Location of Bihar Sharif
Bihar Sharif is located on the banks of the Panchanan River and at the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill).
History of Bihar Sharif
Bihar Sharif owes its name to Buddhist origin (Vihar meaning Buddhist Monastery), But the city pre-dates Buddha. Bihar became the capital of the Magadha kingdom during the rule of the Pala Dynasty and then until the 14th century CE. Later on the headquarters was moved to Pataliputra (now in modern Patna) by Sher Shah Suri and the whole Magadha region was called Bihar. Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana at Pawapuri in Bihar in 527 BC. The ancient Udantapuri University was established in the 8th century by the Pala Dynasty king Gopala I. It is considered the second oldest of India's Mahaviharas and was situated in Magadha. According to Tibetan and Indian history, there were about 12,000 students at Odantapuri, which was located in the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill), and was an important centre for the learning of Buddhism. Acharya Sri Ganga of Vikramashila was a student there. Odantpuri located in the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill) was an important centre for the learning of Buddhism. The town is rich in artefacts and relics of old Buddhist heritage. Broken idols of Buddha and Mahavira can be found in the Nalanda Museum and in many temples. Nalanda College in Bihar Sharif and Garhpar Locality are the areas where monastery was located. In 1193 when Ikhtiyar ad-Din Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji was on conquest of Bihar, he came to destroy Nalanda University. He destroyed Buddhist monasteries of a place now called Bakhtiyarpur. After Bakhtiarpur he came to "Vihar". He completely destroyed Odantpuri University and Buddhist Viharas before leaving for Nalanda.
Geography of Bihar Sharif
Bihar Sharif is located 81.5 km via NH 30 and NH31 from Patna, the capital of Bihar state. It is 13 km from the ruins at Nalanda. It is situated at foot of Badi Pahari and bank of River Panchanan. The land of Bihar Sharif is very fertile. Alluvial soil is mostly deposited by several rivers of this area. There are many local rivers such as Dhoba River, Panchanan River, Goithva River, Zerain River.
Demography of Bihar Sharif
According to the Population Census in the year 2011, Bihar sharif had a population of 296,889.
Education of Bihar Sharif
The literacy rate of Bihar Sharif is 74.80% with male literacy rate being 83.42% and female literacy rate being 65.39%. Hindu forms 63% population of city. Muslims are 37%. Among cast groups Kurmi, Koyri, Yadav, Baniya and Muslim groups have significant population. Koyri and Baniyas are old settlers while others have moved from villages around city.
Economy of Bihar Sharif
The agriculture is the prime activity although tourism in nearby places like Nalanda, Rajgir and Pawapuri boosts economy of this town very much. This town supplies agricultural products like cauliflower, potato, mustard seed and other vegetables to neighbouring states. Although the economy is mainly based on agriculture products, footwear and garments are also manufactured at household industries. City has been considered for one of three cities to be developed under smart city plan by govt of India.
Bihar Sharif is well connected by road to major cities like Patna, Rajgir, Nalanda, Harnaut, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Kodarma, Kolkata, Gaya, Hazaribagh, Jahanabad, Bakhtiyarpur, Barh, Ramgarh. Being the district headquarters, there is a regular bus service to all major hubs in the region. Bihar Sharif junction is located on the broad gauge branch line connecting Bakhtiyarpur and Tilaiya via Rajgir. The nearest airport is Patna Airport. Domestic flights to major Indian cities are available from there.