I am extremely disappointed that a place as amazing as this one is hidden away from the public eye. Thus, I have decided that it’s time to raise awareness among people about this heaven less known about!
During my holidays I decided to dwell deeper and research further into a place shielded from the popular eye. I landed in the West Champaran District of Bihar (around 200 km from Patna). I’m sure that you must be familiar with the term ‘Champaran Satyagraha‘; the first movement towards India’s freedom struggle started from the Champaran District of Bihar which ascertained the title “Mahatma” to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. In the year 1917, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Rajendra Prasad among others, visited the place and launched the Satyagraha Movement.
During their visit to Champaran, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Rajendra Prasad among others lived in Hazarimal Dharamshala where the foundation for Satyagraha Movement was laid. The place is said to be the residence of a person named Hazarimal who invited them to stay in their residence, to hide from the British and plan for a successful movement.
Champaran is located in the northern part of India and shares its international borders with Nepal. The quality of indigo in this land was high and heavily demanded by the British. But the farmers were reluctant to cultivate the same, as once Indigo is cultivated, it damages the land and extracts its minerals which result in loss of fertility, thus ensuring no further plantation of cash crops, let alone livelihood crops. Even after 73 years of Independence, there is slow growth in West Champaran district. Though the area regained its fertility after long, the place couldn’t grow much. The highlighted reasons were the destruction caused by the British and the ignorance of governing bodies.
Besides all the history, the West Champaran district is a beautiful destination for nature lovers. The area covers a large village and is surrounded by forests. Popular destinations include Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve (surrounded by mountains, forests and shares borders with Nepal) and Thori (another forested and mountain area). The best part about this place is that the development era couldn’t hamper nature’s lap. The district includes the one major city Bettiah (district headquarters) and 3 towns including Bagaha, Narkatiaganj and Ramnagar. The most favoured Bihar tourism destination was also the land of Valmiki and his ashram where Sita is said to have resided with her sons Luv and Kush. So, the next time you plan to visit Patna, don’t forget to visit Champaran because words can only make you imagine and you need to see it to believe its beauty!
When you look at the educational data, you may have a questionable opinion on the place as it lies at the bottom of the list. The major reason is proximity; it takes a lot of time for trends to penetrate the district. The district has been largely ignored by the governing bodies. The channels or networks arriving from Central Bihar to Champaran boast of a long, exhausting journey compiled with several breaks. The funds were never allocated properly, however, these days the district is getting attention due to the satyagraha movement. Most of the people in Bihar are not yet aware of the qualities of this place, they look at the data but don’t talk about the problems and the reasons behind it.
Most of the areas in West Champaran are either mid-town or rural areas; as the system lacked funding, efforts were not made by the local bodies. The people in such villages need awareness about the importance of education. However, a lack of education doesn’t affect the people’s hearts in West Champaran as they have distinct moral values, logical thinking and understanding. Formal education never teaches us moral values or understanding, but these virtues make their lives smoother. Sadly, I have seen the opposite scenario in the areas with higher education. People have knowledge, but seem to have lesser moral values and understanding. Knowledge with pride and no moral values cannot make a beautiful life. I am not against formal education, rather supportive of the importance of moral values and understanding as I feel it is diminished in the developing areas.
This article travelled from the history of independent India to the actual insights of West Champaran district of Bihar and I have tried my level best to give the actual introduction of what West Champaran is, as very few people actually know the truth behind it. I have tried to raise awareness about this heavenly place, and focus on tourism. For me, West Champaran has a great package of memories which I can’t describe. I found a gem of virtues in this village. For example: a person may learn theoretically and become a manager, but he cannot build a business community without logical understanding and giving importance to moral values. The latter, I see in West Champaran.