March 31, 2023

The Bihar

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Saran district is one of the thirty-seven districts of Bihar state, India. The district, part of Saran Division, is also known as Chapra district after the headquarters of the district – Chapra. Hathwa Raj was a zamindari in the Saran Division of Bihar belonging to Bhumihar Brahmins which encompassed 1,365 villages, was inhabited by more than 391,000 people, and produced an annual rental of almost a million rupees.

The district has an area of 2,641 km² {Fact} and a population of 2,572,980 or which 2,338,624 are rural and 234,356 are urban.

Sub Divisions: Chapra, Marhawrah, Sonepur

Blocks: Chapra, Manjhi, Dighwara, Rivilganj, Parsa, Baniapur, Amnaur, Taraiya, Sonepur, Garkha, Ekma, Dariyapur, Jalalpur, Marhaura, Masarakh, Maker, Nagra, Panapur, Eisuapur, Lahladpur, Jantabazar

Popular Villages: Bharhopur (near Ekma), Malkhachak, Taraiya, Dariyapur, Shitalpur, Farhada, Amnaur, Nayagaon ,Parsa, Bangari Basant, Mubarak Pur, Sheetalpur Bazar (near Ekma) etc.

Agriculture: Paddy, Wheat, Sugar Cane, Potato, Maize, Vegetables

Industry: Sugar Factories.

Rivers: Ganges, Ghaghra, Gandak

JP University is also a special features of the district. Sheetalpur bazar near ekma is one of the famous village known as ‘Adarsh village’ of Manjhi block.

The district of Saran is situated between 25°36′ and 26°13′ North latitude and 84°24′ and 85°15′ East longitude in the southern post of the newly created Saran Division of North Bihar. The Ganges and Ghagra constitute the Southern boundary of the district beyond which lie the districts of Bhojpur and Patna. To the north of Saran lie districts of Siwan and Gopalganj. The Gandak forms the dividing line with vaishali and Muzaffarpur district in the east. To the west of Saran lies district of Siwan and the district of Balia in Uttar Pradesh, the Ghaghra constituting a natural boundary between Saran and Ballia.

The district is shaped like a triangle with its apex at the confluence of boundary of Gopalganj district and Gandak-Ganga river there are three rivers namely the Ganga, Ghaghra, Gandak which encircle the district from south north east and western side respectively. The district is entirely constituted of plains but there are quite a few depressions and marshes, which cause the formation of three broad natural divisions.

The alluvial plains along the big rivers which are subjected to periodic inundation and prone to floods.

The region of uplands away from the rivers and not subject to floods.

The diara areas in the beds of the great rivers.

Out of twenty blocks in the districts, Six blocks viz Sonepur, Dighwara, Revelganj, Chapra, Manjhi and Dariyapur are affected by floods regularly. There are six partially flood affected blocks Viz. Garkha, Parsa, Marhoura, Amnaur, Jalalpur, Eksar and Ekma. The remaining blocks are free from floods. The soil of the district is alluvial. No mineral of economic value is found in the district.

In ancient days , Modern Saran Division, formed a part of KOSALA country. The history of Saran Division is bound to be history of Kosala which included portions other than present limit of Saran Division. The kingdom of Kosala was bounded on the west by Panchala, by the river Sarpika(sai) in the south, on the east by Gandak and on the north by Nepal. The Kosala consisted of modern Fyzabad, Gonda, Basti, Gorkhapur, Deoria in UP and Saran in Bihar.The historical background of the district- as available in the Ain-e-Akbari records Saran as one of the six Sarkars (Revenue Divisions) constituting the province of Bihar. At the time of grant of Diwani to the East India company in 1765, there were eight Sarkars including Saran and Champaran. These two were later combined to form a single unit named Saran. Saran(along with Champaran) was included in the Patna Division when the Commissioner’s Divisions were set up in 1829. It was separated from Champaran in 1866 when it (Champaran) was constituted into a separate district. Saran was made a part of Tirhut Division when latter was created in 1908. By this time there were three subdivisions in this district namely Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj. In 1972 each subdivision of the old Saran district became an independent district. The new Saran district after separation of Siwan and Gopalganj still has its headquarters at Chapra.

Various hypothesis have been put forward about the origin of the name SARAN. General Cunningham suggested that Saran was earlier known as SARAN or asylum which was a name given to a stupa (Pillar) built by emperor Ashoka. Another view holds that the name SARAN has been derived from SARANGA- ARANYA or the deer forest, the district being famous for its wide expanses of forest and deer in prehistoric times. The earliest authentic historical fact or record concerning this district may perhaps be related to 898 AD, which suggests that the village of Dighwara dubauli in Saran had supplied a copper plate issued in the reign of king Mahendra paldeva.

Saran has ancient and great history. Maharshi Dadhichi belongs to Saran who had donated his bone to Gods for manufacturig of arms. Cottage of Dronacharya was also situated in Saran. Gautamasthan, 8 km from chapra town, is used to be Maharshi Gautam’s ashrama. Lord Rama has provided Devi ahiylya, wife of Maharshi Gautam who become stone due to a curse (by her mistake), her life back. Currently, there is a temple and Vishnupad preserved.The fight of “Gaj” (Elephant) and “Grah” (Corcodial) was made at Sonepur in Saran also. Presently It (Sonpur) is well known for Asia’s biggest cattle Fair on Kartik Purnima(October-November) every year. Ambica Sthan (Ami,Dighwara) is famous for Goddess Durga.

The famous Ashoka Pillar is located about 33 km from Chapra town (5 km from Maker Village). This is the place where Lord Buddha made his 13th stop on his way to attaining ‘Nirvana’. He converted “Amrapali” – a local courtesan/powerful prostitute into a saint. This is now a major tourist attraction for Buddhists all over the world and is well maintained by the archaeological survey of India.At Chirand near Chapra ancient (primitive) bones were found and are placed in the Chapra Museum. It is famous for King Maurayadhwaj who was ready to sacrifice his only son to Vaman Avatar Lord Vishnu.

It is also famous for its Bhojpuri heritage .The famous “Bhikhari Thakur” is a famous person from Saran, and is often referred to as the “Shakespeare of Bhojpuri”. “Mahendra Misir” also a famous person in Bhojpuri Folk songs. He had specially invented the “Purvi” a style of Bhojpuri Folk song. He was the master in playing of several types of instruments. Bhojpuri is dialect of this place. Ara (Arrah), Ballia (Balia), Chapra and Deoria, the Bhojpuri heartland, are known as “ABCD” of India due to their people’s congruence of language and culture. People of this “ABC” region has taken Bhojpuri across the Indian border to far away places in Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago, Surinam and Guyana when their forefathers were settled there as indentured labourer by Imperial forces. They have adopted their new homeland but still have Bhojpuri in their blood.

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