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town, administrative headquarters of Saran district, Bihar state, northeastern India, near the junction of the Ghaghara and Ganges rivers. Chapra grew in importance as a river mart in the 18th century when the Dutch, French, Portuguese, and English established saltpetre refineries there. It was constituted a municipality in 1864. The town has major rail and road connections and is an agricultural trade centre. Saltpetre and linseed-oil processing are the chief industries. There are several parks, four colleges affiliated with the University of Bihar, and a college affiliated with Kameshwara Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University. Pop. (1981) 111,564.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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