Purba Champaran (East Champaran), a district of Bihar with its head quarters located at Motihari. Currently it is a part of Red Corridor. According to 2011 census, it is the second most populous district of Bihar after Patna. The district derived its name Champaran from the two terms “Champa” or “Champaka” means Magnolia and “Aranya” means forest. Both the terms together “Champaranya” means Forest of Magnolia (CHAMPA) trees. Native believes that the nomenclature was made while the forest was inhabited by solitary ascetics. In the ancient period the entire Champaran region was under the control of the Gupta Dynasty and the Pala Dynasty, but after their decline the whole place, including Mithila, became a part of the Karnat empire. Then the local satraps were directly went into the hands of Muslim rulers. Mahatma Gandhi came to Motihari, the place where administrative head quarters of the district is located in April, 1917 on the call of Prince Shukla, a rayat of freedom and freedom fighter of India during the period of freedom struggle and it was proved as the beginning of the new phase in the era of fight for independence. After that also, Mahatma Gandhi came here many times. During the period of British rule they had made Champaran an independent unit in the year 1866, but in 1971 it was divided into Eastern and Western Champaran. Champaran district, the parent of East Champaran and West Champaran was created in the year 1866. East Champaran and West Champaran were come out from the Champaran district on 1st December, 1977
Ravish Kumar, a well known Indian TV anchor, writer and journalist was born on 5th December, 1972 at Motihari in the district. He is the senior executive editor at NDTV, India. He is honoured by the award-Journalist of the Year Broadcast in 2013.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°61'N latitude, 84°86 'E longitude and 55 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 4.18% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses an area of 3,968 sq. kms. and it is bounded by Nepal on the north, Muzaffarpur on the south, Bettiah and Gopalganj on the west and Sitamarhi on the east. The chief rivers of the district are Gandak, Burhi Gandak and Baghmati. The climate of the district is characterized as the moderate climate with its maximum temperature rising up to 46°C and minimum temperature of 5°C. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1703.3 mm. in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 6 sub divisions-Motihari Sadar, Areraj, Raxual, Shikarahna, Pakridayal and Chakia. There are 3 Lok Sabha constituencies and 12 Assembly seats in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 10 towns and 1,293 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 50,99,371 including 26,81,209 are males and 24,18,162 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 902 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate of the district was 29.43% out of which 29.09% were males and 29.82% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 80.14% and 19.42% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,285 persons per sq. Kms. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Urdu with 92.33% and 7.33%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,55,753 out of which 82,834 were males and 72,904 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 19,803 out of which 12,596 were males and 7,206 were females.
The livelihood of most of the natives is based on agriculture. The core agricultural crops of the district are rice, sugarcane, jute, lentils, litchi, mangoes, etc. The industries of the district are also contributing in its economy to a great extent. Sugar factory and button factory are the two main factories of the district. In the year 2011-12 the Gross Domestic Product of the district was Rs. 9,45,090 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,03,950 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2011-12 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 8,51,650 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,46,470 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
The Central University of Bihar was established on 13th June, 2012 at Motihari in the district. This is the second central university in the state. Most of the colleges for higher learning in the district are affiliated to B.R.A Bihar University. The College of Ayurvedic and Unani Medicine (Homeopathy Medical College, Motihari) imparts medical education. The most reputed engineering college in the district named as Motihari College of Engineering is affiliated to the recently formed Aryabhatta Knowledge University. As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 55.79% including 65.34% are males and 45.12% are females. The number of literates in the district is 22,76,957 including 14,07,603 are males and 8,69,354 are females.
Radha Mohan Singh, an eminent Indian politician and a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was born on 1st September, 1949 in the district. He was the president of BJP's Bihar State unit from 2006 to 2009. He has been elected as Member of Parliament for several times-in 11th Lok Sabha, 13th Lok Sabha 15th Lok Sabha and 16th Lok Sabha from the Purvi Champaran constituency. At present he holds the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture of India in Narendra Modi led central government.
Now-a-days, Bihar is also growing as a tourists place. The districts of the state have some sets of tourist spots which allures many travellers from different parts of the world. The historical importance of Bihar is cannot be denied. The biggest ever Buddhist Stupa “at Kesaria in East Champaran district have declared by ASI officials that the district has the proud privilege of housing the tallest ever-excavated Stupa in the world. The Ashokan Pillar of Areraj sub division is also known as “Stambh dharma lekh” which height is 36 ½ feet above the ground. Gandhi Memorial was built in the memory of the Father of the Nation. The memorial pillar of it has been designed by the famous artist of Santiniketan Mr. Nand lal Bose. Areraj, a centre of Hindu pilgrims is situated 28 km. south west from Motihari. The famous age old Someshwar Nath Mahadev Temple is the identity of the place. The village of Madhopur-Govind in east Champaran district is popularly called as the “land of peacock”. There are nearly 500 peacocks in the place.