Bihar - Introduction @ whatisindia.com

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Saturday, April 14, 2007


 

Bihar


 

Quick Information

State Area (Sq. Km.)

94,163

State Capital

Patna

Major Language(s)

Hindi

Number of Districts

37

Population

82,878,796

Males

43,153,964

Females

39,724,832

Growth Rate 1991-2001

28.43 %

Density

880

Urban Population

10.47 %

Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 Males)

921

Literacy Rate

47.53 %

Males

60.32 %

Females

33.57 %

Legislature

Legislative Assembly & Council

Judicature

High Court, Patna

Governor

Shri R. S. Gavai

Address

Raj Bhawan,Patana - 800022,  Bihar

Office No.

0612-2225644, 2221230

Residence No.

0612 - 2226202

Fax

2232868
Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar

Address

Old Sectt. Patna, Bihar

Office No.

0612 - 2223886, 2224784

Residence No.

             =
Chief Secretary Shri A. K. Choudhary

Address

Patna-800015.

Office No.

0612 - 2223804, 0612 - 2222085, Cell - 9835037460

Residence No.

0612 - 2287425

Fax

0612 - 2223983, 2224296

  

  

General Information

Location

Located in north India, Bihar is bounded by Nepal in North, Jharkhand in south, West Bengal in east and Uttar Pradesh in West. Uttar Pradesh in West.

Geography

Bihar is mainly a vast stretch of very fertile land. It has many rivers including Ganga, Son, Bagmati, Kosi, Budhi Gandak, Falgu, etc. Southern part of Bihar has some small hills. Nepal is to the north of Bihar. To get to the Himalayas one will have to enter Nepal and travel for around 50-100kms.

After the division of the state in 2000, when the industrial and the mineral rich part of the state was carved out as a separate state of Jharkhand, the main economic activity of the state has been agriculture. Bihar is one of the poorest states of India. Blames for this are put on many factors - a historical disfavor from the center of Indian power (be it Calcutta during the British empire or Delhi during the independent India), a deeply polarized and highly politicized society, power hungry and corrupt rulers, lack of social reform movements, etc.

Climate

It is mildly cold in the winter (worst it could get is 5-10 degrees Celsius). Winter months are December and January. It is very hot in the summer (40-45 degrees). April, May and first half of June are the hot months. Then comes the monsoon in the months of June, July, August, and September. October, November, February, and March are very pleasant months.

History

Bihar has a very ancient and glorious history to boast with.  The early history of Bihar is mostly lost as the major events and happenings were not documented.  The earliest documented history of Bihar is provided by the Jain and Buddhist texts, which shed light to the sixteen Mahajanapadas those flourished during the 6th century BC.  Vaishali, Anga, Rajgriha, Pataliputra, Nalanda, and Mithila are just a few of the places those knit the history of ancient India.

Bihar was the region where Buddhism evolved and finds mention in the Vedas, Puranas, Epics etc. This was one of the most remarkable aspect that makes it an important region that added to the diverse cultures of the Indian Union. Human settlement in this region dates back to the prehistoric period and they led a nomadic life. Bihar too forms the part of the Gangetic plain which was inhabited by people of different races. Great rulers of the state before the Christian era were Bimbisara, Udayin who founded the city of Pataliputra. The famous Mauryan emperors along with the Guptas who under Ashoka had their capital at Patiliputra. Smaller dynasties like that of the Sungas, Kanva and the Kushanas influenced the regions 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.

Vaishali in northern Bihar, the centre of the Lichchavis kingdom is rated as the most ancient and credited as the world's first republic.  By the 5th century BC, the focus of history shifted to Magadha with its capital at Rajgriha and later Pataliputra.  Rajgriha witnessed the first Buddhist Council and the conversion of the Mauryan king Bimbisara to Buddhism.  During the reign of Ashoka the Great, Magadha and its fabled capital Pataliputra became renowned all over the world. After the death of Ashoka, Magadha lost its glory.  During the reign of the Guptas, Magadha regained its importance.  The Gupta Empire in 4th century AD is considered as the golden age of Indian history.

Under the Sultans of Delhi and the Mughals, Bihar was reduced to the status of a province.  When Sher Shah defeated Humayun and took over Delhi, Bihar came into limelight again.  Sher Shah who hailed from Bihar founded Patna, the present state capital on the site of the ancient capital Pataliputra and gave the country an efficient administration.  After Sher Shah, Bihar became part of the Mughul Empire and was peaceful and prosperous under Akbar and other Mughul Emperors.

With the decline of Mughals, Bihar fell into the hands of the Nawabs of Bengal. Under British, Bihar was part of the Bengal Presidency.  In 1911, Bihar and Orissa were separated from Bengal Presidency.  In 1936 they became separate states.  After independence, the state of Bihar was formed with Patna as the capital.  On 14th Nov. 2000, the southern Bihar consisting of 18 districts were bifurcated to create a new state named Jharkhand modifying the boundaries of the state of Bihar. 

 

Reference:
Manorama Year Book 2007
http://bihar.nic.in/

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