Bihar (; ) is a state
in eastern India
. It is the third-largest state by population
and twelfth-largest by territory
, with an area of . It is contiguous with Uttar Pradesh
to its west, Nepal
to the north, the northern part of West Bengal
to the east, and with Jharkhand
to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges
, which flows from west to east.
Three main cultural regions converge in the state: Magadh
, and Bhojpur
. Bihar is also the world's third-most populous subnational entity
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.
The official languages are Hindi
, although other languages are common, including Maithili
and other Bihari languages
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
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
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,
lack of Bihari sub-nationalism,
* Ahmed Farzand and Mishra Subhash]
Leaders of Bihar unite to counter Raj Thackeray
India Today, 31 October 2008
and the Permanent Settlement
of 1793 by the British East India Company
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.
The name ''Bihar'' is derived from the Sanskrit
: विहार), meaning "abode". The region roughly encompassing the present state had many Buddhist vihāras, the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval periods. Medieval writer Minhaj al-Siraj Juzjani
records in the ''Tabaqat-i Nasiri
'' that in 1198 Bakhtiyar Khalji
committed a massacre in a town identified with the word, later known as Bihar Sharif
, about 70 km (43 mi) away from Bodh Gaya
, on the northern bank of the Ganga River
, in Saran district
, has an archaeological record from the Neolithic age
. Regions of Bihar – such as Magadha
– are mentioned in religious texts and epics of ancient India
Mithila gained prominence after the establishment of the Videha
During the late Vedic period 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 Janaka
, a daughter of one of the Janaks of Mithila
is mentioned as the consort of Lord Rama
, in the Hindu epic
'', written by Valmiki
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 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 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
The Nanda dynasty was replaced by the Maurya Empire
'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
). Mauryan emperor Ashoka
, who was born in Pataliputra (Patna), is often considered to be among the most accomplished rulers in world history.
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.
Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji
, during which many of the viharas
were destroyed along with the universities of Nalanda
. Some historians believe 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 the fall of the Pala Empire
, the Chero dynasty
ruled some parts of Bihar from the 12th century until Mughal rule
in the 16th century. In 1540, the great Pathan
chieftain, Sher Shah Suri
, took northern India from the Mughals and 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 Oiniwar dynasty
and Raj Darbhanga
It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shifted to Darbhanga
The tenth and the last guru
, Guru Gobind Singh
, was born in Patna in 1666. With political instability in the Mughal Empire following Aurangzeb
's death in 1707, Murshid Quli Khan
declared Bengal's independence and named himself Nawab of Bengal
After the Battle of Buxar
(1764), the British East India Company
obtained the diwani rights (rights to administer and collect tax revenue) for Bihar, Bengal
. 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 Bihar and Orissa
was carved out as a separate province.
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.
Following independence, Bihari
migrant workers have faced violence and prejudice in many parts of India, such as Maharashtra
Geography and climate
Bihar covers a total area of , with an average elevation above sea level of . It is dominated by a vast stretch of fertile plain which is divided unevenly by the Ganges
River. Central parts of Bihar have some small hills, such as the Rajgir hills
Though the foothills
of the Himalayas
begin in Nepal
, a short distance to the north, these mountains influence Bihar's landforms, climate and hydrology. Along with the Chota Nagpur plateau in Jharkhand
to the south, these give Bihar a diverse climate. Its temperature is subtropical in general, with hot summers and cold winters.
The Ganges flows west–east and, along with its tributaries, regularly floods parts of the Bihar plain. The main northern tributaries are the Gandak
, which originate in the Nepalese Himalayas, and the Bagmati
, which originates in the Kathmandu Valley
. Other tributaries are the Son, Budhi Gandak
, Chandan, Orhani and Phalgu
Flora and fauna
Bihar has reserved Forest
area of , which is 7.27% of its geographical area.
The sub-Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and the Dun ranges in the Champaran district have belts of moist deciduous forests, mixed with shrubs, grass and reeds. High rainfall (above 1,600 mm 3 in
promotes forests of Sal (''Shorea robusta
'') in these areas. Other important trees are Sal Cedrela Toona, Khair
, and Semal. Deciduous forests also occur in the Saharsa
districts, with common trees including ''Shorea robusta'' (sal), Diospyros melanoxylon
(kendu), ''Boswellia serrata
'' (salai), ''Terminalia tomentose
'' (asan), ''Terminalia bellerica
'' (bahera), ''Terminalia arjuna
'' (arjun), ''Pterocarpus marsupium
'' (paisar), and ''Madhuca indica
Valmiki National Park
covers about of forest and is the 18th Tiger Reserve of India
, ranked fourth in terms of density of tiger population. It has a diverse landscape and biodiversity in addition to sheltering the protected carnivores. Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
region is a reserve for the endangered South Asian river dolphin
on Karmanasa River
is a natural habitat of crocodiles. In 2016, the government of Bihar has accepted the proposal of the forest authorities to turn the place into a Crocodile Conservation Reserve (CCR). Other notable wildlife sanctuaries include Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary
, Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary
and Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary
Other species in Bihar include leopard, bear, hyena, bison, chital and barking deer
. Crocodiles (including muggers
) and Gangetic turtles can be found in the river systems. Many varieties of local and migratory bird species can be seen in natural wetlands of Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
, Baraila lake, Kusheshwar Nath Lake, Udaypur lake. Nagi Dam and Nakti Dam have been declared as bird sanctuaries.
At the 2011 Census
, Bihar was the third most populous state of India
with total population of 104,099,452, nearly 89% of it rural. It was also India's most densely populated state, with 1,106 persons per square kilometre. The sex ratio
was 918 females per 1000 males.
Almost 58% of Bihar's population was below 25 years age, which is the highest in India. At 11.3%, Bihar has the second-lowest urbanisation rate in India after Himachal Pradesh
Most of Bihar's population belongs to Indo-Aryan-speaking ethnic groups. It also attracted Punjabi
Hindu refugees during the Partition of British India
in 1947. Bihar has a total literacy rate
of 63.82% (73.39% for males and 53.33% for females), recording a growth of 20% in female literacy over the preceding decade.
According to the 2011 census, 82.7% of Bihar's population practised Hinduism
, while 16.9% followed Islam
is the official language of the state.
Urdu is the second official language in 15 districts of the state.
However, the majority of the people of Bihar speak one of the Bihari languages, most of which as classified as dialects of Hindi during the census. The major ones are Bhojpuri
, but smaller ones such as Angika
(sometimes considered a Maithili dialect) also are spoken by large numbers.
Maithili is a recognised regional language of India under the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India
Proponents have called for Bhojpuri
to receive the same status. However speaker numbers for these languages are limited because the more educated and urban prefer to speak in Hindi (in formal contexts) and so return this answer on the census, and in rural and uneducated areas they simply return their language as "Hindi" on the census.
Smaller communities of Bengali
speakers are found in the eastern districts of the state.
Government and administration
The constitutional head of the government of Bihar is the governor, who is appointed by the President of India
. Executive power rests with the chief minister
and their cabinet. The political party or coalition of political parties having a majority in the Legislative Assembly forms the government.
The head of the bureaucracy of the state is the chief secretary, under whom a hierarchy of officials is drawn from the Indian Administrative Service
, Indian Police Service
, Indian Forest Service
, and different wings of the state civil services. The judiciary
is headed by the Chief Justice. Bihar has a High Court
which has been functioning since 1916. All the branches of the government are located in the state capital, Patna.
The state is administratively divided into 9 divisions and 38 districts. For the administration of urban areas, Bihar has 12 municipal corporations
, 49 nagar parishad
s(city councils), and 80 nagar panchayat
s (town councils).
By 2004, ''The Economist
'' magazine said that "Bihar ad
become a byword for the worst of India, of widespread and inescapable poverty, of corrupt politicians indistinguishable from mafia-dons they patronise, caste-ridden social order that has retained the worst feudal cruelties". In 2005, the World Bank
believed that issues faced by the state were "enormous" because of "persistent poverty, complex social stratification, unsatisfactory infrastructure and weak governance".
there are two main political formations: the National Democratic Alliance
(NDA) which comprises Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP, Indian People's Party), Lok Janashakti Party
(LJP) and Janata Dal (United)
(JDU); and a second alliance between Rashtriya Janata Dal
(RJD, National People's Party), Hindustani Awam Morcha
, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party
and Indian National Congress
(INC). There are many other political formations. The Communist Party of India
had a strong presence in Bihar at one time, which has since weakened. The Communist Party of India (Marxist)
CPI(M) and CPM and All India Forward Bloc
(AIFB) have a minor presence, along with the other extreme leftist parties.
has been chief minister of Bihar for 13 years between 2005 and 2020. In contrast to prior governments, which emphasised divisions of caste and religion, his political platform was based on economic development, reduction of crime and corruption, and greater social equality. Since 2010, the government confiscated the properties of corrupt officials and redeployed them as schools buildings. They also introduced Bihar Special Court Act to curb crime. It also legislated a two-hour lunch break on Fridays, to enable Muslim
employees to pray and thereby reduce absenteeism. The government has prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state since March 2016, which has been linked to a drop in tourism and a rise in substance abuse.
Bihar generally ranks weakest in health outcomes in comparison to other Indian states.
While the National Health Mission
, the Clinical Establishments Act of 2010
, and the formation of the Empowered Action Group (EAG) provide federal funds to expand and improve healthcare services, Bihar's ability to fully utilise this funding is lacking.
Research indicates that Bihar relies on privatised hospitals to provide healthcare to the masses, with the second-highest ratio among Indian states for private to public spending and high levels of corruption.
These factors are associated with slower healthcare delivery and steep healthcare costs. Corruption is enabled as Bihar lacks continuity and transparency of health reporting as required by the Clinical Establishments Act of 2010. In turn, this prevents the government from making evidence-based conclusions about policy changes and hospital effectiveness, resulting in patterns of ill-informed spending and inconsistent hiring.
When comparing Bihar to Kerala
, the number of healthcare professionals (including registered nurses, auxiliary nurses, physicians and health supervisors) at each hospital are significantly lower, and remain constant over time while they steadily increase in number in Kerala.
[Government of India- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare- Health and Family Welfare Census Data, 2008–2015]
According to Ministry of Health statistics, the greatest shortfalls are for physicians and specialists at 75%.
Bihar has only 50% of the sub-health centres, 60% of the primary health centres, and 9% of the community health centres required by the national supply-to-population standards. The number of public hospital beds in Bihar decreased between 2008 and 2015.
Given the high population density of the state, Bihar is significantly behind in the number of healthcare professionals that should be employed.
Despite these shortcomings, Bihar has shown gradual signs of improvement for female health workers,
death rate, and infant, neo-natal, child and maternal morality rates.
Bihar's gross state domestic product (GSDP) for fiscal year (FY) 2013–14 was around billion. By sectors, its composition is 22% agriculture, 5% industry and 73% services. Bihar has the fastest-growing state economy in terms of GSDP, with a growth rate of 17.06% in FY 2014–15. The economy of Bihar was projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% during 2012–2017 (the 12th Five-Year Plan
). Bihar has experienced strong growth in per capita net state domestic product (NSDP). At current prices, per capita NSDP of the state grew at a CAGR of 12.91% from 2004 to 2005 to 2014–15.
Bihar's per capita income went up by 40.6% in FY 2014–15. The state's debt was estimated at 77% of GDP by 2007.
Among the states of India, Bihar is the fourth-largest producer of vegetables and the eighth-largest producer of fruits. About 80% of the state's population is employed in agriculture, which is above the national average.
The main agricultural products are litchi, guava, mango, pineapple, brinjal, lady's finger, cauliflower, cabbage, rice, wheat, sugarcane, and sunflower. Though good soil and favourable climatic conditions favour agriculture, this can be hampered by floods and soil erosion. The southern parts of the state endure annual droughts, which affect crops such as paddy.
are the major industrial cities in Bihar The capital city, Patna, is one of the better-off cities in India when measured by per capita income.
The Finance Ministry has sought to create investment opportunities for big industrial houses like Reliance Industries
. Further developments have taken place in the growth of small industries, improvements in IT infrastructure, a software park in Patna, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, and the completion of the expressway from the Purvanchal border through Bihar to Jharkhand. In August 2008, a Patna-registered company called the Security and Intelligence Services
took over the Australian guard and mobile patrol services business of American conglomerate, United Technologies Corporation
(UTC). SIS is registered and taxed in Bihar.
Prior to prohibition
, Bihar emerged as a brewery hub with numerous production units. In August 2018, United Breweries Limited
announced it would begin production of non-alcoholic beer at its previously defunct brewery in Bihar.
In terms of income, the districts of Patna
, and Begusarai
placed highest among the 38 districts in the state, recording the highest per capita gross district domestic product
of 31,441, 10,087 and 9,312, respectively, in FY 2004–05.
There are several traditional styles of painting practised in Bihar. One is Mithila painting
, a style used in the Mithila region
of Bihar. Traditionally, this form was practised mainly by women, passed down generation to generation. Painting was usually done on walls during festivals, religious events, births, marriages, and other cultural milestones.
[Carolyn Brown Heinz, 2006, "Documenting the Image in Mithila Art," Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 22, Issue 2, pp. 5–33]
It was traditionally done on the plastered walls of mud huts, and is also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Famous Mithila painters include Smt Bharti Dayal, Mahasundari Devi
, the late Ganga Devi
, and Sita Devi.
Mithila painting is also called Madhubani art
. It mostly depicts human beings and their association with nature. Common scenes illustrate deities and Saraswati
from ancient epics, celestial objects, and religious plants like Tulsi
, and scenes from the royal court and social events. Generally, no space is left empty.
The Patna School of Painting
(''Patna Kalam''), sometimes called "Company Painting", flourished in Bihar during the early 18th to mid-20th centuries. It was an offshoot of the Mughal
Miniature School of Painting. Those who practised this art form were descendants of Hindu artisans of Mughal painting. Facing persecution from the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb
, these artisans found refuge, via Murshidabad
, in Patna
during the late 18th century. Their art shared the characteristics of the Mughal painters, expanded subject matter from court scenes to bazaar
scenes, daily life and ceremonies. They used watercolour
s on paper and on mica
. This school of painting formed the basis for the formation of the Patna Art School
under the leadership of Shri Radha Mohan. The school is an important centre of the fine arts
Bihar has produced musicians like Bharat Ratna
, Ustad Bismillah Khan
singers like the Malliks (Darbhanga Gharana
) and the Mishras (Bettiah
Gharana), along with poets like Vidyapati
Thakur who contributed to Maithili music
. The classical music in Bihar is a form of Hindustani classical music
is another centre of classical music, particularly of the Tappa
Govardhan Mishra – son of the Ram Prasad Mishra, himself an accomplished singer – is perhaps the finest living exponent of Tappa singing in India, according to Padma Shri
Gajendra Narayan Singh, founding secretary of the Sangeet Natak Academi
Gajendra Narayan Singh also writes, in his memoir, that Champanagar, Banaili
, was another major centre of classical music. Rajkumar Shyamanand Sinha
of Champanagar, Banaili princely state, was a great patron of music and was himself one of the finest exponents of classical vocal music in Bihar in his time.
Singh, in another book on Indian classical music, wrote that "Kumar Shyamanand Singh of Banaili estate had such expertise in singing that many great singers including Kesarbai Kerkar
acknowledged his ability. After listening to bandish
es from Kumar Sahib, Pandit Jasraj
was moved to tears and lamented that, alas, he did not have such ability himself." ree translation of Hindi text
During the 19th century, many Biharis emigrated as indentured labourers to the West Indies
, and Mauritius
. During this time many sad plays and songs called ''birha'' became popular in the Bhojpur region
, as ''Bhojpuri Birha''. Dramas incorporating this theme continue to be popular in the theatres of Patna
Bihar has a robust Bhojpuri
-language film industry. There is also a smaller production of Magadhi
- and Angika
-language films. The first film with Bhojpuri dialogue was ''Ganga Jamuna
'', released in 1961.
, the first Magadhi
film, was released in 1961.
The first Maithili
movie was ''Kanyadan
'' released in 1965.
Maithili film ''Mithila Makhaan
'' won the
National Film Award
for Best Maithili Film in 2016.
The history of films entirely in Bhojpuri begins in 1962 with the well-received film ''Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo
'' ("Mother Ganges, I will offer you a yellow sari"), which was directed by Kundan Kumar.
1963's ''Lagi nahin chute ram
'' was the all-time hit Bhojpuri film, and had higher attendance than ''Mughal-e-Azam
'' in the eastern and northern regions of India. Bollywood
's ''Nadiya Ke Paar
'' is another well-known Bhojpuri-language movie. Films such as ''Bidesiya
'' ("Foreigner", 1963, directed by S. N. Tripathi) and ''Ganga
'' ("Ganges", 1965, directed by Kundan Kumar) were profitable and popular, but in general Bhojpuri films were not commonly produced in the 1960s and 1970s.
In the 1980s, enough Bhojpuri films were produced to support a dedicated industry. Films such as ''Mai'' ("Mom", 1989, directed by Rajkumar Sharma) and ''Hamar Bhauji'' ("My Brother's Wife", 1983, directed by Kalpataru) had success at the box office. However, this trend faded during the 1990s.
In 2001, Bhojpuri films regained popularity with ''Saiyyan Hamar'' ("My Sweetheart", directed by Mohan Prasad), which raised actor Ravi Kishan
to prominence. Several other commercially successful films followed, including ''Panditji Batai Na Biyah Kab Hoi'' ("Priest, tell me when I will marry", 2005, directed by Mohan Prasad) and ''Sasura Bada Paisa Wala'' ("My father-in-law, the rich guy", 2005). These films did much better business in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar than mainstream Bollywood hits at the time, and were both made on extremely tight budgets. ''Sasura Bada Paisa Wala'' also introduced Manoj Tiwari
, formerly a well-loved folk singer, to the wider audiences of Bhojpuri cinema
. The success of Ravi Kishan and Manoj Tiwari's films led to a revival in Bhojpuri cinema, and the industry began to support an awards show and trade magazine ''Bhojpuri City''. The industry produces over one hundred films per year.
Hindu Goddess Sita
, the consort of Lord Rama
, is believed to have been born in Sitamarhi district
in the Mithila region
of modern-day Bihar. Gautama Buddha
at Bodh Gaya
, a town located in the modern day district of Gaya
in Bihar. Vasupujya
, the 12th Jain Tirthankara
was born in Champapuri
. Vardhamana Mahavira
, the 24th and last Tirthankara
, was born in Vaishali
around the 6th century BC.
''Biharbandhu'' was the first Hindi
newspaper published in Bihar. It was started in 1872 by Madan Mohan Bhatta, a Marathi Brahman
who settled in Bihar Sharif
Hindi journalism often failed until it became an official language in the state. Hindi was introduced in the law courts in Bihar in 1880.
Urdu journalism and poetry has a long history in Bihar, with many poets such as Shaad Azimabadi, Kaif Azimabadi, Kalim Ajiz and Bismil Azimabadi
. Bihar publishes many Urdu dailies, such as ''Qomi Tanzim'' and ''Sahara'', and the monthly ''Voice of Bihar''.
The beginning of the 20th century was marked by a number of notable new publications. A monthly magazine named ''Bharat Ratna'' was started in Patna
, in 1901. It was followed by ''Ksahtriya Hitaishi'', ''Aryavarta from Dinapure'', ''Udyoga'', and ''Chaitanya Chandrika''. ''Udyog'' was edited by Vijyaanand Tripathy, a famous poet of the time, and ''Chaitanya Chandrika'' by Krishna Chaitanya Goswami, a literary figure of that time. The literary activity was not confined to Patna
alone but to other districts of Bihar.
Bihar has a total of three operational airports as of 2020: Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport
in Patna, Gaya Airport
in Gaya, and Darbhanga Airport
in Darbhanga. All three airports have scheduled flights to major cities around India. Gaya Airport
is the only international airport in Bihar, having seasonal flights to countries like Thailand
, and Myanmar
is navigable throughout the year, and was the principal river highway across the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain
. Vessels capable of accommodating five hundred merchants were known to ply this river in the ancient period, when it served as a conduit for overseas trade. The role of the Ganges as a channel for trade was enhanced by its natural links to major rivers and streams in north and south Bihar.
The culture and heritage of Bihar can be observed from the large number of ancient monument
s spread throughout the state. Bihar is visited by many tourists from around the world,
on Tourism in Bihar on Indian Government's website
with about 24 million tourists visiting the state each year.
In the past, tourism in the region was purely based on educational tourism
, as Bihar was home of some prominent ancient universities like Nalanda
File:Mahabodhitemple.jpg|The Mahabodhi Temple, among the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha and UNESCO World Heritage Site
File:Building of Lalit Naryan Mithla University, Darbhanga Bihar.jpg|Monuments of Darbhanga
File:Vaishali remainings.JPG|Remains of the ancient city of Vaishali
File:Trolly ride in Rajgri.JPG|Trolley ride in Rajgir
File:Photonkar-016.jpg|Gurudwara Patna sahib, birthplace of Guru Govind Singh.
File:Front view of Vikramshila Monastery.jpg|Vikramshila Monastery
File:Buddha Smriti Park 04.JPG|Buddha Smriti Park
Historically, Bihar has been a major centre of learning, home to the ancient universities
( 450 CE), Odantapurā
(est. 550 CE) and Vikramashila
(est. 783 CE). Bihar saw a revival of its education system during the later part of the British rule
, when Patna University
, the seventh oldest university of the Indian subcontinent, was established in 1917. Some other centres of high learning established under British rule are Patna College
(est. 1839), Bihar School of Engineering (est. 1900; now known as National Institute of Technology, Patna
), Prince of Wales Medical College (est. 1925; now Patna Medical College and Hospital
), Science College, Patna
(est. 1928), Patna Women's College
, Bihar Veterinary College
(est. 1927), and Imperial Agriculture Research Institute (est. 1905; now Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University, Pusa
A recent survey by Pratham
rated the receptivity of Bihari children to their teaching as being better than those in other states. Bihar is striving to increase female literacy, now at 53.3%. At the time of independence, women's literacy in Bihar was 4.22%.
In 1964 Bihar School of Yoga
was established at Munger
Government colleges are located at Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga, Motihari, Nalanda, and Saran (Chhapra). All institutes are recognised by All India Council for Technical Education
(AICTE), affiliated with Aryabhatta Knowledge University
(AKU). An eighth state engineering college began construction in December 2013 at Begusarai
, while two others are planned at Madhepura
Bihar established several new educational institutes between 2006 and 2008. BIT Mesra
started its Patna extension centre
in September 2006. On 8 August 2008, Indian Institutes of Technology Patna
was inaugurated with students from all over India In 2008, NSIT
opened its new college in Bihta
, which is now emerging as an education hub. BCE, Bhagalpur
, MIT, Muzaffarpur
, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hajipur
(NIPER) are in Bihar. On 4 August 2008, National Institute of Fashion Technology Patna
was established as the ninth such institute in India. Chanakya National Law University
and Chandragupt Institute of Management
were established in the later half of 2008. Steps are being taken to revive the ancient Nalanda Mahavihara as Nalanda International University. Countries such as Japan, Korea, and China have also taken initiatives. The A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies is a premier research institute in the state.
Bihar e-Governance Services & Technologies (BeST) and the government of Bihar
have initiated a unique program to establish a centre of excellence called Bihar Knowledge Center, a finishing school to equip students with the latest skills and customised short-term training programs at an affordable cost. The centre aims to attract the youth of the state to improve their technical, professional, and soft skills, to meet the current requirements of the industrial job market.
Bihar has a National Institute of Technology
(NIT) and an Indian Institute of Technology
(IIT) in Patna. The National Employability Report of Engineering Graduates, 2014, puts graduates from Bihar in the top 25 percent of the country, and rates Bihar as one of the three top states at producing engineering graduates in terms of quality and employability. As of December 2013, there are seven government engineering colleges in the public sector, and 12 engineering colleges in the private sector, besides government-aided BIT Patna
and Women's Institute of Technology
, Darbhanga. The overall annual intake of students of these technical institutes in Bihar is only 6,200.
is the second oldest engineering college
. Its origin can be traced to 1886, with the establishment of a survey training school, subsequently renamed Bihar College of Engineering in 1932. In 2004, the government of India upgraded the college to National Institute of Technology
(NIT) status. In 2007, NIT Patna was granted Institute of National Importance
status, in accordance with the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007
. The State Government is setting up an Information Technology (IT) City at Rajgir
in Nalanda district
. Additionally, India's first Media Hub is also proposed to be set up in Bihar.
Bihar has the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology
(CIPET) and the Institute of Hotel Management
(a central government unit) in Hajipur
. The Central University of Bihar
(CUB) is one of the sixteen central universities
newly established by the Government of India under the Central Universities Act, 2009 (Section 25 of 2009). The university is temporarily located on the premises of the Birla Institute of Technology, Patna. The university is likely to be relocated to Panchanpur, approximately from Gaya, on of land to be transferred soon from the military. On 28 February 2014, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar laid the foundation stone.
In 2010 Government of Bihar established Bihar Agricultural University
district. It has ten colleges. Mahatma Gandhi Central University
– also established under the Central Universities Act, and Amendment Act of 2014 – is situated in Motihari
, the district headquarters of East Champaran district. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna
was established in 2012. On 3 July 2013, chief minister Nitish Kumar
laid foundation stone for a new campus of National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology
in Amara village, near Bihta
township. It was inaugurated in February 2018. Bihar has eight medical colleges which are funded by the government, namely Patna Medical College and Hospital
, Nalanda Medical College and Hospital
, Vardhman Institute of Medical Sciences
, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences
, Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital
, Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital Gaya
, Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital
, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Bhagalpur
, Government Medical College, Bettiah and five private medical colleges
In February 2019, deputy chief minister Sushil Modi
announced the Bihar government's planned to establish 11 new medical colleges at Chhapra, Purnia, Samastipur, Bengusarai, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Jhanjharpur, Siwan, Buxar, Bhojpur, Jamui and a dental college at Rahui in Nalanda district is under construction. There are also plans on constructing a cancer institute within Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences
premises and transformation of Patna Medical College and Hospital
into a world-class health centre. In 2014 the government of Bihar established Development Management Institute
near the Patna
. Nalanda University
was re-established in 2014. In 2015, the central government had proposed re-establishment of Vikramshila
and had designated 500 crores (5 billion rupees) for it. The Indian Institute of Management Bodh Gaya
was established in 2015. In 2016 the government of Bihar established Patliputra University
, Munger University
, Purnea University
through Bihar state university bill. The government of Bihar established Bihar Animal Science University in 2017. It has three constituent colleges namely, Bihar Veterinary College
, Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Dairy Technology (Patna) and College of Fisheries, Kishanganj. The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bhagalpur
, was established in 2017. In March 2019, the government of Bihar has sent a proposal to centre Government to upgrade Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital
into an AIIMS
* Bihar Diwas
* Bihar Startup Policy
* Outline of Bihar
** Timeline of Bihar
** Bihari culture
*** Cuisine of Bihar
*** Bihari languages
*** Bihari people
**** List of people from Bihar
* ''Swami Sahajanand Saraswati
Rachnawali (Selected works of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati), Prakashan Sansthan, Delhi
* Christopher Alan Bayly
, ''Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770–1870'', Cambridge University Press
* Anand A. Yang, ''Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar'', University of California Press
* Acharya ''Hazari Prasad Dwivedi
Rachnawali'', Rajkamal Prakashan
* ''Swami Sahajanand and the Peasants of Jharkhand: A View from 1941'' translated and edited by Walter Hauser
along with the unedited Hindi original (Manohar Publishers
, paperback, 2005).
* ''Sahajanand on Agricultural Labour and the Rural Poor'' translated and edited by Walter Hauser
, paperback, 2005).
* ''Religion, Politics, and the Peasants: A Memoir of India's Freedom Movement'' translated and edited by Walter Hauser
, hardbound, 2003).
* Pandit Yadunandan (Jadunandan) Sharma
, 1947, ''Bakasht Mahamari Aur Uska Achook Ilaaz'' (Bakasht Epidemic and its Infalliable Remedy) in Hindi, Allahabad.
* Jagannath Sarkar, "Many Streams" Selected Essays by Jagannath Sarkar and Reminiscing Sketches" Compiled by Gautam Sarkar Edited by Mitali Sarkar, First Published May 2010, Navakarnataka Publications Private Limited, Bangalore.
* Indradeep Sinha
, 1969, ''Sathi ke Kisanon ka Aitihasic Sangharsha'' (Historic Struggle of Sathi Peasants), in Hindi, Patna.
* Indradeep Sinha
, ''Real face of JP's total revolution'', Communist Party of India
* Indradeep Sinha
, ''Some features of current agrarian situation in India'', All India Kisan Sabha
* Indradeep Sinha
, ''The changing agrarian scene: Problems and tasks'', Peoples Publishing House (1980).
* Indradeep Sinha
, ''Some questions concerning Marxism and the peasantry'', Communist Party of India
* Nand Kishore Shukla, ''The Trial of Baikunth Sukul: A Revolutionary Patriot'', Har-Anand, 1999, 403 pages, .
* ''Shramikon Ke Hitaishi Neta, Itihas Purush: Basawon Singh'' published by the Bihar Hindi Granth Academy (1st Edition, April 2000).
* Ramchandra Prasad, Ashok Kumar Sinha, ''Sri Krishna Singh'' in ''Adhunik Bharat ke Nirmata Series'', Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
, Government of India
* Walter Hauser
, 1961, ''Peasant Organisation in India: A Case Study of the Bihar Kisan Sabha, 1929–1942'', Ph.D. Thesis, University of Chicago
, (Forthcoming publication).
* Rai, Algu, 1946, ''A Move for the Formation of an All-Indian Organisation for the Kisans'', Azamgrah.
* N. G. Ranga
, 1949, ''Revolutionary Peasants'', New Delhi.
* N. G. Ranga
, 1968, ''Fight For Freedom'', New Delhi.
* Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan
, 1943, ''Naye Bharet ke Naye Neta (New Leaders of New India)'', in Hindi, Allahabad.
* Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan
, 1957, ''Dimagi Gulami (Mental Slavery)'', in Hindi, Allahabad.
* Manmath Nath Gupta
, ''Apane samaya ka surya Dinkar'', Alekha Prakasana (1981).
* Khagendra Thakur
, ''Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar': Vyaktitva aur Krititva'', Publications Division
, 2008 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
, Government of India
* Vijendra Narayan Singh
, ''Bharatiya Sahitya ke Nirmata: Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'', Sahitya Akademi
, New Delhi, 2005, .
* Kumar Vimal, ''Ramdhari Singh Dinkar Rachna – Sanchayan'', Sahitya Akademi
, New Delhi, 2008, .
* Mishra Shree Govind''History Of Bihar 1740–1772'' Munshiram Manoharlal
* Verma B S''Socio-religious Economic And Literary Condition Of Bihar (From ca. 319 A.D. to 1000 A.D.)''
Munshiram Manoharlal, 1962
* Maitra ''Magahi Culture''
Cosmo Publications, New Delhi, 1983
* Naipaul V S, ''India: A Wounded Civilization'', Picador, 1977
* Trevithick Alan, ''The Revival Of Buddhist Pilgrimage At Bodh Gaya (1811–1949): Anagarika Dharmapala And The Mahabodhi Temple''
* Jannuzi F. Tomasson ''Agrarian Crisis In India: The Case Of Bihar''
University of Texas Press, 1974, ,
* Omalley L S S, ''History of Magadh'', Veena Publication, 2005,
* Shukla Prabhat Kumar''Indigo And The Raj: Peasant Protests In Bihar 1780–1917''
Pragati Publications, 1993,
* Ahmad Qeyamuddin''Patna Through The Ages: Glimpses of History, Society & Economy''
Commonwealth Publishers, 1988
* Jain B D, ''Ardha Magadhi Reader'', Sri Satguru Publications, Lahore, 1923
* Patra C, ''Life in Ancient India: As Depicted In The Digha Nikaya'', Punthi Pustak, 1996,
* Hazra Kanai Lal, ''Buddhism in India As Described by the Chinese Pilgrims AD 399–689'', Munshiram Manoharlal, 1983,
* McCrindle John W., ''Ancient India As Described By Megasthenes And Arrian'', Munshiram Manoharlal
* McCrindle John W.''Ancient India As Described By Ptolemy''
Munshiram Manoharlal, 1927,
* Sastry Harprasad, ''Magadhan Literature'', Sri Satguru Publications, Calcutta, 1923
* Rai Alok, ''Hindi Nationalism'', Orient Longman, 2000,
* Waddell Austine L., ''Report on the Excavations at Pataliputra (Patna) – The Palibothra of the Greeks'', Asian Publicational Services, Calcutta, 1903
* Das Arvind N., ''The State of Bihar: an economic history without footnotes'', Amsterdam: VU University Press, 1992
* Brass Paul R., ''The politics of India since Independence'', Cambridge University Press, 1990
* Askari S. H., ''Mediaeval Bihar: Sultante and Mughal Period'', Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna, 1990
* Tayler William, ''Three Months at Patna during the Insurrection of 1857'', Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna, 2007
* Taylor P.J.O., ''"What really happened during the Mutiny: A day by day account of the major events of 1857–1859 in India"'', Oxford University Press, 1997,
* Pathak Prabhu Nath''Society and Culture in Early Bihar (C.A.D. 200 – 600)''
Commonwealth Publishers, 1988
* Basham A. L., ''The Wonder that was India'', Picador, 1954,
* Nambisan Vijay, ''Bihar in the eye of the beholder'', Penguin Books, 2000,
* Pathak Mohan, ''Flood plains and Agricultural occupance'', Deep & Deep Publication, 1991,
* D'Souza Rohan, ''Drowned and Dammed:Colonial Capitalism and Flood Control in Eastern India'', Oxford University Press, 2006,
* Radhakanta Barik – ''Land & Caste Politics in Bihar'' (Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2006)
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