श्री बिराटनगर उप-महानगरपालिका
Gograha (Old Name)
Sub Metropolitan City
Biratnagar Sub Metropolitan City

View of Sunrise in Biratnagar
Nickname(s): Industrial capital city of Nepal, Capital of the Orient(East), Second Capital

Location of Biratnagar in Morang

Location of Biratnagar in map of Nepal.

Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.45417°N 87.27972°E / 26.45417; 87.27972
Country Nepal
Development Region Eastern
Zone Koshi
District Morang
Wards 22
Constituencies (Election Area) 3
Literacy Rate Increase 80.49% High
Households 45,131
Incorporated 1914 A.D. as District Headquarters
  Executive Officer Dipak Koirala
Borders: East Singhyahi Khola, West Keshaliya Khola, North Tankisinuwari and South Jogbani, India
  Total 58.48 km2 (22.58 sq mi)
Elevation 80 m (260 ft)
Population (2011)
  Total 201,125 [1]
  Density 3,439.21/km2 (8,907.5/sq mi)
  Ethnic Groups Yadav,sonar, Chhetri, Bahun, Marwari, Maithili, Limbu, Tharu, Rai, Koche, Rajbanshi, Meche
  Religions Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, Kirant
  Official Nepali & Maithili
  Local Nepali, Marwari, Maithili, Limbu, Tharu, Koche,Tahiti
Time zone NST (UTC+5:45)
Postal code 56600, 56613, 56614
Area code(s) 021
Biratnagar was incorporated as District Headquarters by Col. Jit Bahadur Khatri.

Biratnagar (Devanāgarī: विराटनगर) is a sub-metropolitan municipality and the second largest city of Nepal. According to the 2011 census, the city ranks fourth in population. Biratnagar is the industrial capital of Nepal and has a total area of 22.58 mi² (58.48 km²). Its geographical location is 26°28'60"N 87°16'60"E.[2] The city is located in Morang District in the Kosi Zone of eastern Terai region of Nepal. It lies 399 km east of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, and 6 km north of the border of the Indian state of Bihar.


The old name of Biratnagar was Gograha Bazaar. In 1914 AD, Colonel Jit Bahadur Khatri, the district governor, laid the foundations of modern Biratnagar by moving the hospital, post office, jail and the customs, land registry, forestry and auditor offices to Gograha Bazaar from Rangeli, the district capital of Morang at the time.[3] Biratnagar got its present name in 1919 AD from Keshar Shamsher Rana after objects of historical importance, believed to be of King Virata's time, were found in the place.[3] The region is believed to be a part of the kingdom of Virata, mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ruins of the palace along with stone carved tools, idols, and household objects can be seen protected in the southern part of Biratnagar, close to the border. In Nepali birat means huge and nagar means city.

On March 4, 1947, the first anti-Rana movement in Nepali soil took place in Biratnagar as the Biratnagar jute mill strike under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala along with Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala. Then after it sparked a countrywide anti-Rana demonstration that finally led to the abolishment of Rana rule in Nepal.


According to 2011 CBS census data, Biratnagar's population was 201,125.[4] It is the fourth largest city in terms of population in Nepal after Kathmandu(975,453), Pokhara(255,465) and Patan(220,802). It is the headquarters of Morang district. Most people follow Hinduism followed by Islam, Jainism, Kirat, and Christianity. The main language is Nepali and Maithili (although the local dialect of Maithili differs from what is spoken further west). English is well understood by the educated mass.

Biratnagar is situated within one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Nepal, and the rural hinterland is home to a diverse cross section communities.


The highest temperature ever recorded in Biratnagar was 42.0 °C (107.6 °F) on the 14th April 1992, while the lowest temperature ever recorded was −1.0 °C (30.2 °F) on December 1970 and January 1971.[5]

Climate data for Biratnagar Airport (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.8
Average low °C (°F) 9.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.7
Source: Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal)[6]



Biratnagar is a hub for explorers of places in eastern Nepal like Ilam, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha and Panchthar. A number of colorful haat bazaars (weekly markets) are held each week in different parts of the town, where farmers from the rural hinterland set up stalls to trade agricultural produce, spices and handicrafts.

There are several gardens, temples and places of religious importance in Biratnagar. Gopal garden, located near Hathkhola and Hridreyandra Bal Udhhyan near Thulo Mill are two main gardens. Temples have been the jewel of Biratnagar. They are decorated in vibrant ways to make them attractive.

The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve famous for its wildlife, especially for bird-watching enthusiasts, is a 90-minute drive from the city. It is home to the endangered wild buffaloes called "Arna" in Nepali.

The largest rhododendron forests of Tinjure, Milke and Jaljale can be reached in about 3–4 hours. Scenic treks with views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga can be started from the small towns of Basantapur or Tumlingtar.

The beautiful tea gardens of Ilam are just 4 hours' drive away. Another place of interest is the hilly district of Dhankuta with its orange orchards.

Dharan is (50 km from the north of Biratnagar) which is 1.5 hour's journey by bus. The place is famous for Dantakali Temple, Pindeshwar Temple, Budha Subba Temple and Panch Kanya and is surrounded with hills and Bhedetar is a famous viewpoint.

Religious fare

Biratnagar is equally famous for its high-spirited festival celebration. In Dashain, Nepal's biggest festival, a large number of people including young persons visit the Kali Mandir, a temple that lies in the heart of the town. Also famous is Tihar, festival of lights, when the residents line their homes with Diyo (an earthen oil lamp), candles and decorative electrical lamps during the two days of celebration and there is decoration in the main road which includes use of Banana tree and Bamboo in all shops. Firecrackers are banned in Nepal and are strictly prohibited to use during Tihar but smuggling it during Tihar is very popular.

Krishna Janmashtami (Krishna's birthday) is a festival that is heavily celebrated in Biratnagar. Thousands of people gather on the second day of Krishna Ashtami to pull the Holy Cart (Rath) which goes around the city the length of which is approximately 8 km. This event is termed as the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey). It is the largest rath yatra in Eastern Nepal. Traffic will be halted for five to six hours on that day. It is believed that the Holy Cart (Rath) was driven by Lord Krishna. So, people keep a young child in the Holy Cart as a symbol of Krishna and pull the cart with joy to celebrate the Lord Krishna's birthday. The Rath is very big and heavy and needs hundreds of persons to move it. Mostly the recruits of Nepal Army are recruited to pull the heavy cart. It has an engine to run if required to move fast. It has brakes to stop it as it has to stop at many places to allow people to worship the Lord. Some people stay on top of the Rath to distribute prasad (holy fruits) to people. The Holy Cart will be followed by many smaller carts which are pulled by oxen. People in the smaller carts play the music and sing hymns with joy and happiness. It is the most important festival for the people of Biratnagar. So, almost all the schools and offices close after 1 p.m. to let the believers and spectators attend the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey).

Chhath (Devanagari: छठ, छठी, छठ पर्व, छठ पुजा, डाला छठ, डाला पुजा, सुर्य षष्ठी) is an important festival for Madheshi and Bihari Hindus nowadays observed by all the Hindu communities. It is the only Vedic festival dedicated to the Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya (ancient Vedic Goddess Usha) is also celebrated in Biratnagar. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya (the sun) for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes in the bank of rivers and ponds.

On the pooja day, they collect fruits and prepare thekwa (sweet made of wheat) with great respect to Surya (the sun). Some people fast from two days prior of pooja and break their fast by drinking water after the ritual is over. Chhath is considered to be very pure and the pooja is performed with infinite respect to Surya, the Sun. The view of Chhath can be observed in Singhiya River and Keshalia River in Biratnagar. The beautiful view of the river is seen that day.

Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are the festivals celebrated by the Muslim community of Biratnagar. Christmas is celebrated by a very small population of Christian minority.


Biratnagar, being the home and a political turf of Matrika Prasad Koirala and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal, has always been a fertile ground for emerging as well as established politicians. Leaders like Manmohan Adhikari, Sailaja Acharya, Bharat Mohan Adhikari and Mahesh Acharya all come from this city. Girija Prasad Koirala, the man who has been elected prime minister the most number of times in Nepal. He was Prime Minister of Nepal four times, serving from 1991 to 1994, 1998 to 1999, 2000 to 2001, and from 2006 to 2008; he was also Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008. Biratnagar is the politically most active city in the modern history of Nepal. The first and the historical airplane hijack which was to fund the political revolution also took place at the Biratnagar Airport. The hijack plan masterminded by Girija Prasad Koirala was executed by Durga Subedi, Nagendra Dhungel and Basant Bhattarai.[7]


Biratnagar is the center of education in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. Home to the Purbanchal University, Biratnagar has a number of good colleges and educational institutes including medical and engineering institutes.The medium of teaching is English in all the private schools, colleges and universities whereas Nepali is the medium of instruction in government schools up to secondary level.Along with this the quality of education of Biratnagar is improving at a rapid rate.

Art and literature

Biratnagar has been the ground for several literary personalities Dev Kumari Thapa, Bal Krishna Ppokhrel, Bhanubhakta Pokhrel, Parshu Pradhan,Kabiraj Neupane, Dadhiraj Subedi, Biwas Pokhrel, Nawaraj Subba,Sima Avas etc. Some of the prominent books in Nepali literature have emerged from Biratnagar. Landmark books in Nepali poetry, Bholi Basne Bihan by Krishna Bhushan Bal and Jeevanko Chheubaata by Suman Pokhrel were created in this city. There is a popular culture of poetry recitation in regular sessions in various locations of Biratnagar.[8]

Recreation and entertainment

Melas (fairs) are organized at various times of the year where people come to enjoy the rides and swings. Although very few national tournaments are organized here, regional soccer tournaments can be observed in the city stadium ground. There are recreational parks, movies, and libraries in the city.

Television and radio

Print and online media

Several local and national daily, weekly and monthly publications are available in the city. Media houses Kantipur, Nagarik, and Aja Ko Samachar Patra print their publications in Biratnagar and distribute throughout the eastern Nepal. Local dailies are Udgosh and Biratpath which have started providing daily news and updates in their websites besides their print editions. Local daily newspapers published in Biratnagar include:

Sports facilities

Biratnagar has sports facilities. Football and Cricket are most popular. Sahid Rangsala with a capacity of 10,000+ spectators is the most popular football stadium in the city. Sahid Maidan is the home stadium of Morang Football Club. The Mahendra Gold Cup, now Birat Gold Cup, is held in the stadium among with District Divisional league matches and other functions and fairs. There is a covered hall nearby Shahid Maidan where several indoor events can be organized. A cricket stadium is being constructed in Baijanathpur VDC in the outskirts of Biratnagar namely Biratnagar Cricket Ground with the objective of organizing local and national-level cricket tournaments. Other facilities in the city include lawn tennis and basketball courts . Sometimes some sports activities are organised such as:


Article Reference [9]

1. Biratnagar got its present name in 1919 AD from Keshar Shamsher Rana after objects of historical importance, believed to be of King Virata’s time, were found. The region is believed to be a part of the kingdom of Virata, mentioned in the Mahabharata. The ruins of the palace along with stone carved tools, idols and household objects can be seen protected in southern part of Biratnagar at Bhediyati, Buddhanagar VDC. In Nepali “birat” means huge and “nagar” means city.

2) The region was made district headquarters of Morang in 1914 A.D. transferring from Rangeli by then Governor of district, Colonel Jit Bahadur Khatri. It was also then developed by next Governor Shiva Pratap Shumsher Thapa. [10]

2.The city has given birth to 5 Prime Ministers of Nepal (Matrika Prasad Koirala, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Man Mohan Adhikari, Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala)

3. Nepal’s first Large Scale Industry, Birat Jute Mills lies in this city. On March 4, 1947 the first anti-rana movement in Nepali soil took place in here as Birat jute mill strike under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala along with Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala. Then after it sparked a countrywide anti-Rana demonstration that finally led to the abolishment of Rana rule in Nepal.

4. The first and the historical aeroplane hijack which was to fund the political revolution also took place at the Biratnagar Airport. The hijack plan masterminded by Girija Prasad Koirala.

5. It is the biggest Industrial City of Nepal and has the second biggest Industrial Corridor containing some of the largest Industries and Factories of the nation.

6.There are more than 80 Schools, More than 20 Colleges and 21 Hospitals in Biratnagar, most after Kathmandu. It is the center-hub for Education in Eastern Nepal.

Notable residents

See also


  1. "National Population Census 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  2. Location of Biratnagar - Falling Rain Genomics
  3. 1 2 Dambar Krishna Shrestha & Kamal Rimal. "१०० वर्षको विराटनगर, मणि खोज्दै (Biratnagar Turns 100, Seeking Glory)". Himal Khabar. Himal Media. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  4. "National Population Census 2011"
  5. . Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  6. "NORMALS FROM 1981-2010" (PDF). Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (Nepal). Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  7. Biratnagar Plane Hijack | Biratnagar Facts
  8. Dadhiraj Subedi, "नेपाली साहित्यका मुस्कानहरू (The Smiles of Nepali Literature)"- 2012, Purwanchal Sahitya Academy, Biratnagar - ISBN 978 9937248266

External links

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Coordinates: 26°27′15″N 87°16′47″E / 26.4542°N 87.2797°E / 26.4542; 87.2797

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