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Champaran is a historic region around , which now forms the East Champaran district, and the West Champaran district in Bihar. Champaran was part of erstwhile Bettiah Raj. Bettiah Raj's eighteen hundred square miles yielding a rental of almost 2 million rupees made it the second largest zamindari in Bihar belonging to a Bhumihar Brahmin family.


Champaran District was created in 1866. On 1 December 1971 it was split into two districts: Paschim Champaran and Purbi Champaran. The headquarter of Paschim Champaran district is at Bettiah. The headquarters of Purbi Champaran district is at Motihari. Purbi Champaran consists of six subdivisions and twentyseven blocks. Nepal forms its northern boundary, Sitamadhi and Sheohar are to the east while Muzaffarpur lies to the south and with part of Gopalganj bounds it on the west.


The name Champaran derives from Champa-aranya or Champkatanys. Champa or champaka means magnolia and aranya means forest. Hence, Champaranya means forest of magnolia trees. It is believed that the forest was named while its western portion was inhabited by solitary ascetics.


Ancient history

In the prehistoric period, Champaran constituted a part of the ancient kingdom of Videha. The Aryan Videhas settled east of the Gandak or Narayani river. Among the greatest of the Videha kings was Sirdhwaj Janak, an erudite scholar as well as the temporal and spirutal lord for his subjects. Yajnavalkya was...
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