Birgunj, founded in 1897, is a sub-metropolitan municipality and the headquarters of the Parsa District in the Narayani Development Zone. It is situated in South-Central part of Nepal in the Terai plains about 89 km South of the capital Kathmandu and sharing border with the Indian city Raxaul in the State of Bihar. As an entry point to Nepal from Patna and Kolkata, Birgunj is known as the gateway to Nepal.
Birgunj, the second largest city in Nepal and the largest in the Narayani Zone, is a multilingual and multiethnic city. The 300,000 population comprises various ethnic groups, the largest being the Tharus. A large number of people are of Indian origin having migrated mostly from Bihar and Rajasthan over a period of time ranging from 50-200 years. Several languages are spoken in the town including Bhojpuri, Nepali, Maithili, Newari, Marwari and Hindi.
Birgunj has been vibrant and busy industrial and commercial city for more than 60 years owing to its strategic location on the principal transit point for trade between Nepal and India. A large number of industries have been set up on the industrial corridor between Birgunj and Pathlaiya producing a significant volume of products such as steel, textiles, cement, plastic, cigarettes, aluminium, pharmaceuticals, vegetable ghee etc. for both domestic consumption and exports. Birgunj is also a big market for import/export of different merchandise.
The town has significant economic importance for Nepal as a large proportion of Nepali trade with India and other countries in the world is done through the customs post located here. Birgunj Customs is also the largest revenue earner for the Government of Nepal. In order to handle the large volume of goods, a Dry Port has been established in Birgunj recently.
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