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BIHAR INTRODUCTION IN SHORT

State Name: Bihar Latitude:  24°-20'-10" ~ 27°-31'-15" N
State Capital: Patna Longitude: 83°-19'-50" ~ 88°-17'-40" E
Governor: Satya Pal Malik Population: 10,38,04,637
Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar Literacy: 5,43,90,254
Founded: March 22, 1912 Total Area: 94,163.00 sq. kms
Largest City: Patna Rural Area: 92,257.51 sq. kms
Number of Districts: 38 Urban Area: 1,095.49 sq. kms
Divisions: 9 Density of Population: 1,102 per sq kms
Sub-Divisions: 101 Most Populous: Patna: 57,72,804
Blocks: 534 Least Populous: Sheikhpura 6,34,927
Panchayats: 8,406 Sex Ratio(Females/Thousand Males): 916
Revenue Villages: 45,103 Highest Literacy Rate: Rohtas, 75.59%
Number of Towns: 199 Lowest Literacy Rate: Purnia, 52.49%
Police Stations: 853 Largest Districts by Area: West Champaran
Lok Sabha Seats: 40 Smallest Districts by Area: Sheohar
Rajya Sabha Seats: 16 Highest Sex Ratio: Gopalganj
Legislative Seats: 243 Lowest Sex Ratio: Munger & Bhagalpur
Official Language: Hindi Highest Population Density: Sheohar
State bird: Sparrow Lowest Population Density: Kaimur
State Animal: Ox State Flower: Marigold
Seal of Bihar: Bodhi Tree State Tree: Peepal

BIHAR

Bihar is historical Indian state established on 22 March 1912. Bihar is a land buffer region surrounded by three(3) states (Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal) and only one neighbor country Nepal. Geographically Nepal to the North region, Jharkhand to the South region, West Bengal to the East Region and Uttar Pradesh to the West Region.

Bihar is located in the eastern (between 83°-30' to 88°-00' longitude) as well as Northen part of the country. It is the 13th-largest state in India, with an area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi). The third-largest state of India by population. Bihar is an amalgamation of three main distinct regions, these are Magadh, Mithila, and Bhojpur.

The word Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word, Vihara (Devanagari: विहार), meaning "abode"

HISTORY OF BIHAR

Introduction:

Bihar State Map with District Name

Bihar is the ancient land of Lord Buddha who is the messenger of peace and Buddhism. It was the golden era of Indian ancient history. Bihar is the land where first ever rays of Democracy were born and flourish on it.

Bihar is also not far from the spirituality and intellectuals of the ancient time. It is the land where Lord Sita is born in SItamarhi (a district in Bihar). If I say Bihar is the land of knowledge hub of ancient time then I am not wrong because Nalanda University is the most ancient university of the world.

Bihar has also able to make a valuable place in history due to the imminent personality like Chanakya, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Samraat  Ashok, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Dasharath Manjhi and other courageous writers, freedom fighter, world leader, and social reformer was born on this place.

ANCIENT HISTORY OF BIHAR

  • Lordess Sita and Hinduism

Janki Temple, Sitamarhi

The history of the land mass currently known as Bihar is very ancient. In fact, it extends to the very dawn of human civilization. Earliest myths and legends of Hinduism the Sanatana (Eternal) Dharma - are associated with Bihar. Sita, the consort of Lord Rama, was a princess of Bihar.

She was the daughter of King Janak of Videha. The present districts of Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Samastipur, Madhubani, and Darbhanga, in north-central Bihar, mark this ancient kingdom. The present small township of Sitamarhi is located here.

According to legend, the birthplace of Sita is Punaura, located on the west-side of Sitamarhi, the headquarters of the district. Janakpur, the capital of King Janak, and the place where Lord Rama and Sita were married lies just across the border in Nepal. It is reached via the rail station of Janakapur Road located in the Sitamarhi district, on the Narkatiyaganj - Darbhanga section of the North-Eastern Railway.

It is no accident, therefore, that the original author of the Hindu epic -The Ramayana - Maharishi Valmiki - lived in Ancient Bihar. Valmikinagar is a small town and a railroad station in the district of West Champaran, close to the railhead of Narkatiyaganj in northwest Bihar. The word Champaran is derived from Champa-arnya, or a forest of the fragrant Champa (magnolia) tree.

Gautam Buddha and BuddhismGautam Boodh Bihar Statue

Prince Gautam attained enlightenment, became the Buddha- at the present Bodh Gaya- a town in central Bihar; and the great religion of Buddhism was born.

Mahavira and Jainism

Lord Mahavira, the founder of another great religion, Jainism, was born and attained nirvana (death). That site is located at the present town of Pawapuri, some miles to the south-east of Patna, the Capital of Bihar.

Guru Govind Singh and Sikhism

Guru Gobind Singh, 10th and last Guru of the Sikhs was born and attained the sainthood of Sikhism, that is becoming a Guru. A lovely and majestic Gurudwara (a temple for Sikhs) built to commemorate his memory - the Takhat Shri Harmandir- is located in eastern Patna. Known reverentially as the Patna Sahib, it is one of the five holiest places of worship (Takhat) for Sikhs.

Magadh and Lichhavi

The ancient kingdoms of Magadh and of Licchavis, around about 7-8th century B.C., produced rulers who devised a system of administration that truly is a progenitor of the modern art of statecraft, and of the linkage of statecraft with economics.

Kautilya and Chandragupta Dynasty

Kautilya-popularly was known as Chanakya, the author of a Modern science of Economics which is still valid today. Chanakya defines and elaborates the word corruption and its type at that time. He also describes in various aspects of economics including demonetization. He was the great philosopher too.

Kautilya was the wily and canny adviser to the Magadh king, Chandragupta Maurya. As an emissary of Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya traveled far and wide in pursuit of promoting the interests of the State and dealing with the Greek invaders settled in the northwest of India, along with the Indus valley.

He succeeded in preventing the further onslaught of the Greeks. Indeed, he brought about amicable co-existence between the Greeks and the Mauryan Empire.

Another Mauryan king, Ashoka, (also known as Priyadarshi or Priyadassi), around 270 B.C., was the first to formulate firm tenets for the governance of a people. He had these tenets, the so-called Edicts of Ashok, inscribed on stone pillars which were planted across his kingdom.

The pillar was crowned with the statue of one or more lions sitting on top of a pedestal which was inscribed with symbols of wheels. As the lion denoted strength, the wheel denoted the eternal (endless) nature of truth (dharma), hence the name Dharma (or Dhamma) Chakra.

This figure of lions, atop a pedestal, with an inscription of a wheel, was adopted as the Official Seal of the independent Republic of India (1947). Also, Ashok's dharma chakra was incorporated into the national flag of India, the Indian tricolor.

Remains of a few of these pillars are still extant, for example at Lauriya-Nandan Garh in the district of West Champaran and at Vaishali, in the present district of the same name. Ashok, a contemporary of Ptolemy and Euclid, was a great conqueror. His empire extended from what is now the North West Frontier Province (in Pakistan) in the west, to the eastern boundaries of present India in the north, and certainly, up to the Vindhya Range in the south.

Ashok was responsible also for the widespread proselytization of people into Buddhism. He sent his son, Prince Mahendra, and daughter, Sanghamitra, for this purpose to as far south as the present country of Sri Lanka (Sinhala Dweep in ancient times, and Ceylon during the British Empire. Some historians, particularly Sinhalese, consider Mahindra and Sanghmitra as brother and sister.

  • Glorification of women: Amrapali and kingdom of Lichhavi

Ancient Bihar also saw the glorification of women in matters of state affairs. It was here that Amrapali, a courtesan of Vaishali (the present district of the same name) in the kingdom of the Lichhavis, attained and wielded enormous power.

It is said that the Lord Buddha, during his visit to Vaishali, refused the invitation of many princes, and chose to have dinner with Amrapali instead. Such was the status of women in the Bihari society of several centuries B.C.

  • Interaction between Amrapali and Lord Buddha

A little-known, but historically and archaeologically documented, an event is worth mentioning in this context. After his visit with Amrapali, Lord Buddha continued with his journey towards Kushinagar (also called Kusinara in Buddhist texts).

He traveled along the eastern banks of the river Gandak (also called Narayani, which marks the western border of Champaran, a district now administratively split into two- West and East Champaran.) A band of his devoted Licchavis accompanied Lord Buddha in this journey.

At a spot known as Kesariya, in the present Purbi (meaning, East) Champaran district, Lord Buddha took rest for the night. It was here that he chose to announce to his disciples the news of his impending nirvana (meaning, death); and implored them to return to Vaishali. The wildly lamenting Licchavis would have none of that.

They steadfastly refused to leave. Whereupon, Lord Buddha, by creating a 3,000 feet wide stream between them and himself compelled them to leave. As a souvenir, he gave them his alms-bowl. The Licchavis, most reluctantly and expressing their sorrow wildly, took leave and built a stupa there to commemorate the event.

Lord Buddha had chosen that spot to announce his impending nirvana because, as he told his disciple Anand, he knew that in a previous life he had ruled from that place, namely, Kesariya, as a Chakravarti Raja, Raja Ben. (Again, this is not just a mere legend, myth or folklore. Rather, it is a historically documented fact supported by archaeological findings.

However, neither this part of Buddha's life nor the little town of Kesariya is well-known even in India or Bihar.

  • Nalanda and Nalanda University :

At Nalanda, the world's first set of higher learning, a university, was established during the Gupta period. It continued as a seat of learning till the middle ages, when the Muslim invaders burned it down. The ruins are a protected monument and a popular tourist spot. A museum and a learning center - The Nava Nalanda Mahavira - are located here.

  • Rajgir :

Rajgir was the capital of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of Bimbisara. It was frequently visited by Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira. There are many Buddhist ruins here. It is also well-known for its many hot-springs which, like similar hot-springs elsewhere in the world, is reputed to have medicinal property.

MEDIEVAL HISTORY

In the middle of the 7th or 8th century A.D. – The Gupta period, also fell the victim of invaders from middle east conquest almost all over the Northen India. The glorious history of Bihar lasted at that time.

LOSS OF PRESTIGE :

In medieval times Bihar lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India. The Mughal period was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi.

About Sher Shah
The only remarkable person of these times in Bihar was Sher Shah, or Sher Khan Sur, an Afghan Based at Sasaram which is now a town in the district of the same name in central-western Bihar, this Jagirdar of the Mughal King Babur was successful in defeating Humayun, the son of Babur, twice - once at Chausa and then, again, at Kannauj (in the present state of Uttar Pradesh or U.P.) Through his conquest, Sher Shah became the ruler of a territory that, again, extended all the way to the Punjab. 

He was noted as a ferocious warrior but also a noble administrator - in the tradition of Ashok and the Gupta kings. Several acts of land reform are attributed to him. The remains of a grand mausoleum that he built for himself can be seen in today's Sasaram (Sher Shah's maqbara.)

MODERN HISTORY

BIHAR and BENGAL before 1912
During most of British India, Bihar was a part of the Presidency of Bengal and was governed from Calcutta. As such, this was a territory very much dominated by the people of Bengal. All leading educational and medical centers were in Bengal.

In spite of the unfair advantage that Bengalis possessed.some sons of Bihar rose to positions of prominence, by dint of their intelligence and hard labor. One such was Rajendra Prasad, native of Ziradei, in the district of Saran. He became the first President of the Republic of India.

BIHAR AND ODISHA
When separated from the Bengal Presidency in 1912, Bihar and Orissa comprised a single province. Later, under the Government of India Act of 1935, the Division of Orissa became a separate province; and the Province of Bihar came into being as an administrative unit of British India.

At Independence in 1947, the State of Bihar, with the same geographic boundary, formed a part of the Republic of India, until 1956. At that time, an area in the south-east, predominantly the district of Purulia, was separated and incorporated into West Bengal as part of the Linguistic Reorganization of Indian States.

GANDHI AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENT MOVEMENT: CHAMPARAN SATYAGRAHA
The resurgence in the history of Bihar came during the struggle for India's independence. It was from Bihar that Mahatma Gandhi launched his civil-disobedience movement, which ultimately led to India's independence.

At the persistent request of a farmer, Raj Kumar Shukla, from the district of Champaran, in 1917 Gandhiji took a train ride to Motihari, the district headquarters of Champaran. Here he learned, first hand, the sad plight of the indigo farmers suffering under the oppressive rule of the British.

Alarmed at the tumultuous reception Gandhiji received in Champaran, the British authorities served notice on him to leave the Province of Bihar.

Gandhiji refused to comply, saying that as an Indian he was free to travel anywhere in his own country. For this act of defiance, he was detained in the district jail at Motihari. From his jail cell, with the help of his friend from South Africa days, C. F. Andrews, Gandhiji managed to send letters to journalists and the Viceroy of India describing what he saw in Champaran, and made formal demands for the emancipation of these people.

When produced in court, the Magistrate ordered him released, but on payment of bail. Gandhiji refused to pay the bail. Instead, he indicated his preference to remain in jail under arrest.

Gandhiji was receiving the huge response from the people of Champaran, and intimidated by the knowledge that Gandhiji had already managed to inform the Viceroy of the mistreatment of the farmers by the British plantation owners, the magistrate set him free, without payment of any bail. This was the first instance of the success of civil disobedience as a tool to win freedom.

The British received their first "object lesson" of the power of civil disobedience. It also made the British authorities recognize, for the first time, Gandhiji as a national leader of some consequence.

What Raj Kumar Shukla had started, and the massive response people of Champaran gave to Gandhiji, catapulted his reputation throughout India. Thus, in 1917, began a series of events in a remote corner of Bihar, that ultimately led to the freedom of India in 1947.

JAY PRAKASH NARAYAN AND FIRST NON-CONGRESS PARTY IN POWER: THE JANTA PARTY
Jay Prakash Narayan affectionately called JP. JP's substantial contribution to modern Indian history continued up until his death in 1979.

It was he who led a movement that led to massive win of a non-Congress government -The Janata Party - at Delhi, for the first time. With the blessings of JP, Morarji Desai became the fourth Prime Minister of India. Sadly, soon after attaining power, bickering began among the leaders of the Janata Party which led to the resignation of Shri Desai as the Prime Minister.

JP continued with his call for "total revolution", but he succumbed to kidney failure at a hospital in Bombay in 1979.

LITERATURE: WRITER AND POET
was also a period when Hindi literature came to flourish in the state. Raja Radhika Raman Singh, Shiva Pujan Sahay, Divakar Prasad Vidyarthi, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Ram Briksha Benipuri, are some of the luminaries who contributed to the flowering of Hindi literature, which did not have much of a long history.

The Hindi language, certainly its literature, began around mid to late 19th century. It is marked by the appearance of Bhartendu Babu Harischandra's (a resident of Varanasi in U.P.).

Devaki Nandan Khatri began writing his mystery novels in Hindi during this time (Chandrakanta, Chandrakanta Santati, Kajar ki Kothari, Bhootnath, etc.) He was born at Muzaffarpur in Bihar and had his earlier education there. He then moved to Tekari Estate in Gaya in Bihar.

He later became an employee of the Raja of Benares (now Varanasi.) He started a printing press called "Lahari" which began the publication of a Hindi monthly, "Sudarshan", in 1898. One of the first short stories in Hindi, if not the very first, was "Indumati" (Pundit Kishorilal Goswami, author) which was published in 1900.

The collection of short stories "Rajani our Taare" (Anupam Prakashan, Patna, publishers) contains an extended history of the origin and evolution of the short story as a distinct literary form in the Hindi literature.

  • References :

http://www.gov.bih.nic.in/Profile/default.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bihar

http://www.sitamarhi.org/welcome-to-sitamarhi/

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