Katihar is a city situated in the eastern part of the state of Bihar. It is one of the larger cities of Bihar & is known all over East India for its highly strategic railway junction.
Katihar district, which was previously part of Purnia district, is part of the Mithila region. Mithila first gained prominence after being settled by Indo-Aryan peoples who established the Mithila Kingdom (also called Kingdom of the Videhas). During the late Vedic period (c. 1100–500 BCE), Kingdom of the Videhas became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla. The kings of the Kingdom of the Videhas were called Janakas. The Mithila Kingdom was later incorporated into the Vajji confederacy, which had its capital in the city of Vaishali, which is also in Mithila.
Katihar District comprises 3 Sub-divisions:
Katihar sub-division is further divided into 10 blocks: Katihar, Korha, Falka, Sameli, Barari, Kursela, Pranpur, Hasanganj, Dandkhora, and Mansahi.
Barsoi sub-division consists of 4 blocks: Barsoi, Kadwa, Azamnagar, and Balrampur.
Manihari sub-division has 2 blocks: Manihari and Amdabad.
Hasanganj being the largest block which was under the zamindari rule with acres of land under the possession of the Late Shri Jogendranarayan Roy Choudhury. The entire landmass with school, temple and market have been donated to the people from the predecessors who remain in Katihar now with little of the possession under the Paul Choudhury fame. Mansahi was also very active zamindari estate which was at par with Kursela and Falka.
As per 2011 census, Katihar Urban Agglomeration had a population of 240,565. Katihar Urban Agglomeration includes Katihar (Municipal Corporation plus Out Growth) and Katihar Railway Colony (Out Growth). Katihar Municipal Corporation had a total population of 225,982, out of which 119,142 were males and 106,840 were females. It had a sex ratio of 897. The population below 5 years was 31,036. The literacy rate of the 7+ population was 79.87 percent. Katihar is at 193rd rank in terms of its population among the top 200 cities of India as per 2011 census.
Urdu, Hindi, Maithili, Angika, Bengali and Surjapuri are the main languages spoken in Katihar.
Katihar district occupies an area of 3,057 square kilometers (1,180 sq mi). The district covers 4 major rivers:
Katihar district is situated in the plains of North Eastern part of Bihar State, surrounded by Purnea district (Bihar) in the north and the west, Bhagalpur district (Bihar) and Sahebganj district (Jharkhand) in the south and Malda district and Uttar Dinajpur district (Paschim Bengal) in the east.
The climate of Katihar is nearly moderate with widespread rainfall during the Monsoons sometimes bringing the flood to the adjoining rural areas of the Katihar District.
Katihar has a growing economy with most of its commercial activities limited to the city region. There are loads of shops, showrooms, restaurants all over the city. The Railway Junction itself generates tons of revenues throughout the year which in turn boosts the economic activities of Katihar. Katihar is, in fact, a Sub-Cosmopolitan city with people from various communities & states having their residence in Katihar. The lifestyle of people of Katihar is hence distinguishable from the rest of the Seemanchal region due to this cosmos lifestyle.
Generally, in India, Shops are closed on Sunday, But in Katihar they are closed on Tuesday. This is mainly because it is the biggest market in the Seemanchal Region and people from Mithila region and North-Eastern Bengal travel to Katihar for Shopping.
There are many tourist attraction in Katihar.
- Durga Puja & Kali Puja
The city of Katihar hosts one of the most extravagant Durga Puja and Kali Puja celebrations in entire Bihar and West Bengal. Many pandals come to the city during these periods. Artisans from Kolkata are called for statue work of goddess Durga and allies.
- Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Historical Gurudwara
This historical Gurudwara is situated at Lakshmipur Panchayat of Barari Block of Katihar District. It is approx 40km from District Head Quarters. The Ninth Guru, Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib had stayed here (earlier location Kant Nagar) on his way back from Assam to Patna in 1670 AD. The people of the village became his followers and accepted the Sikh Faith. Many people visit this village as it is associated with Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. One can visit here to see old scripts and ancient documents of religious importance. An old volume of Guru Granth Sahib is also preserved here.
- Gogabil Lake
One of the largest wetlands of Bihar, Gogabil Lake attracts a huge number of tourists. Its extent is 5 km by 1 km spread across 217 acres. Being directly linked to the Ganga and Mahananda, the lake links up to these rivers through tributaries during the peak rainy season. Many varieties of terrestrial, aquatic animals and rare birds flock to this place. With the rich flora and fauna, it has the potential to develop as National Park.
During monsoon and winters, almost 300 migratory birds come to the lake from places as far as the Caspian Sea and Siberia. Efforts should be taken to declare and maintain it as a closed and protected area.
- Kali Mandir
Kali Temple has got immense historical importance. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, an embodiment of Goddess Durga, the idol of Kali is decorated beautifully inside the temple, which is a visual treat for the visitors. The attractive cravings on the walls show its archaeological importance. During festive times like Durgashtami and Diwali, a large number of devotees come for Puja celebrations in the temple.
- Gorkhanath Temple
While visitingGorkhanath Temple, you will find a herd of devotees who come here to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Shiva, also known as Gorakhnath Mahadev, is adorned with flowers and ornaments inside the temple. One of the central attractions is the sight of Shivalinga. Shaivites visit this place on the occasion of Maha Shivratri to celebrate it.
There are several cinema halls namely Vasant Talkies, Prakash Talkies, Shyama Talkies for movie freaks. There is a stadium named after Dr. Rajendra Prasad which hosts many state-level tournaments noticeably “Major Ashutosh Cricket Tournament” with teams participating from far and wide like Patna, Siliguri, Malda even Nepal. The tournament is a major spectacle in the yearly event of Katihar. The youth is particularly interested in sports, and the city offers plenty of spaces to groom their talent. Open spaces like Rajendra Prasad Stadium, Maheshwari Academy field, Railway Field provides opportunities for youth to train and to engage in sports.