1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tirhut
TIRHUT, or Tirhoot, the historic name of a tract in northern India, being that portion of Behar which lies north of the Ganges. It corresponds roughly with the ancient Hindu kingdom of Mithila (q.v.). Down to 1873 it formed a single district, which was then divided into the two districts of Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. In 1908, when the division of Patna was subdivided, the name of Tirhut was again officially given to a new division, containing the four districts of Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Saran and Champaran: total area, 12,588 sq. m.; total pop. (1901), 9,867,373. It is a continuous alluvial plain, traversed by many winding rivers, and it supports the densest population in all India. It is the main centre of the indigo industry, conducted by European planters, which is now in a declining condition. Other crops are rice, millets, wheat, maize, oilseeds, sugar-cane and tobacco. Apart from indigo there are no large industries. Since the famine of 1874 the whole country has been saved from its former isolation by the construction of the Bengal & North-Western railway, with numerous branches; but the Ganges is nowhere bridged.