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Home  >> Bihar >> Geography

Bihar

Capital Patna Area 94163
Population 82878796 Literacy Rate 0.00
Languages Hindi, Bhojpuri & Maithili
Natural Resources Forest, Fertile Land, Water Resources, Minerals Production
Rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Sone
Talking about the first category of the geography and history of Bihar, i. e. geography, we assume the following:
  • Area - 94,163 square kilometers.
  • Latitude - 21°58'10" and 27°31'15" North.
  • Longitude - 82°19'50" and 88°17'40" East.
  • Boundaries - West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, the Himalayas and Nepal.
  • Capital - Patna.
  • Population - 8,28,78,796.
  • River - Ganga, Sone, Poonpoon, Falgu, Karmanasa, Durgawati, Kosi, Ghaghara, etc.

Area

The vast area included in Bihar makes it one of the largest states in India. It is located in the eastern part of the country. The area of Bihar has been estimated to be 94,164 square kilometers

The entire area of the state has been politically divided into 9 divisions and 37 districts with Patna as its capital.

The total strength of the population inhabiting the area is around 82.88 million out of which the majority are males and the rest are females, the sex ratio being 100: 92.

The people occupying the vast area of Bihar have a literacy rate of 47.53 % and the most widely spoken language is Hindi.

Apart from the valleys of the Ganges, the area included in Bihar houses the hilly regions as well which you will see if you go to the places like Rajgir,

Ranchi and so on. These hills make Bihar a cradle of natural beauty.

 

The area of Bihar can be topographically narrated as a rich alluvial plain lying on the north consisting chiefly of the Gangetic Valley. The plains on the north starts from the foothills of the Himalayas and extends to the south of the river Ganges.

Soil and Vegetation

The soil and vegetation of Bihar constitute two of its most important natural resources. Nearly all the economic activities of the state are directly or indirectly determined by the nature of the soil and vegetation. Thus the soil and vegetation forms the foundation of its agricultural and industrial development.

The soil covering most of Bihar is thick alluvium which shrouds the Siwalik and older tertiary rocks. The soil is mostly fresh loam replaced every year by intermittent deposition of silt, clay and sand by different rivers. It lacks phosphoric acid, nitrogen and humus but potash and lime are generally present in large amounts.

There are three important types of soil in Bihar:
  • Piedmont Swamp Soil - found in northwestern section of west Champaran district.
  • Terai Soil - found in northern section of the state along Nepal border
  • Gangetic Alluvium - covering the Bihar plains

Bihar falls within the tropical to sub tropical zone. Rainfall is the single most important cause that decides the type of vegetation. Bihar possesses a monsoon climate with an average annual rainfall of 1200 mm.

The sub Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and Dun ranges in Champaran comprise a broad belt of moist deciduous forests. The characteristic trees are Shorea Robusta (Sal), Shisham, Cedrela Toona, Khair and Semal.

The fertile alluvial plain of Bihar stretches from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north to a few miles south of the river Ganges. Extensive farmland and luxuriant orchards are scattered throughout the state. The most important crops are paddy, wheat, lentils, sugarcane, jute. Cane grows naturally in the marshes of West Champaran. The chief fruits are mangoes, banana, jack fruit and litchis. This is one the very few areas outside China which grows litchi.

Topography

Topography of Bihar shows a distinctive pattern. Bihar portrays an undulating topography giving rise to short-range variations in terrain and soil and water conditions; thereby influencing the crops that are grown in this region.

Talking in terms of topography, Bihar is divided into three main divisions, which are characterized by distinctive soil pattern, viz.:
  • The upper terraces or uplands - light-textured soil.
  • The middle terraces or medium lands - heavily textured soils.
  • The lower terraces or lowlands - heavily textured soils.
  • The soil texture, an indelible part of the topography of Bihar, influences the soil moisture storage capacity, which along with the water-table depth, determines the availability of moisture for the cropping pattern.
Further, the topography of Bihar is subject to various intensities of use, viz.:
  • Harsh soils, erosion and unsuitable water conditions make this topography of Bihar unfit for cultivation.
  • Barhi, the uplands (also known as 'tanr') close to the homesteads are supplied with water from the dug wells and are suitable for growing vegetables, high-yielding variety of potato, wheat, rice, etc.
  • The lower portions of the uplands, i. e. the mid-uplands (known as 'ajan' in Giridih and 'kanali' in Purulia) are suitable for rice varieties.
    The lowlands in spite of being the most fertile has a limited cropping pattern which is confined to growing rice due to excessive moisture and poor drainage.

Climate

The climate of Bihar embodies the general climatic pattern of the Indian subcontinent. It shows a continental monsoon climate due to considerable distance from the sea.

The factors regulating the climate of Bihar are:
  • Its lying between 22-degree north to 27-degree latitude within a tropical to sub-tropical zone.
  • The Himalayan Mountains in the north determine the monsoon rainfall.
  • Bihar connects with the Ganga delta and Assam.
The climate of Bihar is represented by the following seasons:
  • Cold weather season - December to February
  • Hot weather season - March to May
  • Southwest monsoon - June to September
  • retreating southwest monsoon - October to November

The onset of the rainy season takes place when a storm from the Bay of Bengal passes through Bihar. However the monsoon may set in as early as the last week of May or as late as the first or second week of July. The winter days are warm and mild but after sunset, the temperature drops abruptly, creating a sense of sharp coldness. Average temperatures in November in Bihar range between 19.6°C to 22.26°C. with January usually the coldest month. The average minimum temperature is between 7.56°C to 10.56°C though temperatures in Netarhat even fall to 7.56°C.

Similar to most of northern India, Bihar witnesses thunder-storms and dusty winds in summer. The hot winds (loo) of Bihar plains blow in April and May averaging a speed of 8-16 kilometers per hour. The rainy season begins in June. The rainiest months are July and August. In three particular zones, rainfall surpasses 1800 mm. The south-west monsoon normally retreats in early October and is accompanied by tropical cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal and typhoons from the south China sea.
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