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History of Sheohar

History of Sheohar

The district of Sheohar, which till the 1991 Census was a part of Sitamarhi district as one of its subdivisions, was elevated to the status of a district on 6th October, 1994 by the Government of Bihar vide its Notification No. 286. The district is situated in the northern part of Tirhut Division and lies on the extreme north region of the state of Bihar. It is surrounded on the north and east by the district of Sitamarhi, on the south by the district of Muzaffarpur and on the west by the district of Purba Champaran. It is the smallest district in the State of Bihar both in terms of size of population and total area of the district. The district has only one subdivision viz. Sheohar and five C.D. Blocks viz., Sheohar, Piprarhi, Purnahiya, Dumri Katsari and Tariyani Chowk. Sheohar is the only town in the district. There are altogether 53 panchayats comprising 203 villages in the district.

The geographical configuration and history of the district of Sheohar is very much in line with the history and geography of its parent district Sitamarhi. Before the reorganisation of the district, in post independent Bihar, the old district of Muzaffarpur was divided into three subdivisions with their headquarters at Muzaffarpur, Hajipur and Sitamarhi.The subdivisional headquarters of Sitamarhi was located at Sitamarhi town until 1935. The town of Sitamarhi faced one of the worst natural calamities in January, 1934 when it was rocked by a massive earthquake.The earthquake, which lasted for only one minute and a few seconds, had disastrous effects. Buildings were reduced to debris and fissures and depressions occurred all around.The roads of Sitamarhi were damaged extensively and the town was completely cut off for some time. Rail communication was dislocated and at many places railway lines were twisted and they lost the original alignment.The topography changed considerably and the town of Sitamarhi was so badly damaged that at one time it was feared that it would have to be abandoned as unsafe for rebuilding purposes. As a sequel to this havoc and apprehension, the subdivisional headquarters and courts were shifted to Dumra in 1936, five kilometres away from Sitamarhi town.Since then the subdivisional headquarters has continued at Dumra and even after the upgradation of the subdivision to the status of a district, the headquarters of the subdivision as well as the district is located at Dumra.

Sitamarhi is a sacred place in Hindu mythology. Tradition has it that Sita sprang to life out of an earthen pot while Raja Janak was ploughing his land somewhere near Sitamarhi town. A tank, called the Janaki-kund, is still pointed out as the place out of which she is said to have emerged. But Punaura, a village about five kilometres to south-west of Sitamarhi town, also stakes its claim as the birth place of Sita. The town, however, contains no relics of any archaeological interest.The temple of Janaki, i.e., Sita - the daughter of Raja Janak, is apparently modern and not more than 100 years old. It contains three stone figures with eyes of mother of pearl which represent Rama, Sita and Lakshman.The legend associated with the temple mentions, however, that it occupies an old site. It is said that Raja Janak excavated a tank at the place where Sita sprang to life and after her marriage set up the figures of Rama, Sita and Lakshman to mark the site.This tank is known as the Janaki-kund just to the south of the Janaki Mandir. In course of time, the land lapsed into a jungle until about 500 years ago, when a Hindu ascetic, named Birbal Das, came to know the site by divine inspiration where Sita was born. He came down from Ayodhya and cleared the jungle and found the images set up by Raja Janak. He built a temple over them and commenced worship of Janaki or Sita. The income of the temple is mainly derived from the offerings by the pilgrims. In the same compound there are three other temples of Hanuman, Mahadeo and Ganesh which are quite recent.The entire campus of these temples is popularly known as Janaki Asthan and is of great religious importance where hundreds of Hindu devotees go everyday and perform puja. Vivah Panchmi and Ram Navami, commemorating the marriage of Sita to Rama, and the birth of Ram respectively are celebrated at Sitamarhi every year. On these occasions people, mainly ladies from far and wide, throng Janakpur and Sitamarhi.On these two occasions the congregation is regaled with stories about the adventures of Rama who had conquered Lanka and killed the demon king Ravana. Religious dramas and dances depicting episodes from Rama’s life, known as Ramalila, are organised.


National Record 2012

Most comprehensive state website

Bihar became the first state in India to have separate web page for every city and village in the state on its website www.brandbihar.com (Now www.brandbharat.com)

See the record in Limca Book of Records 2012 on Page No. 217