TRAVEL & TOURISM

 

Motihari is a town steeped in history. When the British carved out the district of Champaran from Saran in the later part of the 19th century, Motihari was made its headquarters. After the creation of West Champaran district with Bettiah as its headquarters in 1972, Motihari continued as the headquarters of truncated East Champaran.
Motihari holds its eminence as the birthplace of famous writer George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, and of Mahatma Gandhi's Champaran Satyagraha.Places in and around Motihari have had an older link: Buddhism. The world's tallest stupa is at Kesaria, just an hour from Motihari. Motihari, thus, is a crucible of both the Gandhi and Buddhist circuitsA museum and a stone pillar are there to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's links with Motihari. Gandhiji's courageous statement given before a magistrate is inscribed here on a stone.

The 48-ft tall Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Gandhi was produced before the court of the then sub-divisional magistrate on April 18, 1917 for violating prohibitory orders.
Mahatma Gandhi's first Satyagraha was experimented on the soil of Motihari in the then Champaran district and, thus, Champaran has been the starting point of India's independence movement launched by Gandhi.

HOW TO REACH MOTIHARI
There are many modes of transport that can be taken in order to reach Motihari. You can opt for flights, buses and trains and buses can be taken directly to the town of Motihari. The town of Motihari has a railway station of its own, with regular trains to all major destinations. You can thus opt for trains to Motihari directly, and this is the best option. Train fares are cheaper than bus fares too, but tickets need to be booked well in advance in order to travel through trains comfortably. 

The railway station in Motihari will have regular trains to the cities and towns of New Delhi, Anand Vihar, Howrah and Raxual. Train fares will start at Rs 150 for the basic class of travel.

Buses to the town of Motihari will be available from the capital city of Patna. Buses from Patna to Motihari will be available regularly. The city of Patna is located at a distance of around 160 kilometers from Motihari, and buses will charge fares of around Rs 100 to 120 per trip. Buses will mostly be run under the state government, and these buses will not be too cozy. People who aren’t used to traveling through buses will find this mode very uncomfortable. Tickets will be readily available, however.
 

WHERE TO STAY
Aarti Hotel, Main Road, Phone: 290664, 9304255459
AC/non-AC rooms are available for Rs 150 to Rs 1,000. Food is also served here.
Hotel Shakti, Chhatauni Road, Phone: 235715
AC/non-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 900.
Hotel Monica, Madhuban Chhawni Chowk, Phone: 9430255419
AC/non-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 900.
Hotel Divya Raj, Madhuban Chhawni Chowk, Phone: 241777
AC/non-AC rooms available. Tariff ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 1,400

In Emergency, Contact
District Magistrate: 222695 (Off), 242800 (Res), 9431811222 (Mobile)
Superintendent of Police: 222684 (Off), 232683 (Res), 9431822988 (Mobile)
Sub-Divisional Police Officer: 222923 (Off), 9431800068 (Mobile)

In Case of Medical Emergencies, Contact
Dr Shambhu Sharan (Cardiologist): 9431233077
Dr Ashutosh Sharan (Surgeon): 9431233123
Dr Jasbir Sharan (Gynaecologist): 9431604123
Dr Shekhar Verma (Dentist): 9431434954
Dr J N Gupta (Physician):

BEST TIME OF VISIT
October to March


Buddhist Stupta, Kesaria

Historical importance of Bihar has been established again with the discovery of “biggest ever Buddhist Stupa “ at Kesaria in East Champaran district about 120 K.M. from Patna and 30 miles from Vaishali on Indo Nepal border. A team of Archaeological survey of India Officials discovered this Stupa in year 1998 after excavation. The ASI officials have declared that Bihar has the proud privilege of housing the tallest ever-excavated Stupa in the world.

The Conservation of Kesaria Stupa is a turning point in the history of conservation in India. Earlier, the ASI team did not realize that the excavated Stupa would be the tallest and largest Stupa in the world.

Rising to a height of 104 feet and much reduced than its original height, it is one foot taller than the famous Borobodur Stupa in Java, a world heritage monument.
The Kesaria Stupa was 123 feet tall before the 1934 earthquake in Bihar. In the halcyon days when Buddhism thrived in India , the Kesaria Stupa was 150 feet and Borobodur stupa 138 feet tall according to A.S.I. report. At present the height of Kesaria in reduced to 104 feet and Borobodur to 103 feet. The height of ‘Sanchi Stupa ‘ a world heritage monument is 77.50 feet, almost half of Kesaria stupa.

Lord Budha on his last Journey spent on memorable height at Kesaria. Here he made source sensational announcements, which was later on recorded in Buddhist Jatak – Story. Buddha here at Kesaria said that in his previous births he ruled as Chakravarti Raja. Buddha also asked Licchivis to return to Vaishali after giving them “BEGGING BOWL.”

Recent excavations of Kesaria Stupa by A.S.I. Patna circle throw light on Buddhist history. The excavation reveals the terraces with “Pradakshina path” around the stupa. Move important finding is a humber of figures of Lord Budha in “Bhoomi Sparsh Mudra” and other sitting image. These figures are made of soil and pebbles in each layer. The earthen lamp, decorated bricks and other potteries are other point of attraction. The Buddhist treasure trove has exposed to its full glory to the glee of devotees of the world and the public alike.

The archeologists believe the Stupa in kesaria known to the people as “Raja Ben ka DEORA“ was built by Licchivis of Vaishali before Budha attained Nirvana . It is the largest site on the Buddhist route. Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tshang had visited this site of Stupa as per his diary in the seventh century.


Ashokan Pillar, Lauriya, Areraj


This Lofty stone column erected by priyadarshee Lord Ashok in 249 BC in village Lauriya under Areraj subdivision is situated on left side of  Areraj – Bettiah road. The pillar, known as “Stambh dharma lekh”, which bears in well preserved and well cut letters six of his edicts, is a single block of polished sand stone, 36 ½ feet in height above the ground with a base diameter of 41.8 inches and a diameter at the top of 37.6 inches. The weight of this portion only is very nearly 34 tons, but as these must be several feet of the shaft sunk in the earth. The actual weight of the whole block must be about 40 tons. This pillar has no Capital. According to report that pillar was crowned with a statue of an animal but it was transferred to Kolkota museum.  

The edicts of king Ashoka are most clearly and heartily engraved, and are divided into two distinct portions, that to the worth containing 18 lines and that to the south 23 lines. But now these are not good state of preservation and suffered from the effect of weather. The villages call the pillar as ‘Laur’ that is the phallus and the adjoining village is named after it  Lauriya.

The Archaeological Survey of India has classified the Ashokan pillar as a protected monument.


School Started by Gandhi

The schools started by Mahatma Gandhi in the villages of Barharwa Lakhensen and Madhuban are among other important sites of interest in the vicinity of Motihari. Barharwa Lakhansen is a small village in Dhaka block. He with his wife Kasturba Gandhi started a school there in 1917, which is one of the oldest school in this area. Siraunais a village of East Champaran. Kasturba Gandhi once visited here to teach the people the basic educational concepts of Mahatma Gandhi.


Gandhi Memorial

The foundation stone of this Gandhi memorial pillar was laid on june 10, 1972 by the then Governor, Mr. D.K.Barooch and if was dedicated to the nation by Mr. Vidyakar Kavi, a gandhian, on 18 April 1978. This memorial pillar has been designed by the famous artist of Santiniketan Mr. Nand lal Bose to commemorate the memory of Champaran Satyagah of Mahatma Gandhi who first raised voice against the atrocities of the British Indigo planters against poor peasants of Champaran.

The 48 fect long Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Mahatma Gandhi was produced before the court of the then S.D.M., Motihari in violation of orders under section 144 Cr. P. C.  as far back as April 18, 1917. Mahatma Gandhi first Satyagrah was experimented on this soil of Motihari in Champaran and so Champaran has been starting point of India’s independence movement launched by Gandhi ji.
Gandhi Museun has on display an array of photographs and relics of the Champaran Satyagraha.


Someshwar Shiv Mandir, Areraj

Areraj is a holy city of North Bihar which is 28 Km. south West from Motihari linked with pucca road. The famous Someshwar Nath Mahadev Temple is age old which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from other districts as well as Nepal on the occasion of Shrawani Mela (During July-August). Areraj a village has developed up to town and now it is the Headquarter of Areraj Subdivision.
Also at Areraj lies an Ashokan pillar attracting tourists throughout the year.


Orwell's birthplace

George Orwell, one of the greatest writers of twentieth century and author of famous books like `Animal Farm' and `Nineteen Eighty-Four', was born in Motihari in 1903. His father Richard Walmesley Blair was a deputy posted in the opium department in Bihar. The cottage, where the famous author was born, lies in the midst of the town. A plaque commemorating has birthplace stands outside the house.

Until recently, the town of Motihari was largely unaware of its connection with Orwell. In 2003, Motihari discovered its role in Orwell's life when a number of journalists arrived in the city for Orwell's hundredth birthday. Local officials are making plans for the construction of a museum on Orwell's life.

George Orwell's birth place at Motihari in Bihar's East Champaran district will soon be turned into a full-fledged museum. Government of Bihar has decided that Orwell's birth place, the decrepit two-room house on the old opium campus would be preserved for tourists. The department would initiate the process of declaring Orwell's house a protected site in accordance with the provisions of Bihar Ancient Monument (Protection) Act of 1976.

The arts and culture department officials have been directed to prepare a restoration and development project of the seven-acre campus of the opium warehouse where Eric Arthur Blair, popularly known as George Orwell, was born in 1903. His father Richard W Blair worked for the opium department during the British rule. Orwell was taken to England by his mother Ida when he was one-year-old, after which he went on to pen one of last century's best dystopian novels '1984' and 'Animal Farm'.

A detailed report about the history of the house, its present condition and land records had been sought from the district administration. A team of experts would be sent to Motihari to assess the situation from an archaeological point of view.

The state government had declared the birthplace of Orwell here a protected site on December 10, 2010 and the art and culture department had allotted Rs 32 lakh for beautification of the campus and construction of roads, boundary walls, gates and drainage. The boundary walls are under construction and one of the two gates has already been completed.

Raxaul-Gate way to Nepal

Raxaul JunctionSun Temple, Raxaul
Raxaul is a major town in the district of East Champaran. It is the border town of India with Nepal. This town is known as the Gate way to Nepal. It is connected by NH28A and is 32 km away from Chhapawa (on NH28A), 52 km from Motihari (the District Town) and 60 km from Bettiah - the District town of West Champaran. Now this town has been made the Sub-divisional town under the District of East Chaparan. Manjur Alam the famous advocate of Madras High Court, who studied at Eton College England is from Raxaul town. Birganj - the Second Big City of Nepal is just 3 km away from this town.

The Sun temple is a temple to the sun god, which is surrounded by water. It is near the police station, situated just beside the market.


Village Madhopur-Govind, East Champaran : Land of Peacocks

Sometime in the 1960s, Shivkumar Singh and Chandrika Singh from Madhopur-Govind in east Champaran brought a pair of peacock and peahen from a nearby fair to the village. By now the peacock numbers have swelled up to nearly 500. This came to light when the DM of east Champaran asked the local intelligentsia to compile a list of places in the district that could be developed as tourist spots. The peacocks in Madhopur-Govind roam the fields freely and are jealously protected by the villagers who have even constructed a pond for them. The villagers provide the peacocks with seeds while doing the sowing in their fields, instead of protecting them from the peacocks. The big birds in turn feed on snakes in the village, making the fields safe for the villagers.