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विराटनगर महानगरपालिका
Biratnagar Metropolitan City
Entry gate of Biratnagar
Entry gate of Biratnagar
Industrial capital of Nepal[1][2][3]
Location of Biratnagar in Morang
Location of Biratnagar in Morang
Biratnagar is located in Province No. 1
Location of Biratnagar in map of Province No. 1
Biratnagar is located in Nepal
Biratnagar (Nepal)
Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.45417°N 87.27972°E / 26.45417; 87.27972
Country   Nepal
ProvinceProvince No. 1
Constituencies (Election Area)3
Incorporated1914 as district headquarters
 • MayorBhim Parajuli (NC)[4]
 • Deputy MayorIndira Karki (NC)[4]
 • Total77 km2 (30 sq mi)
80 m (260 ft)
 • Total242,548
 • Rank1st (Province No. 1)
5th (Nepal)[6]
 • Density3,100/km2 (8,200/sq mi)
 • Ethnic Groups
Tharu, Bahun, Chhetri, Marwari, Maithili, Kushwaha, Koche, Rajbanshi, Birat Rajbanshi, Limbu, Nepalese Muslims, Meche, Rai, Dhanuk, Shah Teli
 • Religions
Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Kirant, Buddhism, Christianity
 • OfficialNepali
 • LocalNepali, Tharu, Bajjika, Birat Rajbanshi language, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Marwari, Maithili, Limbu, Koche
Time zoneUTC+5:45 (NST)
Postal code
56600, 56613, 56614
Area code(s)021
HighwayKoshi Highway

Biratnagar (Devanāgarī: विराटनगर) is the fifth largest city[7] and the capital[8][9][10] to Province No. 1 of Nepal. It has a population of 242,548 per the 2011 census. Gifting a subtotal of five prime ministers alongside hosting a number of revolutionary incidents (the first labor strike leading to the first anti-Rana movement, the first plane hijack, the castle for Nepali Congress, etc.)

The city has a total area of 29.9 mi² (77.5 km²), a geographical location of 26°28'60"N 87°16'60"E.[11] and is located in the Morang District (previously, Koshi Zone) of the eastern-most Terai region of Nepal. It lies 399 km east of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, 174 km south to Mount Everest, and 6 km north to the bordering town of Jogbani of the Indian state of Bihar.

Biratnagar was declared a metropolitan city on May 22, 2017 along with Birgunj.[12] It is the third most populated metropolitan city after the urban agglomeration of Kathmandu and the Pokhara Lekhnath. This upgrade to metropolis resulted from the addition of Tankisinuwari and Jahada-3 to the previous sub-metropolitan, pushing the total population to 240,000 (approx.) from 214,000. [13]

The city has been home to the Biratnagar Jute Mills, the first large scale industry of Nepal. It serves as an entrance point to a manifold of majestic destinations of Eastern Nepal[14] as well as the North-Eastern India.[15] Consequently, Biratnagar is the second Nepalese city to have a connection with the Indian Railways (following Janakpur) [16][17] and hold its own Integrated Check Post with the Indian border (following Birgunj).[18][19]


The old name of Biratnagar was Gograha Bazaar. The ruins of temples, palaces and ponds are scattered in a vast area of Vedhyari, Buddhanagar VDC. The ruins of the buildings and deep wells are to be found in many areas. Since the last three to four centuries the encroachment by the newcomers has been a major problem to the old heritage. The typical people used to live in this ancient city and its nearby area since unknown past. They called themselves as "BIRAT RAJBANSHI" not to be confused with Bengali(Koch) Rajbanshi. 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.[20] Biratnagar got its present name in 1919 AD (around 1976 BS) from Keshar Shamsher Rana after objects of historical importance were found in the place.[20] The ruins of the palace along with stone carved tools, idols, and household objects can be seen protected in the southern part of Biratnagar, close to the border. In Nepali birat means huge and nagar means city.[21][dead link]

On March 4, 1947, the first anti-Rana movement on Nepali soil took place in Biratnagar in the form of the Biratnagar jute mill strike under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala along with Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala. This sparked a countrywide anti-Rana demonstration that eventually led to the abolishment of Rana rule in Nepal.


Population and ethnicity[edit]

According to 2011 CBS census data, Biratnagar's population was 214,663.[22] Majority of people are from Brahmin & Kshatriya community. Maithili is spoken by a large proportion of population (although the local dialect of Maithili differs from what is spoken further west).[citation needed] The main language spoken is Nepali. The historical local indigenous ethnical language is Birat Rajbanshi aka Khotta/Khoratha. English is well understood by the educated mass. Biratnagar is situated within one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Nepal[citation needed], and the rural hinterland is home to a diverse cross section of communities.


Most people practice Hinduism followed by Islam, Jainism, Kirat, and Christianity. Biratnagar is known for its high-spirited festival celebration.[citation needed] In Dashain, Nepal's biggest festival, a large number of people including young persons visit the Kali Mandir, a temple that lies in the heart of the town. The Tihar festival, or festival of lights, occurs when residents line their homes with Diyo (earthen oil lamps), candles and decorative electrical lamps during two days of celebration. Decorations on the main road include the use of banana trees and bamboo in all shops. Firecrackers are banned in Nepal and are strictly prohibited during Tihar,[23] but smuggling them in during Tihar still occurs.[citation needed]

Krishna Janmashtami (Krishna's birthday) is a festival that is heavily celebrated in Biratnagar. Thousands of people gather on the second day of Krishna Ashtami to pull the Holy Cart (Rath) which goes around the city the length of which is approximately 8 km. This event is termed the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey). It is the largest rath yatra in Nepal and the second largest in Asia.[24] Traffic will be halted for five to six 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 men and women to move it. Mostly the recruits of the Nepalese Army are recruited to pull the heavy cart. It has an engine to run if required to move fast, and it has brakes to stop, as it has to stop at many places to allow people to worship the Lord. Some people stay on top of the Rath to distribute prasad (holy fruits) to people. The Holy Cart will be followed by many smaller carts which are pulled by oxen. People in the smaller carts play music and sing hymns of joy and happiness. It is the most important festival for the people of Biratnagar. So, almost all the schools and offices close after 1 p.m. to let the believers and spectators attend the Rath Yatra (Cart Journey).

Chhath (Devanagari: छठ, छठी, छठ पर्व, छठ पुजा, डाला छठ, डाला पुजा, सुर्य षष्ठी) is an important festival for Madheshi and Bihari Hindus, nowadays observed by all the Hindu communities. It is the only Vedic festival dedicated to the Sun God, Surya; 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 banks of rivers and ponds.

On the pooja day, they collect fruits and prepare thekwa (sweets made of wheat) with great respect to Surya (the sun). Some people fast for two days prior to the 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 respect to Surya, the Sun. Chhath can be observed on the Singhiya River and the Keshalia River in Biratnagar.

Gitya festival along with Dashami, Sukrat/Dipawali(Tihar),is one of the most important festival of Birat Rajbanshi. They celebrate it, especially females with full of joy and delight.

Ramadan, Muhammad-Day, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are the festivals celebrated by the Muslim community of Biratnagar. Christmas is celebrated by a very small population of Christians.


The highest temperature ever recorded in Biratnagar was 43.0 °C (109.4 °F) on the 14th of April, 1992, while the lowest temperature ever recorded was −1.0 °C (30.2 °F) in December 1970 and January 1971.[25]

Climate data for Biratnagar Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.8
Average low °C (°F) 9.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.7
Source: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal)[26]


Biratnagar is the economic center of eastern Nepal. The First Industry of Nepal "Biratnagar Jute Mills" was established here. Biratnagar is driven by Startup Culture. Golchha Organisation was started in Biratnagar as a small startup and now they have grown to the multi-million house. Besides more than 6000 industries, Biratnagar is also connected to major Custom Route with India and is the second largest Land Port of Nepal. Biratnagar is industrial city of Nepal and unemployment is very low here due to large concentration of Industries and Factories. Nepal's first Large Scale Industry, Birat Jute Mills lies in this city. On March 4, 1947 the first anti-rana movement in Nepali soil took place in here as Birat jute mill strike under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala along with Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala. Then after it sparked a countrywide anti-Rana demonstration that finally led to the abolishment of Rana rule in Nepal.

Chamber Gate Morang Vyapar Sangh


Biratnagar Airport 2.jpg
Biratnagar Bus Park
  • Road: Biratnagar is roughly 544 kilometres (340 mi)(via Prithivi Highway, Bharatpur, Hetauda, Pathlaiya, Bardibas...) by road from Kathmandu. It is also well connected to all the parts of the Eastern Development Region including Dharan, Itahari and Dhankuta as well as to most other parts of the country by bus service.
  • Trains: There are direct trains from the Indian cities of Katihar, Kolkata and New Delhi to the Indian border of Jogbani. As of August 1, 2019, the provincial government of Province No. 1 plans to establish a monorail system[27] running 30 km (19 mi) from Rani, Biratnagar to Itahari, Sunsari at an estimated budget of Rs. 30 billion.
Biratnagar newly constructed roadway
  • 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 called as Rani Bhansar.[28] Indian and Nepalese nationals cross freely. Jogbani town in Araria District is on the Indian side, where a rail line ends. Further, the eastern-most border of Kakarbhitta lies at a distance of 108 kilometres (67.5 mi) from the city and can be reached via frequent buses running half-hourly from the city's buspark. A monorail extension to Biratnagar has been proposed and surveyed.
  • Intracity: Cycle, motor vehicles, rickshaws, and taxis serve the city center. Auto rickshaws (Tempos) are available for longer distances outside the center. City safari or electric rickshaws are the most used transportation here, connect all parts of Biratnagar, and are very cheap as well as Environmentally friendly.
Rickshaw in Biratnagar


Chhat poja in biratnagar.jpg
Kali Mandir Temple of Biratnagar

Biratnagar is a hub for explorers of places in eastern Nepal like Ilam, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha and Panchthar. A number of colorful 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 several 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 them attractive.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, popular with bird-watching enthusiasts, is a 90-minute drive from the city. It is 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. Treks with views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga can be started from the small towns of Basantapur or Tumlingtar.

The tea gardens of Ilam are approximately 4 hours' drive away. Another place of interest is the hilly district of Dhankuta with its orange orchards.

Dharan is (46 km to the north of Biratnagar); Itahari is 24 km north of Biratnagar . These places are famous for Taltalaiya, Ocean Park, Gokulam Resort, Dantakali Temple, Pindeshwor Temple, Budha Subba Temple and Panch Kanya, and are surrounded by hills; Bhedetar is a local viewpoint.


Governor (Badahakim) Shiva Pratap Shumsher Thapa, Rana-Era Governor of Morang

The region was made district headquarters of Morang in 1914 A.D. transferring from Rangeli by then Governor of district, Colonel Jit Bahadur Khatri. It was also then developed by next Governor Shiva Pratap Shumsher Thapa.[29] Krishna Prasad Koirala was the first major political leader based on Biratnagar. His sons Matrika Prasad Koirala and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala were the Prime Minister of Nepal during post democracy era. Since then Biratnagar has always been a fertile ground for emerging as well as established politicians. Girija Prasad Koirala, the man who was elected prime minister the greatest number of times in Nepal[citation needed], made his home in 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; and he was Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008. Man Mohan Adhikari, the first Communist PM of Nepal was also from this city. Leaders like Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Sailaja Acharya, Sushil Koirala, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Lal Babu Pandit, Amod Prasad Upadhyay and Mahesh Acharya all come from this city. Biratnagar is the politically most active city in the modern history of Nepal. The historical first Nepalese airplane hijack 1973 Nepal plane hijack, which was to fund the political revolution, took place at the Biratnagar Airport. The hijack plan, masterminded by Girija Prasad Koirala, was executed by Durga Subedi, Nagendra Dhungel and Basant Bhattarai.[21] Nepali Congress's Bheem Parajuli and Indira Karki hold the current mayor and deputy mayor chairs of the metropolitan, respectively.


Biratnagar is the center of education in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. Home to the Purbanchal University, Biratnagar has a number of good colleges and educational institutes including medical and engineering institutes. The medium of teaching is English in all the private schools, colleges and universities whereas Nepali is the medium of instruction in government schools up to secondary level. There are more than 80 schools, more than 20 colleges and 21 hospitals in Biratnagar, the most after Kathmandu.

Art and literature[edit]

Biratnagar has been the ground for many literary personalities: Dev Kumari Thapa, Bal Krishna Pokhrel, Bhanubhakta Pokhrel, Parshu Pradhan, Kabiraj Neupane, Dadhiraj Subedi, Biwas Pokhrel, Nawaraj Subba, Sima Avas, Choodamani Nepal and others. Some of the prominent books in Nepali literature have 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.[30]

Recreation and entertainment[edit]

Melas (fairs) are organized at various times of the year where people come to enjoy rides and swings. Although very few national tournaments are organized here. Regional soccer tournaments can be observed in the city stadium ground. There are recreational parks, cinema halls, and libraries in the city. Also the "Main Bazar" of Biratnagar is one of the favorite place for people for recreation.

Television and radio[edit]

  • Makalu TV
  • Koshi FM 94.3 MHz
  • B FM 91.2 MHz
  • Sky FM 106.6 MHz
  • Radio Makalu 102.1 MHz
  • Radio Star 93.2 MHz
  • Radio Purbanchal FM 104.4 MHz
  • Radio Purbeli Awaj 98.4

Print and online media[edit]

Several local and national daily, weekly and monthly publications are available in the city. Media houses Kantipur, Nagarik, and Aja Ko Samachar Patra print their publications in Biratnagar and distribute throughout eastern Nepal. Local dailies are Udgosh and Biratpath which have started providing daily news and updates on their websites in addition to their print editions. Local daily newspapers published in Biratnagar include:

  • New Shristhi Daily
  • Ujyalo Patra Daily
  • Janabidroha Daily
  • Udghosh Daily
  • Biratpath Daily
  • Our Biratnagar
  • OnlyKhabar Media
  • डाक्टरसाथी लाईभ

Sports facilities[edit]

Biratnagar has sports facilities. Football and Cricket are most popular. Sahid Rangsala with a capacity of 10,000+ spectators is the most popular football stadium in the city. Sahid Maidan is the home stadium of Morang Football Club. The Mahendra Gold Cup, now Birat Gold Cup, is held in the stadium along with District Divisional league matches and other functions and fairs. There is a covered hall nearby, Shahid Maidan, where indoor events can be organized. A cricket stadium is being constructed in Baijanathpur VDC on the outskirts of Biratnagar, namely Biratnagar Cricket Ground, with the objective of organizing local and national-level cricket tournaments. Other facilities in the city include lawn tennis and basketball courts. Sometimes some sports activities are organised such as:

A new cricket stadium is being developed in an area of 17 bighas.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Biratnagar is the most industry-friendly city in Nepal" | New Business Age - monthly business magazine in English published from Nepal". Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  2. ^ "Biratnagar, so special to Nepal's industrial history". Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  3. ^ "Flights To Biratnagar - Book Tickets Online To Biratnagar | Buddha Air". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  4. ^ a b c "विराटनगर महानगरपालिका गृहपृष्ठ". विराटनगर महानगरपालिका. Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  5. ^ "National Population Census 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  6. ^ "स्थानीय तहहरुको वस्तुगत विवरण २०७४ (Local Level Profile)" (PDF).
  7. ^ "विराटनगर महानगरपालिका | नेपाल सरकार". Retrieved 2017-01-22.
  8. ^ "Biratnagar celebrates its status of provincial capital". 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Locals intensify protest in Dhankuta after Biratnagar named as provincial HQ". 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Nepal government announces Provincial Capitals and Chiefs". 17 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  11. ^ Location of Biratnagar - Falling Rain Genomics
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-06-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-06-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Things to Do & Places To Visit Near Biratnagar Nepal". 2018-08-11. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  15. ^ Tripoto. "Weekend Getaways from Biratnagar: Places to Visit Near Biratnagar, Getaways from Biratnagar". Tripoto. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  16. ^ Subedi, Binod. "Biratnagar town connected with Indian railway network". My Republica. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  17. ^ "1st cargo train arrives near Biratnagar". Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  18. ^ "Biratnagar ICP to be operational from next week". GorakhaPatra. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  19. ^ "PM Oli, Modi to inaugurate Biratnagar ICP via video conferencing". Khabarhub English News. 2020-01-18. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  20. ^ a b Dambar Krishna Shrestha & Kamal Rimal. "१०० वर्षको विराटनगर, मणि खोज्दै (Biratnagar Turns 100, Seeking Glory)". Himal Khabar. Himal Media. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  21. ^ a b [1]
  22. ^ "National Population Census 2011"
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Normals from 1981-2010" (PDF). Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal). Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  27. ^ "The Rising Nepal: '70 per cent of estimate cost for the monorail project in Biratnagar secured'". Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  28. ^ "Biratnagar Custom Biratnagar, 'Department of Customs Biratnagar Customs Office'". Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  29. ^ "Biratnagar : The Heart-throb of Eastern Nepal". DWIT News. 7 September 2015. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  30. ^ Dadhiraj Subedi, "नेपाली साहित्यका मुस्कानहरू (The Smiles of Nepali Literature)"- 2012, Purwanchal Sahitya Academy, Biratnagar - ISBN 978 9937248266

Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.4542°N 87.2797°E / 26.4542; 87.2797