Culture & Heritage

Darbhanga : Heart of Mithilaanchal

Darbhanga is one of the important districts of North Bihar situated in the very heart of Mithilanchal – the fertile, alluvial plains of North India. Darbhanga was an ancient city of Mithila, which is an ancient cultural region of North India lying between the lower ranges of the Himalays and the Ganges River. The Nepal border cuts across the top fringe of this region. The Gandak and Kosi Rivers are rough western and eastern boundaries of Mithila. The name of the district has been derived from its head quarter and principal town, which is said to have been founded by Darbhangi Khan, who was fauzdar or military head of Tuglaq forces stationed at Urdu. It is also said that the
name Darbhanga was derived from Dwar-Banga or Dar-e-Bang meaning “The Gateway to Bengal”. The history of Darbhanga dates back to the Ramayana and Mahabharata periods. According to the vedic sources, the Videhas of
Aryan stock first migrated to the area from the banks of Saraswati in Punjab. They were guided to the east of Sadanira (Gandak river) by Agni, the God of Fire. Settlements were established and, thus, flourished the kingdom of Videhas-the Selfless. In course of time Videhas came to beruled by a line of Kings called Janaks. In this line of kings there was a very famous king named Mithi. To commemorate his greatness the territory was named as Mithila. Another famous king was Janak Sirdhwaja, Sirdhwaja, father of Sita. The legends speak of various learned men patgronized by Janak Sirdhwaja, who himself was an erudite scholar. Among them prominent were Yagyavalkya, who codified the Hindu law in his Yagyavalkya Smriti and Gautam, who had various valuable philosophical treatises to his credit. Traditions also speak of Kapil Muni’s relationship with this area that propounded the Sankhya philosophy. Association of this area with Pandavas also evident by the belief that they stayed here during there period of exile. The learned men like Vidyapati, Kumaril Bhatt, Mandan Mishra, Nagarjun, Vibhuti Bhoosan Bandopadhyaya and Vidushi Bharti belonged to this region. Under the British rule, Darbhanga was a part of Sarkar Tirhut upto 1875, when it was constituted into a separate district and Darbhanga Sadar, Madhubani and Samastipur were made three separate sub-divisions. Darbhanga became the divisional headquarters in 1972 when all its three sub-divisions got the status of separate districts. Thus the present Darbhanga district took place.
The glorious past has wide impact on the progressive present of the district. Darbhanga has been the land of Literature, Culture, Justice and Philosophy for centuries. Maithili language, spoken in this region is supposed as sweetest language in the world. Researchers used to come this place to study about this language.
The historical and cultural heritage of Darbhanga does establish this place on the tourism map. The fort, place and other numerous buildings and temples constructed by Maharaja Kameshwar Singh are known to be major tourism attractions in the city. The buildings of Lalit narayan Mithila University and Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, famous temples e.g. Shyama Mandir, Madhweshwar Mandir, Manokamna Mandir etc are the centres of knowledge, wisdom and Bhakti. Khankah Samarkandia, jama Masjid, Mirja Khan Talaab, Three Churh, Gurudwara etc are the symbol of brotherhood and secularism. Kusheshwarsthan is and important eco-tourism centre, where migratory birds used to come every year from different part of the country and other countries too.