Hindi, Maithili, English
Varsha Singh, Syed Majid Hussain
| Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Sri Krishna Medical College|
Muzaffarpur ( ) is a city in Muzaffarpur district in Bajjikanchal region of Bihar. It also serves as the headquarters of Muzaffarpur district and Tirhut division.
Muzaffarpur is the fourth most populous city in Bihar. Muzaffarpur, famous for Shahi lychees, is the largest city of northern Bihar. It is situated on the banks of the perennial Burhi Gandak River, which flows from the Someshwar Hills of Himalayas. Muzaffarpur is one of the many gateways to Nepal. Clothes and food-grains are traded between Nepal and Muzaffarpur.
Muzaffarpur is located at 26°07?N 85°24?E. The city lies in a highly active seismic zone of India. In the disastrous earthquake on 15 January 1934, much of the town suffered severe damage and many lives were lost. It has an average elevation of 47 meters (154 feet). This saucer shaped, low-centered town lies on the great Indo-Gangetic plains of Bihar, over Himalayan silt and sand brought by the glacier-fed and rain-fed meandering rivers of the Himalayas. The soil of the town is highly fertile, well drained and sandy, white coloured and very soft. The landscape is green all year round. The town is surrounded by the flood plain dotted with ponds and oxbow lakes, with sparkling sandy river banks and clean air and water. Numerous private fruit orchards and idyllic rivers are also nearby. The city has a water-table just 20 ft. below ground level.
Muzaffarpur now is a rapidly growing city. The unplanned growth in the last decade has been phenomenal. Thousands of villagers migrated to this City from nearby villages in the rapid urbanisation of post-independence India, and this has created serious infrastructure problem. The drainage system and garbage disposal system is disorderly and practically non-existent.
The downtown areas of Muzaffarpur are Tilak Maidan Road, Kalyani and Saraiyaganj and Motijheel. These areas are densely populated with small shops as well as branded shops selling a plethora of goods and services. Motijheel is the main shopping area.
Chakkar Maidan has a small encampment of members of the Territorial Army non-departmental unit 151 Inf Bn (TA) JAT.
Muzaffarpur City has old temples like Baba Garib Nath (Shiva Temple) and Devi Mandir Durga, Chaturbhuj-sthan, Raj Rajeswar Devi Kali (Durga)build by Darbhanga Maharaj and Kalibari, the Kali temple. There are also Hazrat Bilal Mosque Brahampura Data Kammal Shah Majaar Purani Bazaar, Kothiya Shareef Kanti Several large and small places of worship.
Muzaffarpur City was established by and named after an Afghan Md. Muzaffar Khan, an Amil (Revenue Officer). The district is bounded by the East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Saran, Darbhanga and Samastipur districts. It has won international encomiums for its delicious Shahi (Royal) and China Lychee species.
While the history of this City is not available fully but that of the recorded history of the district dates back to the rise of the Vrijjan Republic, when the center of political power shifted from Mithila to Vaishali. The Vrijjan Republic was a confederation of eight clans of which the Licchavis were the most powerful and influential. Even the powerful kingdom of Magadh had to conclude matrimonial alliances in 519 B.C. with the neighbouring estates of the Licchavis. Ajatshatru invaded Vaishali and extended his sway over Tirhut. It was at this time that Pataliputra (the modern Patna) was founded at the village Patali on the banks of the sacred Ganges river, and Ajatshatru built an invincible fortress to keep vigil over the Licchavis on the other side of the river. Ambarati, 40 km from Muzaffarpur is believed to be the village home of Amrapali, the famous Royal court dancer of Vaishali.
From the visit of the Hieuen Tsang until the rise of the Pala dynasty, Muzaffarpur was under the control of Maharaja Harsha Vardhan, a powerful sovereign of North India. After 647 A.D. the district passed to the local chiefs. In the 8th century A.D. the Pala kings gained control over Tirhut and kept it until 1019 A.D.The sixty-sixth descendents of the Palas are the Pauls in Muzaffarpur. Samiran Kumar Paul, the eminent scholar, teacher and Poet is one of them. Chedi kings of Central India also exercised their influence over Tirhut until they were replaced by the rulers of the Sena dynasty towards the close of the 11th century.
Sometime between 1211 and 1226, Ghais-u-ddin Iwaz, the ruler of Bengal, became the first Muslim invader of Tirhut. However, he could not succeed in conquering the kingdom, merely extorting tributes. It was in 1323 that Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq established his control over the district.
The history of Muzaffarpur would be incomplete without a reference to the Simraon dynasty (in the north-east part of Champaran) and its founder, Nanyupa Deva, who extended his power over the whole of Mithila and Nepal. During the regime of Harasimha Deva, the last king of the dynasty, Tughlaq Shah invaded Tirhut in 1323 and gained control over the territory. Tughlaq Shah handed over the management of Tirhut to Kameshwar Thakur. Thus, the sovereign power of Tirhut passed from the Hindu chiefs to the Muslims.
Towards the close of the 14th century the whole of North Bihar, including Tirhut, passed to the kings of Jaunpur and remained under their control for nearly a century, until Sikandar Lodi of Delhi defeated the king of Jaunpur. Meanwhile, Hussain Shah, the Nawab of Bengal, had become so powerful that he exercised his control over large tracts including Tirhut. The emperor of Delhi advanced against Hussain Shah in 1499 and got control over Tirhut after defeating its Raja. The power of the Nawabs of Bengal began to wane and, with the decline and fall of Mahood Shah, north Bihar formed a part of the mighty Mughal Empire. Though Muzaffarpur with the entire north Bihar had been annexed, the petty chieftains continued to exercise effective control over this area until the days of Daud Khan, the Nawab of Bengal. Daud Khan had his stronghold at Patna and Hajipur, and after his fall, a separate Subah of Bihar was constituted under the Mughal dynasty, with Tirhut forming a part of it.
The victory of East India Company in 1764 at the battle of Buxar gave them control over the whole of Bihar and they succeeded in subduing the entire district.The British India Association gives glimpses of part of the British period. The success of the insurgency in Delhi in 1857 caused grave concern to the English inhabitants in this district and revolutionary fervor began to permeate the entire district. Muzaffarpur played its role and was the site of the famous bombing case of 1908. The young Bengali revolutionary, Khudiram Bose, a boy of barely 18 years, was hanged for throwing the bomb at the carriage of Pringle Kennedy, who was mistaken for Kingsford, the District Judge of Muzaffarpur. After independence, a memorial to this young revolutionary patriot was constructed at Muzaffarpur, which still stands. The political awakening in the country after the First World War stimulated nationalist movement in Muzaffarpur district as well. The visit of Mahatma Gandhi first time in Bihar to the house of Pt. Ambika Datta Sharma in village Gyanpur, now Bhojpur on the Ninth April 1917 when Pandit Sharma along with some other persons lead the Mahatma to Acharya J.B. Kriplani, professor of GBB College, Muzaffarpur. This was the first visit of Mahatma MK Gandhi in Muzaffarpur on the 10th. April 1917; next he visited Muzaffarpur in December 1920 and again in January 1927 had tremendous political effect in arousing the latent feelings of the people and the district continued to play a prominent role in the countrys struggle for freedom.
Muzaffarpur played a very significant role in the history of North-Eastern India. The peculiarity of Muzaffarpur in Indian civilisation arises out of its position on the frontier line between two most vibrant spiritual influences. To this day, it is a meeting place of Hindu and Islamic culture and thoughts. All sorts of modified institutions, representing mutual assimilation, rise along this border line. It has undoubtedly been this highly diversified element within her boundaries that has so often made Muzaffarpur the birthplace of geniuses.
In January 1934, a colossal 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area, completely demolishing part of the city. The region was shaken strongly again in the 1988 Bihar earthquake.
Muzaffarpur is the largest commercial tax payer in Bihar after Patna. It is famous for exporting lychee. Long ago, the area was famous for hand-woven textiles, sugar cane, and other products. The district has a few sugar mills, which are now old and dilapidated. Textile mills in the famous Marwari community dominate Suta Patti. The main commercial areas of the city includes Motijheel, Kalyani Chowk, Purani Bazaar, SarriyaGanj, Jawaharlal Road, Harisabha Chowk, Bela Industrial Area, Club Road, Islampur, Shafi Daudi Market, Andi Gola, Chata Bazar, Company Bagh, Tilak Maidan Road, Juran Chapra, Bank Road, Mithanpura, Aam Gola etc.
Muzaffarpur town has a small museum namely Ram Chandra Sahi Museum.
There is no specific, authentic and purely Muzaffarpur cuisine as such most of the cuisine can at best be termed as Bihari Cuisine The basic ingredients are rice, wheat flour, lentils(green and yellow), root and leafy vegetables, Indian spices, ground nut oil, Mustard seed oil, ghee, sugar and jaggery, among others. The traditional breakfast includes [( "Chura-Dahi and Chini", "Flattened Rice, Curd and Sugar")] is one of the most popular break fast combination of Bajjika area equally popular both among urban and rural population being most hygienic and ready made, jalebi, poori, Samosa or potato Curry served hot with any of a variety of Chutney and finished with Milk Tea. Indian-Chinese dishes such as noodles, Tandoori dishes and South Indian like Dosa, Idaly dishes are also eaten. Some of the ethnic cuisine and special dishes like Thekua, Purukia, Tilkut, Tarua, Dhaknesar, etc. are cooked during festivals, religious functions and marriages. In modern Muzaffarpur, ethnic cuisines find place with the oily, hot and spicy foods of the Pan-Indian type.
Toddy(Taari) is a fermented juice of the Palm tree which has about 5%–8% alcohol and is very popular as "Poor Mans Beer" in Muzaffarpur.
A variety of spicy dry, baked, fried, deep fried or curried Mutton, chicken, fish and shellfish are prepared and eaten. Mughalai and a few Continental dishes, such as Macaroni or Spaghetti, duly Indianised, are home cooked and relished by some people. Pre- and post-dinner Betel nut (Paan) chewing is very popular, along with chewing tobacco.