Bihar is an Eastern State of India bordered by Uttar Pradesh in the West; Nepal in the North; northern part of West Bengal in the East; and Jharkhand in the South. Being the third-largest state by population, twelfth largest by territory and the world’s third most populous subnational entity, Bihar was considered as a centre of power, learning and culture in ancient and classical India. Known for its Buddhist pilgrimage sites including the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya’s Mahabodhi Temple, this state is split by the River Ganges, which flows from west to east, making the plains fertile. Bihar, till now, has bagged 13 GI Tags, the latest being Shahi Litchi of Bihar and Silao Khaja.
Shahi Litchi of Bihar is an agricultural product, whose application for GI Tag was filed by the Litchi Growers Association of Bihar, Adarsh Nagar, on 20th June 2016. The Product was granted its Certificate of Registration on 5th October 2018. The Application Details of ‘Shahi Litchi of Bihar’ are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Shahi Litchi of Bihar|
|Applicant Name||Litchi Growers Association of Bihar, Adarsh Nagar|
|Applicant Address||Lane No. 3, Post office: Dumari, District: Muzaffarpur – 843 113, Bihar, India. Facilitated by: Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bhagalpur – 813 210, Bihar, India|
|Date of Filing||20-06-2016|
|Registration Valid Upto||19-06-2026|
Shahi Litchi of Bihar is mainly grown in the districts namely, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Begusarai, Purnea, Khagaria and other adjoining areas, where the production area lies between 26” 39’ and 25” 07’ North Altitude to 84” 50’ and 87” 24’ East Longitude; and occupies a unique position due to its attractive appearances, deliciously flavour, sweet, juicy and pearly white aril. Being one of the choicest varieties of Litchi in the state, the plant is semi vigorous, dense, round-topped, slow-growing, and 6 to 10m high and equally broad.
Belonging from the family ‘Sapindaceae’ and genus ‘Litchi’, this delicious fruit is an early variety that starts maturing in the 2nd week of May till the 1st week of June in different parts and is known for its very attractive fruits of crimson red colour, pleasant odour, juiciness, good sugar-acid blend and high pulp seed ratio. The peel of the fruit is thin and stone is of medium size. The juicy aril is of cream colour with a juice per cent of 58-67. This famous variety of Litchi is prone to fruit cracking.
Talking about the climatic conditions for the growth of ‘Shahi Litchi of Bihar’, it requires a subtropical climate having 2-3 months dry cool autumn and winter before flowering in March. Also, a high-temperature range of 30-40 degree Celsius during the months of April and May is required for fruit development and maturity. A fairly deep well-drained sandy loam or clayey loam soil rich in organic matter content with pH ranging between 5.5 and 7 is ideal for Litchi cultivation.
Lastly, this variety of Litchi bears heavily regularly with an average yield of 80-135 kg per plant, each year, at normal spacing of 10 x m and owing to such a beauty and great properties, this fruit is named as “Shahi”.
Silao Khaja is a famous Food Stuff of Bihar, whose application for GI Tag was filed by Silao Khaja Audyogik Swavalambi Sahakari Samiti Limited on 16th August, 2017. The Product was granted its Certificate of Registration on 11th December, 2018 by the Geographical Indications Registry of Chennai. The Application Details of ‘Silao Khaja’ are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Silao Khaja|
|Applicant Name||Silao Khaja Audyogik Swavalambi Sahakari Samiti Limited|
|Applicant Address||Post Office Silao, National High Way 82, Silao Bypass Road, Silao, District: Nalanda – 803 117, Bihar, India|
|Date of Filing||16-08-2017|
|Registration Valid Upto||15-08-2027|
Silao Khaja is a popular sweet food stuff of the Nalanda district of the State of Bihar prepared from wheat- flour, sugar, maida, ghee, water, cardamom and aniseeds. It is widely known for its taste, crispiness and multi-layered appearance. It consists of twelve to sixteen very thin dough- sheets placed over one another.
The existence of Khaja is quite old and is related with Indian mythology. According to the villagers, Lord Buddha passed through Silao in the course of his journey from Rajgir to Nalanda. It was a matter of joy for the villagers and they offered the sweet made at Silao to Lord Buddha. He tasted the sweet and also asked his disciples to eat it. He had, directed to eat the sweet, but his words (Khaja) gave the sweet its name.
The durability of sweetmeat ‘Khaja’ lasts for 12 to 15 days after its production, however, during the rainy season, its durability gets reduced to 2-3 days only. The preparation of Silao Khaja is a very complex process and requires immense human skill and effort. This mouth-watering eatable is made up of several layers which are very thin, but besides this, the confectioner also takes special care to maintain its crispiness and taste, and therefore, to make a standard ‘Silao Khaja’, a person requires meticulous training of 2 to 3 years to acquire this great skill.
The unique features, taste and crispiness of Silao Khaja can be ascribed to the local water and climate of Silao. Lastly, it is light yellow in color and almost square in shape.
GI Tags of Bihar are-
- Madhubani Paintings [here]
- Applique (Khatwa) Work of Bihar [here]
- Sujini Embroidery Work of Bihar [here]
- Sikki Grass Products of Bihar [here]
- Bhagalpur Silks [here]
- Applique (Khatwa) Work of Bihar (Logo) [here]
- Sikki Grass Products of Bihar (Logo) [here]
- Sujini Embroidery Work of Bihar (Logo) [here]
- Silao Khaja [here]