Bhagalpur has been known by different names in the history from the Atharwaveda to the Mahabharata and in other ancient text as Anga, Malini, Champapuri etc. Several discussions can be found regarding its nomenclature. Some say it is the city of the lucky fellow while some say it is the city of escapists who nowhere found their place and flourished well in this city. It is quite different that how far these stories are true or something else. But it is quite a true fact that this entire region has been favourable destination for people belonging to different faith as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Fragrance of communal harmony can still today be found in the environment of this region.
Since its very beginning the city has been centre of literature, art and culture. It has got the pride of being the first collectorate district of Bihar and with the appointment of the collector the infrastructural development of the city started. Since the Bengali community started its settlement in the city and the Ang- Bang culture flourished very well in this region. After Calcutta, Bhagalpur was next favourite destination for the Bengalis and it was often called Mini Calcutta. The main reason for the settlement of outsider in this city was the presence of life giving Ganga. It provided a pleasant environment coupled with neat and clean urban setup. The soil of the city gave several personalities who glorified the name of the city not only in India but overseas. It a matter of great pride that Kadambini Ganguli, a daughter of this city became first lady medical graduate of the country. A dauter in law of this city, Roukaiya Begum, ignited fire for the education of the muslim women. Now the youth of this city are becoming the flag bearers in different field of life.
People from outside also called the city as ‘Silk City’. Bhagalpuri silk has a distinct identity in several other countries, especially Tusser Silk has great demand not only in India but overseas. However the weak financial conditions of the craftsmen is a great reason to worry about because if they will prosper then the city will prosper. Although the discussion for the establishment of Silk Bhawan and Bunkar Haat has provided a new ray of hope that the good fortune for the craftsmen is not too far.
The folk painting of Bhagalpiur Manjusha which once was very popular paint work on paper and cloth is now being forgotten but once the artists of this region had given it a great height and now it is popular not only in Bihar but in other states also.
Katarni rice and Chiuda are indispensible part when there is a discussion of the city of Bhagalpur because whoever once gets its taste becomes addictive of its taste and fragrance. It is demand of time to regulate its production and marketing so that the peasants involved in its production may feel motivated and become prosperous. One more speciality of the soil of this city is a rare variety of mango that is Jardalu mango which is having a great taste with its balanced sweetness and good look. Its demand is increasing day by day. During last few years this variety of mango is being gifted to the President, Prime Minister and other great personalities and due to this the city fells proud.
Earlier the city was full of greenery, filled with gardens and orchards. Different areas of the city were known as Lichi Bagan, Kathalbari and the mango orchards were found in abundance; beautiful Champa flowers could be found everywhere and the air was fragrance laden. The city, once abundant with ponds and reservoirs, became dry with the rise of population; plant were rampantly cut down; orchards disappeared and the fragrance of Champa flower fed away. The concrete has occupied the place of greenery; pounds have been filled with waste materials, and the gardens & orchards have been occupied by tall buildings. If it still continues, then surly the city will lose its ancient identity but it’s not too late. It is necessary to determine with strength to save the identity of this city, which is not much difficult, and is the only way to save the city of Daanveer Karna.