BIHAR (/bᵻˈhɑːr/ ; Hindustani pronunciation: ) is an Indian state considered to be a part of Eastern as well as Northern India . It is the 13th-largest state of India, with an area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi). The third-largest state of India 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. Bihar is an amalgamation of three main distinct regions, these are Magadh , Mithila and Bhojpur .
On November 15, 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 of the state are Hindi and Urdu . Other languages commonly used within the state include Bhojpuri , Maithili , Magahi , Bajjika , and Angika (Maithili is the only one of these to be officially accepted by the government).
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 Brahmanical learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom. There is an ongoing movement in the Maithili speaking region of Bihar for a separate Indian state of Mithila. What will be the capital of the state has yet to be decided however Darbhanga is the most likely candidate. Other potential capitals include Muzaffarpur , Purnia ,Madhubani and Begusarai .
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, 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.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Ancient * 2.2 Medieval * 2.3 Colonial Era * 2.4 Pre- and post-Independence
* 3 Geography and climate
* 3.1 Flora and fauna
* 4 Demographics
* 5 Government and administration
* 5.1 Politics
* 6 Economy
* 6.1 Agriculture * 6.2 Industry * 6.3 Income distribution
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 Language and literature * 7.2 Paintings * 7.3 Performing arts * 7.4 Cinema * 7.5 Religion
* 8 Media
* 9 Transport
* 9.1 Airways * 9.2 Inland Waterways
* 10 Tourism * 11 Education * 12 See also * 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links
The name _Bihar_ is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word, _Vihara _ ( Devanagari : विहार), meaning "abode". The region roughly encompassing the present state was dotted with Buddhist vihara, the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval periods. Medieval writer Minhaj al-Siraj Juzjani records in the _Tabakat-i-Nasiri_ that in 1198, Bakhtiyar Khalji committed a massacre in a town now known as Bihar Sharif , about 70 km away from Bodh Gaya .
Copy of the seal excavated from Kundpur, Vaishali. The Brahmi letters on the seal means: Kundpur was in Vaishali. Prince Vardhaman (Mahavira) used this seal after the Judgement
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 first gained prominence after being settled by Indo-Aryan peoples who established the Videha Kingdom. 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 where 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 . 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 world's first republic.
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. _ Kalidasa 's Sanskrit play Abhijñānaśākuntalam _
Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad Bin Bakhtiar Khilji , 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. 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 where the Karnatas , followed by the Oinwar dynasty , Raghuvanshi and finally Raj Darbhanga . It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shifted to Darbhanga .
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.
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.
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
AVG. TEMPERATURE 27 °C (81 °F)
• SUMMER 34 °C (93 °F)
• WINTER 10 °C (50 °F)
PRECIPITATION 1,200 mm (47 in)
Bihar has a diverse climate. Its temperature is subtropical in general, with hot summers and cool winters. Bihar is a vast stretch of fertile plain. It is drained by the Ganges River, including its northern tributaries Gandak and Koshi , originating in the Nepal Himalayas and the Bagmati originating in the Kathmandu Valley that regularly flood parts of the Bihar plains. The total area covered by the state of Bihar is 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi). the state is located between 24°-20'-10" N ~ 27°-31'-15" N latitude and between 83°-19'-50" E ~ 88°-17'-40" E longitude. Its average elevation above sea level is 173 feet (53 m).
The Ganges divides Bihar into two unequal halves and flows through the middle from west to east. Other Ganges tributaries are the Son, Budhi Gandak , Chandan, Orhani and Phalgu . Though the Himalayas begin at the foothills , a short distance inside Nepal and to the north of Bihar, the mountains influence Bihar's landforms, climate, hydrology and culture. Central parts of Bihar have some small hills, for example the Rajgir hills . To the south is the Chota Nagpur plateau, which was part of Bihar until 2000 but now is part of a separate state called Jharkhand .
FLORA AND FAUNA
Bihar has notified forest area of 6,764.14 km2 (2,612 sq mi), which is 7.2% of its geographical area. The sub Himalayan foothill of Someshwar and the Dun ranges in the Champaran district are another belt of moist deciduous forests. These also consist of scrub, grass and reeds. Here the rainfall is above 1,600 millimetres (63 in) and thus promotes luxuriant Sal forests in the area. The most important trees are Shorea Robusta, Sal Cedrela Toona, Khair , and Semal. Deciduous forests also occur in the Saharsa and Purnia districts. Shorea Robusta (sal), Diospyros melanoxylon (kendu), Boswellia serrata (salai), Terminalia tomentose (Asan), Terminalia bellerica (Bahera), Terminalia Arjuna (Arjun), Pterocarpus Marsupium (Paisar), Madhuca indica (Mahua) are the common flora across the forest of Bihar.
Valmiki National Park , West Champaran district , covering about 800 km2 (309 sq mi) of forest, is the 18th Tiger Reserve of India and is ranked fourth in terms of density of tiger population. It has a diverse landscape, sheltering rich wildlife habitats and floral and faunal composition, along with the prime protected carnivores.
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State of Bihar
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