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This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Bhagalpur district.
Metropolitan City
Nickname(s): Silk City
Bhagalpur is located in Bihar
Location of Bhagalpur in Bihar
Coordinates: 25°15′N 87°0′E / 25.250°N 87.000°E / 25.250; 87.000Coordinates: 25°15′N 87°0′E / 25.250°N 87.000°E / 25.250; 87.000
Country  India
State Bihar
District Bhagalpur
Urban Agglomeration Bhagalpur
Municipal Corporation Bhagalpur Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Deepak Bhuwania (JD(U))
 • Total 110 km2 (40 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
Elevation[1] 52 m (171 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 410,210
 • Rank 115th
Demonym(s) Bhagalpurites
 • Official Angika, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Postal Index Number 812001-81XXXX
STD Code 0641
Vehicle registration BR 10 XXXX

Bhagalpur is a city and a Municipal corporation situated on the southern bank of the Ganges in the Indian state of Bihar. It is the third largest city in Bihar and the largest city in Eastern Bihar. It is one of the major educational, commercial and political centers of Eastern India. It covers an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and lies between 25.07°N - 25.30°N latitude and 86.37°E - 87.30°E longitude.

Bhagalpur registered average annual population growth of 3.72%, between 2006 and 2010. It is the administrative headquarters of the Bhagalpur district and Bhagalpur Division. The town is situated 220 kilometres (140 mi) east of Patna and 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of Munger.

The city was referred to as one of the largest trade centers in Eastern India by the 7th century Chinese travellers Xuanzang and Faxian. At that time the city had a large harbour at Champanagar, now known as Champanala on the Ganges river, which flows on the western boundary of the present city near Nathnagar. Many boats and coins of the Middle and Far East were found during archaeological excavations carried out in the 1970s.

The silk industry in the city is hundreds of years old producing Tussar Silk and Tussar Saree, and Bhagalpur is known in India as the "Silk City". The Silk Institute and Agricultural University are located in the town.

Other education facilities include the Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur College of Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, T.N.B.Law College and Homeopathic colleges. In 2010, Bihar Agricultural University was set up in Sabour, Bhagalpur.

The Gangetic plains surrounding the city are very fertile and the main crops include rice, wheat, maize, barley, and oilseeds. The economy of Bhagalpur is dependent mainly on agriculture and small businesses. The river is home to the Gangetic dolphin, the National Aquatic Animal of India,[3] which is found in Ganges Basin and the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is established near the town.


The name Bhagalpur is etymologically derived from Bhagdatpuram (meaning city of Good Luck), as it was called during the flourishing period of the Anga Kingdom. Bhagdatpuram, as per Hindu mythological texts, was the place where the gods (devtas) and demons (asuras) churned the ocean to procure elixir (amrit). It is believed that the serpent, Vasuki, offered to serve as the rope for the churning. An impression of the coil is faintly visible on Mount Mandara, a granite hill situated along the national highway between Bhagalpur and Dumka. It is believed that Panchjanya, the conch shell used in the Mahabharata was discovered here in the "Shankh Kund". The Puranas also refer to this hill. It is said that Vishnu covered the demon Madhu under the hill after defeating him to death. Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava refers to foot marks of Vishnu on the slopes of Mount Mandara. The hill is replete with relics of bygone ages. Apart from inscriptions and statues, there are numerous rock cut sculptures depicting various images of Hindu Gods. The hill is equally revered by the Jains who believe that their 12th Tirthankara attained nirvana at the summit. The area around Mandara Hill is laced with a landscape of extraordinary splendour. The 800 feet high granite hill is a sight to see during daylight. It is a popular picnic spot for people living in the area.

The religious festival of "Vish-hari Puja" or "the worship of the Snake Queen" or "Manasa Devi, said to be a daughter of lord Shiva and Queen of Snakes" traces its roots back hundreds of years and is still celebrated every year with thousands of believers and snake charmers offering milk to the Nag (the Snake King) and Nagin (The Snake Queen).

Vish-Hari Puja in Bhagalpur.

References to Bhagalpur can be found in Hindu epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata where Bhagalpur has been described as the kingdom of Anga. Ancient cave sculptures from Emperor Ashoka's reign, from 274 to 232 BC are found in the neighbourhood and at Sultangunj, 20 km west of Bhagalpur, a temple from the Gupta period still exists in Bhagalpur. The tomb of Suja, brother of Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, in the heart of the town is reminiscent of the town's association with the Mughal period.

The ruins of ancient Vikramashila Mahavihara are located 44 km east of Bhagalpur. The royal university ranks next to Nalanda, and owes its origin to Dharmapala, the devout Pala king who called himself Paramasaugata (chief worshipper of the Buddha) and was a great patron of Mahayana Buddhism. It was the medieval center for the conservation and propagation of Buddhist education, established at the end of the 8th century.

Bhagalpur formed a part of the ancient Sanskrit kingdom of Anga, said to be ruled by king Karna of Mahabharata who was well known for his charity. In later times it was included in the powerful Hindu kingdom of Magadha, or Behar, and in the 7th century it was an independent state, with the city of Champa as its capital. Afterwards it formed a part of the Mohammedan Kingdom of Gaur, West Bengal, and was subsequently subjugated by Akbar, who declared it to be a part of the Delhi empire. Bhagalpur passed to the East India Company by the grant of the emperor Shah Alam II in 1765. Bhagalpur was one of the most important trade centers in Bengal Presidency during the British rule in India.

The communal violence that broke out in and around Bhagalpur in October 1989 continued for about two months, during which nearly 1200 lives were lost. Since then, it has emerged as one of the most economically and socially stable districts of Bihar.

The Jain Temple at Nathnagar is an important pilgrimage centre for Jains. Budha Nath Temple is an ancient Shiva Temple on the bank of Ganges. Sultanganj (about 25 km West) is an important religious center for Hindus from where holy water of Ganges is carried and offered at Deoghar. Bhagalpur also has the shrine of Shawaz Rahmat-ulla near Bhagalpur Railway Station and Centre of Tablighi Jamat at Champanagar.


The thermal power plant at NTPC Kahalgaon in Kahalgaon falls under Bhagalpur district. The largest industrial belt of the district is Barari industrial Area, with Kahalgaon industrial Area being equally important. The Government of India has established a Hand-loom park. A food park has been established by private entrepreneurs.


As of the 2011 India census,[4] Bhagalpur town has a population of 410,210 with a metro population of around 0.41 million, while the district as a whole has a population of 3 million. It is Second largest town in Bihar in terms of urban population next only to Patna . Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Bhagalpur has an average literacy rate of 81.16%, while the male literacy rate is 85.38% with women at 76.31%.

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary[edit]

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary[5] is famous for Gangetic dolphins. The Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary was established to protect the endangered Gangatic dolphins. This is the only sanctuary in Asia for the conservation of Gangetic dolphins.

Once found easily in Ganga, today only 1500 Gangetic dolphins are left in the world. The half of them can be found at the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, which is located in Bhagalpur district of Bihar in India.

The sanctuary is a 50 km stretch of the river Ganga from Sultanganj to Kahalgaon. Gangetic dolphins are the major attraction of the sanctuary. This is a perfect place to watch dolphins. Vikramshila is one of the few dolphin tourism spots in India. Take the boat ride in the 50 km stretch of the Vikramshila sanctuary and you will definitely come across several Gangetic dolphins in the region.

There are plenty of other wildlife too at the Vikramshila. Tourists will come across several species of freshwater turtles, waterfowl, otter and Gavialis gangeticus on their visit to the sanctuary.

The best time to visit Vikramshila Sanctuary is June and October. You will get plenty of dolphin sightings during this period.

Garuda (greater adjutant)[edit]

Greater adjutant

World's Second Largest Rescue and Rehabilitation Area for Garuda is Bhagalpur. In Indian mythology, Garuda is considered the vahana or carrier of the god Vishnu. The mythical Garuda is staging a comeback - only this time in reality. Four years after these endangered birds of the stork family started nesting and breeding in Bhagalpur district, their number has increased over sixfold - from 78 to over 500.[6] Worldwide its population is about 1200-1300. They live in only three places; one is Cambodia and others two are in India. In Cambodia, the garuda population is about 150, in Assam the garuda population is about 650 and last one is in the Bhagalpur district the garuda population is about 500.[7]

Loss of nesting habitat and feeding sites through drainage, pollution and disturbance, together with hunting and egg collection, caused a massive dip in the population of the species. First spotted the Garuda birds nesting and breeding in 2007 on a silk cotton tree near a village in the Ganga-Diara area in Bhagalpur. In May 2006, 42 birds were seen by the Mandar Nature Club team for the first time. Prior to this, the species had never been seen in Bihar during its breeding period.

The garuda, biologically known as greater adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius), is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List 2004 of threatened species and listed under Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. This huge stork has a naked pink head, a very thick yellow bill and a low-hanging neck pouch. The neck ruff is white. The bird looks like a vulture. Other than the pale grey edge on each wing, the rest of the greater adjutant's body is dark grey. Juveniles have a narrower bill, thicker down on the head and neck, and entirely dark wings. A Garuda bird measures 145–150 cm (about three feet) in length and four to five feet in height.[8]

Main sights[edit]

Vikrasmshila Mahavidhyalaya[edit]

A The Main stupa at the centre
The Main stupa at the centre

Vikramashila Mahavihara, 38 km from Bhagalpur ranks next to Nalanda and owes its origin to Dharmapala (770-810 AD), the devout Pala king who loved to call himself Paramasaugata (chief worshipper of the Buddha)and was a great patron of Mahayana Buddhism. Dharmapala was impressed by two things which prompted him to establish Vikramshila. Firstly, the rocky hillock anchored around the confluence of Kosi and Ganga at Vateshwarasthan was not only a scenic attraction but a popular tantric site as evident from the presence of a Kali temple (instead of Parvati’s) in front of Shiva temple, besides various other caves and rock cut sculptures dating back to the 6th or 7th century AD. Secondly, the place was associated with pilgrimage due to Uttarvahini Ganga which drew large crowds during Varsavardhana. Unlike Nalanda, sources of information on Vikramashila is confined to Tibetan texts and they make us believe that Dharmapala in his earlier birth was an accomplished acharya, Kampilya, who had attained siddhi or perfection in Mahayana mudra mysticism here and was determined to build a monastery one day.[9]

Mandar Parvat (Hill)[edit]

Sagar Manthan

Mandar Parvat (Hill) is roughly 700 feet high. It is situated about 30 miles south of the Bhagalpur town in Bihar. There is an eastern railway line connecting Bhagalpur with Mandar Hill. Mandar Hill station is about three miles from Mandar Hill. There is also an all- weather road that connects Bhagalpur with Dumka.

Amrit Manthana or Samudra manthan which suggests that the hill was used by the gods to churn the ocean to procure amrit. The serpent, Basukinaga offered to serve as the rope and has left behind an impression of the coil on the granite hill.It is believed that panchjanya, the conch shell used in Mahabharat War was discovered here in the Sank kund.

The puranas refer to various sacred places on the hill which is also believed to be the abode of Vishnu under the title of Madhusudana or the destroyer of a demon called Madhu who was killed by Vishnu and then covered by the Mandar hill. Kalidasa’s Kumārasambhava refers to foot marks of Vishnu on the slopes of Mandar.Besides inscriptions and statues there are numerous rock cut sculptures depicting various Brahmanical images.

The hill is equally revered by the Jains who believe that their 12th Tirthankara attained nirvana here on the summit of the hill.

At the salvation place on Mandar Hill, a grand Jain Mandar Hill Temple is erected. A pair of feet images (about 3000 years old) are installed there.There is a place where Lord Vasupujya attained Kevalgyan (supernatural knowledge) near the place of salvation. Three pairs of ancient feet images are installed here.Near the place of salvation, a beautiful cave temple is viewable with 5-feet-tall standing idol.[10]

Kuppa Ghat[edit]

Kuppaghat Ashram

The word 'Kuppa' means a tunnel or cave, and "Ghat" means place located on a river-bank. Accordingly, there is a cave at Kuppaghat which has been rendered famous and immortalized by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans, the legendary exponent of Santmat.Kuppa Ghat is a place located on the banks of the holy river Ganges at Bhagalpur, Bihar, India. Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur has, over the years, grown into a sacred pilgrimage for millions of followers of Santmat from India and abroad. The auspicious occasions of the birth anniversary of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans and Maharshi Santsevi Paramhans, the successor of Maharshi Mehi, who also made this ashram his main camp and residence, and Guru Purnima the ashram draw lakhs of devotees presenting a celebratory environment impregnated with piety. Maharshi Mehi practiced surat shabd yoga or the Yoga of Inner Sound for several months here in this cave and later constructed his ashram also; several yogis or spiritual aspirants can still be seen practicing the Yoga of Inner Light & Sound in this dark cave completely insulated from the din & bustle and brightness of the outside world.

Maharshi Mehi Ashram blossomed under his dynamic leadership to become the national headquarters of Akhil Bharatiya Santmat-Satsang. It has an aesthetically laid out garden and orchard beautifully punctuated with sculptures, paintings and quotes having spiritual significance like a cottage showing Lord Rama visiting great female devotee Shabri and killing of Jatayu, the vulture, at the hands of the demon king Ravana.

According to some unconfirmed accounts, Lord Gautama Buddha is also said to have lived in this cave in one of his previous births.

Maharshi Mehi Ashram, Kuppaghat, Bhagalpur has, over the years, grown into a sacred pilgrimage for millions of followers of Santmat from India and abroad. The auspicious occasions of the birth anniversary of Maharshi Mehi Paramhans and Maharshi Santsevi Paramhans, the successor of Maharshi Mehi, who also made this ashram his main camp and residence, and Guru Purnima the ashram draw lakhs of devotees presenting a celebratory environment impregnated with piety.

Ajgaivinath Temple[edit]


Ajgaivinath Temple is the one of the famous Indian Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva situated in Sultanganj.It is believed that the deity of the temple is Swayambhu. Sultanganj is a place of great antiquity. It has been traditionally associated with Jahnu sage, whose ashram was a center of learning and culture. Muni Ashram Jahnu in the rock protruding into the bed of the Ganges. Now the site has Ajgaivinath Shiva temple, also known as Gaibinath Mahadeo. The story is that of the Ganges on their way to the ocean in the Muni hismeditation interrupted by the fever of its currents. The wise man swallowed the river in one stroke. Bhagiratha Muni intervened and once again let her out by making an incision in the thigh. That is why the Ganges also called Jahnavi.

Sultanganj traditionally been part of a large state Anga. On the Day of the Mahabharata, Karna, the brother of the sixth five Pandavas, ruled Anga. The capital of Anga was Champa. This Champanagar Champa is located three miles west of Bhagalpur. King Karna had castles at Champa (currently Champanagar) and Jahnugiri (modern Sultanganj). Currently Champanagar, Karna the castle site, is well known as Karnagarh. Karnagarh is practically part of the town of Bhagalpur.

Budhanath Temple[edit]

Spread over three acres Budhanath temple is located on the banks of the 'Uttarvahini Ganga'(flowing from south to north) River. Being one of the oldest temple in the region it witnesses in flux of devotees throughout the year. It is about twenty minutes from the main town. Reference of Baba Budhanath can be found in Shiva Purana as Baba Bal Vridheshwarnath. Also, this name has been stated in the first segment of the eighth segments of Shiva Purana. The lingam of this place of worship is self-incarnated nevertheless as to when it come into being is still unknown. Idol of Ma Bhavani can be seen beside the Shivalinga or Lingam.[11]

Shri Champapur Digamber Jain Temple[edit]

Champapur is quite ancient and historic Teerth Kshetra. Champapur is the only ‘Panch Kalyanaka Kshetra’ in the world. It is related to Panch Kalyanaka: – “(i) Garbha, (ii) Janma, (iii) Tapa, (iv) Gyan and (v) Moksha” of 12th Teerthankar Bhagwan Vasupujya (The first ascetic saint). The Champapur was the capital of ‘Anga Janpada’. The Anga Janpada was one of the 52 Janapada established by Adi Teerthankar Bhagwan Rishabh Deo. Champapur also existed as Mahajanapada among the six Mahajanapadas during the time of Bhagwan Mahavira Swami.

“The three Chaturmasa period of Bhagwan Mahavira Swami during his Dikshakal, Religious propagation centre of Anga-Banga-Magadh-Vaishali, Test of modesty of Sati Subhadra and Anantmati, Aahardan to Bhagwan Mahaveer Swami by Sati Chandan Bala”. Champapur is also related to great stories of ‘origin of Harivansha, Shripal-Mainasundari, Shri Dharma Ghosh Muni, King Karna of Mahabharata, King Mudrak and great architect Vishvakarman’.[12]

The main temple of Champapur Siddha Kshetra is quite ancient (about 2500 years). This temple being symbolic of ‘Panch Kalyanaka’ is adorned with 5 altars, magnificent spire and 2 columns of fame. It is said that there were 4 ‘Columns of Fame (Keerti Stambha)’ which existed in four corners of the campus of the temple. Later on the 2 out of 4 were destroyed in the earthquake of year 1934 & repair (Jirnoddhar) of other 2 columns was done in 1938. The ‘Columns of Fame’ are about 2200 years ancient.[13]


Vikramshila setu, Bhagalpur


NH 80 and NH 31 pass through the Bhagalpur district. The Vikramshila Setu connects NH 80 to NH 31. The city has a good road network. Bhagalpur city has approximately 200 km road area. The transport system is good with, Auto, Taxi and cycle rickshaw easily available. In the city area around 10,000 autos, 500 private taxis and 200 buses are on the road. Bhagalpur is well connected to major cties of Patna, Kolkata, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Munger, Gaya...etc. by various National Highway and State Highways.


Bhagalpur Railway Junction at night

Bhagalpur Junction railway station is situated on the Khana- Quil loop line which serves Bhagalpur with numerous number of trains. It is the 3rd busiest line in Bihar. About 40 pair Express and 10 pair passenger train go from this line. Bhagalpur Junction is A1 grade Railway station. It is the Highest revenue earner in the Malda Rail Division and third major railway station of Eastern Railway after Howrah and Sealdah. Bhagalpur is well connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ajmer, Kanpur, Patna, Guwahati, Surat, and Munger and other cities. In the Rail Budget of 2008, Bhagalpur was upgraded as a Railway Division. The new rail lines which are under construction are Sultanganj to Deoghar, Bhagalpur to Dumka, Bhagalpur- Godda via Hanshdiya, Banka to Deoghar. It is also the originating station for many superfast and express trains.


Bhagalpur city had an airport which was functional during 1970-1980 with regular flights to nearby major cities.


Climate data for Bhagalpur City (Avg. High-Low - 2000-2012) (Record High-Low - 2014)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25
Average high °C (°F) 17
Average low °C (°F) 10
Record low °C (°F) 07
Average precipitation mm (inches) 9
Source: Bhagalpur Weather

Source = Bhagalpur Precipitation


Print media include the Hindi Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Aaj, Hindustan ( under Hindustan Times ) and Prabhat Khabar,, while English Times Of India, The Telegraph and Hindustan Times are also available.

Broadcast media include All India Radio (Frequency 1458 kHz, 1206 kHz) 90.4 FM Radio Active (Bhagalpur), and AIR FM Rainbow India 100.1.

Telecommunications services include BSNL, Airtel, Aircel, Reliance, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Docomo, Reliance Communications, Uninor, Reliance India Mobile(RIM).

BSNL and Sify are providing broadband services in this region.

Notable people from Bhagalpur[edit]


Adjacent boundaries[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elevation of Bhagalpur". 
  2. ^ "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "River dolphin crowned India's aquatic animal : Latest Headlines, News - India Today". 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary". CNNIBN News. 
  6. ^ "Garuda's population now 500 in Bhagalpur,Bihar". Zee News. 
  7. ^ "Rescue and Rehabilitation centre was opened in Bhagalpur". Prabhat Khabar. 
  8. ^ "World’s third nestling spot for the ‘Leptoptilos dubius’ "Garuda"species is in Bhagalpur,Bihar". theweekendleader. 
  9. ^ "Vikaramshila University". BrandBharat. 
  10. ^ "Mandar Parvat or Mandar Hill or Samudra manthan". Hill Telmple Blog. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Budhanath Temple is located on the banks of Uttarvahini Ganga.". 
  12. ^ "Jain Temple Nathnagar, Bhagalpur". jainteerth. 
  13. ^ "Shri Champapur Digamber Jain, Bhagalpur". jain. 
  14. ^ "India's one of the first women graduates and Doctor". 
  15. ^ "Neha Sharma". Koi Moi. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Dubey, Nishikant. "Election Commission". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  17. ^

External links[edit]