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|• Total||58.48 km2 (22.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||80 m (260 ft)|
|Population (2011 Census)|
|Time zone||Nepal Standard Time (UTC+5:45)|
|Postal code||56600, 56613, 56614,|
Biratnagar (Nepali: बिराटनगर) is a Sub-Metropolitan City in southeast Nepal, the country's second largest after Kathmandu with total area of 58.48 km2 and population around 201,125 with an additional half a million people living in its suburbs, thus making its total population to over 700,000.
Biratnagar is the hometown of many influential leaders in Nepalese politics including the Koirala family and others. The city and its suburbs are Nepal's industrial powerhouse. It is located on the Gangetic plains and the land is very fertile, hence Biratnagar has traditionally been an agricultural hub and many of its industries are based on agriculture. It is also located at the border with India and is a major centre for cross-border trade and commerce. Biratnagar has many small villages nearby which is very good for tourism purpose. It is also near the tea plantations of Illam.
According to 2011 CBS census data, Biratnagar's population was 201,125. It is the second largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu; and is the headquarters of Morang district. People here comprises madeshi community and pahadi community,in the ratio of 1:1.Most people follow Hinduism followed by Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Christianity. The main language is Nepali and Maithili, although the local dialect of Maithili differs from what is spoken further west.
Biratnagar is situated within one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Nepal, and the rural hinterland is home to a diverse cross section of Terai communities.
|Average high °C (°F)||22.7
|Average low °C (°F)||9.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||11.7
|Source: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal)|
- Air: Biratnagar Airport has frequent flights to Kathmandu and other airports inside Nepal. It is the regional hub for the eastern part of the country.
- Road: Biratnagar is roughly 500 kilometres (310 mi) by road from Kathmandu. It is also well connected to other parts of the country by bus services.
- Cross-border: Biratnagar is 7 kilometres (4 mi) north of Nepal's southern border with Bihar state, India. The crossing has a customs checkpoint for goods. Indian and Nepalese nationals cross freely. Jogbani town in Araria District is on the Indian side, where a rail line ends. There are direct trains from there to Kolkata and New Delhi. A rail extension to Biratnagar has been proposed and surveyed.
- Intracity: Cycle rickshaws and taxis serve the city center. Auto rickshaws (Tempos) are available for longer distances outside the center.
The old name of Biratnagar was Gograha Bazaar. In 1914 AD, Colonel Jit Bahadur Khatri, the district governor, laid the foundations of modern Biratnagar by moving the hospital, post office, jail and the customs, land registry, forestry and auditor offices to Gograha Bazaar from Rangeli, the district capital of Morang at the time.
Biratnagar got its present name in 1919 AD from Keshar Shamsher Rana after objects of historical importance, believed to be of King Virata's time, were found in the place. In the past, the region was believed to be a part of the kingdom ruled by King Virata, mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ruins of the palace along with stone carved tools, idols and household objects can be seen protected in southern part of Biratnagar, close to the border. In Nepali "birat" means huge and "nagar" means city.
Art & Literature
Biratnagar has been the ground for several literary works. Some of the prominent books in Nepali literature have been emerged from Biratnagar. Landmark books in Nepali poetry, 'Bholi Basne Bihan' by Krishna Bhushan Bal and Jeevanko Chheubaata by Suman Pokhrel were created in this city. There is a popular culture of poetry recitation in regular sessions in various locations of Biratnagar.
Biratnagar is not a typical tourist city but is a great hub to explore the interesting places in eastern Nepal like Ilam. However, there are many things to do in the city. One can stroll along the unique market that is along a straight road and branches out and savour the street food. A number of colourful haat bazaars (weekly markets) are held each week in different parts of the town, where farmers from the rural hinterland set up stalls to trade agricultural produce, spices and handicrafts.
There are few gardens, temples and Places of religious importance in Biratnagar. Gopal garden, located near hathkhola and Hridreyandra bal udhhyan near thulo mill are two main gardens. Temples have been the jewel of Biratnagar. They are decorated in vibrant ways to make it most attractive. The site of remains of King Birat's palace and a local people's exhibitions of objects found during excavation there can be a place to visit. Besides all, Biratnagar is popular for people of eastern region or for people of Kathmandu for shopping.
Biratnagar is ideal as a hub for travel plans in Eastern Nepal. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve famous for its wildlife, especially for bird-watching enthusiasts, is a mere 90-minute drive from the city. It is also home to the endangered wild buffaloes called "Arna" in Nepali.
The largest rhododendron forests of Tinjure, Milke and Jaljale can be reached in about 3–4 hours. Scenic treks with views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga can be started from the small towns of Basantapur or Tumlingtar.
The beautiful tea gardens of Ilam are just 4 hours' drive away. Another place of interest is the hilly district of Dhankuta with its orange orchards.
Another beautiful location near Biratnagar is Dharan (50 km from north of Biratnagar)which is 1.5 hours' journey by bus. The place is famous for Dantakali temple, Pindeshwar temple, Budha Subbha temple and Panch Kanya and is surrounded with hills and Bhedetar is famous view point.
Biratnagar is equally famous for its high-spirited festival celebration. In Dashain, Nepal's biggest festival, large number of people including young persons visit the Kali Mandir, a temple that lies in the heart of the town. Also famous is Tihar, festival of lights, when the residents line their homes with diyo (an earthen oil lamp), candles and decorative electrical lamps during the two days of celebration and there is decoration in main road which includes use of Banana tree and Bamboo in all shops.Crackers are banned in Nepal. Krishna Astami (birthday of Krishna) is a festival that is heavily celebrated in Biratnagar. Thousands of people gather on that day to pull the Holy Cart (Rath) which goes around the city. This event is termed as the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey). Traffic will be halted for one to two hours on that day. It is believed that the Holy Cart (Rath) was driven by Lord Krishna. So, people keep a young child in the Holy Cart as a symbol of Krishna and pull the Cart with joy to celebrate the Lord Krishna's birthday. The Rath is very big and heavy and needs hundreds of persons to move it. It has an engine to run if required to move fast. It has brakes to stop it as it has to stop at many places to allow people to worship the Lord. Some people will be in the Rath to distribute prasad (fruits) to people. The Holy Cart will be followed by many smaller carts which are pulled by oxen. People in the smaller carts play the music and sing hymns with joy and happiness. It is the most important festival for the people of Biratnagr. So, almost all the schools and offices close after 1 p.m. to let the believers and spectators attend the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey).
Chhath (Devanagari: छठ, छठी, छठ पर्व, छठ पुजा, डाला छठ, डाला पुजा, सुर्य षष्ठी)important Hindu festival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya (ancient Vedic Goddess Usha)is also celebrated in Biratnagar. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya(the sun) for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.
On the pooja day they collect fruits and prepare thekwa(sweet made of wheat) with great respect to Surya (the sun). Some people fast from two days prior of pooja and break their fast by drinking water after the ritual is over. Chhath is considered to be very pure and the pooja is performed with infinite respect to surya, the Sun.
Biratnagar, being the home and a political turf of Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal, has always been a fertile ground for emerging as well as established politicians. Leaders like Man Mohan Adhikari, Sailaja Acharya, Bharatmohan Adhikari and Mahesh Acharya all come from this city. Girija Prasad Koirala, the man who has been elected prime minister the most number of times in Nepal, and in the world, also hails from Biratnagar. He was Prime Minister of Nepal four times, serving from 1991 to 1994, 1998 to 1999, 2000 to 2001, and from 2006 to 2008; he was also Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008. Biratnagar is the politically most active city in the modern history of Nepal. The first and the historical aeroplane hijack which was to fund the political revolution also took place at the Biratnagar Airport. The hijack plan masterminded by Girija Prasad Koirala was executed by Durga Subedi, *"Nagen Dingel" and *"Basant Bhattarai". *"Operation Ganesh out, place hijack plan in".
Biratnagar also had a king in the past whose name was Birat. There is a historical place near the border with India where the remains of the palace of Birat king can be seen. That place lacks the protection as it is in remote area and lacks proper transportation. The name "Biratnagar" for the city came after the name of King Birat.
Biratnagar is the centre of education in the eastern Development Region of Nepal. People in Biratnagar are more inclined to education followed by business, industry and politics although Biratnagar was politically very active in the past. The teaching medium of education is English in all the private schools, colleges and universities whereas Nepali is the medium of instruction in government schools up to secondary level. Beside this, There are few Indian international school, college & universities, which have branch in Nepal too. These institute also offer scholarship for various course such as - Medical, Engineering,IT, Para-medical,10+2.
Besides there is Govt. Recognised University, Purbanchal University.( UnderTaken Of Nepal Govt.) Purbanchal University is the Second Largest University in Nepal in terms of Number of Students. Around 25,000 students study in Purbanchal University in various Fields like Enginnering, Management, Eductaion, Information Technology, etc.
International School & Medical College:
Universities and Colleges:
- Purbanchal University
- Mahendra Morang Multiple Campus, (affiliated to the Tribhuvan University)
- Tribhuvan University Post Graduate College
- Nepal Homeopathic Medical College (Affiliated to Purbanchal University)
- Nobel Medical College,Kanchanbari (Affiliated to Kathmandu University) http://www.nobelmedicalcollege.com/
- Purbanchal university school of Engineering and Technology (PUSET)
- Eastern College of Engineering
Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges:
- Sirjana Gyankunja Higher Secondary School
- Gautam Buddha Higher Secondary School
- Arniko Higher Secondary School
- Bal Kalyan Vidya Mandir Higher Secondary School
- Bhanu Memorial English Boarding School
- Birat Science Campus
- Budhanilakantha Boarding School
- Birat College of Management
- Collage of Business and Social Studies
- City College
- DAV College (Dedraj Sewali Devi Todi)
- Devkota Memorial Higher Secondary School
- Kanchanjungha Higher Secondary School, Bhumi Prasasan
- Koshi College
- Kritika Education and Health Foundation
- Lord Buddha College
- Manokamana Higher Secondary School
- Mahendra Secondary High School
- Merryland Higher Secondary School
- Model College
- National Academy of Science and Commerce
- Orchid College
- Shree Gograha Higher Secondary School
- Shree Janta Model Higher Secondary School
- Shree Satya Narayan Higher Secondary School
- Shikshadeep Higher Secondary School,Neel Sadan " www.facebook.com/shikshadeep "
- South Asian School of Tourism and Hotel Management
- St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School
- Zenith International collage
- Management campus
- Shree Sagarmatha Secondary Boarding School,Panchali
- Godavari Secondary English School, Brt-7
- Namuna Vidya Mandir Secondary School
- Aadarsha Vidya Mandir
- Arniko Boarding School
- Azalea Boarding School
- Balmiki Secondary English Medium School
- Shree Mills Secondary School, Brt-20
- Lord Buddha English School
- Jaycee Bal Sadan, Brt-17
- Birat co-operative
- Birat Children Academy, Biratnagar-2
- Bright Angels'Secondary School
- Budhanilkantha English Boarding School
- Nawa Tara English School
- DAV School (Dedraj Sewali Devi Todi)
- Deokota Memorial School
- Don Bosco School(nilgiri)
- DPS Biratnagar
- Eden National Secondary Boarding School
- Everest English Borading School
- Kanchanjungha English School, Bhumi Prasasan
- Koshi Vidya Mandir
- Shree Annapurna Academy
- Shree Saraswati Madhyamik Vidyalya
- Siddhartha Sishu Sadan
- St. Joseph's Boarding School
- Crescent Public School
- Jamia Islamia Secondary School
- Bal Kalyan Vidhya Mandhir
- Malabika English Boarding School
- Graded English Medium Secondary School
- Paragon Academy
- Kanchanjunga Academy
Purwanchal Bidya Sadan Secondary School, Veterinary line
Economy, Trade and Commerce
The main economy of Biratnagar comes from business and industry. Biratnagar exports instant noodles, biscuits and garments to India and some other cities of Nepal. It also exports some garments to USA and some Europen countries. Biratnagar imports machinery, vehicles, computers, iron, steel, etc. from India and clothes, slippers, shoes, etc. from China. Biratnagr Sugar Mill and Biratnagar Jute Mill are the biggest industries of Biratnagar. Biratnagar has always been the center of business and commerce in Nepal. Biratnagar is also known as the industrial capital city of Nepal.
Recreation and entertainment
There are many places in Biratnagar to hang out. For example, Dhadhiram complex where you can swim and workout. Especially during Dashain and Tihar people make lingey Pings (a swing made up of three bamboo poles and jute rope). A lot of melas (fairs) are organized at various times of the year where people from all factions of society come to enjoy the rides and swings. Although very few national tournaments are organized here, many regional soccer tournaments can be observed in the Shahid Maidan (stadium grounds). You can watch latest English and Hindi movies in Himalaya Talkies. You can hang out in casinos and dance bars in city central near the traffic Chowk (round about) and jana-andolan Chowk areas. You can just stroll in the local pavement bazars that take place almost every day of the week. The city also has a theatre named Gurukul that regularly stages various dramas and is a major hub for theatrical artists from across the country and nearby places in India. There are many recreational parks and libraries dotted around the city. Recently various Yoga Shivir or centres have been built by public bodies.
Religion and culture
The major religions of the city are Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. The main culture deeply rooted in the city people comes from Hinduism. Hindus have 4 castes and 36 sub-castes system with upper, medium, lower and lowest caste people. There are several temples of Hindu, the famous is "Kali Mandir"; and not-definite meeting place of Christians and Buddhists. ocial life is very good in Biratnagar. The population mainly consists of Mardwadis, Newar, Madhesis, Muslims and other casts as well.
The Following TV and FM Stations are in Biratnagar:
- BFM 91.2
- Sky FM 106.6
- Koshi FM 94.3
- Radio Purbeli Aawaz 98.4
- Makalu TV
- Jagriti FM 87.9
- Purbanchal 104.4
- Radio Chamatkaar
Among them Radio Jagriti and Radio Purbanchal are Community radio Stations.
The following banking facilities and ATM's are available in the town:
- Nepal Bank Limited
- Rastriya Banijya Bank
- Agriculture Development Bank
- Biratlaxmi Bikas Bank Ltd.
- Nepal Bangladesh Bank
- Himalayan Bank Limited
- Nabil Bank
- Nepal SBI Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Bank of Asia Nepal Ltd.
- Prime Bank
- Nepal Merchant Bank
- Siddhartha Bank
- Nepal Investment Bank
- NIC Bank
- Himalayan Bank
- Sunrise Bank
- Mega Bank
- Nepal Investment Bank
- Saptakoshi Development Bank Ltd.
- Kist Bank
- RELIABLE DEVELOPMENT BANK LTD
- "National Population Census 2011". National Planning Commission Secretariat, Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Government of Nepal. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "NORMALS FROM 1981-2010". Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal). Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- Dambar Krishna Shrestha & Kamal Rimal. "१०० वर्षको विराटनगर, मणि खोज्दै (Biratnagar Turns 100, Seeking Glory)". Himal Khabar. Himal Media. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- Dadhiraj Subedi, "नेपाली साहित्यका मुस्कानहरू (The Smiles of Nepali Literature)"- 2012, Purwanchal Sahitya Academy, Biratnagar - ISBN 978 9937248266
- Bajesh, Lalma (2013). International Schools in Nepal. Janakpur: BBA books. p. 3.