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Sub-Metropolitian City
Coat of arms of Motihari
Lake City
Motihari is located in Bihar
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 26°39′00″N 84°55′00″E / 26.65000°N 84.91667°E / 26.65000; 84.91667Coordinates: 26°39′00″N 84°55′00″E / 26.65000°N 84.91667°E / 26.65000; 84.91667
Country India
DistrictEast Champaran
 • TypeMunicipal corporation
 • BodyMotihari Municipal Corporation[1]
 • MLAPramod Kumar (BJP)[2]
 • MayorSmt. Anju Devi
 • Total35 km2 (14 sq mi)
Area rank04
62 m (203 ft)
 • Total246,258
 • Density7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
 • OfficialHindi[4]
 • Additional officialUrdu[4]
 • RegionalBhojpuri[5]
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
845401, 845435, 845437
Telephone code06252
ISO 3166 codeIN-BR
Vehicle registrationBR-05
Lok Sabha constituencyPurvi Champaran
Vidhan Sabha constituencyMotihari

Motihari is the headquarters of East Champaran district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is located 152.2 kilometres (94.6 mi) north of the state capital Patna.


Motihari is located on 26°39' N and 84°55' E in northwestern Bihar.[6] It is about 165 km (103 mi) northwest from the state capital Patna, 45 km (28 mi) from Bettiah, 72 km (45 mi) from Muzaffarpur, 40 km (25 mi) from Mehsi, 30 km (19 mi) from Chakia and 75 km (47 mi) from Sitamarhi. It is on the east bank of a lake, about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Bettiah.


George Orwell Monument, Motihari, District-East Champaran (Bihar)

|thumb|alt=Birth Place George Orwell Motihari, Bihar|Birth Place George Orwell, Motihari, District-East Champaran (Bihar)]]

Panoramic Motihari[edit]

Motihari station, India, ca. 1906

The topography of Motihari has been described as scenic, with the "stunning beauty" (in classical terms) of Moti Jheel Lake dividing the town in two halves.[7]

In Gangan Lit-Mag (Gangway Literary Magazine), Austria, wrote Anant Kumar: "The playgrounds of my childhood were the streets of Motihari. Back then that little East Indian town was not overpopulated, and the dry, clean streets of every part of town were ideal for our games: marbles, tops, badminton. And back then Motihari was a wide distance away from the big world. There were very many mango and lichee trees, fragrant lemon bushes, broad, large fields…and very few people. There were scattered decrepit hawelis and bungalows, in which frightening bhuts, geniis and juraels dwelled."[8]

The Gandhi Sangrahalaya has a wide collection of relics and photographs of the Champaran Satyagraha. The Gandhian Memorial Pillar was designed by Nand Lal Bose, a famous artist of Shantiniketan.[9] The foundation stone of the pillar was laid on 10 June 1972 by the then Governor, D. K. Barooch. It is a 48-foot (15 m) tall stone pillar and is situated at the same site where Mahatma Gandhi was presented in court.


Religions in Motihari
Religion Percent

As of 2011 Indian Census, Motihari had a total population of 126,158, of which 67,861 were males and 58,297 were females, with a sex ratio of 859. Population within the age group of 0 to 6 years was 16,870. The total number of literates in Motihari was 92,798, which constituted 73.6% of the population with male literacy of 76.2% and female literacy of 70.5%. The effective literacy rate of 7+ population of Motihari was 84.9%, of which male literacy rate was 88.1% and female literacy rate was 81.2%. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population was 7,373 and 333 respectively. Motihari had 22,224 households in 2011.[3]

As of 2001 India census, the population of Motihari in 2011 was 101,506, of which male and female were 54,629 and 46,877, respectively. The sex ratio of Motihari city is 858 per 1,000 males. Total literates in Motihari city are 69,576 of which 40,265 were males while 29,311 were females. The crude literacy rate of 68.5% and effective literacy (7+ population) per cent of 80.3%. The children aged 0–6 in Motihari city are 14,910, as per the Census India report, in 2001, with 7,811 males and 7,099 females. The child sex ratio of girls is 909 per 1,000 boys.[10]


Climate is characterised by high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate Classification sub-type for this climate is "Cfa" (Humid Subtropical).

Climate data for Motihari
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22
Average low °C (°F) 8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 23
Source: Weatherbase[11]


Motihari is connected to different cities of India through railways and roadways. Bapudham Motihari railway station is the main railway station serving the city. Direct trains are available to New Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu, Kolkata, and Guwahati. Asian Highway 42, National Highway 28A and State Highway 54 passes through the city. The nearest airport is located in Darbhanga which is about 140 km (87 mi) from Motihari. There is another halt railway station named Motihari Court railway station.


The city hosts a number of institutes and universities for higher education supported by both state and central governments.

Notable people[edit]

  • George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, was born in Motihari in 1903. His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, was a deputy posted in the opium department in Bihar. When he was one year old, George left for England with his mother and sister. The town of Motihari was largely unaware of its connection with Orwell. In 2003, Motihari discovered its role in Orwell's life when a number of journalists arrived in the town for Orwell's hundredth birthday. Local officials are making plans for the construction of a museum on Orwell's life. At the beginning of 2021, some miscreants had stolen and vandalized the bust of George Orwell, which was soon recovered and restored at its place by the administration. Towards the end of 2021, the house of George Orwell was repaired and renovated by the administration, and now it wears a fresh look in 2022. Bihar’s art, culture and youth affairs department has made the author’s house in Motihari, where he was born on June 25, 1903, a protected site. Orwell’s father Richard Blair worked for the opium department of the British Government at Motihari. In 1904, his wife Ida Blair along with her children including an infant Eric Blair, who would later become a famous novelist by the name of George Orwell, moved to England never to return to India.

[12] [13][14][15] Built on an area of 2.48-acre, Orwell's home was inaugurated as a museum in May 2015.[16][17]

  • Khan Bahadur Azizul Huq, one of the two Indian police officers who worked with Edward Henry in the development of fingerprint classification, known as the Henry Classification System, died in Motihari in 1933. "It was Khan Bahadur Azizul Huq who evolved a mathematical formula to supplement Henry's idea of sorting slips in 1024 pigeon holes, based on fingerprint patterns. Rai Bahadur Hem Chandra Bose made further contribution to the fingerprint science by evolving an extended system of sub classification, a telegraphic code for finger impression and a system of single-digit classification."[18]
Both Haque and Bose eventually received honoraria and recognition from the Government of India. At the time of final approval of the honorarium for Haque, the Home Department (Government of India) noted, "It appears from the information now received that he (Haque) was Sir Edward Henry's principal helper in perfecting the scheme and he actually himself devised the method of classification which is in universal use. He thus contributed most materially to a discovery which is of worldwide importance and has brought a great credit to the police of India."[19] Upon retirement from the Police service in Bengal and Bihar, Khan Bahadur Azizul Huq settled in Motihari, and he is buried there.

Connection with Gandhi[edit]

Motihari, at that time simply called Champaran, was close to Mahatma Gandhi. He came to Motihari in 1917[23] with Raj Kumar Shukla to start the Satyagraha movement in champaran, known as Champaran Satyagraha, which concerned the exploitations of farmers.[24][25] Gandhi with his supporters held a big campaign in champaran.[26] His frequent visits to champaran and its local areas showed the Gandhi's connection with land.

The city has been synonymed after him. Many attractions in Motihari relate to him. The railway station has been named Bapudham Motihari railway station (Bapudham means "land of Bapu").


  1. ^ "Motihari Municipal Corporation". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Motihari Election Result 2020 Live Updates: Pramod Kumar of BJP Wins". News18. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Census of India: Motihari". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b "52nd Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India" (PDF). Ministry of Minority Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Bhojpuri". Ethnologue. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  7. ^ Mandal, R. B. (2010). Wetlands Management in North Bihar. ISBN 9788180697074.
  8. ^[dead link]
  9. ^ PTI (1 October 2019). "Champaran: Where mall meets Mahatma but there's reverence and remembrance too". Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  11. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on 31 July 2013.
  12. ^ {{cite news|url:
  13. ^ Bhattacharyya, Debashis (14 November 2004). "All's not well with Orwell". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  14. ^ Tewary, Amarnath (1 August 2005). "Makeover for Orwell's India home". BBC News. Motihari, Bihar. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Big Brother can't be bothered". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  16. ^ Haleem, Suhail (12 August 2014). "The Indian Animal Farm where Orwell was born". BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  17. ^ Jha, Giridhar (17 May 2015). "George Orwell's house in Bihar turned into museum". India Today. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  18. ^ Tewari, R. K.; Ravikumar, K. V. (1 October 2000). "History and development of forensic science in India". Journal of Postgraduate Medicine. 46 (4): 303–8. PMID 11435664. Retrieved 20 December 2019 – via
  19. ^ Sodhi, GS, & Kaur, JK: The forgotten Indian pioneers of fingerprint science
  20. ^ "Kurd-Laßwitz-Stipendium". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  21. ^ "Summer School Südtirol 2016 Für Dramatisches Und Essayistisches Schreiben — Thema: Unsere Utopien | Nids | Neues Institut für dramatisches Schreiben". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Die Universität Kassel im Wandel der Zeit. Zeitzeugengespräche mit Alumni – Podiumsdiskussion" (PDF). Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Champaran Satyagraha | The Story of Gandhi | Students' Projects". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Gandhi's Satyagraha in Champaran". INDIAN CULTURE. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Champaran Satyagraha- India's First Civil Disobedience Movement". 1 December 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  26. ^ Lal, Vinay (3 October 2018). "Gandhi and the printed image". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 July 2021.

External links[edit]