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This article is about the municipality in India. For its namesake district, see Purnia district.
Purnea is located in Bihar
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 25°47′N 87°28′E / 25.78°N 87.47°E / 25.78; 87.47Coordinates: 25°47′N 87°28′E / 25.78°N 87.47°E / 25.78; 87.47
Country  India
State Bihar
District Purnia
 • Type Municipal Corporation
 • Body Purnea Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Smt.Vibha Devi
 • MP Santosh Kushwaha
 • MLA Mr. Vijay khemka
Elevation 36 m (118 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 310,817
 • Density 794.49/km2 (2,057.7/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 854301
Telephone code +91 6454
Vehicle registration BR-11
Literacy 74.04%
Lok Sabha constituency Purnia
Website purnea.bih.nic.in

Purnia(Hindi : पूर्णियाँ ) is a city located in Purnia district in the Indian state of Bihar.It is the 4th largest city of Bihar in terms of Urban area & is located at a distance of nearly 300 kilometers from Patna the capital city of Bihar. Purnia is at a distance of 171 kilometers from Siliguri, 92 kilometers from Bhagalpur & 214 kilometres from Muzaffarpur.

It is at a distance of 450 kilometers from Kolkata.

The Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Border Security Force (BSF) the SSB and ITBP have their bases around the district.


The origin of the name appears to have different sources. The name possibly originates from the Sanskrit word Purna–Aranya, which stands for "complete jungle".[2] Purnia could be an altered form of the old name Purania, derived from the word purain or Lotus, which is said to have grown on the Kosi and Mahananda rivers. This derivation is stated by O'Malley[who?] and is also in the old gazetteer.[clarification needed][citation needed] An alternative could be a derivation from the words Pur Aranya. W.W. Hunter and Buchanan[who?] have mentioned the name of Purnia,[clarification needed][citation needed] it being a forested area, using combination of the words purn (full) and aranya (forest).

The name of Purnia's 600-year-old temple of Mata Puran Devi (Kali), located about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) outside the city, is believed[by whom?] to be the name origin of Purnia.[citation needed]


The district of Purnea in modern history was formed by the East India Company on 14 February 1770. It hence continues to remain some of the oldest districts constituted in the nation.


Purnia and its surrounding lands lie in the sub-montane alluvial tract of the Gangetic Plain.The city however lies on the banks of numerous tributaries of Kosi.

Purnia has an area of 3,202 square kilometres (1,236 sq mi). This leveled depressed tract of country consists for the most part of a rich, loamy soil of alluvial formation and is traversed by several rivers flowing from the Himalayas, which afford great advantages of irrigation and water-carriage. Its major rivers are the Kosi, the Mahananda, the Suwara Kali and the Koli. In the west the soil is thickly covered with sand deposited by changes in the course of the Kosi. Among other rivers are the Mahananda and the Panar. Its major agricultural products are jute and banana.

There is a hilly tract in the north with a small hill of Calcareous belt, called Chotapahar near Manihari. It has a slope from the north to the south and is traversed by a number of rivers and their tributaries. The district is composed of alluvial soil, partly old and partly new. The old alluvium is found in the north of the district where it consists of kankars (stone dust). The new alluvium is available in the south of the district and is composed of silt, clay and the sand. The alluvial soil is supposed to be brought by the Ganges and its tributaries from the Himalayas and is very rich in fertilizing nutrients.[citation needed]


Purnia is known for its moderate climate; it has earned its name as 'Mini Darjeeling' due to its favourable climate. Purnia, with the highest rainfall in Bihar state, has a largely humid climate, with humidity rising to above 70%. A cold season, from November to February, is followed by a hot season from March to June. The monsoon season begins in early June and lasts until September; 82% of its total annual rainfall falls during the monsoon season.

January, the coldest month, has a mean daily minimum temperature of 5 to 10 °C and a mean daily maximum of 20 to 25 °C. Wind is typically light in the non-monsoon seasons but during the monsoon, storms and depressions originating in the Bay of Bengal cause heavy rain and strong winds.


As of the 2011 census, Purnia Municipal Corporation had a total population of 282,248, of which 148,077 were males and 134,171 were females. It had a sex ratio of 906 females to 1,000 males. The population below 6 years was 43,050. The literacy rate for the 6+ population was 73.02%, compared to the 74.04% national average.[3]

Hindus were 70% and Muslims were 30% of the population. Purnea has a majority Maithil population.

Purnia Urban Agglomeration had a population of 310,817 in 2011[4] and comprised Purnia Municipal Corporation and Kasba (Nagar Panchayat).[5]


Purnia is a developing city with its economy dependent primarily on agricultural products .Over the past few years it has shown a steady increase in its economy. This is primarily due to increased awareness, modernization, change in lifestyles of the people and technical advancements in various fields.

Bhatta Bazar located at the heart of city is the main market area catering to the needs of city people. It is also among some of the densely populated places in the city. There are numerous shopping complexes, mini malls, departmental stores, confectioners, groceries, studios, electronic stores and showrooms of some multinational & Indian companies namely Reebok, Gini & Jony, Levi's, Killer, Koutons, LawmanPg3, Integrity, Charlie Outlaw, Monte Carlo, Peter England, VIP, Titan Eye Plus & Duke to name a few in this Bhatta Bazar region. This sector also flaunts some good restaurants & hotels.The city also hosts some good Spas & Saloons with the countrywide known Jawed Habib Beauty Saloon being the latest addition into its list.

Gulab Bagh in Purnia houses a major grain storehouse and is India’s largest maize trading center. It is from over here apart from middle and eastern BIHAR the grain requirements of the states of North East,Bengal and Nepal are met.

Purnia is a powerful poultry producer & has also been catering to the demands of nearby regions of Nepal & West Bengal for many years.

Besides it Purnia is well known for its fisheries. Fishes are also transported to the nearby markets of West Bengal especially those in the Siliguri Metropolitan Region which is the nearest big city.

Due to its growing economy, growing demands & improved connectivity as well as infrastructure it has become a known centre for trade and commerce among the traders of Bihar, West Bengal & Nepal.In fact Nepal based Chaudhary Group known for its very famous Wai Wai (food) noodles all over India & Nepal has opened up one of their manufacturing units in Maranga.

Bhatta Bazar and Line Bazar are the busiest parts in the city with the former being a prime centre for all sorts of economic activities while the latter is the backbone of health care facilities for the people in & around the city.

Line Bazar Purnia is a prime centre for medical fraternity with doctors of almost every specialization.Line Bazar has some of the best nursing homes & hospitals in the region of Seemanchal. Patients from all over this region ply to this part of the city in search of better health care facilities.

The medical load from Line Bazar has seen a shift in the recent years to the nearby regions especially the Rambagh sector.

India's first and only jute park, called Punrasar Jute Park, is located at Maranga in Purnea.Maranga has been evolving into a major industrial sector in the recent years especially due to better connectivity & ever inceasing demand of the growing population.The region hosts numerous factories & multi-purpose projects one ot them being that of Mushroom cultivation.

Many real estate development projects have already started in the city. Apartments constructed by the Manoj Tiwary led company Vastu Vihar are on a sold out. Mini malls of the fashion outlet V Mart and V2 began functioning recently near the Bus stand region.

Purnea has around 5-6 cinema halls also all of which are very popular with the city people.

Several such mini malls have come up in the last few years with most of them being centred around the Bhatta Bazar region.There are already some good hotels in the city while plans for those of resorts & multiplexes may be underway.

Purnia is a large centre for sale and service of automobiles. It hosts showrooms of Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Ford, Renault, Nissan, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, JCB, Piaggio, Atul Auto, Bajaj, Honda, Suzuki, TVS, Royal Enfield, Yamaha & Hero to name a few. Tractor & Farm Equipment Brands which have showrooms in the City are John Deere,Massey Ferguson,Escorts,Swaraj,Mahindra & Mahindra,Tafe,Sonalika ,HMT,New Holland,Force,Eicher.

It is also the only city other than Patna in Bihar where International Driving Permits are issued to the concerned authorities.

Madhubani region in the city outskirts has also shown a steady growth in its economy in the last few years. Showrooms have been coming up even in this satellite region.

The city already houses several plant nurseries.


Purnia city is supplied agricultural products from its surrounding countryside. The alluvial soil, irrigated by the Kosi and Mahananda rivers, has been particularly suited to the paddy cultivation of rice. Other crops grown are potatoes, wheat, khesari, chickpeas, chili peppers, maize, lentils, arhar dal, barley, sugarcane, tobacco, makhana, mung beans, and jute.[6] The previous extensive growing of jute supported a former flourishing jute industry which has now declined. The cultivation of maize has however soared in recent years in the city's outskirts.


Purnia has always been a centre of education in the north Bihar region. Founded in 1800 at the time of British rule, Zila School is Purnia's oldest, and one of the city's largest schools. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Garhbanaili (14 km away from main city) is a prestigious school run by the government. Purnia also has a Kendriya Vidyalaya. Other prominent schools include Ursuline Convent English/Hindi Medium School, Vidya Vihar Residential School at Parora, Millia Convent English Medium School, B.B.M. High School, Don Bosco School, D.A.V. Public School, Mount Zion Mission School, Bright Career English School, Bijendra Public School, Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Saintil Public School (Purnea), Saraswati Shishu Mandir, and St. John's High School.

Several new colleges & schools are under construction in the City Kalibari region.

There is a popular institute namely Vidya Vihar Institute of Technology (VVIT) located in Maranga.

There are colleges for higher studies concentrating engineering, law, arts, and home science. Having recognition from the state government and various other Government Universities such as Aryabhatta Knowledge University and B. N. Mandal University, these colleges include:

B.M.T Law College, Purnea
  • Purnia College
  • Law College
  • Learning Valley
  • Millia Group Of Colleges (managed by Millia Education Trust)
  • An Agriculture College
Bhola Paswan Shastri Agricultural College, Purnea

The city also has a women's college with a view of upgrading the status of women.

Engineering colleges in the city:

  • Millia Polytechnic Rambagh
  • Government Polytechnic
  • Vidya Vihar Institute Of Technology
  • A government Engineering college proposed recently will be functional from 2017

Medical colleges (proposed 2016-17):

  • Government Medical College and Hospital
  • Shershah Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Medical College and Hospital by Millia Educational Trust

3D animation and multimedia institute:

  • Animation School (Madhubani Bazar)

The Indian Red Cross Society has the largest blood bank in the state after Patna, with a capacity of 1,000 units. The Bihar government recently inaugurated one of the three megastock warehouses for drugs/medicines at Kasba, which aims to serve the 13 districts of North Bihar.

The Indira Gandhi Stadium houses the SAI sports hostel for athletes. The DSA and Zila School grounds are the city's outdoor stadiums.

The Bihar Government has recently announced to open a University at Purnea in the year 2016.Developments are underway since the announcement.


Maize being loaded in a train near Gulab Bagh Purnea


Purnea Airport, also known as Chunapur Airport(Airforce Station) located within the cantonment area is restricted to army usage only. Plans to undergo operation of Scheduled flights are being widely proposed by the state government .

The nearest commercial airport is about 150 km away at Bagdogra in Darjeeling district ( Bagdogra Airport ) .

Jayprakash Narayan International Airport( Patna Airport ) is located in the capital city of Patna at a distance of 310 km from Purnia.


Purnea is served by two railway stations namely Purnia Junction(Station Code:PRNA) and Purnia Court Railway Station(Station Code:PRNC).Purnia Junction is closer to the residents of Khuskibagh,Gulabbagh and Eastern Purnea residents while Purnea Court Railway Station (5 km to Purnia Junction) lies at the western part of city catering to the people residing around Madhubani,Janta Chowk,Central and Western Purnea.

Purnia Junction is situated on Katihar-Jogbani broad gauge railway line of North East Frontier Railway (NFR). This railway line earlier was metre gauge. Another line of East Central Railway (ECR) connects Purnia with Mansi Via Saharsa & Banmankhi. There are daily and weekly trains to Kolkata, New Delhi & Patna and other neighboring cities.


East-West Corridor Expressway

National Highways namely NH 31, NH 57, NH 107 and NH 131A make Purnia accessible to the people from nearby cities & sates while state highways connect the other neighbouring cities and villages to the main city area.The newly constructed NH57 directly connects Purnia to some important towns and cities of North Bihar namely Darbhanga & Muzaffarpur.It takes nearly 5 hours to reach Muzaffarpur through this Expressway. This expressway which also traverses through the newly built Kosi Maha Setu bridge ends at Muzaffarpur to continue further for Patna. It has turned out to be an alternate route for Patna & has helped decongesting the ever busy & traffic prone NH31.

NH31 traverses through the main city & connects it to Siliguri & Guwahati in the east & Patna to the west via Mokameh Barauni & Begusarai.

The east-west corridor connecting Silchar in Assam to Gujarat passes through Purnia in the form of NH31. It is a modern six-lane highway constructed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). State Highways 60, 62, 65, 77 & 90 also pass through Purnia.

NH31 & NH 57 are four lane expressways and are a strength to the intercity transportation services.

There are numerous buses which run for Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Muzaffarpur, Katihar & Siliguri on a daily basis. There is also a daily scheduled bus for Kolkata.

Several transportation companies which in collaboration with the state government's BRSTC in the year 2011 launched luxurious Mercedes- Benz & Volvo buses connecting Purnea to Patna on a daily basis.

Intra-city transport[edit]

A large number of cycle-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and city buses serve the city.

Language and literature[edit]

Maithili, Angika, Hindi and Bengali are the principal languages spoken by the people of Purnia. Surjapuri and Santhali dialects are also spoken in some parts of the city. English continues to be the first language in most of the English Medium schools.

World Record[edit]

Purnea holds the record of making & displaying the world longest triclour flag which was measured 7100 meters(7 KM).[7][8]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Census of India Search details". censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Official Web site of Purnea Dist. Admn". Purnea.bih.nic.in. Retrieved 2012-07-13. 
  3. ^ "Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  5. ^ "Constituents of urban Agglomerations Having Population 1 Lakh & above" (PDF). Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  6. ^ Agriculture in Purnia, retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. ^ "7km-long tricolour to be hoisted in Purnia on Aug 20 - Times of India". Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  8. ^ 1st News 24x7 (2016-08-20), World Largest Flag Purnea Bihar, retrieved 2016-08-23