Purnia district General information

Purnia district is one of the thirty-eight districts of Bihar state, India. The town of Purnia is the administrative headquarters of this district. Purnia district is a part of Purnia Division. The district extends from the Ganges river northwards to the frontier of Nepal.


Under Mahommedan rule Purnea was an outlying province, yielding little revenue and often in a fluid situation. Its local governor raised a rebellion against Suraj-ud-daula in 1757, after the capture of Calcutta.

Purnea is famous for its uniquely designed Ramakrishna Mission where Durga Puja in the month of April is celebrated with due devotion and honour. Purnea is also famous for the oldest temple of Mata Puran Devi, which is hardly 5 km away from the main city. There is a theory that Purnia got its name from that temple. Some people believe that many years ago Purnea was Purna–Aranya which stands for "complete jungle", and that's why it has got the name Purnea. There is also Darghah of Hazrat MUSTAFA JAMALUL HAQUE BANDAGI,Chimni Bazar,Purnia City Purnia. The 'Dargah and Khanquah Alia Mustafia' is located hardly 7 km away from main city. It is also famous for spirituality, communal harmony and Suffism. Its history goes 400 years back, when Hazrat Bandagi came from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh visiting several Khanqahs and Dargahs from all over India such as the Pandawa Sharif, the Bihar Sharif etc. The Darghah is playing a major role to spread culture, education, kindness, secularism and spiritual spirits in the North East Bihar since its eshtiblishment. Deorhi at Garbanili (Purnea) still has the ruins of Kala Bhawan the ancient Darbar (Palace) of Raja Kalanand Singh, where his successor still lives.

Location , Area & Geography

The district of Purnia, as it existed in 1951 with an area of 12784.64 sq. km. and a population of 25,25,231 has been pre-eminently an agricultural district.After separating the Katihar District, the area of Purnia District was 7943 sq. km. and accounts for 4.56 % of the state area. In the year 1990 , the district was split two more districts namely Araria and Kishanganj. Now the present area of the Purnia District is 3202.31 sq. kms. , Bordering Araria district in north, Katihar and Bhagalpur district in South, West Dinajpur district of W.B. and Kishanganj district of Bihar in east and Madhepura and Saharsa District in the west. It is situated between 25 degree 13 minutes 80 seconds and 27-degree 7 minutes 59 seconds north latitude and between 86 degree 59 minutes 6 seconds and 87-degree 52 minutes 35 seconds east longitude.

One may access Purnia District using Road & Train services . The district is connected with National Highway No. - 31 and the nearest Railway Station is Katihar which has linked with most of the vital places of the country .  Private as well as State Govt. daily Bus services are available for Uttar Pradesh , Bengal , Assam , Orisa and Jharkhand . People of these states may reach here using bus services .
The total population of the district as per 1991 census is 18,78,885 of which male and female populations are 9,87,241 and 8,91,644 respectively. The district has 2,34,478 (Male = 1,21,271 & Female = 1,13,207) of Scheduled Caste population and 82,145 (Male = 42596 & Female = 39549) of Scheduled Tribe population. The population under age group 0-6 is 404360 (Male = 205818 & Female = 198542) . The literacy rate of the district is 28.52 % (Male = 38.92 % & Female = 16.8 %) . The sex ratio is 903 (903 females per 1000 males) .The district now consists 4 sub divisions, 14 Blocks, 251 Gram Panchayats, 1296 villages, 1 Nagar Parishad & 2 Nagar Panchayats.

Hindi is the main language of the district; however, dialects are in vogue in different parts of the district for day-to-day use. People of Amour and Baisa blocks, speak Surjapuri. In the eastern side of Baisi block people speak Polia. Chhika-Chhiki or Angika is spoken in Rupouli and Bhawanipur and some part of Dhamdaha, K.Nagar and Purnia East Block. In Banmankhi , B.Kothi and some part of Dhamdaha. K.Nagar people speak a mix of Maithili and Chhika-Chhiki. Santhali people speak Santhali. In the east and South Baisi block Bangla is also spoken. Out siders speak their own dialects.

The river Kosi and Mahananda and their tributaries crosses different parts of the district. The tributaries are Parman, Kankai, Soura, Faryani etc. These Himalayan originated rivers and tributaries sub-merge with river Ganges.

The tract of land is plain, however, north and west part is above the south as well as the eastern side of the land of the district.

The district has a moist humid climate. The temperature is highest in May, when mercury shoots up to 45.5 degree Celsius and lowest in January when it is only 8.8 degree Celsius. The Wettest months of the year are July and August. The average annual rainfall in the district is 1411.5 mm which is the highest rainfall in the state of Bihar. The winter starts in November and continues up to February. Summer starts from April and lasts up to June. Rains start from 15th May and cool the temperature. Purnia is popularly known as poor man's Darjeeling.

The soil of the district can be called alluvial or Sandy loam. As the river Kosi popularly known as "River of sorrow" used to flow in the plains of district freely and used to change its course frequently from time to time, the district has the Soil by recent alleviation. The principal crops grown are paddy, Jute, Wheat, Maize, Moong, Masoor, Mustard linseed, Sugar cane and Potato. Jute is the most important and major cash crop of the district. Jute cultivation plays very important role in the economic uplift of the farmer. Paddy occupies the primary position and has got more than 50 % of the gross cropped area. The soil and climate of the district is suitable for fruit plants like coconut, Banana, Mango, Guava, Lemon, Jeck Fruit, Pineapple and banana.

The district of Purnea possesses a larger number of livestock. Green grasses are available throughout the year. Purnea district produces largest number of poultry and eggs in the state of Bihar. The district has a suitable environment for pig production. But the local animals required for I.R.D. Programme. The State Govt. has established one frozen semen Bank at Maranga cattle farm. Frozen semen of exotic breed is being utilised for cross breeding the local cows of the district. Goat keeping is very popular among poorest section of people.

The district has one Sugar mill at Banmankhi and 716 other small-scale industries. In spite of availability of raw materials and abundance of laborers, no marked improvement has been made in the field of rural and cottage industries.

There are 101 bank branches of different commercial, Rural and co-operative banks in the district as on 01/04/2000.

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