Place:Bihar, India

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NameBihar
Alt namesBeharsource: Cambridge World Gazetteer (1990) p 77
Bihārsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Bihār statesource: Getty Vocabulary Program
TypeState
Coordinates25.0°N 86.0°E
Located inIndia     (1947 - )
Contained Places
District
Araria
Arwal
Aurangabad
Banka
Begusarai
Bhojpur
East Champaran
Gaya
Gopalganj
Jamui
Jehanabad
Kaimur
Katihar
Khagaria
Kishanganj
Lakhisarai
Madhepura
Muzaffarpur
Nalanda
Nawada
Rohtas
Saharsa
Samastipur
Sheikhpura
Sheohar
Sitamarhi
Siwan
Supaul
Vaishali
West Champaran
Former nation/state/empire
Magadha
Inhabited place
Akbarpur
Ariah
Arrah
Asanbāni
Asansol
Aurangabad Bihar
Bagaha
Bagodar
Baharagora
Baidyanāth
Bakhri
Bakhtiyārpur
Banmankhi
Bar Bigha
Bara Bāngurda
Baratolia
Barh
Barharwa
Barhi
Barhiya
Barka Kāna
Barki Saraiya
Barwa
Barākar
Barām
Belhar
Benagaria
Bengabad
Bermo
Bettiah
Bhabua
Bhagaiya
Bhojudih
Bihariganj
Bihta
Bihār Sharīf
Bisrāmpur
Bodh Gaya
Bokaro
Bundu
Buxar
Bābupur
Bāmangawān
Bānskupi
Bāra Jamda
Bāra
Bāruni
Chainpur
Chakradharpur
Champapur
Chandankiāri
Chandil
Chatra
Chaupāran
Chhattarpur
Chirki
Chākia
Chākulia
Chās
Chāībāsa
Colgong
Dalkola
Dalsingh Sarai
Danapur
Daudnagar
Dehri
Deoghar
Dhaka
Dhanbad
Dhowa
Dinapore
Dohhi
Dumka
Dumra
Dumraon
Dāltenganj
Fatwa
Forbesganj
Garwa
Gawan
Geria Nij
Ghagra
Ghatsila
Ghorasahan
Giridih
Gobindpur
Godda
Gomoh
Gua
Gumla
Gunjrauliya
Gānde
Hansdiha
Harinagar
Haripur
Harnātānr
Hazāribāg
Hisua
Husainabad
Islampur
Jagdispur
Jahanabad
Jamalpur
Jamshedpur
Jamtara
Japla
Jaridih
Jasidih
Jhajha
Jharia
Jhinkpāni
Kairābani
Karagola
Karmatam
Karon
Kathiār
Katras
Katuria
Kekpāra
Kendghata
Khairbani
Kharagdiha
Kharagpur
Kharsawan
Khunti
Kiul
Kodarma
Kokpāra Narsinghgarh
Kolebīra
Kowār
Kumrābād
Kundahit
Kursela
Kuyāli
Kālikāpur
Laheria Sarāi
Lalganj
Lauriya Nandangarh
Litipāra
Lohardaga
Luckeesarai
Lātehār
Madhubani
Madhupur
Maharajganj
Maheshmunda
Mahulia
Manihari
Manoharpur
Masānjor
Mohania
Mokāma
Murliganj
Mushābani
Mānushmuria
Nagar Untāri
Narainpur
Narkatiaganj
Nasriganj
Naugachhia
Netarhāt
Nirmali
Nirsa
Noamundi
Pachamba
Pakaur
Palāstha
Parasnāth
Pawapuri
Pokharia
Pornia
Pusa
Qasba
Rajgir
Rajmahal
Ramgarh
Ranchi
Raneswar
Raxaul
Revelganj
Rusera
Rājābhita
Rāribahāl
Sagauli
Sahibganj
Saraikela
Sarath
Shaikhpura
Sikandra
Silkāripāra
Silphuh
Simaltala
Simaria
Simdega
Sindri
Sirāmpur
Sonahula
Sonpur
Tajpur
Taraia
Tarapur
Tatanagar
Teghra
Tekari
Topchānchi
Tāratanr
Waris Aliganj
Unknown
Bhagalpur
Darbhanga
Kosi
Magadh
Munger
Patna
Purnia
Saran
Tirhut
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bihar is state in eastern India. It is the thirteenth-largest Indian state, with an area of . The third-largest state by population, it is contiguous with Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to the east, with Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges, which flows from west to east. Three main regions converge in the state: Magadh, Mithila, and Bhojpur.

On 15 November 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand. Only 11.3% of the population of Bihar lives in urban areas, which is the lowest in India after Himachal Pradesh. Additionally, almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people of any Indian state.

In ancient and classical India, the area that is now Bihar was considered a centre of power, learning, and culture. From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world's most widely adhered-to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule. Another region of Bihar is Mithila which was an early centre of learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom.

Since the late 1970s, Bihar has lagged far behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic development. Many economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the policies of the central government, such as the Freight equalisation policy, its apathy towards Bihar,[1] lack of Bihari sub-nationalism,[2] and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company.[2] The state government has, however, made significant strides in developing the state. Improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities, greater emphasis on education, and a reduction in crime and corruption.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ancient

Chirand, on the northern bank of the Ganga River, in Saran district, has an archaeological record from the Neolithic age (about 2500–1345 BC). Regions of Bihar—such as Magadha, Mithila and Anga—are mentioned in religious texts and epics of ancient India.

Mithila gained prominence after establishment of the Videha Kingdom in Āryāvarta (ancient name of Bharat). During the late Vedic period (c. 1100-500 BCE), Videha became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla. The kings of the Videha Kingdom were called Janakas. Sita, a daughter of one of the Janaks of Mithila is mentioned as the consort of Lord Rama, in the Hindu epic, Ramayana, written by Valmiki.[3] The Videha Kingdom later became incorporated into the Vajji confederacy which had its capital in the city of Vaishali, which is also in Mithila. Vajji had a republican form of government where the king was elected from the number of rajas. Based on the information found in texts pertaining to Jainism and Buddhism, Vajji was established as a republic by the 6th century BCE, before the birth of Gautama Buddha in 563 BCE, making it the first known republic in India.

The region of modern-day southwestern Bihar called Magadha remained the centre of power, learning, and culture in India for 1000 years. The Haryanka dynasty, founded in 684 BC, ruled Magadha from the city of Rajgriha (modern Rajgir). The two well-known kings from this dynasty were Bimbisara and his son Ajatashatru, who imprisoned his father to ascend the throne. Ajatashatru founded the city of Pataliputra which later became the capital of Magadha. He declared war and conquered the Vajji. The Haryanka dynasty was followed by the Shishunaga dynasty. Later the Nanda Dynasty ruled a vast tract stretching from Bengal to Punjab.

The Nanda dynasty was replaced by the Maurya Empire, India's first empire. The Maurya Empire and the religion of Buddhism arose in the region that now makes up modern Bihar. The Mauryan Empire, which originated from Magadha in 325 BC, was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, who was born in Magadha. It had its capital at Pataliputra (modern Patna). The Mauryan emperor, Ashoka, who was born in Pataliputra (Patna) is believed to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of the world.

The Gupta Empire, which originated in Magadha in 240 AD, is referred as the Golden Age of India in science, mathematics, astronomy, commerce, religion, and Indian philosophy. Bihar and Bengal was invaded by Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century.

Medieval

Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, during which many of the viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila were destroyed. It was claimed that thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred during the 12th century. D. N. Jha suggests, instead, that these incidents were the result of Buddhist-Brahmin skirmishes in a fight for supremacy. After fall of Pala Empire, Chero dynasty ruled some parts of Bihar from 12th century to 16th century till Mughal rule. In 1540, the great Pathan chieftain, Sher Shah Suri, from Sasaram, took northern India from the Mughals, defeating the Mughal army of Emperor Humayun. Sher Shah declared Delhi his capital.

From the 11th century to the 20th century, Mithila was ruled by various indigenous dynasties. The first of these were the Karnatas, followed by the Oinwar dynasty and finally Raj Darbhanga. It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shifted to Darbhanga.

The tenth and the last Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna.

Colonial Era

After the Battle of Buxar (1764), the British East India Company obtained the diwani rights (rights to administer, and collect revenue or tax) for Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. The rich resources of fertile land, water and skilled labour had attracted the foreign imperialists, particularly the Dutch and British, in the 18th century. A number of agriculture-based industries had been started in Bihar by foreign entrepreneurs. Bihar remained a part of the Bengal Presidency of British India until 1912, when the province of Bihar and Orissa was carved out as a separate province. Since 2010, Bihar has celebrated its birthday as Bihar Diwas on 22 March.[4]

Pre- and post-Independence

Farmers in Champaran had revolted against indigo cultivation in 1914 (at Pipra) and 1916 (Turkaulia). In April 1917, Mahatma Gandhi visited Champaran, where Raj Kumar Shukla had drawn his attention to the exploitation of the peasants by European indigo planters. The Champaran Satyagraha that followed received support from many Bihari nationalists, such as Rajendra Prasad and Anugrah Narayan Sinha.

In the northern and central regions of Bihar, the Kisan Sabha (peasant movement) was an important consequence of the independence movement. It began in 1929 under the leadership of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati who formed the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS), to mobilise peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights. The movement intensified and spread from Bihar across the rest of India, culminating in the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress in April 1936, where Saraswati was elected as its first president.

Bihari migrant workers have faced violence and prejudice in many parts of India, such as Maharashtra, Punjab and Assam after independence.

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