani Janki Kunwar was not able to administer the estate, its management was taken over by the Court of Wards, Bihar in 1897. Maharani Janki Kunwar who was a limited holder of the estate died on November 27, 1954.
The indigo planters of Bettiah were oppressed by the British Landlords. In this connection, Raj Kumar Shukla persuaded Mahatma Gandhi to visit Bettiah. Mahatma Gandhi came here in 1917 and soon this region became the birthplace of the first mass agitation against British rule in India. It came to be known as Champaran Satyagraha.
The Bettiah Gharana was one of the oldest style of vocal music. Madhuban was part of the erstwhile 'Bettiah Raj'. Internal disputes and family quarrels divided the Bettiah Raj in course of time. Madhuban Raj was created as a consequence. A section of Dhrupad singers of dilli gharana (Delhi Gharana) from Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s court had migrated to Bettiah under the patronage of Bettiah Raj and thus was sown the seed of Bettiah Gharana. The famous Dagar brothers had praised the Bettiah Dhrupad singers and some of them were invited to the Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal to perform with other accomplished singers in 1990.
Bettiah is located at 26°48′05″N, 84°30′10″E. It has an average elevation of 65 metres (213 feet). Bettiah has hot summer season and chilling winter season. In summer season the temperature goes up to 40-42 degrees Celsius while in winter season the temperature goes as low as 07–10 degrees Celsius. It has heavy annual rainfall of about 200–240 cm which often causes floods. Bettiah lies in the alluvial plains of Gandak basin. It is located near the River Gandak (Narayani) and Chhoti Gandak (Sikranha). A small rain fed river name Kohda (meaning Red Pumpkin in Hindi) crosses this city between A.G. Church school and K.R. High School, dividing the former from the latter. Due to several small rain fed rivers this land is fertile. The region faces mild thunderstorms during Rainy season. It is an agricultural area where sugarcane, rice and wheat are mainly cultivated.
There is a huge forest reserve area near Bettiah which is called 'Udaypur forest area' (Udaypur Jungle), which comes under the tiger saving project called 'Valmiki Vyaghra Pariyojana'. Forests are confined to the northern tract (Sumeshwar and the Dun ranges).
As of 2011[update] Indian census, Bettiah has a population of 1,32,896. Males constitute 53% (70,381) of the population and females 47% (62,515). Although Bettiah city has population of 1,32,896; its urban population is 1,56,200 of which 82,663 are males and 73,537 are females, with a sex ratio of 888 females, per 1000 males. Total children (0-6) in Bettiah city are 18,203 as per figure from Census India report on 2011. There were 9,685 boys while 8,518 are girls. The child forms 13.70% of total population of Bettiah City.
Bettiah Urban Agglomeration includes Bettiah (Nagar Panchayat), Tola Mansaraut (Census Town), Kargahia Purab (Census Town) and Hat Saraiya (Census Town).
Literacy Rate: In education section, total literates in Bettiah city are 94,663 of which 52,547 are males while 42,116 are females. Average literacy rate of Bettiah city is 82.54 percent of which male and female literacy was 86.57 and 78.00 percent.
|Average Literacy Rate||82.54%||86.57%||78.0%|
|Child Sex Ratio||-||1000||880|
Places of interest
Lal Bazaar is the main market place in Bettiah. Most of the business is controlled by Marwaris.
Meena Bazaar is the oldest market place in Bettiah. It was developed by Maharaja Harendra Kishore,and later by Maharani Janaki Kunwar. It is divided in two parts, namely the outside market and the inside market. Outside is mainly a vegetable market. The main source of these vegetables is the nearby countryside. Inside is a well organized and developed market place, with goldsmiths and jewellery shops, brass and steel utensils shops, groceries, sweets shops and so on, arranged in various lanes. There is also a small fish and meat market inside the Meena Bazar complex. Inside there are also a number of traditional and readymade garment shops.
Jangi Masjid marketplace is well known for cosmetics shops and seviyan (vermicelli used in the festival of Eid) shops. The market is named after a big mosque, Jangi Masjid, which is the tallest building of Bettiah.
Maharaja Harendra Kishore Public Library was established in 1905. It was originally established as the "Victoria Memorial Library" and was renamed to "Maharaja Harendra Kishore Public Library" on Bettiah Raj last ruler Maharaja Sir Harendra Kishore Singh's birthday in 1955. It is situated near Sowa Babu Chowk.
- Khrist Raja High School
- St. Teresa Girls High School
- Assembly Of God Church School
- St. Xavier's Higher Secondary School
- St. Michael's Academy
- Saraswati Vidya Mandir
- Saraswati Shishu Balika Vidya Mandir
- Notre Dame Public School
- Alok Bharti Shikshan Sansthan
- Raj Inter College
- St. Columbus High School
- Oxford Public Boarding School
- Oxford Higher Secondary School
- St. Mary's School
- St. Remgius' School
- Modern Asian Convent
- St. Michael's Prep School
- A.J. Foundation Academy
- Amna Urdu High School
- Bipin High School
- Quran Ghar Academy
- S.S. High School
- Ram Krishna Vivekanand Vidya Mandir
- L.S. Seminary School
- Shanti Hari Sudhanya Chand Public School
- St. Don Bosco School
- Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya
- Kendriya Vidyalaya
- Delhi Public School
- St. Stephen's Academy
- Satyagrah Girls High School
- Sarvodaya Middle School
- Maharani Janki Kunwar (M.J.K.) College
- Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav (R.L.S.Y.) College
- Bettiah Government Medical College
- Gulab Memorial (G.M.) College
- Govt. I.T.I. college
- Taqwa Technical Degree College (TTDC)
- Mahant Ram Roop Goswami College (MRRG)
Bettiah has two notable open fields known as "Bada Ramana" ("Ramana" means field in local vernacular) and "Chota Ramana" respectively. Bada Ramana also home to the football stadium known as "Maharaja Stadium" and an orphanage known as "Anathalaya" It borders with a "math"("Math" means spiritual place in Hindi) known as "Santawan Das Math". Chota Ramana is home to the city centre known as "Town Hall". It is a venue for important meetings and functions. Chota Ramana borders with the "Saat Saheed Sthal"("The Seven Martyrs") and the city library, named "Maharaja Library"
- Royal Palace
- Meena Bazaar Market Complex
- Durga Bagh Temple
- Piuni Bagh Temple
- Kali Bagh Temple
- Jangi Masjid
- Badi Masjid
- Joda Shivalaya Temple
- Roman Catholic Church
- Gems St. Paul's Church
- Sagar Pokhra Shiva Temple
- Raj Kumar Shukla (An Indigo cultivator who met Mahatma Gandhi to make him aware of the plight of the cultivators in Champaran and persuaded him to come here)
- Kedar Pandey (An Indian freedom fighter and Indian National Congress politician)
- Gopal Singh Nepali (An eminent poet of Hindi literature and a famous lyricist of Bollywood)
- Pt. Indra Kishore Mishra (An eminent Dhrupad singer of Bettiah Gharana)
- Prakash Jha (Indian Film Producer, Director, Screenwriter)
- Manoj Bajpai (Indian Film Actor)
- Lethbridge, Sir Roper (2005). The golden book of India: a genealogical and biographical dictionary of the ruling princes, chiefs, nobles, and other personages, titled or decorated of the Indian empire. Aakar Books. p. 584. ISBN 978-81-87879-54-1.
- Ram, Bindeshwar (1998). Land and society in India: agrarian relations in colonial North Bihar. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-0643-5.
- "Many Bihari artists ignored by SPIC MACAY". The Times of India. 2001-10-13. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Bettiah City Population Census 2011".
- "Constituents of urban Agglomerations Having Population 1 Lakh & above". Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16.