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About Banka

Banka a part of Bhagalpur Division is located nearly 231 kms from State capital Patna towards west. Established in February, 1991 Banka is a small quaint little town with lots of natural beauty and greenery spread all around. Literally Banka means brave in Hindi and is located between two rivers Chandan and Orhani. It also forms the border of Bihar & Jharkhand State and is known for its religious places, the most famous being the Durga Mandir in Karharia. Every year hundreds of devotees come to Banka to offer prayers at this temple. Today, the city is fast developing in terms of Infrastructure & Commercialisation. Banka is considered as an agrarian economy with the city being also called as the Rice Bowl of Bihar. So plan a visit to this intriguing town of Bihar, and explore its unique culture, tourist places and flora and fauna.

About Banka
Mandar Parbat, Bounsi, Banka

Banka: Past and Present

Though the History of Banka might not date back to hundreds of years but it has an interesting connection to the freedom struggle with the district producing some very famous personalities. The great revolutionary Satish Prasad Jha who was one of the 7 martyrs who hoisted the Indian Flag on Patna Secretariat building on 11th August 1942 belonged to Banka District. Another freedom fighter who hailing from this region was Sri Ramni Mohan Singh; he was a social reformer and founder president of Banka Congress committee. His daughter Smt. Bindhyavasini Devi, became the first female MLA from Banka and served the district from 1957 to 1967. The concept of Socialism has always been an integral part of Banka constituency. Another famous name from Banka was Late Shri Digvijay Singh who Singh served as a Member of the Parliament of India five times and also as a Union Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government during 1999–2004 and in Chandrashekhar Government during 1990–1991. After gaining Independence Banka became a part of Bihar and has shown remarkable growth in all areas. Putul Kumari, the widow of Late Shri Digvijay Singh is now the Member of Parliament from this constituency.

Geography and Climate of Banka

Towards the northern part, Banka has a plain land but in the south there is an elevation, thus the district comprises of nearly 60% of hilly area. Chanan forms the main river of the district, and irrigates a large part of land in Banka district. Other rivers like Belharni and Barua flow in the north-western parts of Banka while Chanan & Orhni pass through the middle of the district. The streams of these rivers form a system which not only irrigates the kinds but also prevents floods due to the many embankments and channels constructed on them. These rivers are perennial drying up in summer but overflowing during the rainy season, making the plain area very fertile.

Introduction to Banka
Map of Banka

The climate of Banka District is mostly like the other northern plains of India, with hot summers and cold winters. The summer season extends from March to June and the cold season lasts from November to February. During summers as Kark Rekha passes through the District, the temperature rises up to 45° C with the average temperature ranging between 29 ° C to 44° C. In winter season the temperature is between 16 ° C to 27 ° C. The Monsoon season starts somewhere in the middle of June, with the average annual rain fall being nearly1200 mm. Banka also receives some rain in winters also.

Flora and Fauna in Banka

Banka District boosts of a rich Flora & Fauna with most of the area having dense forests, falling under the Bounsi Katoriya forest ranges. Lying on the hilly slopes the region has a wide variety of trees like Sal, Abuns, Asan, Kendu, Bahera, Kadam, Amaltas and Mahua. One can find Tasar worms being reared on Asan trees here. Different species of Acacia like Babul, Sirish and Sain Babul are found in these forests. Mango, Jack Fruit, Plantains, Date Plants, Plums, Jamun are the common fruits trees found in Banka District.

Among the animal species Monkeys mainly of Hanuman breed are a common sight in Banka. Wild Animals like Jackal, Dear, Lion, Bear, Leopards & Elephants can be found in the forests here. Birds like Wild Geese, Duck, Leel, Quail, Peacocks, Parrots, Hawks, and Doves are the inhabitants of the Katoriya & Chandan forest areas. In the rivers of Banka District have a rich variety of fish species like Rohu, Katla, Boari, Tengra. Bachwa, Jhinga, Pothi, etc.

Art, Handicrafts and Culture of Banka

Banka District in Bihar has a rich culture and is famous for its handicrafts & hand looms like the homemade Khadi and Silk. Katoria, Chorbe & Dumwara forms the renowned handloom destinations of Banka District. The region has a unique geo-climatic condition and forest area which is most suitable for rearing tussar cocoon. The talented women-folk of the district are engaged in traditional thigh-reeling of Tussar Silk, weaving Tussar Yarn and finally into beautiful fabrics. Promoted by Integrated Handloom Development Scheme (IHDS) of the Govt. of India the fabric is very popular globally and much appreciated by the designers. The residents of Banka are simple, hardworking and kind-hearted people who strongly believe in their traditions & customs. On festivals & special occasions they love to sing & dance and make merry. They main languages spoken in the region are Hindi, Maithili, Bihari, English and Urdu. People of different religions live together in total peace and harmony and present a spirit of brotherhood.

Festivals of Banka

Culture of Banka
Festivals in Banka

All major Indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Dusshera, Christmas, Raksha-bandhan and Id district are celebrated in Banka with much joy & fervour. Chath Pooja & Durga Pooja are the other main festivals which are very popular here and celebrated in the traditional way with lots of devotion & festivities. Fairs are also held here at the time of Kali Puja and Durga Puja. The famous Shravani Mela route passes from Banka district, lending it a festive and fair like atmosphere during those days.

Tourism in Banka

Banka District in Bihar is famous for its religious tourism, having many places which are of religious importance. Many devotees & pilgrims come here to pay homage & seek God’s blessings. October to March are the best months to visit Banka when the weather is quiet pleasant and good for vacations. The most famous attraction of Banka is the Durga Mandir in Karharia Mohalla. Another popular temple where people throng in large numbers is the Tara Mandir which is known for its cool & pure water having a sweet taste. Old Mandar Parvat (also called as Mandarachar Parvat in Puraan) is another tourist attraction in Banka, a very soothing & mystic place it has a Jain temple & a Vishnu Temple present close to each other. Jain & Hindu pilgrims thus flock to this region and take part in yatras & fairs organised here every year. A dense green forest area with a vibrant flora and fauna is an added attraction for tourists coming here and a boon for nature lovers. So plan a trip to this beautiful city of Banka which being well connected to other parts of the country can be easily reached.

Shopping in Banka

A trip to any city is not completed without some shopping; Banka also has a number of shops selling a variety of products. When in Banka do not forget to buy the beautiful locally weaved Tussar fabric which is a speciality of this region besides the usual fare. Many restaurants & eating joints are present in Banka where you can taste the local dishes and enjoy a quick break while shopping in the bazaars.

Agriculture & Economy in Banka

Economy in Banka
Agriculture in Banka

Banka has the advantage of being strategically located near the source of Raw material and having a many rivers like Chandan thus making it a favourite spot for coal based Power Plants and other Heavy Industry. Banka District is an agrarian economy having a very developed system of Agro product marketing. The main occupation of the people in Banka district is agriculture with Sugarcane being the most important non-food or cash crop. The farmers of the district grow sugarcane in abundance and the region has many mills producing (Gur ) Molasses from raw sugarcane. Banka also is a major rice growing & transaction center and is thus sometimes also called as the Rice Bowl of Bihar. Paddy, Wheat, Maize, Lentil, etc. are the other crops grown in Banka.

Transportation in Banka

Banka district is connected to rest of India by means of road, rail & air; G.T. Road connects the area to other nearby towns. One can also take a bus route via Jamtara when coming from West Bengal side. The nearest airports are Ranchi, Gaya, Patna & Kolkata from where to and fro flights are available to all major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Patna or Mumbai. The main Railway Station is Banka Railway Station and has many trains passing through thus connecting Banka by rail to other cities. To travel within the district autos, tempos & rickshaws are available easily.

Banka at a glance

State: Bihar
Municipal Area: 3,019 km2.
Blocks: Banka, Rajoun, Amarpur, Dhoraiya, Katoria, Bounsi, Shambhuganj, Barahat, Belhar, Chandan, Phulidumar, Kakwara
Languages Spoken: Bihari, Maithili, Hindi English and Urdu
Altitude: 79 m (259 ft) above sea level
Pin Code: 813102
Winter Temperature: 16 ° C to 27 ° C
Summer Temperature: 29 ° C to 44° C
STD Code: 91 6424
Average Annual Precipitation: 1200 mm
Population: Approx.: 1,608,773
Best Time to Visit: October to March

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