Begusarai

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This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Begusarai district.

Begusarai town is the administrative headquarters of Begusarai district, which is one of the thirty-eight districts of Bihar state, India. The district lies on the northern bank of river Ganga. It is located at Latitudes 25.15N & 25.45N and longitudes 85.45E & 86.36E. It was established in 1870 as a subdivision of Munger District In 1972.

Begusarai
बेगुसराय
Begusarai is located in Bihar
Begusarai
Begusarai
Location of Begusarai in Bihar
Coordinates: 25°25′N 86°08′E / 25.42°N 86.13°E / 25.42; 86.13Coordinates: 25°25′N 86°08′E / 25.42°N 86.13°E / 25.42; 86.13
Country  India
State Bihar
District Begusarai
Area
 • Total 1,918 km2 (741 sq mi)
Elevation 41 m (135 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 252,008
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Languages
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN CODE 851101[1]
Telephone code 06243
Sex ratio 0.9109 /
Lok Sabha constituency Begusarai
Vidhan Sabha constituency Begusarai
Website begusarai.bih.nic.in

Begusarai is also known as "Industrial Capital of Bihar"[2][3] Begusarai hosts Indian oil company limited (IOCL), Barauni Thermal power station (BTPS) and various other industry.

Begusarai had traditionally been a communist stronghold and was once referred to as the "Leningrad of Bihar".[4]

Name[edit]

The name of the district apparently comes from "Begum" (queen) and "Sarai" (inn). The Begum of Bhagalpur used to visit "Simaria Ghat" (holy place on the banks of the Gangas) for a month of pilgrimage, which later took to the slang of Begusarai.[3] There are other stories also regarding the name of this district.

Religion[edit]

This district is predominantly Hindu, although around 15% of the population is Muslim. The most common Hindu castes in the district include Brahmins, Bhumihars, Kayasthas,Yadavs and Teli.

Geography[edit]

Begusarai is located at 25°25′N 86°08′E / 25.42°N 86.13°E / 25.42; 86.13.[5] It has an average elevation of 41 metres (134 feet). It has an area of 1879 square.Begusarai lies in North Bihar and is surrounded by Khagaria in North-East, Munger in South-East, Lakheesarai in South-West, Patna in West and Samastipur in North-West.[6]

Begusarai lies in the middle of the mid Ganga plain and generally has low lying terrain with South to South Easterly slope.[7] Begusarai is basically divided in three flood plains namely :1) Ganga Flood Plain 2) Burhi Gandak Flood plain 3) Kareha-Bagmati Flood Plain. Among these Budhi Gandak and Kareha Bagmati Flood plains are very low-lying plains hence more prone to the flood . These flood plains covers the South Eastern part of Begusarai. Streams in this region has a shifting tendency and they leave the scars of their previous channels . This causes the presence of wetlands, oxbow lakes and backswamps.

Geomorphology[edit]

The MidGanga plain can be divided into a number of Geomorphic units. The Northern part is the region of Shivalik Ranges and is followed by Piedmont fan surface fringing the foothills, 10 to 30 kilometres (6.2 to 18.6 miles) wide, built up by merging of the fan surfaces of major Himalayan rivers. The surface of this region includes both Bhabhar and Tarai Land. Built upon these are the Fluvial Regime classified into Megafans and Interfluves characterized by :

1. Upland Terraces (T2)

2. River Valley Terraces (T1)

3. Active Flood Plains (T0)

The entire district of Begusarai falls in the T0 surface also known as Active flood plains.[7]

The Southern and Northern banks of the Gangetic Plains around Begusarai are characterized by tributaries that flow parallel to the Ganga for long distances before merging at deferred junctions.

Drainage[edit]

Begusarai is drained by a number of rivers and in addition small rivulets, Dhars, Nalas which are originated locally and preserve rainwater. Some rivers of Begusarai are perennial (Ganga, Burhi Gandak, Kosi, Kareha and Bagmati) whereas some are seasonal (Channa, Bainti, Kachna, Monrya & Malti).

All types of streams i.e. the Mountain Fed (Ganga), Foothill Fed (Bagmati), Plain fed (Burhi Gandak) and Mixed fed drains the district. In general the drainage pattern of the rivers of this region is a part of Greater Gangetic Plain, which is characterized as Dendritic Drainage Pattern.[8]

However locally they exhibit their typical characteristics. The Ganga Rivers shows Yazoo Pattern whereas Burhi Gandak, Kareha, Bagmati, Balan, Baintia etc. show very high Sinuosity and are typically meandering rivers. Ganga enters Begusarai from Southwest into Chamtha block of this district. Burhi Gandak enters from Parihara. River Balan enters the district in the Bachhwara block. Bagmati enters from Bakhri.

History[edit]

The Heritage of India is the outcome of interactions throughout the ages over a massive geographical landmass. The colorful history of this country is the saga of contributions of almost each and every corner of the large area. Bihar holds a glittering position among those contributing units. It needs no introduction to the world of History. Begusarai, which is a district headquarters lying in the mid northern flank of the Ganges bed, follows the same historical pattern as Bihar does. The name `Begusarai` is said to be after one Md. Begu who used to look after the Sarai (a halting station for the caravan). Some other believe it to be derived from Begumsarai.

The land of Begusarai bears the testimony of its glorious past. The land surrounded by seven rivers and rivulets has seen a long cultural proceeding going on. The high mound of the districts resemble its proud head as far as profoundness of heritage is concern. A connected and coherent history of the area from the sixth century B.C. to the Mughal period can be presented on the basis of archeological findings of Naulagarh mound, and numerous sites of the area.

The region which Buddhist literatures refer to as Anguttarapa. Mahavagga and Sutta nipata Attakatha mention that Lord Buddha had visited Apan Nigama of Anguttarapa. Now, the term Ang-uttar-apa itself indicate its position as ‘the water to the north of Anga’. Undoubtedly, to locate the exact position of Apan Nigam is a difficult, but it is crystal clear that the region of Begusarai would have been an important part of that region.

A number of N.B.P Ware. sites scattered all over the region is the indication of this area being inhabited during Mauryan period. In the light of the short report, the Birpur excavation clearly indicates the cultural layer of ShungaKushana period. The archaeological remains of Gupta Period can be explored in abundance at different sites. In 1972, Late. Prof. Radhakrishna Choudhary discovered two fragmentary seals written in Gupta Brahmi from Naulagarh. This is an evidence of the fact that the region used to be main centre of economic and administrative activities during Gupta Period.

The archaeological findings and remains of Jaimangalgarh are sufficient to prove it a prominent Buddhist site. The Hersain stupa and concrete possibility of Viharas tell the glory of its past. The Excavation of Birpur conducted by Dept. of A.I.H. and Archaeology, G.D. College, Begusarai with the permission of A.S.I. under the direction of Prof. Phuleshwer Singh and Dr. Shailesh Kumar Sinha has brought in light an uninterrupted cultural sequence of N.B.P Ware. to Muslim Ware. The Masuriadih might represent the Neolithic culture in this region. This shows the antique nature of the region.

The archaeological remains especially the sculptures scattered all over the district advocate the Pala dominance over this region. The Naulagarh Inscription of VigrahaPala III suggests that Naulagarh used to be a part of Krimila Vishaya in the age of the Palas. The Inscription was notices and published by the noted historian Prof. R.K. Chaudhay of G.D. College, Begusarai in 1952. The Bhagalpur Copper plate of Narayanpala and the Bangaon Copper plate also prove the Pala rule over Tirabhukti of which Begusarai was a part.

The history of the region falling between the Golden days of the Palas and the expansion of the Karnats from Simraon Garh seems to be influenced by the Rajputas. Even at the time of the Karnats rule in this region, it seems that Rajputas used to exercise dominating influence over this area. The presence of Bhar, Chandel, Parmara, Solanki Rajputas and the sculptures of Chamunda, Revant, Bhairav scattered all over the region support this hypothesis..After the down fall of the Pala rule over this area, Begusarai came under Karnata rule. The Karnata rule started in Mithila in 1097 A.D. and continued up to 1324 A.D. After Karnats Muslim rule had started in this region.

The Maheshwara Inscription of Feroz Etigin (1290–91) edited by Prof. Chowdhary in 1956 proves the shifting control over this region. Feroz Etigin was the regional administrator appointed by Ruknuddine Kaikas (1291-1302) A.D.. Later on the Oinwaras came in the light to replace the Karnata power somewhere in the middle of the 14th century. On the basis of the descriptions of Mulla Taquia Prof. R.K. Choudhary indicates that Haji Illiyas subjugated Tirhut and divided the kingdom in two parts. River Burhi Gandak was fixed the boundary line and Oinwara Kameshwara was forced by him beyond it.

Now Begusarai came under Haji Illiyas's rule. This system proved to be short lived when Firuz Tugluq invaded Tirhut and compelled the Illiyas Shahi to vacate this territory. Later on Firuz Tuglaq had to sign a treaty with Sikandar shah of Illiyas Shahi dynasty which was in favour of this. Later Ruknuddin Barbak saha of the same dynasty rules over Begusarai as well as a major portion of North Bihar. The Lodi Sultan Sikandar Lodi started his compaign for political supremacy and crushed the land up to Bengal in 1495. Begusarai also constituted that subdued area. An inscription of Nasrat shah from Matihani of Begusarai proves his rule over this area. It is remarkable to know that Nasrat Shah in 1519 A.D. and appointed his son-in-low Makhdun Alam the governor of Hajipur after conquering Tirhut. It seem that the region came under Sher Shah Suri's rule after that. The name Begusarai itself seems to be of that time.

Begusarai seems to be under rule of Ibrahim Shah Sharqui also. A copper coin of the king from Sanghaul of the district provide base to this thought. The area came under Mugal rule Akber established his control over Tirhut in 1574 A.D. with the weakening of the central power in Delhi after the death of Auragzeb nobles all over the country tried to take advantage of the situation. Beguarai was no exception. The Chakwar Raja Bakhtawar Singh of Samho refused to pay lagan and assumed the independent title of ’Deva Devanam’. The East India Company records points the hold of Chakwaras on Gangetic transport from Munger to Patna. Raja Bakhtawar Singh died in 1730. In 1734 Alivardi Khan, the newly appointed Governor of Bihar suppressed the Chakwar Raja Bahadur Singh and the Latter agreed to pay tribute to the Nawab of Bengal. With his death the Chakwara influence started declining.

With the defeat of Sirajuddhaulah, the English started taking control over this area. Manjhaul, Begusarai, Bhagwanpur, Daulatpur etc. became the centre of Indigo trade. Munger was created as a separate district in 1832 A.D. and Balia Pargana was merged with it. Later Balia was confirmed as subdivision by the company official but the office was established at Begusarai. In 1870 Begusarai got the status of subdivision.

Begusarai played an important role in the freedom struggle of the country. The Namak (Salt) Satyagraha of Gandhi Ji brought turmoil in the district and the people showed their vigour and courage. Participating in the movement Bihar Keshri Dr. Sri Krishna Singh broke the Salt-Law at Garhpura. Bihat village of the district became the Bardoli of this region. No one can forget the account of local martyrs during the August-movement of 1942. Residents of the district showed their enthusiasm against the bullets of the British administration.

When India attained freedom, Begusarai remained a Subdivision of Munger district. It became a district on 2 October 1972 and since then it is inching on the path of progress.[9]

Economy[edit]

Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. The main cash crops of Begusarai district are oilseeds, aniseed/ tisi, tobacco, jute, potato, red chillies, tomato and rape-seed.In Fruits Farming Begusarai has recently became a major contributor in producing Litchi, Mango, Guava and Banana. Recently Basil Leaves[10] and Pearl[11] farming has attracted local farmers.

1. There are no minerals of economic importance.

2. There are many ancillary industries in Begusarai district, the main being Indian Oil Refinery at Barauni, Barauni Thermal Power Station, Barauni dairy, Bihar Carbon Pvt. ltd., Neo Carbon Pvt. Ltd., Premier Industries, Graphite India.

It was on the first CM Sri Krishna Sinha's initiative that work on several big projects started in the 60s and as a result major industrial units like Barauni Refinery, Barauni Fertilizer plant besides Garhara locomotive shed co-existed and operated simultaneously during the 70s. This was part of Sri Krishna Singh's vision of building an industrial corridor through Begusarai-Bakhtiarpur-Fatuha. In fact, Rajendra bridge construction over river Ganga in Simaria was facilitated to realize this dream.As industries flourished in the region, it attracted hundreds of professionals and technicians from across the country. Given the industrial background, this remote place donned a pan-Indian look even in those times as people from different cultural backgrounds lived in the townships of these units. With industry support, the local economy flourished. The industries provided local people exposure to various professions besides developing diverse Indian culture.

The first generating unit of Barauni Thermal Power Station was also commissioned in the 60s. Old timers recall how power supply used to be regular during the 70s here with no breakdown.However, things started going awry with the onset of 80s as political stakeholders stopped taking keen interest in the industrialization of the state. Barauni fertilizer unit, which went frequently off and on later for more than a decade, ultimately closed down around 2000. The railways had already shut the Garhara locomotive shed as steam engines went obsolete. Thousands of acres of land and the existing infrastructure lay unused since then as the entire area wear a desolate look. What hurt people even more was that the government, meanwhile, gave nod to various rail projects not choosing this place despite availability of land.

Even today, only Barauni refinery contributes around Rs 500 crore[12] to the state exchequer yearly. As per refinery officials, the amount could be even more if industry grows in the state as the refinery would then be able to sell more of its products within the state. Incidentally, the Union government had granted Rs 1,000 crore as special package to the state following political din over granting of special package.

Industry[edit]

  • Registered Industrial Units - 4212
  • Registered Medium and Large Industries: Medium - 10 ; Large - 3
  • Number of Industrial Areas - 1
  • Types of Industries: Agro Based, Wood and Wooden based Furniture, Mineral Based, Electrical Machinery, Repairing and Servicing Based, Rubber & Petro
GDP Contribution of Begusarai to BIhar Economy
Year ↓ Bihar (Per Capita GDP) Begusarai (Per Capita GDP)
2006–07 9832 11350
2007-08 10237 12566
2008-09 11311 14959
2009–10 11815 14244
2010-11 13404 18447

Important places[edit]

  1. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary: Situated Near Kanwar Lake,[13] the largest freshwater Oxbow Lake of Asia, having an area of 67.5 square kilometres (26.06 square miles), it is a shelter for many endangered species, both Migratory and Domestic birds. During Winter season many migratory birds come to this place mostly from Siberia and Himalayan regions. Critically endangered birds like Long-billed Vulture, Oriental White-backed Vulture and near threatened species like Greater Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Lesser Kestrel, Greater Spotted Eagle, Darter or Anhinga, Painted Stork, Black-bellied Turn etc. can be easily seen here. This place becomes beautiful specially during spring and winter due to the presence of a variety of aquatic plants. A bliss for bird watchers, the spot has been a favorite for noted ornithologists, including Salim Ali.
  2. Naulakha Temple: This temple was built early in the 17th Century and its architectural display shows a glittering look due to Italian and Makrana Marbles. It was built by Mahant Deer Das Ji as per records. Further it was renovated in year 1952 by Mahant Mahavir Das. The name is derived from Nau-Lakh (Nine-Lakhs), the amount used to construct this temple at that time.
  3. JaiMangla Temple: This temple is devoted to Goddess Jai Mangla, the presiding deity of this temple. It is situated on the Southern flake of Kanwar Lake. This place is of very high devotional importance among the devotees. It is also important because of its Harsai Stupas which dates back to Post-Gupta period belonging to Hinayan Sect of Buddhism.
  4. Simaria: Situated on the South Eastern boundary of Begusarai, it is the birthplace of Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh “Dinkar”. It is also famous for Simaria Mela, a fair of devotional importance during the month of Kartik every year according to Indian Panchang (usually during November). It has a famous bridge “Simaria Pul” which provides both Rail and Road connectivity to this place. Recently “Ardhakumbha” a devotional congregation was held here in 2011 in an attempt to reestablish the lost importance of other 8 places where Kumbha was held according to scriptures.[14]

Notable people From Begusarai[edit]

  1. Ram Sharan Sharma
  2. Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
  3. Balmiki Prasad Singh
  4. Chandra Shekhar
  5. Radha Krishna Choudhary
  6. Kanhaiya Kumar

Demographics[edit]

As per 2011 census Begusarai Municipal Corporation had a total population of 251,136, out of which 133,931 were males and 117,205 were females with sex ratio at 875. The population younger than 5 years of age a was 37,966. The literacy rate of the 7+ population was 79.35%.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 851101
  2. ^ http://www.begusaraionline.in/city-guide/about-begusarai
  3. ^ a b [1].http://begusarai.bih.nic.in/
  4. ^ N.K."Dhiraj" (2009-03-23). "ULB launches poll campaign". The Times of India. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  5. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Begusarai
  6. ^ "Welcome to Begusarai District". www.begusarai.bih.nic.in. Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  7. ^ a b The subsurface Geology of the Indo-Gangetic plains M.B.R Rao, 1973, no:-3, vol-14, Journal of Geological Society of India, pp-217-242.
  8. ^ The Indogangetic Basin- B.parkash and Sudhir Kumar, Sedimentary burins of India, Tectonic contest.
  9. ^ http://www.begusaraiheritage.com/pages/history.html
  10. ^ "Farming of Basil Leaves In Begusarai". Live Hindustan. LiveHindustan.com. 05-07-2016. Retrieved 2016-08-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Pearl harvesting made this farmer a role model for others in his village". english.pradesh18.com. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  12. ^ "Making of Begusarai was by choice, not accident - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  13. ^ "Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary - in Bihar, India". 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  14. ^ "सिमरिया अर्द्ध कुंभ: नए युग का सूत्रपात". aajtak.intoday.in (in Hindi). Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  15. ^ "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 

External links[edit]