Rajbiraj (Template:Lang-ne) is a mid-sized municipality located in the south-eastern region of the Province No. 2 of Nepal. Rajbiraj is the district headquarters of Saptari as well as the eighth largest city of the Province No. 2. The city is systematically designed according to the Indian city of Jaipur in 1938 and has been the first township in Nepal to receive urban planning.<ref name=Rajbiraj /> It was later declared a municipality in 1959.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> According to 2011 census, the city had a population of 69,803,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=":1">Template:Cite book</ref> making it the 33rd largest municipality in Nepal. The city area is spread over Template:Convert and comprises 16 wards.
The city is named after the ancient temple of Rajdevi, rebuilt by the Sens of Makawanpur in the 14th century.<ref name="Monuments of Saptari">Template:Cite book</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Rajbiraj has prominently served as a politically active town in the modern history of Nepal and has been the hometown to some of the well-known icons of the nation. The major trade routes to the town are offered by the Nepalese metropolis of Biratnagar Template:Convert east to the city as well as the Indo-Nepal borders of Kunauli Template:Convert and Bhimnagar Template:Convert respectively south and east to the city.
Rastriya Janata Party Nepal's Shambu Prasad Yadav and Sadhana Jha hold the current mayoral and deputy mayoral chairs of the town, as per the results of the local elections held on 27 September 2018.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>
Rajbiraj is one of the few cities given the status of municipality when Nepal's monarchy was restored in the 1950s. Rajbiraj is the first city of Nepal to be urban planned.<ref name=Rajbiraj>Template:Cite web</ref> The Nepal government plans to develop it as a model city.<ref name=Planned>Template:Cite web</ref> Chief Engineer and Architect Dilli Jang Thapa designed Rajbiraj based on Indian city Jaipur.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The city is now recognized as an educational capital of Eastern Nepal with various schools and colleges opening.
The city also has an old history with the ruins and stone samples from local Rajdevi Temple dating back to the 8th century AD.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Monuments of Saptari" /> The said temple is known to be family temple of Kushadhwaja. The City is historical twin city of Janakpur also known to be a seat of Kushadhwaja the brother of King Janka whose 3 daughters Mandavi, Urmila and Shrutakirti were married to Bharata, Lakshmana and Satrughna. Kushdhwaja later ruled the area through his ministers and moved to Sankadya after his brother won a war against Sankasya when Sankasya attacked Janakpur. <ref>https://www.valmiki.iitk.ac.in/summary?field_kanda_tid=1&field_sarga_value=71</ref> Around Rajbiraj there were small shrines dedicated to Mandavi, Urmila and Shrutakirti but have lost with time.
The city of Rajbiraj is named after Rajdevi Temple. The Meaning of Raj comes from the name of the Rajdevi temple which means "state" and biraj means "to reside" or "to live".<ref name=Rajdevi>Template:Cite web</ref>
According to the National Population Census of 2011, Rajbiraj's population was 69,803, of which male and female are 35,092 and 33,304 respectively.<ref name=":1" /> The effective literacy rate was 79.71%, with male literacy at 88.40% and female literacy at 70.24%.<ref name="Rajbiraj Demography">Template:Cite web</ref> The data on religion in 2011 showed Hinduism as the majority religion. Most people follow Hinduism as a religion. The Hindu population accounts for 87%, Muslim 10.89%, Jains 1.26% and Sikhs 0.64%.<ref name="Rajbiraj Demography" /> The city has also community of Muslims along with Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Rajbiraj is situated within one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Nepal, and the rural hinterland is home to a diverse cross section of Terai communities consisting of Kayastha, Deo, Yadav, Mandal, Muslim, Brahmin, Rajput, Marwari, Tharu, Badhai, Lohar, Sonar, Teli, Bania, Damai, Newar and Bahun.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> Template:Bar box The native dialect is Maithili which is mostly spoken in the city. After Maithili Nepali is widely spoken by Rajbirajians, and other rarely spoken language.<ref name="Rajbiraj Demography" />
Rajbiraj is one of the cities in Nepal that is connected by the East West Highway about Template:Convert to the north and Template:Convert to the east also known as Hulaki Rajmarg. It is well connected to other Nepalese cities by National Highway and Sub Highway. Buses are an important mode of intercity passenger travel. Besides that City Rickshaws and Magic (small vehicle) are another important means of travelling in local areas.
Rajbiraj has one of the oldest airfields of Nepal, named as the Rajbiraj Airport (IATA: RJB, ICAO: VNRB) which was inaugurated by the then transportation minister Ganesh Man Singh in 1959. After witnessing almost three decades of halt, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has recently carried out a series of vigorous renovation (worth Rs. 303 million) of the airport. Shree Airlines 50-seater CRJ-200 has been tested on 23 May with Captain DR Niroula of Shree's safety department along with other instructor pilots — Captain Prajwol Adhikari, Rajesh Shrestha.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The airport has halted all the flights from 2007 and the commercial flights was started from first 24 June 2018.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Rajbiraj Municipal has particularly a tropical climate. The three main seasons, summer, monsoon and winter respectively. Being located in the Plain (Terai) lands of Nepal, the climate and weather of Rajbiraj is usually hot.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The summer season runs from Early April to August and touches temperature ranging from 23 °C (73 °F) to 44 °C (111 °F). Monsoons arrive in the month of July heralded by dust and thunderstorms. The winter season prevails from the month of October till the month of March. Humidity, which prevails during monsoons, diminishes at the arrival of winters. The city observes pleasant sunny days and enjoyable cool nights with the temperature ranging from 6 °C (41 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F).
Rajbiraj winter season is the most appealing time to pay here a visit. Tourists arrive in large numbers, anytime between mid-September to late March or early April. Overall the January is the coldest month and June is the most hottest month in the year. Template:Weather box
Template:Original research Rajbiraj is a typical tourist city and a place to explore the interesting places in eastern Nepal. However, there are many things to do in the city. A number of colorful Hatiyaa Bazaars are held each week in different parts of the town, where farmers from the rural hinterland set up stalls to trade agricultural produce, spices and handicrafts. Rajbiraj is a hub for travel plans in Eastern Nepal. In the Rajbiraj city there are many religious Hindu temple to visit. Most of the temples are more than 200 years old. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve famous for its wildlife, especially for bird-watching enthusiasts, is a mere 40-minute drive from the city. It is also home to the endangered wild buffaloes called "Arna" in Nepali. The Saptakoshi Bridge is also the attraction to visit it is only 25 km far from the city. Another location near Rajbiraj is Dharan (75 km), which is 2 hours journey by bus.
Rajdevi Temple is a historic 8th century Hindu temple (as per Nepal Arechelogy) located on the east of the city and is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city. It is dedicated to the deity Rajdevi. The temple is a significant symbol for Hindus and the present structure was built between 1990. The temple attracts on average thousands of visitors annually.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Some thousands of goats are sacrificed here during Dashain.<ref name="Boss Nepal">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Major religious celebrations include the major Hindu festivals Vijaya Dashami, Dipawali, Chhath , Holi, Sama Chakeva and Vishwakarma Puja. The Chhath and Holi is heavily celebrated with a carnival-like atmosphere. The locals people take pride in the way these festivals are celebrated.<ref name=Festival>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Print media include the National daily Annapurna Post, Gorkhapatra, Kantipur Patrika and Nepal Samacharpatra. There are numerous local newspaper which covers the news of the city like Nai Ummid, Rajbiraj Dainik, Krishna Dainik, News Today Patrika and Green Madhesh Patrika. while English news daily like The Himalayan Times and The Kathmandu Post are also available.
Telecommunications services include Nepal Telecom, Ncell and UTL. WorldLink, Broadlink and Subisu are providing broadband services in this region. To promote local culture, Rajbiraj has number of FM radio stations<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> which are:
Rajbiraj has a well-established education infrastructure. There are a number of colleges and schools meeting the requirements of not only the city but the region and country as well. It is home to several Educational institutions for pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, High-Secondary, senior-secondary, graduate and post-graduate studies. Rajbiraj is an educational hub of Eastern Region of Nepal. Sai Krishna Medical College & Hospital (SKMCH), nursing colleges & +2 colleges in the city are attracting the student from neighbor district & Eastern Region of Nepal.
Following health services are available at Rajbiraj.
Kabaadi and Cricket are the most popular sports among the younger generation in the city. The city has 3 local stadiums. The sporting activities are mainly centered in the multipurpose stadium Rajbiraj Rangasala in the main city. The popular sports are cricket, football, volleyball, basketball, kabaddi, badminton etc. Freedom cricket club and Rajdevi cricket academy are the most active cricket club in the city with time stadium Rajbiraj Stadium<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Mahendra Club is one of the most active organizations promoting football in the city and organizes a regional club-level annual tournament: the Saptari Gold Cup.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In July 2018, Wicket Nepal organized Saptari Premier League (SPL)- Mayor Cup. The final match held on 18 Jul between Bajaj Khadak Warriors and Bodebarsain. The Bajaj Khadak Warriors won the match with net cash prize NPR. 1,51,000 and a cup.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
The staple diet of the region is rice, dal and curry. On the festive occasions, people prepare a number of fried items of vegetables as well as other special items. Fish is one of the most popular source of protein in Rajbiraj.