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Dharbanga, India – Home of the Ramayana

by Gunjan Priya

World travel begins with where you live and this guest post from Gunjan Priya highlights one of the most significant cities in India – Dharbanga, India – Home of the Ramayana.

Located in North Bihar in India, Darbhanga is a fascinating mixture of beauty, history and modernization. Hundreds of ponds, mango orchards, flowers and cattle add to its rural look on the one hand while black serpentine roads, the white buildings of Darbhanga Medical College and beautifully colored high rise hotels and other buildings indicate Darbhanga’s steps toward urbanization.

The original name of Darbhanga was ‘Dwarbang’ which literally means ‘gateway to Bengal.’ People link Darbhanga with the ancient epic Ramayana. Another name associated with Darbhanga is ‘Mithila’ which is originated from the belief that Goddess Sita, daughter of King Mithi was born in this region. Mithilanchal region consists of Darbhanga district, and the neighboring towns Samastipur and Madhubani.

Total population of Darbhanga is around 300,000 of which majority consist of Hindus while the others are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. People speak Maithili, Hindi, and most educated people can understand a little English too.

darbhnaga, India adventuresLocated in the alluvial plains of the Ganges River, it has several rivers – Kosi, Bagmati and Kareh– flooding the entire district of Darbhanga every year due to heavy Monsoon rainfall. Darbhanga experiences four seasons in a year. From November to February it is winter there, summer starts in May with hottest temperatures and June sets up with heavy rains. Thus, the best time to visit Darbhanga is from October to November and from February to April.

Darbhanga boasts of being the land of famous ancient Indian scholars like Vidyapati and Mandan Mishra.

The economy of Darbhanga is mainly based on cultivation, but the town area has art, craft, paintings, bakery products and cement factories too. The famous folk art– Madhubani paintings or Mithila paintings originated in this region and even today one can find several Madhubani painting and craft centers all across the town. It is a good source of income for people engaged in handicrafts.

A Local dry fruit called Makhana is another delicacy of Darbhanga. It is grown in ponds and contributes to major portions of the Town’s economy.

Spots to visit in Darbhanga

Darbhanga’ Kings Fort is a beautiful copy of Delhi’s Red Fort and still remains in its glorious color and strength. The local administration has used this fort for housing different colleges of Darbhanga University. Lotuses in ponds inside the fort give a heavenly look to this ancient city.

Temples are another beauty of this ancient town. Shyama Mai, Kalisthan are few famous temples here, where thousands of local people make pilgrimages every day.

Gunjan Priya, is a  freelance Journalist from India. She holds an M.A. in Geography and a PG Diploma in Journalism from New Delhi and loves writing, traveling and singing.

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5 thoughts on “Dharbanga, India – Home of the Ramayana

  • November 15, 2010 at 7:54 am
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    I really like the way Darbhanga’s beauty and history has been descripted in this post. It’s really a great thing when someone comes up with such a writing piece, especially about a lesser know place…

  • November 15, 2010 at 8:05 am
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    Good

  • November 15, 2010 at 8:57 am
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    wow….Its a great ..I love King Palace of Darbhanga..I used to go there ..spending hours at University Campus…with my favourite books…It was memorable moment for me,where i have enjoyed a lot with my college friends……

    Thanks a lot for sharing a beautiful experience about my motherland “Darbhanga “………..

    regards,

    Rashmi

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  • December 26, 2010 at 3:48 am
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    Thanks Gunjan for sharing this wonderful piece :)

    Darbhanga is indeed the bedrock of culture and civilization but with changing times, pace of urbanization is finding hard to preserve the character that this great down, once had.

    With jostling places and changing times,I can notice a faint picture of hues of cultural beauty dispersed in the myrad identity of city .

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