Motihari is a town steeped in history. When the British carved out the district of Champaran from Saran in the later part of the 19th century, Motihari was made its headquarters. After the creation of West Champaran district with Bettiah as its headquarters in 1972, Motihari continued as the headquarters of truncated East Champaran.
Motihari holds its eminence as the birthplace of famous writer George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, and of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha. Places in and around Motihari have had an older link: Buddhism. The world’s tallest stupa is at Kesaria, just an hour from Motihari. Motihari, thus, is a crucible of both the Gandhi and Buddhist circuits. A museum and a stone pillar are there to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s links with Motihari. Gandhiji’s courageous statement given before a magistrate is inscribed here on a stone.
The 48-ft tall Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Gandhi was produced before the court of the then sub-divisional magistrate on April 18, 1917 for violating prohibitory orders.
Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was experimented on the soil of Motihari in the then Champaran district and, thus, Champaran has been the starting point of India’s independence movement launched by Gandhi.
BEST TIME OF VISIT : October to March
The following are the main places of tourism –
- Buddhist Stupa: Located in Kesariya near Motihari, it is known to be the largest Buddha Stupa in the world.
- Gandhi Sangrahalaya: A leading centre of educational and cultural activities, showcasing an exotic collection of works of several great leaders, photographs and relics related to the Champaran Satyagraha.
- George Orwell Monument: The birthplace of one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century and the author of several famous books, George Orwell.
- Ashokan Pillar, Lauriya, Areraj: A 36 feet high pillar, bearing the edict of Emperor Ashoka and has been declared as a protected monument.
- Areraj Temple: A popular temple at Arereaj near Motihari, dedicated to Lord Shiva and draws huge crowds during the Shravani Mela.
- Champaran Satyagrah Park : The Champaran Satyagraha Shatabdi Park situated at the district headquarter town of East Champaran district.The Park has been constructed by the Urban Development and Housing department at a cost of Rs two crore to commemorate the Champaran Satyagraha.