Pashchim Champaran district, a part of Tirhut division is a district of Bihar state with its administrative headquarters located at Bettiah town. Pashchim Champaran, came into existence on the 1st of December, 1977. The district got its name from the terms Champa and Aranya meaning a forest of Champa trees. In the year 1972 as a result of re-organization of the district in the state, the earlier Champaran district was divided in to two parts i.e. West Champaran and East Champaran district. Prior to that it was a sub-division of Saran district and later Champaran district was emerged with its head quarters as Bettiah. Bettiah was named after the Baint (Cane) plants available in this district.
Manoj Bajpayee, an eminent Indian film actor who works predominantly in Bollywood, Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema was born on 23th April, 1969 at Narkatiaganj in the district. He was honoured by National Film Awards for two times i.e. in 1999 and in 2004.
Geographically, the district lies between 27°15'N latitudes, 84°35'E longitudes and 85 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 17.30% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,228 sq. km. and it is surrounded by Uttar Pradesh state on the west, Gopalganj and East Champaran district on the south and Nepal on the north and east. The climate of this district is quite different from the other districts of Bihar. Its climate is cooler and damper. Most of rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1745.5 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district has 3 sub-divisions namely Bettiah, Bagaha, and Narkatiaganj which are further divided into 18 developmental blocks. There are 2 Lok Sabha and 9 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 8 towns and 1,483 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
The total population in the district is 39,35,042 including 20,61,110 are males and 18,73,932 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 936 females for every 1000 males. In the year 2001 -2011 the population growth rate in the district was 29.29% out of which 28.75% were males and 29.90% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 77.44% and 21.98% of the total population. The population density in the district is 753 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Hindi and Urdu with 95.23% and 2.97%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 89,237 including 44,010 were males and 45,227 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 8,408 including 5,118 were males and 3,290 were females.
Most of the people of the district earn their livelihood from agriculture. Some of its chief agricultural crops are paddy, sugarcane, cane reeds, potato, maize, different type of pulses, etc. The district is scantily industrialized only a few agro-based industries are found in it. Some sugar mills, rice mills are established at many places in the district. Moreover some cottage industries based on local available natural and agricultural produce in order to satisfy the local needs such as basket, rope, mat weaving etc. are very popular. In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 6,11,912 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,64,156 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2011-12 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 5,51,372 lakh at current price and Rs. 3,23,588 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
There are a few schools in the district, which are amongst the best in North Bihar. The district has numerous government primary schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, constituent colleges and one Industrial Training Institute. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 55.7% out of which 65.59% are males and 44.69% are females. The number of literates in the district is 17,59,481 out of which 10,91,226 are males and 6,68,255 are females.
Gauri Shanker Pandey, a distinguished Indian politician and a former Minister of Bihar was born on 9th August, 1935 at Bettiah in the district. He represented Bettiah constituency in Bihar assembly for several times such as 1969-72, 1977-82, 1982-85 and 1985-90. Moreover, he served in Bihar Government in various ministerial portfolios including Road, Transport, Civil Aviation, Law, Excise, Environment and Forest. He was a famous leader of Indian National Congress party.
The district has a great variety of tourist places which allures travelers from across the country. Triveni Confluence, a place located in the north-western part of the district has two most beautiful places to see namely Panchanand and Sonaha. Bhitiharawa Ashram of the district is the place from where Mahatma Gandhi started his freedom movement which became famous as 'Champaran Satyagraha' in the India history. Bawangarhi is a place situated at a distance of 8 kms from Triveni. The term Bawangarhi means 52 forts and the name is given to the remains of some old fortifications near Darwabari in Bagaha-II block. Sumeswar fort is situated on the summit of the Sumeswar hills, at a height of 2,884 feet above sea level, in Ramnagar block. From this fort one can also enjoy the mesmerising natural beauty of Nepal. Some other notable centres of attraction in the district are Nandangarh and Chankigarh, Ashoka Pillars, Valmikinagar, Bhiknatohari, Saraiya Man, etc.