Mithila, India

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This article is about the proposed state in India. For the ancient region, see Videha. For the region of Nepal, see Mithila, Nepal.

मिथिला/ মিথিলা
Country  India
Languages Maithili
Cities/ Districts Darbhanga, Madhubani, Araria, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Katihar, Khagaria, Kishanganj, Madhepura, Muzaffarpur, Purnea, Saharasa, Samastipur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Supaul, Vaishali, West Champaran, Deoghar, Dumka, godda, Jamtara, Pakaur, Sahebganj
Large Cities Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur Darbhanga
Establishment status Not yet established
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)

Mithila (Devnagri: मिथिला, mithilā Tirhuta: মিথিলা) is a proposed state in India, comprising the Maithili speaking region of North Bihar. Mithila is also known as Videha, Tirhut, Tirbhukti.

Mithila also refers to a city in Ancient India, the capital of the Videha Kingdom, located in modern-day Nepal. The name Mithila is also commonly used to refer to the Videha Kingdom itself, as well as to the modern-day territories that fall within the ancient boundaries of Videha. The city of Mithila has been identified as Janakpur in the Dhanusa district of Nepal.


The main economic activities of this region are agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. Major crops include rice, wheat, pulses, moong, urad, arhar, bamboo, mustard, jute, maize, mango, lichi and bananas. Costly agro-products such as chili, coriander, turmeric, ginger and tobacco are also grown in the region. Makhan (water chestnut), Euryle ferox and litchi are almost unique to Mithila; other crops include medicinal and flowering plants.

Darbhanga is a primary medical center for Mithila and has sugar factories, a paper mill and a bicycle factory. It has a large railway station.


Islamic invasion[edit]

During the regime of Harasimha Deva, the last king of the dynasty, Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq invaded Mithila in 1323 and gained control over the territory. Tughluq handed over the management of Mithila to Pt. Kameshwar Thakur. Thus, the sovereign power of Mithila, became part of Delhi Sultanate, but continued to enjoy complete autonomy.[1]


Vidyapati (1352–1448), was a Maithili poet and Sanskrit scholar in the region. He was born in Village Bisfi of Madhubani. Folklore says that he was such a great devotee of Lord Shiva that the lord was really pleased with him. And once He (Shiva) decided to come to live in his house as a servant, Ugna. At several places in the region, Lord Shiva is still worshipped by this name. It is said that the lord in form of servant had imposed a condition on Vidyapati that he could not disclose identity of Lord Shiva to anyone or else He would go away. One day, When Vidyapati's wife was angry at her servant and started to beat Ugna, Vidyapati could not tolerate it and asked his wife to stop and disclosed identity of Ugna. Lord Shiva disappeared and was never seen again.

British rule[edit]

Maharaja Kameswar Singh was the last jamindar King of Mithila. The insurgency at Delhi in 1857, caused a grave concern to the English inhabitants, in Mithila. A revolutionary fervor began to permeate in the entire region.[1]

In 1908, 18-year old young Bengali revolutionary, Khudi Ram Bose, was hanged at Muzaffarpur for throwing a bomb at the carriage of Pringle Kennedy, who was actually mistaken for Kingsford, the District Judge of Muzaffarpur. After the independence of India in 1947, a memorial to this young revolutionary patriot was constructed at Muzaffrapur.

The historically dominant group of the region were the Maithil Brahmans who were both priests and rulers. In the colonial period, a number of them were zamindars. The most common surname (last names) of the Maithil Brahmans is Jha. Others include Mishra, Thakur, Chaudhary and several others.

Rivers and floods[edit]

Mithila has seven major rivers, Mahananda, Gandak, Kosi, Bagmati, Kamala, Balan, and the Budhi Gandak.[2] They flow from the Himalaya mountains in the north to the Ganges river in the south. These rivers regularly flood, depositing silt onto the farmlands and sometimes causing death or hardship. In the 1950s the Government of Bihar built high barriers on both banks, but these caused the rivers to silt up, which made them more prone to flooding.

On 18 August 2008 the Kosi embankment burst at Kusha in Nepal, near the border with India. The Kosi river inundated areas of Mithila that hadn't experienced floods in many decades.[3][4] 250 people died and 3 million people were forced from their homes.[5] More than 300,000 houses were destroyed and at least 340,000 hectares (840,000 acres) of crops were damaged.[5] Villagers in Mithila ate raw rice and flour mixed with polluted water. Hunger and disease were widespread. The Supaul district was the worst-hit; surging waters swamped 1,000 square kilometres (247,000 acres) of farmlands, destroying crops.[6]

Political support[edit]

Bharatiya Janata Party

Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have supported the cause of a separate state of Mithila.

Janata Dal (United)

Janata Dal (United) was the only party which supported the demand for statehood of Mithila during the 14th State assembly elections.

  • In November 2011, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also extended his support for the statehood of Mithila.[9][10]
  • Shravan Chaudhary, JDU state president, has openly supported the demand.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tirhut – The Land of Maa Sita – About Tirhut". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Rivers of Bihar | Bihar Articles". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "A Dalit watch report on the flood camps in Bihar". 22 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Half of Bihar under water, 30 lakh suffer;". CNN IBN. 9 January 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Michael Coggan in New Delhi (29 August 2008). "Death toll rises from Indian floods". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Kataria, Sunil (30 August 2008). "Bihar villagers desperate as floods spread". Reuters. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Demand for Mithila state gains momentum, politicians join demonstration at Jantar Mantar". 2 August 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "article". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "राज्य पुनर्गठन : व्यापक हो नजरिया « संपादकीय ब्लॉग". Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "जेडी(यू) ने पृथक मिथिला राज्य की मांग का समर्थन किया- Navbharat Times". Navbharat Times. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 

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