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DB road, Saharsa
DB road, Saharsa
Saharsa is located in Bihar
Location in Bihar, India
Coordinates: 25°53′N 86°36′E / 25.88°N 86.6°E / 25.88; 86.6Coordinates: 25°53′N 86°36′E / 25.88°N 86.6°E / 25.88; 86.6
Country  India
State Bihar
Region Mithila
District Saharsa
Elevation 41 m (135 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 155,175
 • Official Maithili, Hindi, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 852201-852154-852221
Telephone code 916478
ISO 3166 code IN-BR
Vehicle registration BR-19
Sex ratio 933 females per 1000 males /
Lok Sabha constituency Madhepura
Vidhan Sabha constituency Saharsa
Sunset Skyline, Rajwanshi Nagar, Saharsa Town, Koshi Anchal, Sa
Temple Near Saharsa Town

Saharsa is a city and a municipality in the Saharsa district in the East Indian state of Bihar, situated near the eastern banks of the Kosi River. It is the administrative headquarters of the Saharsa District, and is the capital of Kosi Division of State of Bihar. Saharsa is also the name of the assembly constituency, which contains the city and neighbouring parts of the district. The name Saharsa has originated from Sanskrit word Saharsha translating into 'Laden with Joy'. The city has a mixed linguistic population with significant speakers of Maithili speakers. Hindi Urdu and Surjapuri is widely understood and spoken alongside Maithili. English can also be used to communicate in the town regards to the increasing influences of globalisation in the region.

Koshi Dhala, Koshi Chowk, Saharsa, Bihar
Matsyagandha Temple in Saharsa Town


Earlier, the Saharsa district was part of the Munger and Bhagalpur districts. On 1 April 1954 it was made a district of its own. It was also made headquarters of Kosi division on 2 October 1972, comprising Saharsa, Purnia and Katihar district, with its headquarters at Saharsa. Similarly a new Civil Sub-Division Birpur was created on 1 December 1972, consisting of 24 development blocks, including Raghopur, Chhatapur, Basantpur and Nirmali, which were previously under Supaul subdivision of the district. Two new districts, Madhepura and Supaul, were formed from Saharsa district on 30 April 1981 and 1991. Saharsa district now consists of two subdivisions, Saharsa Sadar and Simri Bakhtiarpur. The district consists of 10 development blocks and anchals each.

A large part of the district in the past was subjected to annual floods and inundation by a host of rivers originating from the Himalayas. The sub terai was noted for rice cultivation before it was subjected to the vagaries of the unpredictable Koshi river.

Pre-historic period[edit]

Saharsa was part of Mithila and the history can be traced back to Raja Janak (in mythical accounts, the father of Sita, who later became wife of Lord Rama). Tantric scholars and devotees attach significance to this Chandi temple, which is said to form an equilateral triangle with the Katyayani temple near Dhamara Ghat and the Tara temple at Mahishi. During the Navaratri people from distant places visit the village to offer prayers to the goddess of power. The famous conversation between Mandan Mishra and Shankracharya took place in Mahishi in Saharsa.[citation needed]

Ugratara Shakti Peeth (Temple) in Mahishi, Near Saharsa Town
Ugratara Devi Shakti Peeth, Mahishi, Near Saharsa Town
Chandika Sthan Temple near Saharsa Town


Stormy Clouds Hovering Saharsa Skyline, Saharsa Town, Bihar

Saharsa is located at 25°53′N 86°36′E / 25.88°N 86.6°E / 25.88; 86.6.[1] It has an average elevation of 41 metres (134 feet). Saharsa and its surrounding areas are a flat alluvial plain forming part of the Kosi river basin. The town actually lies in the Kosi alluvial megafan one of the largest alluvial fans of the world. Resultingly, the land is very fertile. However, frequent changes in the course of the Kosi, one of the largest tributaries of the Ganges,[2][3] have led to the problems associated with soil erosion. Flooding is a major reason for the poor connectivity of the area as bridges tend to get washed away. Major flooding occurs almost annually, causing a significant loss of life and property.[4]

A Distributary of Kosi River near Saharsa Town

Saharsa is a large township and is the administrative and cultural capital of Koshi Region of Bihar. In the town there are narrow lanes and a blend of urban and rural architecture, including partially occupied buildings visible in the skyline alongside palm and coconut trees. The town is criss-crossed by railway lines and Saharsa being a railwway junction, railway lines pass through various localities of the town, including Hatiyagachhi, Rajwanshi Nagar, Vidyapati Nagar, Krishnanagar and Professor's Colony. The town is the commercial centre of the region, with various branded showrooms and shopping complexes. There are various restaurants and fast food centres.


This is the most devastating river of Bihar, earning the epithet "Sorrow of Bihar".

Water Logging in the Town, Saharsa

The river is notorious for its breach of embankments and frequently changing its meandering courses. Therefore, here the river is in its youth stage where annual rate of deposition of alluvium is very high. gandak is also a main river following through some southern part of Saharsa.

Rajwanshi Nagar, Koshi CHowk, Saharsa (Koshi Division), Bihar

Important villages[edit]

  • Sonvarsha
  • Simri Bakhtiyarpur
  • Patuaha
  • Parari
  • Bangaon
  • Mahishi
  • Dholi Mohanpur
  • Sisai
  • Agawanpur
  • Tiri
  • Bengha
  • Kahra
  • Bihra (patori)
  • Panchgachiya


An official Census 2011 detail of Saharsa, a district of Bihar has been released by Directorate of Census Operations in Bihar. Enumeration of key persons was also done by census officials in Saharsa District of Bihar.

Typical Koshi Litti, Saharsa (Koshi Division), Bihar
Typical Meal in Pardesi Cardo Restaurant, Saharsa Town

In 2011, Saharsa had population of 1,897,102, of which male and female were 995,502 and 901,600 respectively. There was change of 25.79 percent in the population compared to population as per 2001. In the previous census of India 2001, Saharsa District recorded increase of 33.03 percent to its population compared to 1991.

The initial provisional data suggest a density of 1,125 in 2011 compared to 895 of 2001. Total area under Saharsa district is of about 1,686 square kilometres (651 sq mi).

Average literacy rate of Saharsa in 2011 were 54.57 compared to 39.08 of 2001. Male and female literacy were 65.22 and 42.73 respectively. For 2001 census, the same figures stood at 51.66 and 25.27 in Saharsa District. Total literate in Saharsa District were 829,206 of which male and female were 521,560 and 307,646 respectively. In 2001, Saharsa District had 465,577 in its total region.

The sex ratio in Saharsa stood at 906 female per 1000 male compared to 2001 census figure of 910. The average national sex ratio in India is 940 as per latest reports of Census 2011 Directorate. kahra and Bangaon has a very important contribution in entire sectoral development of Saharsa. Students from Saharsa go to every part of the country as well as other parts of the world.



Paddy Plantations near Saharsa Town, Koshi Anchal, Bihar region
  • Food crop: Paddy
  • Cash crop: Makhana (Euryale ferox Salisb)[6]
  • Mango
  • Litchi
  • Bamboo
  • Mustard
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Sugarcane
  • Sagwan or teak (Tectona grandis) trees are now grown on a large scale for its industrial benefits.Teak plantation started proliferating when a local farmer, Keshav yadav, first started its farming by planting 1000 teak trees in about 2008. Since then a number of other farmers and local traders have started its plantation.
Teak Plantation in Saharsa

Communication links[edit]

Broad Gauge Conversion near Rajwanshi Nagar, Saharsa
Kosi Bridge at Baluwaha Ghat near Saharsa Town

Saharsa is connected by railway and roadways to other major towns in Bihar. National Highway 327 (Saharsa – Bagdogra) and NH 107 connects it to Maheshkhunt and Purnia List of National Highways in India. The rural road network is in need of improvement.[7] Saharsa - Darbhanga is being joined through baluwaha bridge over koshi river.This will boost the connectivity of entire mithilanchal region .

Passenger Train on its Way to Saharsa

Saharsa does not have air transport service (there is an air strip reserved for government use but no commercial flights exist) or waterways, but railways play an important role. In early 2006, a much awaited broad gauge line connected it to Khagaria on the New Delhi-Guwahati main line. Earlier there was only a metre gauge line on the Khagaria – Mansi – Saharsa – Forbesganj section of East Central Railway.

The city is also served by India Post. Its Postal Code is: 852201.


Saharsa has a number of schools and colleges. There is a proposal[when?] to build an AIIMS in Saharsa. There are presently a few medical colleges and one engineering college is being constructed in the city.

The village of Bangaon, situated 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)} south of Sharsa Junction has produced IAS, IPS, and other civil servants. Students from different parts of the district have attended medical schools and colleges in the country and abroad.

The city has many private schools, and many students choose to study outside.

See also[edit]