Danapur Cantonment is a Cantonment town in Patna District in the State of Bihar, India. Danapur is a Category II Cantonment, established in 1765. The Cantonment is situated 14 km west of the ancient historical town of Patna. The regimental centre of Bihar Regiment (BRC) established in 1949 in Danapur Cantonment, comprising of troops from Bihar Region.The Headquarters Jharkhand, Orissa & Bihar is situated in Danapur Cantonment. The Depot at Danapur is situated in a historic location, on the banks of the Sone river. The location of the depot was chosen perhaps keeping in mind the high ground for the steamers and small ships to dock for unloading stores and supplies for the Army stationed at Danapur. A Military Hospital was also established in Danapur Cantonment in 1816.
Danapur Cantonment is the second oldest Cantonment in the country after Barrackpore Cantonment, West Bengal. “Danapur” was known as “Dinapur”; “Dinapur” means city of grains being located in the fertile Gangetic plains. Danapur Cantonment plays a big role in the freedom struggle of 1857, as on 25th July 1857 sepoys of the Danapur Cantonment revolted the Britishers.
There are two very old and big Churches in Danapur Cantonment. Havlock Church is the oldest church in Danapur Cantonment, which was built by the Spanish in 1827. St. Luke’s Church situated near the Barrack Ground was constructed in 1830 by the Britishers. This church has a bell tower of 20 meters height, constructed in 1862 which is unique in its design. This church has an old one piece solid gong that has survived till date.
It is one of the oldest European Cantonments in the region. It was the only white cantonment of the East India Company at one point of time, and the largest military cantonment in Bengal with accommodation for two batteries of artillery, a European and a native infantry regiment.
Cantonments Boards are statutorily constituted local bodies, under Minsitry of Defence, comprising of elected representatives, ex-officio and nominated members. The Board consists of 14 members including 07 elected members and 07 army members. Chief Executive Officer is also Member Secretary of the Board. The Board is headed by the President, Cantonment Board (PCB) who is the Station Commander and also presides over the meetings of the Cantonment Board. The Vice President is elected from amongst the elected.
The area of the Danapur Cantonment is approx 848.40 acres. As per census 2011, the population of the Danapur Cantonment is 28,200. .
In June-July Danapur Cantonment area become a bird sanctuary as a large number of migratory birds arrive here. These birds belong to the family of cranes. These are called “Open Bill Storks” popularly known as “Jhangils”. These birds are of rare species, mostly found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Srilanka and Thailand. Danapur Cantonment is a shelter and hatchery for the migrating “Open Bill Storks”. “Open Bill Storks” are sensitive but disciplined birds, which folly in groups in search of food. They travel long distances in search for amenable environment. “Open Bill Storks” find the Cantonment Area a safe heaven and thus flock the place each year before monsoon. These birds are also find an all welcoming host in the Danapur Cantonment. The Danapur Cantonment being quite old has quite well developed trees in large areas which have been protected. This place provides a calm and safe environment for these migratory birds.They come to Danapur Cantonment since there are a lot of trees, they are not hunted here, which is why they come here. “Open Bill Storks” liked the logged rain water in the area and this area is the logged rainwater, which results in the breeding of small fish. The presence of ample food in the Ganga plain and Sone River provides food security to them. Coming of these birds is the information of coming monsoon. People of Danapur Cantonment assume that their arrival is the indication of monsoon.They come and live here for about three to four months. They lay eggs here. When the eggs hatch, they leave the place.
The “Open Bill Storks” begin descending the area in late May and early June. They start nesting soon after. The birds usually finish raising their young ones by the end of summer. These birds are not only protected from poaching and hunting, but also they are fed regularly. They fly down to Danapur Cantonment from far-off places for centuries as they find this place safe for themselves. They come here every year for nesting. Once their eggs are hatched, they fly back to their native place with the onset of winter. Many ornithologists visit this place every year to watch and study the activities of these migratory birds...