Biratnagar in my memory

Biratnagar is second largest city of Nepal, located in the South-Eastern part of Nepal. In this city, I spent best days of my life. Here are few things that I want to show you.
birds eye view of Biratnagar
birds eye view of Biratnagar

Industrial city of Biratnagar, mythically, is known as the Kingdom of King Birat, one of the character of Mahabharata. Biratnagar is 70 meters above sea level and temperature ranges from 0 degree centigrade in winter to 42 degree centigrade in summer. According to National Census of 2001, population of Biratnagar is 166,674. (see http://www.biratnagarmun.org.np/ also)

Biratnagar Airport
Biratnagar Airport
Biratnagar is 550 km away from Kathmandu. Biratnagar is also connected by air and it takes about 30 minutes to reach there from Kathmandu. Airlines fly several times a day from Kathmandu to Biratnagar. It costs me Rs. 4,200 for one way ticket (now cost has increased due to increase in oil price) to go to Biratnagar and later I found that 25 percent discount is given to the individuals who work in UN/INGOs by some airline companies. This was good news because I had to fly frequently but it became sad news by the time I got unemployed.
Airport Chowk
Airport Chowk
On the left hand side of the highway, we can see a sign-board which shows the way to the Airport. But if we go straight then we can reach to a place from where we can go to many beautiful places in the Eastern Region i.e. Itahari. From Itahari, if we go west we will reach Kathmandu; if we go east then we will reach Jhapa and Ilam; if we go north then we’ll reach Dhankutta and Terathum but if we move back (i.e. South) then we will be back to Biratnagar. From Airport Chowk if we go south then we’ll reach Jogbani, India in 15-20 minutes (by vehicle).
Bargachhi Chowk
Bargachhi Chowk
To see Biratnagar, we have to come back i.e. we have to go south from the Airport Chowk. On the way towards south, we will meet Bargachhi Chowk. Everyone in Biratnagar knows Bargachhi Chowk. I was expecting Bar gachhi (i.e. Banyan tree in local language) out there but I did not see any. This was the point (from Bargachhi Chowk to Roadcess Chowk) from where curfew was declared during Madhesh Movement.
Mahendra Chowk
Mahendra Chowk

After Bargachhi Chowk, we’ll reach Mahendra Chowk. Before Mahendra Chowk, there is another point called Saurachiya.  Particularly, west side of highway is called Saurachiya and this area is dominated by Muslim community. On my stay in Biratnagar, I was invited for the first time in my life to celebrate Bakar Id by a local.  Main market is on the eastern side of Saurachiya. Market area are – Gudri, Traffick Chowk, Hanuman Chowk, Jaljala Chowk, Ram-Janaki Chowk, Sani Mandir and so on. Back to Mahendra Chowk, this Chowk now a days is known as Ganatantra (which means Republic in English) Chowk. If you notice in the photo, there is a pillar and there used to be a statue of King Mahendra. I guess, it must have been destroyed during Peoples’ Movement II. At that time many statues in many cities of Nepal has been destroyed. This pillar without any statue is a symbol of downfall of glorious days of Panchayat period and monarchy.

Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirila
Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala

On the 29 March 2008, it was reported that two men on a motorcycle threw four bombs at Choti mosque in Saurachiya. Three bomb blast inside the mosque, killing two people and injuring others. Hindu extremist group called the Nepal Defense Army claimed responsibility of bombing. This event was very sad for us.  Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister at that time condemned such kind of act. Sad thing is that I haven’t heard anything concrete happened to culprits. By the way, Biratnagar is home town of Girija Prasad Koirala.

Bus Park
Bus Park

This is Bus Park. From here, buses goes to different places but I have special memory attached with Bus Park. We used to go there to have our lunch. There are small resturants where they serve fresh dal-bhat-tarkari-achar in very cheap price. Sometime people gets annoyed with the dirtyness of the area but there are few places which are clean enough to eat.

Roadcess Chowk
Roadcess Chowk

This is Roadcess Chowk. According to a local friend of mine, road is road and cess means end and that’s how it got the name. The road where it gets end i.e. end of the highway. But these days, highway does not ends there – it ends at the boarder. Two roads lead to border, one is Malaya Road and other is Rani Path.  Piller in this Chowk also shows the glorious days of Panchayat and this pillar was made on the 25th Aniversary of Panchayat. This is also in half destoryed situation.

Morang Campus
Morang Campus
Morang Campus is one of the biggest Campus in Eastern Region. It used to be called Mahendra Morang Campus but these days it is known as Morang Campus. Story is same, Mahendra is deleted because it reminds King Mahendra. So far as I know, most of the government schools and colleges in Nepal were named either Mahendra or Ratna (Queen Ratna, King Mahendra’s wife) because most of them were built during Panchayat period.  I don’t know whether it is a matter of budget or interest Morang Campus has not changed it’s name on board, they just scratched the name “Mahendra Morang Campus” eveywhere.
Malaya Road
Malaya Road

When British left India, they had an trilateral (British, India and Nepal) agreement on recruitment of Nepali in their Army (Gurkha Army). Some choose to serve for India and some choose to serve for British. To take Gurkha Army from Nepal to UK, they need to go via Calcutta through ship. So, British built this road to connect Nepal with Calcutta.  (I heard this story from my father.) Even through Gurkhas were serving for British, they had to go and work in Malaysia. That is why when they were asked where they worked, they used to say ‘Malaya’. And this road takes people to Malaya that is why the name of the road became Malaya Road. Malaya Road ends in Rani Bhanshar, Jogbani.

Rani Bhanshar, Jogbani
Rani Bhanshar, Jogbani

From Jogbani, Indian goods worth billion rupees are imported to Nepal from this point everyday. Eveyday weekend, women from Nepal goes there to spend their earning on saaris, salwar-kameez and household goods. Evey weekend, if I’m home I stay in the roof-top and see people going and coming back from Jogbani. At that time, I used to think, if we could make something for Indians to spent their money in our country as well.

Biratnagar Jute Mill
Biratnagar Jute Mill

On the way back from Jogbani, instead of taking Malaya Road we can take Rani Path. Rani Path has a lots of stories to tell. There are lot of industries in both sides of the road. Among them Biratnagar Jute Mill is the oldest industry of Nepal. I came to know from my neighbour (rickshawpuller) that Girija used to work there and he has done some kind of labour movement.

Bhattimode
Bhattimode

Alas, this is my favourite place in Biratnagar because my home is here. Bhattimode has both dark and light side. Few years back, in this chowk two people were killed in the clash between Madheshi and Pahade. Last year as well, almost a clash happened in this chowk between Madheshi and Pahade right after the 18 days Madhesh Movement. But in daily life, Madhishi and Pahadi are living in harmony and they help each other in their need. Their subsistence depends on each other. Local guys sing songs of love in the evening and exchange handshakes in the morning.

Photoes by : Neem Darlami . Sirjana Subba and http://www.islamonline.net (for Girija Prasad Koirila)

50 thoughts on “Biratnagar in my memory”

  1. I am really impressed with your virtual tour of Biratnagar.It is really a nice place to be. Tin Tolyia is massive part of biratnagar.It is because was formed by combining 3 Toles.It is just a local saying but I cannot confirm it through history. So it is called Tin Tolyia. It nice and quite place .People from all races live in here.
    Biratnagr market is real buzz. If you are local and walking down you tend to know most of the people walking in the street. It is a one way street so traffic is controlled during peak hours. You get see all kind of fast food restaurants The bazaar area has a real vibe.
    Thanks and well done.

    Like

  2. Hi
    Very nice blog. very infromatic and sincere about the places. i will defenately visit your lovely city one day in near future. we would like to you write some tour informations about the places in eastern nepal if you have time? we run a website about travel Information to Nepal. if you like to write someting please go to http://www.nepal1st.com and find out more.
    keep posting. keep informing.
    Kiran

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  3. I ran into your website accidentally when I googled Biratnagar. You have done a great job presenting a bird’s eye view of Biratnagar in your website. I just got back from Biratnagar a week ago and seeing those places I grew up, brought back past memories. It was very nostalgic to look at those pictures and remember my childhood there.
    Keep up the good job.

    RB
    Dallas, TX

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  4. All i can say is “Great Job” Thanks a lot for uploading the pics, and writing nice about Brt, I grew up there, but from past 6 years i haven’t been there.I loved the pics espicially the sunset on the side of Malaya road. It remains me my childhood days.. You should upload some pictures of Arniko Boadring school, and Market place in Traffic chowk. Keep writing about Brt.
    Thanks

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  5. Hi Srijana,
    thank you very much for posting virtual tour of Biratnagar.I’m also from Biratnagar.I did my graduation from Morang College and S.L.C (1974)from Janata.you remind me my those days.I wonder where is Bhatti mode is it in Rani? My house is also at Bhatta Mode,Pokhariya.You should have mention about Adarsha High School which gave 4 Prime minister of Nepal.Though Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital but politically BiratNagar is actual capital coz all party leaders start their movement and campaign from there including Gyanenra did his first abhinandan samaroh at Sahidmaidan.
    please keep on writing ,good luck and god bless you
    Prakash Bhattarai
    LONDON

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  6. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you very much for providing interesting information about Biratnagar. I’m not from Biratnagar that’s why I don’t know much about Biratnagar. I spent some months in Rani (Bhattimode), Biratnagar that’s why I had some knowledge about Biratnagar and got emotionally attached with the place and people out there.

    Please keep on posting your comments and interesting facts about Biratnagar.

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  7. Wao.o.o……………o what a nice posting virtual tour of Biratnagar.At this situation i really felt to like to come Biratnagar. Staying near Biratnagar i could not go to biratnager. But i hope i will surely go to Biratnagar.

    Thanks Govinda
    From K.S.A.

    By: Gobinda Rai on March 27, 2010
    at 1:45 pm

    Reply

    Wao.o.o……………o what a nice posting virtual tour of Biratnagar.At this situation i really felt to like to come Biratnagar. Staying near Biratnagar i could not go to biratnager. But i hope i will surely go to Biratnagar.

    Thanks Govinda
    From K.S.A

    Like

  8. Dear Blogger,
    Commendable job! Keep it up! I did my I.Sc. and B.Sc. from the Mahendra Morang campus. I think I completed my B. Sc. in 1987. Currently I am living in the United States of America, but the pictures you have posted here reminded my good old days. That also reminded me of my many old friends whom I never have chance to meet them again since we parted. If any of you happen to be one of them please feel free to write at basnetprem@gmail.com

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  9. Namaste, Sirjana
    Actually at d moment ma BRT ma nai chu, achamma lagcha, purna rup ma brt changed bhayechaa, it’s polluted both with human and garbage, tyo chaa ni indra chitra mandir bhumi prasasan chowk ko, tyo ta chaina totally, traffic chowk to bata road samma chai one way traffic chaa, only for rikshaw and mbike aaru ta tehi to pollution bhedai bhed, mahangee yeti saro increased bhako chaa, lagcha paisa zata tatai tesai payenchaa, bato heryo bhane lagcha purai bato dust bin ho. Aba ta sabai well developed hunu paryo ni, kati din samma tehi purna pustak padne, purano coat lagauna siknu paryo ra naya pustak kinne athod garnu paryo, Jay nepal

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  10. Dear readers,

    Thank you for your encouraging comments and feedback.

    Vasant ji, I’m sorry I don’t know much about Biratnagar. I can keep the picture you’ve given to me but I cannot say anything about it because of my ignorance. But I’m happy with your encouragement. I encourage you to start your own blog with the issue that effects you the most with photos.

    Thank you again to all commentators.

    Like

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