Let's explore Bihar: History, Facts and more

Bihar has been described in mythology, in history. Doesn't matter that its alternate name such as Magadh has been used more in ancient. The land of Bihar gave two major religions, Jainism and Buddhism, to the world. Great kings like Chandragupta Maurya, Emperor Ashoka have ruled ancient Bihar whose capital was Patliputra. This Pataliputra is known as Patna in the modern era, which is still the capital of Bihar.

Modern Bihar

Bihar, a state with a comprehensive impact on Politics in India. It is in eastern side of India and bordered with Nepal in North. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are in northeast and west side of Bihar respectively. It is 13th largest state in India. In year 2000, Bihar was divided into 2 parts and isolated from its southern part which is named as Jharkhand. Today's modern Patna is the capital of Bihar.

History of Bihar

Let's now peep into the pages of the history of Bihar. The history of Bihar is very interesting as well as being old. The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Vihar'. The ancient name of Bihar is Magadha, and capital was Rajgir in ancient times. Bihar had an important role in history of India. In ancient time, Bihar was centre of culture, power and education.

Culture of Bihar

Bihar is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavira. Therefore, the culture of today's Bihar is the legacy of a great historical past. Apart from Diwali, there are some festivals which are celebrated only in Bihar. One such festival is Chhath Puja. Here the Sun God is worshiped with great reverence. Sama Chakeva is celebrated with enthusiasm in Mithila during the winter months, when migratory birds from the Himalayan Mountains arrive in the region. Another popular festival of Bihar is Makar Sankranti. The state has many folk songs and dances that are celebrated on special occasions.

Bihar has 3 regions with their own identity and culture. These 3 regions are - Magadh, Mithila and Bhojpur. Magadha was one of the powerful kingdoms in Buddhist times. It was located in southern Bihar which later became the most powerful Mahajanapada of North India. It became a world center of glorious religiosity. Modern Patna and Gaya was included in Magadh Kingdom.

Bihar is known as birthplace of two popular religions Jainism, Budhism. Bihar was a significant centre during vedic period. Modern Bihar is also known as Land of IAS officers because it has produced a number of IAS officers than any other states in India.

Languages spoken in Bihar

Maithili, Magahi, Bajjika, Bhojpuri and Angika are the prevalent languages of Bihar. Despite the fact that all these languages are widely spoken in Bihar, no other language except Maithili got constitutional recognition. Hindi is the main language of Bihar, Hindi and Urdu are used in education and government matters. Magahi language derives its name from Magadhi Prakrit, which was the official language of the Mauryan Empire and also spoken by Lord Buddha. Magahi is written in Devanagari script.

Geography of Bihar

Bihar is surrounded by West Bengal in the east, Uttar Pradesh in the west, Nepal in the north and Jharkhand in the south. The soil of Bihar is naturally fertile and its characteristics are due to the Gangetic alluvial soil of the Indo-Gangetic plain region, marshy soil in West Champaran and floating soil in North Bihar. The Ganges and its tributaries flow from west to east in Bihar. To the north of Bihar is the Himalayan Mountains which actually start from Nepal and to its south

Nalanda University: 95 KM away from capital city Patna, Nalanda University is said to be the oldest university not only in India but also in the world. This University was known for its huge library where millions of books were kept.

Bihar, which was the strongest kingdom in ancient time, is lost today somewhere in history.

Top 5 Facts about Bihar

  • Oldest University of the world - Nalanda University
  • Origin of Jainism and Budhism religion
  • Tenth and last Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna, Bihar
  • Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
  • India's first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad was born in Zeradai (Siwan District), Bihar

9 Divisions in Bihar










Culture of Bihar

  • Main Festivals - Chhath Puja, Holi, Diwlai, Teej
  • Music of Bihar - Sohar, Ropnigeet, Katnigeet
  • Paintings of Bihar - Madhubani Paintings

Famous Historical Personalities of Bihar

  • Chanakya
  • Aryabhatt
  • King Ashoka
  • Guru Gobind Singh
  • Jai Prakash Narayan
  • Ramdhari Singh Dinkar

Geography of Bihar

Bihar is divided by holy river Ganga into 2 parts. One is called North Bihar and another named as South Bihar.

North Bihar

Land of North Bihar is alluvial region and it is around 250 ft. above sea level. Gandak, Kosi (Koshi), Baghmati, Mahananda are the main rivers which flow down in northern Bihar. Kosi or Koshi river causes lots of damage to northern Bihar because of destructive flood nature and the reason this river is known as "Sorrow of Bihar" (बिहार का शोक)

Rivers in North Bihar

  • Ghaghra
  • Gandak
  • Burhi Gandak
  • Bagmati
  • Kosi
  • Mahananda

South Bihar

South Bihar land is more versatile than northern Bihar.

The major rivers in south Bihar are:

  • Sone
  • Karmnasa
  • Punpun
  • Kiul
  • Badua Chandan
Read more about Geography of Bihar