East Champaran is an administrative district in the state of Bihar with its headquarters located at Motihari. The district occupies an area of 3969 km² and has a population of 3,933,636 (2001 census). East Champaran is a part of Tirhut Division. Motihar is the headquqrter of Purbi Champaran.
Mehsi is the entry point of East Champaran connected with Rail and Road both. This small place has number of visiting places at the east side of Railway Station. Mirza Halim Shah mosque, dargah, A very old library 'Nagrik Pustakalaya', Old High school of english period, Orchards of Lichi and mangoes and other places of interest.
First Creation of Champarn District : 1866 On 1st of December 1971 Champaran district was split up Into two districts, viz. Purbi Champaran and Paschim Champaran , The headquarter of Purbi Champaran district is at Motihari . Presently Purbi Champaran consists of Six Subdivisions and Twenty Seven Blocks. Nepal makes its northern boundary, Sitamadhi and Sheohar eastern while Muzaffarpur South and with part of Gopalganj bounds it in western side.
The name Champaran owes its origin to Champa-aranya or Champkatanys. Champa or Champaka means Magnolia and aranya mess forest. Hence, Champaranya means Forest of Magnolia (CHAMPA) trees. It is popularly believed that the nomenclature here was made while the vest forest part was inhabited by solitary ascetics. It is needless to say that has Purbi means Eastern Side.
The history of Purbi Champaran is a part of parent Champaran district. In the prehistoric period, Champaran constituted a part of the ancient kingdom of Videha .The Aryan Videhas were ordained to settle east of the Gandak or Narayani river. Among the Greatest of the Videha kings was Sirdhwaj
Janak an erudite scholar as well as lord temporal and lord spiritual for his subjects. Yajnavalkya was his chief priest who codified the Hindu law known as Yajnavalkya Smriti. Both of his wife Gargi and Maitreyi was renowned scholar. It is Gargi who is credited to compose some of mantras. After the fall of Videhan empire Champaran was ceded to oligarrochial republic of Vrijjan confederacy, with Oligarchcal Vaishali as its capital of the Vriggian confederacy Lichohavis were the most powerful and prominent.
For a true imperialist Ajatshatru the emperor of Magadh the power and fame of Vaishali was eyesore. By tact and force he annexed Lichhavis and occupied its capital, Vaishali. He extended his way over the present district of Purbi Champaran which lasted for nearly hundred years. After the Mauryas , the Sungas and the kanvas ruled over Magadh and its vast territories. Archaeological evidences found in Champaran bear testimony of Sunga and Kanva rules here.
The Kushans, who were migrant Turks, overran the entire northern India in the first century AD Probably Champaran was a part of the Kushan empire at that time. Banphar Rajputs in the 3rd century AD got way by the Kushans . Champaran later become a part of the Gupta empire. Alongwith Tirhut, Champaran was possibly annexed by Harsha during whose reign Huen- Tesang, the famous Chines pilgrim, visited India. During 750 to 1155 AD Palas were in the possession of Eastern India and Champaran formed the part of their territories. Towards the close of the 10th century Gangaya Deva of the Kalacheeri dynasty conquered Champaran .He gave way to Vikramaditya of the Chalukya dynasty, who was accompanied by adventures from the Carnatic .It is believed that one of the adventures counted the Saka dynasty of Bangal another, Nanyadeva, founded the Carnatic dynasty of Mithila with its capital at Siaraon on the Indo- Nepal border.
During 1211 and 1226 first Muslim influences was experienced when Ghyasuddin Iwaz the muslim governor of Bangal extended his a way over Tribhukti or Tirhut .It was however, not a complete conquest and he was only able to have Tirhut from Narsinghdeva a simyaon king, in about 1323 Gnyas- Uddip.Tughiar annexed irabhuk and placed it under Kameshwar Thakur established Sugaon or Thakur dynasty, As Harsinghdeo the last simraon king had taken shelter in Nepal Kameshwar Thakur a Brahmin Rajpandit was installed to regal status. The sugaon dynasty hold Tirabhukti as a tributary province for about a century after the capture of Harsinghdeo . The most famous of the dynasty was Raja Shiva Singh who was adorned by the immortal poet laureate Vidyapati, during the period of Lakshmi Nath Deva Tirabhukti was attached by Sultan Alleuddin Hussain Shah of Bengal and Sikender Lodi of Delhi . A treaty was concluded in 1499 according to which 'Tirahukti , left to Sikandar Lodi subsequently, Sikander Lodi attacked Tirabhukti and made the prince a tributary chief. However, in contravention of the treaty conducted by his father .Nasrat Shah, son of Allauddin Shah attacked Tirbhukti in 1530 annexed the territory, killed the Raja and thus put an end to the Thakur dynasty .
Nasrat Shah appointed his son -in -law as viceroy of Tirhut and the coformard it was governed by Muslim Governor .In 1526 Babar dynosted Sikandar Lodi but Champaran could not coming prominence till the last days of the Muslim rule.
During the close of the Mughal empire, Champaran witnessed ravages of contending armies. prince Al Gauhar later known as Shah Alam invaded Bihar in 1760 and Khadin Hussain, the Governor of Purnit invited with his army to join him. In the mean time, Nawab Sirajudaulla of Bengal had already been defeated and killed as a result of the joint conspiracy of Mir Jagarkhan and the British, in June, 1757 . Before Khadim Hussain could meet Shah Alam's forces captain Knox led a British force and defeated him at Hajipur. There after he fled to Bettiah.
With the rest of Bengal Champaran passed into the hands of East India Company in 1764 but military expeditious were still I. necessary to curb the independent spirit of the chiefs. In 1766 , Robert Barkar easily defeated the local chiefs and forced them to pay tribute or revenue which they had destined till them. however , the Raja of Bettiah did not pay revenues regularly and revolted but was crushed. He fled to Bundelkhand and his estate was consequently confiscated. But to the British it was difficult to manage the affairs of the estate in the make of strong popular resentment. At the time of uprising the estate was restored by the Raja in 1771 .
In the mean time for reaching consequences were taking place in neighboring Nepal. A confrontation was going,. In between the Gurkhas, under Prithvi Narayan of Newar line and British forces. Ultimately a treaty was concluded at Sugauli .There remained peace for 25 years followed by treaty but trouble started after 1840 when a Gurkha troops entered the estate of Raja Ramnagar and extended their claim over his territory. However, Gorkha troops had to retreat due to determined resistance. Later, the Nepalese proved faithfully allies of the British in suppressing the National Movement of 1857.
The repression of the Wahabi movement at Patna furthered of seething discontent of tenants against the activities of the administration as well as the Indigo --Planters. The cultivators were forced to grow indigo even in the face of recurring losses in this account . More over many kinds of illegal realization were effected by the landlords. The administration was the cut do - sac of the oppressions.
In the beginning of 1857 movement the position of Britishers was precarious. Major Hoimes who was commanding the 12th Irregular cavalry, stationed at sugauli was apparently panicked and proclaimed martial law on his own authority. This measure had not attracted hole-hearted support of higher authorities. Major Holmes lad repressive measures and executed some sepoys. Consequently members of the cavalry revolted again the authority. The Major his wife and other members of his family were stained. The Soldiers proceeded towards Siwan to join other forces who had risen against the British authority. The revolt was, however calmed down to enlist support Honorary Magistrates from among the indigo planters were appointed and also authorized them to recruit local police. Some of the big estate holders like the Raja of Bettiah even gave support to the British Gurukha troops of the British were asset to them.
The later history of the district is inter woven with the saga of exploitation of the indigo planters. Britain used to get supplies of indigo from her American colonies which ceased after war of .Independence fought in 1776 leading to their freedom. Britain had to depend upon India for supplies of Indigo. Europeans steered many factories in the indigo producing areas of Bengal and Bihar. Estate of Bettiah and Ramnagar gave lease of land to them on easy terms for cultivation of indigo. The arrangement made for the cultivation of indigo were (1) Zirat and (2)Tenkuthiya . Apparently ,nothing went wrong by the introduction of both the systems. But actually, the peasants suffered a lot due to both the systems. The wages paid to laborers were extremely low and entirely inadequate. The were forced to labor hard and were severely punished for alleged slackness on their part Sri Raj kumar shukla, an indigo cultivator of the district having heard about the None Co-operation Movement had by Gandhijee in South Africa met and apprised him about miserable plight of indigo Cultivators in the Champaran District. He persuaded him to visit the district. Almost at same time;The Indian Nation congress in December ,1916 passed at Lucknow a resolution for requesting Government to appoint a committcd of both officials and non-officials to enquire into the agrarian trouble facing the district.
Gandhijee paid historic visit to Champaran. His visit was stoutly opposed by the British rulers. An order asking him to leave Champaran was served upon him as soon as he arrived at Motihari. Gandhijee defied the order of the several prominent persons who rallied round him mention may be made of Dr .Rajendra Prasad Acharya Kriplani ,Mahadeo Desai, C.F. Andrews, H.S.Pollock, Anugrah Narayan Singh, Raj Kishore Prasad, Ram Nawami Prasad and Dharnidhar Prasad after considerable struggle Govt. was compelled to lift the ban on Gandhi's stay here for he first time on Indian soil Satyagarh, was successfully put to test. Eventually, a committee of enquiry was appointed by the Govt. under the chairmanship of Sri Frank shy, Gandhijee was also made one of the member of the committee. On the basis of vauled a recommendations of the committee, the Champaran Agraria low (Bihar and Orissa Act I of 1918) was passed. In course of time, the development of synthetic dyes made the cultivation of indigo redundant.
In 1920,Gandhijee made an extensive tour of Bihar before launching the non-co-operation movement, which earned full support in the district as well. In 1929 a group of volunteers from Champran district came to demonstrate a against the Simon commission in the same year the 21st session of the Bihar students conference was held at Motihari. As a reaction against the failure of Round table conference held in 1932 there was popular gathering at Motihari to take pledge for Independence. Police lathi charge and fired upon the gatherings. people of Champaran will be remember for their active and significant participation in the National movement.