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Biratnagar Nepal

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Biratnagar Nepal

Biratnagar is a sub metropolitan city in south east Nepal which is considered as the second largest city after Kathmandu. In Nepali "Birat" means big and "Nagar" means city. Biratnagar has given many influential leaders in Nepalese politics including Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Girija Prasad Koirala, Manmohan Adhikari and Kirtinidhi Bista. Biratnagar is an industrial power house of Nepal with most of the country's industries located in and around its suburbs. It is in Koshi Zone - one of the fourteen administrative zones of Nepal and is also the district capital of Morang district. Its geographical location is 26°28'60"N 87°16'60"E.
Since it is situated in the Terai- north-most section of the Gangetic plains of South Asia, the lands are very fertile and hence Biratnagar has traditionally been an agricultural hub and is home to many agriculture based industries of the country. It is located near the border of India and is therefore a major center for trade and commerce with India. Biratnagar is linked withKathmandu by roadways and airways. Biratnagar Airport is the regional hub for vital air services serving the Eastern part of the country.


Demography

According to 2009 census, the total population of the city of Biratnagar was 696,636. Biratnagar's demography chiefly consists of ethnic groups like Pahadis, Madhesis, Marwaris, Tharus and it consists a significantly large Muslim population in Nepal. By percentage of population most people follow Hinduism followed by Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Christianity.


Transport

The major mode of transport to the city is road transport. It is well connected to other parts of the country through buses. Biratnagar is also well connected to Kathmandu and some hilly places by air transport. Biratnagar airport is one of the busiest airports in Nepal with most flights to Kathmandu.
It is also easy to travel to and from India by trains from the bordering Indian city of Jogbani. There are direct trains to the city of Kolkata and the Indian capital New Delhi from Jogbani. In 2008, a survey for a railway extension from India was done.[2] It was completed in 2009.
The best way of getting around the city is by using cycle rickshaws. There are also auto rickshaws running short distances but they don't operate in the main market area. For easy roundabout of the city there are tempos and mini bus.

Tourism

Biratnagar is not a typical tourist city but is a great hub to explore the interesting places in eastern Nepal. However, there are many things to do in the city. You can stroll along the unique market which is along a straight road and branches out and savor the street food.
For the food lovers, don't miss the tasty barbecues (called "sekuwa" in Nepali) and other local delicacies or satisfy your sweet tooth with tasty sweets in one of many sweet shops in the main market.
As a hub for your travel plans in Eastern Nepal, Biratnagar is ideal. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, is a mere 90 minute drive from the city and is famous for its wildlife, especially for bird-watching enthusiasts. It is also home to the endangered wild buffaloes called "Arna" in Nepali.
The largest rhododendron forests of Tinjure, Milke and Jaljale can be reached in about 3–4 hours. Scenic treks with views of Mt. Makalu and Kanchenjunga can be started from the small towns of Basantapur or Tumlingtar.
The beautiful tea gardens of Ilam is just 4 hours drive away. Another place of interest is the hilly district of Dhankuta with its orange orchards.

Religious Fare

Biratnagar is equally famous for its high-spirited festival celebration. In Dashain, Nepal's biggest festival, large number of people including youths visit the Kali Mandir, a temple which lies in the heart of the town. Also famous is Tihar in Biratnagar, festival of lights, when the residents line their homes with diyo (an earthen oil lamp), candles and decorative electrical lamps during the two days of celebration. Krishna Astami (Birthday of Krishna) is a festival which is heavily celebrated in Biratnagar. Thousands of people gather on that day to pull the Holy Cart (Rath) which goes around the city. This event is termed as the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey). Traffic will be hault for one or two hours on that day. It is believed that the Holy Cart (Rath) was driven by Lord Krishna. So, people keep young child in the Holy Cart as a symbol of Krishna and pull the Cart with joy to celebrate the Birthday of Lord Krishna. The Cart (Rath) is very big and heavy, so needs hundreds of people to move. It has generator to run if required to move fast. It has brakes to stop as it has to stop at many places to allow people to worship the Lord. Some people will be in the Cart (Rath) to distribute prasad (fruits) to the people. The Holy Cart will be followed by many smaller carts which are pulled by oxen. people in the smaller carts play the music and sing hymns with joy and happiness. It is the most important festival for the people of Biratnagr. So, almost all the schools and offices close after 1pm Nepali time to let the believers and spectators attend the Rath Yatra (the Cart Journey).

Politics

Biratnagar, being the home and a political turf to Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal, has always been a fertile bed for emerging as well as established politicians. Leaders like Man Mohan Adhikari, Sailaja Acharya, Bharatmohan Adhikari and Mahesh Acharya all herald from this city. The man who has been elected prime minister the most number of times in Nepal, and in the world, Girija Prasad Koirala also hails from Biratnagar. He was Prime Minister of Nepal four times, serving from 1991 to 1994, 1998 to 1999, 2000 to 2001, and from 2006 to 2008; he was also Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008. Biratnagar is the politically most active city in the modern history of Nepal. The first and the historical plane hijack which was to fund the political revolution also took place at the Biratnagar Airport. The hijack plan masterminded by Girija Prasad Koiralawas executed by Durga Subedi, Nagendra Dhungel and *"Basant Bhattarai". *"Operation Ganesh out, place hijack plan in" Biratnagar also had a king in the past whose name was Birat. There is a historical place near to the border of India where we could see the remains of the palace of Birat king. That place lacks the protection as it is in remote area and lacks proper transportation. The name "Biratnagar" for the city came after the name of the Birat King.

Education

Biratnagar is the centre of education in the eastern Development Region of Nepal. People in Biratnagar give more importance to education followed by business, industry and politics although Biratnagar was politically very active in the past. The teaching medium of education is English in all the private schools, colleges and universities whereas Nepali medium in government schools up to secondary level.

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