West Champaran is an administrative district of the state of Bihar, located in eastern India. The district is headquartered in Bettiah, which is 225 km north-west of Patna, the capital city of Bihar. Since the district shares its border with the neighboring country Nepal, the place has gained international importance. As a result, the number of tourists visiting the district has increased considerably, which is a boon for its tourism. West Champaran offers a host of tourist attractions.
West Champaran is home for about 23.3 lakh people and is spread over an area of 5,228 sq. km. Large portion of the district is highly fertile. Gandak or (also known as Narayani) and Sikrahana (or little Gandak) are the two important rivers flowing through this district. Agriculture is the main source of income for majority of people in the district. Many types of crops including maize, sugarcane, wheat, barley, arhar etc. are grown here. Bettiah is the agricultural trade center of West Champaran, which is also known for the production of brass, metal ware and leather goods.
The entire district is dotted with a number of places that hold religious significance. According to Hindu mythology, West Champaran was the abode of Sita, the banished wife of Lord Ram. Maharishi Valmiki is also said to have taken refuge near Sangrampur. The district is also mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, as a kingdom of Virat. According to a legend, Pandavas spent the last year of their 12-year exile period within the territory of Virat.
West-Champaran deserves special mention in the history of freedom struggle of India. Mahatma Gandhi agitated the cause of freedom in the residents of this district. Bhitiharwa Ashram, a village in the Betia sub-division under Gaunaha block, was a center for social work chosen by Gandhiji, during his stay in Champaran in 1917. Hazarimal Dharamshala, located at Bettiah in the Lal Bazar area, was regarded as the ‘epicenter’ of Satyagraha movement and a campsite for Gandhiji and his companions.
Lauriya Nandangarh is a town located 28 km northwest of Bettiah, the headquarters of West Champaran district of Bihar. Lauriya derived its name from a pillar (Laur) of Mauryan emperor Ashoka,
Places to See in West Champaran
West Champaran, an administrative district of the state of Bihar, is home for a number of tourist attractions. Nature’s scenic beauty is unfolded in its lush green forests and highly fertile plain. A wide variety of wild animals and birds are sheltered in the dense forests and wildlife sanctuary of the district.