Land consumption is increasing rapidly with the exponential growth of population. The built-up environment configuration influences the management processes for development and other municipality works. Population growth also affects the availability of land for different purposes in its spatial distribution. The present study was conducted using satellite remote sensing data Landsat MSS (Multi-spectral Scanner), ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper), IRS P-6 (Indian Remote Sensing Satellite), LISS IV (Linear Imaging Self-Scanner), and IRS P-5 Cartosat-1 for the assessment of urban area change dynamics between years 1976 and 2008 in Bhagalpur city in the state of Bihar in India. The ground truth and coordinate points were collected using a Global Positioning System (GPS) for the location of the built-up themes prepared in the Geographic Information System (GIS). Land Consumption Rate (LCR) and Land Absorption Coefficient (LAC) were introduced to aid in the quantitative assessment changes. The results show a rapid growth in land consumption rate till 1976, reduction in 1999 and again increase in 2008. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.