Bhagalpur is a historically important city. It is nestled on the banks of the Ganges in the Indian state of Bihar. Etymologically, the name of the city was derived from the word Bhagdatpuram which means good luck. According to the Hindu mythological texts, it was the place where the Hindu Gods and demons churned the ocean (Samudra Manthan) to procure elixir. Often referred to as the Silk City, Bhagalpur is a major commercial, educational and political center, and it has been selected by PM Narendra Modi for being developed into a smart city. The fertile plains in the Gangetic basin support the cultivation of crops such as rice, barley, wheat, maize and oilseeds. The city has been long associated with the silk industry - its Tussar Silk & Bhagalpuri Sarees are famous all over the country. The thermal power plant of NTPC Kahalgaon is located in the vicinity of the city. This industrial belt is equally important in boosting the citys economy. The Government of India has taken the initiative to establish a Hand-loom park at Bhagalpur. Private entrepreneurs have also set up a food park. Bhagalpurs Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary is famous for Gangetic dolphins and attracts many tourists and environmentalists. There are various tourist spots like the Mandar Parvat, the Kuppa Ghat and a Stupa from the Pala Empire.
In 2000, Indian Overseas Bank engaged in an initial public offering (IPO) that brought the governments share in the banks equity down to 75%. In 2001, the IOB acquired the Mumbai-based Adarsha Janata Sahakari Bank. Then in 2009, the bank took over Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank, which was founded in 1969 and had its head office in Pune. Since 2006, Shree Suvarna Sahakari Bank had been in administration. It had nine offices in Pune, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Shirpur. The total strength of employees was estimated to be more than 100. On 29 August 2003, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an extension counter at New Kathiresan Temple complex, Bambalapitiya, Ceylon. The IOB opened a representative office in Guangzhou, China in 2005 followed which the bank opened another representative office in Kuala Lumpur and 2009 in Dubai, UAE. In the new millennium, international expansion started once again. The bank took over Bharat Overseas Bank in 2007. After three years, Malaysia granted a commercial banking license to a local bank jointly owned by BOB, IOB, and the Andhra Bank. The new bank named, India International Bank ( IIB Malaysia), began its business in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur and had a large population of Indians. The Andhra Bank holds a 25% stake in its joint-venture, BOB owns 40%, and remaining 35% is with IOB. On 31 August 2013, the Indian Overseas Bank has opened an offshore banking unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The bank also converted its existing Extension Counter at Ceylon into a full-fledged branch.