History of Bihar - Informative & researched article on History of Bihar
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History of Bihar
History of Bihar dates back to the rule of powerful rulers and the establishment of mighty kingdoms. Many eminent personalities and leaders from Bihar contributed for India’s freedom struggle.
 
 History of BiharBihar was called Magadha in ancient times. Its capital Patna, then known as Pataliputra, was the center of the Maurya Empire, which dominated the Indian Subcontinent from 325 BC to185 BC. Ashoka was the most famous ruler of this Dynasty. Bihar remained an important place of power, culture and education during the next one thousand years. The Vikramshila and Nalanda University were among the oldest and best centres of education in ancient India but were destroyed by Islamic invaders in the medieval period. Bihar was the region where Buddhism evolved and finds mention in the Vedas, Indian Puranas and Epics. This was one of the most remarkable aspects that make it an important region that added to the diverse cultures of the Indian Union.

Ancient History of Bihar
Human settlement in Bihar dates back to the prehistoric period. The state is related to various legends and finds mention in Ramayana also. It has been ruled by many dynasties and powerful rulers. In the ancient period the Sixteen Mahajanapadas, Magadha, Gupta Empire and the Pala Dynasty ruled the state. Mighty rulers like Chandragupta Maurya, Samudra Gupta, Chandragupta II, Skanda Gupta and others established their dynasties here.

Medieval History of Bihar
During the Medieval period Bihar witnessed the Muslim invasion, which was followed by the rule of local Rajput clans. The first Muslim conqueror was Mohammad Bin Bakhtiar Khalji. The Tughluqs and then the Mughals followed the Khalijis. The Mughals established a prosperous dynasty in Bihar. However, with the downfall of the Mughals, the Nawabs of Bengal exercised their rule. The British East India Company established its sway over Bihar after the Battle of Buxar in 1764. The different British attitudes and practices towards the people led to migration to lands like Africa, South East Asia etc. Under the British, Bihar was first a part of Bengal Presidency. In 1911 the two states of Orissa and Bihar were separated from Bengal. In 1936, they became separate provinces. A part of Bihar comprising mainly forest tracks of Chota Nagpur Plateau and Santhal paragana, the homeland of the tribals became a separate state Jharkhand on November 15th, 2000.

Modern History of Bihar
After the Battle of Buxar in 1765, the British East India Company obtained the Diwani Rights (rights to administer and collect revenue, or tax administration / collection) for Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. From this point onwards, Bihar remained a part the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj until 1912, when Bihar was carved out as a separate Province. In 1935, certain portions of Bihar were reorganized into the separate province of Orissa. Again, in 2000, 18 administrative districts of Bihar were separated to form the state of Jharkhand. Kunwar Singh of Jagdishpur and his army, as well as countless other persons from Bihar, contributed to the Indian rebellion of 1857, also called the Sepoy Mutiny by historians.

Bihar`s contribution in the freedom struggle has been immense with outstanding leaders like Swami Sahajand Saraswati, Bihar Bibhuti, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Jayaprakash Narayan, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Basawon Singh, Yogendra Shukla, Sheel Bhadra Yajee and many others who worked for India’s freedom relentlessly and helped in the upliftment of the underprivileged masses. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki were also active in revolutionary movement in Bihar.

(Last Updated on : 04/03/2013)
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