|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Katihar Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Vijay Singh|
|• Total||3,057 km2 (1,180 sq mi)|
|Elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|• Main||Hindi, Urdu, Maithili, Surjapuri, Bengali|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Katihar|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Katihar|
Katihar is a city situated in the eastern part of the state of Bihar in India. It is the regional headquarter of Katihar district. It is one of the larger cities of Bihar and is known all over East India for its highly strategic railway junction.
Katihar, which was previously part of Purnia district, is part of the Mithila region. Mithila first gained prominence after being settled by Indo-Aryan peoples who established the Mithila Kingdom (also called Kingdom of the Videhas).
During the late Vedic period (c. 1100–500 BCE), Kingdom of the Videhas became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla. The kings of the Kingdom of the Videhas were called Janakas. The Mithila Kingdom was later incorporated into the Vajji confederacy, which had its capital in the city of Vaishali, which is also in Mithila.
Katihar is well connected to almost all major cities of the country due to the widespread railway network existing here. Katihar is also called "The Gateway of the North-East". Almost every train heading forward towards the major cities of North East India, such as Guwahati, Siliguri or Dimapur, is bound to pass through Katihar with the city being a major halt for most of these trains. Four Rajdhani Express trains are bound for Delhi from Dibrugarh and Agartala respectively and have their major halt in Katihar. Barsoi station is regulated under Katihar Junction. Millions of passengers from almost the entire Seemanchal region utilize Katihar junction everyday to reach to their desired destinations all over India. Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati, Lucknow, New Delhi, Mumbai, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Agartala, Jammu Tawi, Chandigarh, Tata Nagar, Bhubaneshwar, Vishakhapatnam, Varanasi and Ranchi are the major cities to which Katihar hosts trains. Katihar Junction railway station is thus an important station on the Indian railway map, and is one of the biggest junctions in entire East India. The number of platforms and passenger movements in Katihar are more than any of the other Tier-2 cities of India, such as Kota, Mathura or Siliguri.
Katihar is also the headquarters of Katihar Railway Division.
Katihar is not so well connected through road network to the neighbouring cities of Bihar and other neighbouring states due to its interior location. An excellent Highway NH 131A, however, connects it to Purnia, from where NH 27, NH 231 and NH 31 passes through or starts through.
The nearest airport is located at Purnia Airport near Purnea (30 km), but it is a airforce station. The nearest commercial airport is located at Bagdogra Airport (160 km) near Siliguri (West Bengal). However, recently the government has announced to open an air force base airport in Chunapur, Purnea to be allowed to use for commercial use. However, it is not operational yet.
Katihar has many education institutions. Some CBSE schools in city are:
Other important institutes:
Katihar Medical College and Hospital (KMCH) is a private medical college located in Katihar City suburbs and is recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI), one of the few medical schools in the Seemanchal region. It was established in 1987 and has been instrumental in providing medical care to the local people. The institute offers courses in MBBS and MD in different fields including biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.
As per the 2011 census, Katihar Urban Agglomeration had a population of 240,565. Katihar Urban Agglomeration includes Katihar (municipal corporation plus outgrowth) and Katihar Railway Colony (outgrowth). Katihar Municipal Corporation had a total population of 225,982, out of which 119,142 were males and 106,840 were females. It had a sex ratio of 897. The population below 5 years was 31,036. The literacy rate of the 7+ population was 79.87 per cent. Katihar is at 193th rank in terms of its population among the top 200 cities of India as per the 2011 census.
As every other Indian geographical area there is a special inclination towards movies and sports. There are several cinema halls.
A stadium named after Dr. Rajendra Prasad hosts many state level tournaments, including the Major Ashutosh Cricket Tournament, with teams participating from far and wide like Patna, Silliguri, Malda and Nepal. The tournament is a major spectacle in Katihar.
The youth are particularly interested in sports, and the city offers plenty of spaces to groom their talent. Open spaces like Rajendra Prasad Stadium, Maheshwari Academy Field, and Railway Field provides opportunities for youth to train and to engage in sports.
Katihar has a growing economy with most of its commercial activities limited to the city region. There are shops, showrooms, and restaurants all over the city. The railway junction generates revenue throughout the year which in turn boosts the economic activities of Katihar.
Katihar is a sub-cosmopolitan city with people from various communities and states having their residence in Katihar.
The lifestyle of people of Katihar is hence distinguishable from rest of the Seemanchal region. A mini mall named 1 India Mart has recently been constructed near Gurudwara and is a major attraction.
Many motorcycle companies have their showrooms in the city. Many private banks have also opened their branches in the city.
Generally in India, shops are closed on Sunday, but in Katihar they are closed on Tuesday. This is mainly because it is the biggest market in Seemanchal Region and people from the Mithila region and North-Eastern Bengal travel to Katihar for shopping.
The city of Katihar hosts one of the most extravagant Durga Puja and Kali Puja celebrations in entire Bihar and West Bengal. Many pandals come to the city during these periods. Artisans from Kolkata are called for statue work of goddess Durga and allies.
Katihar already has a significant Bengali population and this adds to the celebrations. There are lotteries and various competitions held all over the city by the Pandal hosting societies during this festive season of Katihar.
Most people read Hindustan, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, and The Telegraph. Bengali newspapers are also available for Bengali readers. KBC News broadcasts the local news on television. People tune into All India Radio for national news.
The rural blocks of Katihar, namely Manihari and Amdabad, are traversed through Ganges while the Kursela region is situated on the banks of Kosi region. Both of these rivers bring massive destruction to the livelihood of people in these rural areas. Kosi is also known as the Sorrow of Bihar due to its disastrous flowing frequency.
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