||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (June 2009)|
|Elevation||41 m (135 ft)|
|• Official||Maithili, Hindi|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||906 females per 1000 males ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Madhepura|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Saharsa|
Saharsa is a city and a municipality in the Saharsa district in the Indian state of Bihar in the north of the country, east of the Kosi River. It is the administrative headquarters of the Saharsa District, and is in the Kosi Division. Sahrasa is also the name of the assembly constituency, which contains the city and neighbouring parts of the district. The name Saharsa has originated from saharsh which means 'with great pleasure'.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
Earlier, the Saharsa district was part of the Munger & Bhagalpur districts. On 1 April 1954 it was made a district of its own. It was also made headquarters of Kosi division on 2 October 1972, comprising Saharsa, Purnia and Katihar district, with its headquarters at Saharsa. Similarly a new Civil Sub-Division Birpur was created on 1 December 1972, consisting of 24 development blocks viz. Raghopur, Chhatapur, Basantpur and Nirmali which were previously under Supaul subdivision of this district. Two new districts Madhepura & Supaul have been formed from Saharsa district on 30 April 1981 and 1991. Saharsa district now consists of two subdivisions, viz. Saharsa Sadar and Simri Bakhtiarpur. The district consists of 10 development blocks and anchals each.
A large part of the district in the past was subjected to annual floods and inundation by a host of rivers originating from the Himalayas. The sub terai was noted for rice cultivation before it was subjected to the vagaries of the unpredictable Koshi river.
The district has been largely influenced by its geography. Whatever humans of historically important sites that may have existed here have been virtually removed by the repeated flooding at the Koshi river during the last half century or so. With the efforts of some early Europeans however, some important historical objects or landmarks have been preserved in a few places and it is on the basis of these that some kind of a connected account of the early history of the district can be constructed.
Saharsa was part of Mithila and the history can be traced back to Raja Janak (in mythical accounts, father of Sita who later became wife of Lord Rama). Biratpur is also known for Chandikasthan which is an ancient temple of Devi Chandi. The tantric Scholars and devotees attach much significance to this Chandi temple, which is said to form an equilateral triangle (TRIK) with Katyayani temple near Dhamhara ghat and Tara temple at Mahishi. During the Navratra people from distant places visit the village to offer prayers to the goddess of power.
In ancient times Vaishali was the strongest republic in North-Bihar and beyond that lay the famous territory of Anguttarap. There was a small Janpad, named Apna, in Anguttarap and it included a portion of the district of Shaharsa. Although it is not confirmed whether this was a republic it is certain that the people of this area were outside the influence of the Lichchhavis. Various sites of the district, now completely eroded and destroyed by the koshi, viz. Biratpur, Budhiagarhi, Budhnaghat, Buddhadi, Pitahahi and Mathai are associated with Buddhism. Before the advent of Kosi in the district these sites supplied important materials, and during the district these sites supplied important materials, and during the period of erosion big buildings and huge construction which lay covered under them were noticed falling into the river. Local legends confirm that Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira passed through the district during their missionary travels and delivered important sermons.
Both Anga and North Bihar (including Shaharsa) continued to be independent till the early part of the sixth century B.C. For some time Magadha remained an integral part of Anga. But soon the prosperity of Anga declined. Bimbisara, the king of Magadh, annexed Anga to his empire. Though Anga seems to have continued as an independent Janpad. This was the characteristic of the whole of north Bihar until it was finally conquered by Ajatashatru. He finally defeated the Lichhavis and other independent republics of north Bihar and annexed the whole territory to the Kingdom of Magadha. The Magadh empire was growing rapidly and the whole of Bihar was brought under the sway of Magadhan rule by the Nandas and Mauryas.
In the first decade of this century a board of 58 punch marked coins of the Mauryan period was discovered from Gorhoghat. Later, the same type of coins were found at Patuaha by prof. R.K. Choudhary in 1956. He also came across some pieces of black polished ware near Mahishi and its surroundings. The Mauryan rule in this area stands firmly confirmed by a Mauryan pillar at Sikligarh on the Banmankhi-Forbesganj Road and another in the Kishanganj Police Station. Since Saharsa was a border district even in those days, the Mauryan rulers apparently took special care to guard its frontiers.
The Mauryans were supplanted by Sungas and Kanvas and there did not seem to have been major political change in the district. Whether the Kushans conquered this portion cannot be determined.
Between 320 and 1097 AD
Under the Guptas (from 320 AD) the entire North Bihar was consolidated as a Tirbhukti (province) with its capital at Vaishali. Therefore, the forward province came to be known as Bhukti and the district came to be known as Vishaya. In North Bihar, there were two Bhuktis, viz. Tirabhukti (practically the whole of North Bihar) and Pundravardhanbhukti (included a portion of Saharsa, Purnia and a portion of North Bengal). The extent of Saharsa during the period under review was up to the confines of Pundravardhanbhukti which included some of its present area.
After the decline of the Guptas the political gap came to be utilised by all contemporary chiefs. Taking advantage of the situation the Varmans of Kamrup (Assam) extended their authority up to the confines of the Kosi. The rule of purnavarman over North Bihar included the present district of Saharsa. The rise of Harsha in 7th century AD was an event of great importance. He brought under his sway the whole of Northern India. But the death of Harsha in 647 AD once again let loose the forces of disintegration.
The Palas of Bihar and Bengal (8th century AD) gave a stable administration to the district. As South Bihar was pressed by the Kalchuris, the palas apparently shifted to North Bihar and Saharsa might have been their headquarters during the time of Vigraphapala-III. Quite a few villages in Saharsa district are associated with the names of pala rulers and it was through this district that the Palas could establish contact with Nepal. From the geographical point of view Saharsa was the most strategically suited from being the Jayaskandharar (temporary Capital) of the Palas at the time when they were surrounded on all sides by enemies.
Between 1097 and 1765 AD
The decline of the Pala authority in Bihar and Bengal was followed by the establishment of the Karnata in Mithila and the sena dynasties in Bengal. Both the Kanrnatas and senas claimed authority over portion of Saharsa and often entered into armed conflict.
Nanyadeva, the first of the Karnatas, extended his influence from Champaran to Purnia. Probably, the two chiefs (Nanyadeva of the Karnatas dynasty and Vijay Sena of the Sena Dynasty) were allies who fell into disagreement over division of territory. The deopna inscription of Vijay Sena indicated that Nanyadeva was defeated and imprisoned some where in Supaul Sub division. It was Gangadeva, his son who liberated him. The sanokar inscription of vallalassena proves that his rule extended up to the district of Bhagalpur.
The two sons of Nanyadeva, Malladeva and Gangadeva apparently drove the senas further east as indicated by the setting up of Gangapur Ranani (named after Gangadeva) in pargana Nishanpur Kurha and Maldiha (named after Malladeva) on the Saharsa-Purnia border. The Village Malhad 'near Supaul is also associated with Malladeva. Gangadeva was succeeded by Narasimha deva during whose reign Mithila and Nepal were separated.
Gradually, the Tughlaq authority in Mithila weakened. Haji Illyas of Bengal taking advantage of this situation invaded Tirhut and defeated its ruler. He divided the Tirhut kingdom into two parts. As a result of this division the district of Saharsa came under the control of Oinwara rulers. The most famous king of this line was shicasimha, who issued gold coins. Vidyapati the famous poet, lived under his patronage.
After the fall of oinwaras, there was virtual chaos. The Gandhaviya Rajputs acquired power and ruled during this period. Thei Gandha variya trace their descent from the ruling chiefs of thrhut. The whole district of Saharsa was dotted with small chief transships created both by the Hindus and the Muslims. Even in the early past of Mughal rule they could venture to oppose the central authority as Bihar and the Afghans were opposed to the establishment of Mughal authority. The Karranis and the Afghans, along with the local Rajput rulers and chiefs had made this district the centre of revolt.
Raja Todarmal made the revenue settlement in Subah, Bihar in 1852. the very fact that most of the existing parganas of the district of Saharsa were assessed during the time of Akbar shows that the district had acquired administrative significance. During the course of the Mughal rule, the present district of Saharsa seems to have formed parts of Sarkar Tirhut, Sarkar Munger and Sarkar Purnia. The Muslim rule naturally had its influence on the life and culture of people. Some of the Rajput zamindars are believed to converts. The Muslims of Nawahatta circle in the district of Saharsa are said to have been originally Rajputs and their conversion in traced to the Mughal times, The Brahmins in this region acquired surname like Khan in bangaon and Mahishi under influence and patronage from Mughals. It is said that in 1654 Shahjehan bestowed the title of Raja on Kesri Sinha (Ancestor of sone-barsa Raj). Raja Fateh Singh of the same line is said to have sided with the East India Company against Mir Kasim in the battle of Udhuanala in 1763.
In 1764 Saharsa passed with the rest of Bengal under the Control of East India Company. During the Independence Movement of 1857, the people in revolt remained unchecked by the administration of Purnia and Bhagalpur and they moved unchecked through the terai area. They were very active in different parts of the district of Saharsa which was in the midst of a great turmoil. Since then it continued to be an important centre for various kinds of Political agitations directed against the British administration.
The district of Saharsa played an important part in the Annie Besant in 1917 and Satyagraha Movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 received widespread support in the district. In Saharsa, the freedom movement was led, among others, by Sarvashri Mahtal Lal Yadava, Shivanandan Mandal, Nand Kishore Chaudhary, Rajendra Mishra, Ram Bahadur Sinha, Yadunanadan Jha, Lakshman Lal Das'Kalakar', Pandit Hare Krishna Mishra and Rajendra Lal Das. Supaul and Madhepura Jails were full of Political prisoners. Thana Bihpur (in Bhagalpur district) was the scene of great activity where Dr. Rajendra Prasad was bitterly beaten by the police and the people of Saharsa were much agitated over this. Picketing tool place all over the district with full Vigour. The Period between 1930 and 1942 was marked by various Kisan agitations all over the district fro Bakast lands.
The August revolution of 1947 formed a landmark in the history of the freedom movement in Saharsa district too. On 29 August, there was police firing at Saharsa and a number of persons were killed. After his escape from the Hazaribagh Jail in 1942 Sri Jay Prakash Narayan visited Saharsa district on his way to Nepal.
Sri Siyaram Singh of Bhagalpur formed Siyaramdal which had its branches in different parts the district of Saharsa in December 1942. Sri Siyaram Singh met Sri Jaya Prakash Narayan in Nepal where a conference on the works of Bihar was held under the presidency of Shri Shivanandan Mandal.
The district played a prominent role in the subsequent events which continued till the country’s independence.
Saharsa has witnessed several philanthropic activities by its sons. Manohar Lal Tekriwal, Marwadi businessman (grandfather of Sri Shankar Prasad Tekriwal, former state minister) donated several bighas to establish Manohar High School, Manohar Lal Tekriwal College (formerly Saharsa College) and later Ravinandan Memorial Law College. Pandit Rajendra Mishra, freedomfighter (uncle of Late Lalit Narayan Mishra, former Central Minister & Dr. Jagannath Mishra, former Central Minister as well as former CM of Bihar) established Rajendra Mishra College. Late Ramesh Chandra Jha (former state minister) established Ramesh Jha Mahila College. Contractors Sarva Narayan Singh and Ram Kumar Singh established S.N.S.R.K.S. College for which the land was donated by Sri Pirvat Babu and Sri Nageswar Babu of Rahua Mani. Late Lakshman Lal Das 'Kalakar', a staunch Gandhian Freedom Fighter (also founder and lifetime undefeated Mukhiya of Gram Panchayat Patory of Sattar Kataiya Block in Saharsa Sadar Sub-Division) along with his wife Smt. Durga Devi and friend Late Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Verma established SEVASHRAM (on the lines of SEVAGRAM, WARDHA) during Quit India Movement. In post independence era this SEVASHRAM became the halting center of promininet leaders like Acharya Vinoba Bhave during Bhudan Movement and an activity center during Emergency. To continue the glory of the place Sri Kalakar, later established Middle School and Devi Sanskrit Balika Uchha Vidyalaya in the same vicinity, which apart from imparting knowledge, are spreading the message of Peace, Non-violence & Gandhian Philosophies.
Saharsa is located at  It has an average elevation of 41 metres (134 feet). Saharsa and its surrounding areas are a flat alluvial plain forming part of the Kosi river basin. This makes the land very fertile. However, frequent changes in the course of the Kosi, one of the largest tributaries of the Ganges, have led to soil erosion. Flooding is a major reason for the poor connectivity of the area as bridges tend to get washed away. Major flooding occurs almost annually, causing a significant loss of life and property. The famous conversation between Mandan Mishra and Shankracharya took place in Mahishi in Saharsa. In Saharsa district, the main problems of the people are poverty, unemployment, and literacy. After the Kosi flood in 2008, problems of the people have been increased but now Saharsa is again developing in full pace..
This is the most devastating river of Bihar and it earns the epithet "Sorrow of Bihar". The floods in 2008 left many people homeless and required great deal of efforts by government to rehabilitate them.
Baghmati is also notorious for its breach of embankments & frequently changing its meandering courses. Therefore here the river is in its youth stage where annual rate of deposition of alluvium is very high. gandak is also a main river following through some southern part of Saharsa.
An official Census 2011 detail of Saharsa, a district of Bihar has been released by Directorate of Census Operations in Bihar. Enumeration of key persons was also done by census officials in Saharsa District of Bihar.
In 2011, Saharsa had population of 1,897,102, of which male and female were 995,502 and 901,600 respectively. There was change of 25.79 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Saharsa District recorded increase of 33.03 percent to its population compared to 1991.
The initial provisional data suggest a density of 1,125 in 2011 compared to 895 of 2001. Total area under Saharsa district is of about 1,686 km2.
Average literacy rate of Saharsa in 2011 were 54.57 compared to 39.08 of 2001. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy were 65.22 and 42.73 respectively. For 2001 census, same figures stood at 51.66 and 25.27 in Saharsa District. Total literate in Saharsa District were 829,206 of which male and female were 521,560 and 307,646 respectively. In 2001, Saharsa District had 465,577 in its total region.
With regards to Sex Ratio in Saharsa, it stood at 906 per 1000 male compared to 2001 census figure of 910. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate. kahra and Bangaon has a very important contribution in entire sectoral development of Saharsa. A Small Village" Bhulia" of Sour Bazar block is also becoming famous in recent days because from this village so many people are becoming Engineer. Bhulia is emerging village of the Saharsa district. People are much aware for educating their children's specially girls. Students from Saharsa go to every part of country as well as other parts of the world. The market of Saharsa is developing very quickly.
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- Recently V MART opened its 56th retail store at Purab Bazaar Saharsa, first of this kind of store in the city.
- Brick production. Saharsa is one of the biggest brick producing HUB in entire kosi area like KING Bricks is one of the best bricks of kosi area.
- Corn product Corn product is manufactured at Maa Katyani Industry
- Jute factory
- Soap factory
- Chocolate factory
- Biscuit factory
- Proposed paper mill (Baijnathpur)
- Printing industry is popular and printing press like Saraswati Press is prominent
Saharsa is connected by railway and roadways to other major towns in Bihar. National Highway 327 (Saharsa – Bagdogra) and NH 107 connects it to Maheshkhunt and Purnia List of National Highways in India. The rural road network is in need of improvement.
Saharsa does not have public transportation links by air (there is an air strip reserved for government use but no commercial flights exist) or waterways, but train connections can be made. It is connected to Kolkata by a direct train, the "Hate Bazaare Express". In early 2006, a much awaited broad gauge line connected it to Khagaria on the New Delhi-Guwahati main line. In early 2006, a weekly train was started to connect it to the national capital, New Delhi. In October 2006, a low-fare completely air-conditioned weekly train, christened the "Garib Rath" (Poor's Chariot), has been started to connect Saharsa to Amritsar, with much fanfare. Earlier there was only a metre gauge line on the Khagaria – Mansi – Saharsa – Forbesganj section of East Central Railway.
The city is also served by India Post. Its Postal Code is: 852201.
Landline telephone services have been augmented by cellular services; Internet connectivity of all types like broadband, wimax, evdo and 3G are available here : cyber cafes provide broadband service, and now you can find internet and broadband in every home. Mobile services are working in both rural as well as urban areas, leading mobile companies like, Airtel, Reliance, Tata, BSNL, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea, Smart, virgin, uninor, DOCOMO are working here.
Language and culture
- Manohar Lal Tekriwal College (MLT) formerly known as Saharsa College
- Rajendra Mishra College (One of 15 Community College and 19 Center of Excellence of Bihar)
- Ramesh Jha Mahila College
- S.N.S.R.K.S. College
- R.M.M. Law College
- B.S. College, Simraha, Saharsa
- Maharaja Harivallabh Singh Memorial College, Sonbarsa
- B.N.M. Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital Saharsa
- IGNOU Regional Centre, Saharsa
- Lord Budha Koshi Medical College and Hospital, Saharsa
- Bivha College of Medicine, Saharsa
- Govt. Teacher Training College, Saharsa
- East and West Teacher Training College, Saharsa
- Mandan Bharti Agriculture College, Saharsa
- Govt. Polytechnic College, Saharsa
- Regional Rural Medical College, Golma, Saharsa (Under Construction)
- Nurshing (A.N.M.) School, Sanjay Park Road, Saharsa
- K. P. S. College, Saharsa
- Prof. Saurabh suman sunny College of Medical sciences
- D.C. Inter College Simri Bakhtiyarpur, Saharsa
- A proposal of opening a government medical college in Saharsa by Bihar Government is also in process
- Zila School Saharsa
- Zila Girls School Saharsa
- Manohar High School, Saharsa
- Indian High School, Saharsa
- Senior basic school, Hati
- Tuition Bureau Residential School, Gautam Nagar, Gangjala, Saharsa.
- Kid Care school, Korlahi, Saharsa.
- Jawahar Navodaya vidyalaya Bariyahi, Saharsa
- Veer Kunwar singh high school
- Jail Colony High School
- Kalawati High School
- Kendriya Vidyalaya Saharsa
- Middle School, Bara, Saharsa
- Simribakhtiyarpur High School, Simribakhtiyarpur
- Islamia High School, Simribakhtiyarpur
- Chakbharo High School, Simribakhtiyarpur
- St. Xavier's School, Islamiya Chowk, Gangajala Saharsa
- Green Field Middle School, Hatiyagachi Saharsa
- Shri Navkumar Singh High School Lagma
- Maa Gayatri School Sahapur Bazar.
- Benevolent Global Public School, Near Tiwari Tola, Saharsa Basti, Saharsa
- Girls High School, Simribakhtiyarpur
- Koshi Convent Academy, Naya Bazar, Saharsa
- Jay Pratap Singh Public School, Meera Cinema Road, Saharsa
- Darjelling Public School, Tiwari Tola, Saharsa
- Play and learn school, kayasth tola, Saharsa
- Nehru Academy, Vidyapati Nagar, Saharsa.
- S.S. High School Nowhatta
- The Gurukul Education Complex (Meer Tola) Saharsa
- Sarvoday Public School, Krishna Nagar Saharsa
- Master Mind Public School, Meera Talkies Road, Saharsa
- Buddha Public School, Saharsa
- Shanti Mission Academy, Saharsa
- Eklavya Central School
- Delhi Public School, Saharsa
- national convent school
- M.M.D. High School Salkhua, Saharsa
- Project Kanya High School Salkhua, Saharsa
- Middle School Situaha, Saharsa
- Rajkiya Middle School Salkhua, Saharsa
- Rajkiya Middle School, Rahuamani, Kahara, Saharsa H/M.-Dr. R.K. Singh (VIPNET Reg N—V0546005, Vigyan Prasar, Govt. Of India, New Delhi) (Culture Club. Reg By CCRT, New Delhi)
- D.D. High School, Sardiha, Saharsa
- Rajkiya Middle School, Sardiha, Saharsa
- Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya Bhotia
- Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya Basudeva
- Millennium Kids Academy, By-Pass Road, Saharsa
- Millennium Kids Academy, By-Pass Road, Saharsa
- Rajkiya Madhya Vidyalay, Routa, Sour Bazar, Saharsa
- Middle School, Udainagar, Bahuarva
- Dharmdutt Jha School Bara, Saharsa
- Sanskrit High School Bara, Saharsa
- Ram padarath ramayani high school baghwa, saharsa
- S. M. CARMEL SCHOOL, Gangjala, Saharsa
- EKLAVYA CENTRAL SCHOOL, SULINDABAD, SAHARSA