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  • Writer's pictureMeenakshi Raje

Making Of Land-Locked state Bihar

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Historical Journey to Bihar

The word Bihar came from Vihara ,means Buddhist Monastries.In the ancient and medieval period,present Bihar was the abode of Buddhist monks .

Bihar is an entirely land-locked state,located in eastern part of India and lies between sub humid Uttar Pradesh in the west and humid West Bengal in the east .In north it is bounded by Nepal,the only foreign nation,and by its south ,Jharkhad which was once part of Bihar itself.

The plain is divided by river Ganga in two unequal halves,whivh flows from west to east.

Bihar has a glorious and rich history.A single state ,that has covered almost all aspects of Indian history and culture.The state,which have rich amount of evidence of paleolithic culture to modern times.A state which is adorned with magnificent pages of time.

Till the 12th century AD,it was not known as Bihar.The term is first mentioned in the Muslim account of 13th century,which refers to the destruction of its fort by the Turkish invader Bakhtiyar Khilji.

Sources of Ancient Bihar

●Archaeological evidences-

In the Munger district,at Paisra,the Early Stone Age Sites have been excavated.A number of Acheulian tools have been found such as hand axes and cleavers.

The another most important site gave proof of the first Neolithic culture in the Ganga Valley.It was Chirand,on the left bank Ganga in the Saran district.Along with the usage of polished stone tools,a variety of antler bone tools was the speciality of Chirand.

They manufactured various kinds of beads from semi-precious stones like agate ,jasper etc.

Black and red ware potteries were discovered frombplaces Chirand,Rajgir and Sonpur.In Chirand the use of copper with stones have also been found.

Besides these,Northern Black Polished Ware culture is associated with abundance of Iron objects.This culture have also been found in places like Sonpur,Chirand,Vaishali,Champa(Bhagalpur district).

For the first time the excavations at Kumharar brought to light for the first time.A 80 pillared Hall was excaveted by Spooner,Altekar and Mishra.

Various structures which belong to the reign of Ashoka have been excavated .The Mauryan Excavated caves,are found in Barabar hills near Gaya,are one of the finest example of earliest rock-cut architecture in Eastern India.

For the first time in Bihar,remains of fire-burnt bricks belonging to the Kushana period was found at Chirand.The copper coins of Kushana reign have also been found.Near Dhanbad,the signs of the copper mines have been found.

Numerous carved sculpture,seals bearing inscriptions represnting the Gupta period have been discovered in Vaishali,Nalanda and Rajauna.

In the Gaya district,at Aphsad,the excavation s revealed eight stucco panels depicting Valmiki's Ramayana story on the brick wall of a Vishnu Temple built by a later Gupta king Adityasena(7th century AD).

The excavations at Nalanda ,Kukrihar and south Munger depicts the evidence of post Gupta and Pala Empire.Beautiful bronze images of Buddhist Gods and Goddesses have been found at Kukrihar .The most magnificent excavation was Antichak in Bhagalpur.It exposed a large Buddhist Monastic Establishment as Vikramashila Mahavihara founded by a Pala ruler Dharmapala.

●Inscriptional sources -

The earliest deciphered inscriptions belong to the time of Ashoka,written in Brahmi script and Prakrit language.There are various other inscriptions found to represent Gupta,post-Gupta and Pala empire.Records of seals have been found in Vaishali and Nalanda.The most important type of inscriptions for the study of history of Bihar is "The land Charters written on Copper Plates".


Punch marked coins were found in abundance in Bihar.These were mostly made up of Silver.Huvishka's coin which was used as Talisman was found in the excavation at Kumharar.Gupta coins found in Hajipur exposed the evidence of Gupta rule.

●Literary Sources-

The Atharvaveda and Panchavimsha Brahman speak of 'Vratyas' living in the land of Magadha.The Rigveda mentioned about 'Kikatas'.

In 'Satapatha Brahman',there is the main information about the expansion of Aryans in North Bihar.

Various Puranas and some epics reconstructs the dynasties ruling over Bihar.

The Buddhist sources provide the information from 6th century B.C till the Mauryan Empire.

Various texts like Mudrarakshas,Mahabhashya,Rajataramgini includes the valuable inputs of Mauryan Empire.

The Aryanisation of Bihar and the division of territories of Bihar into Videha,Vaishali,Anga and Magadha exposed the beginning of the supremacy of Bihar in the Indian History.

Bihar have observed many dynasties like Brihadratha Dynasty,Haryanka,Maurya,Shishunaga etc.which have given the evidence of development of various things in the region.

During the 6th century BCE,in the mid-Gangetic plain,there were in around 62 religious sects arose.This unique region gave birth to Mahavira and Buddha who have shown the new perspective to the world by founding Jainism and Budhhism respectively.

The region have the chapters of vast Mauryan Empire after the decline of Nandas.

Medieval Bihar

There is no independent existence of Bihar in Medieval times.It was invaded by Turks that began with Bakhtiyar Khilji.After him,the Muslim influence grew in Bihar.The early part of 14th century was under karnata dynasty .Chotanagpur was unknown this time.The region also shows the dominance of Afghans.The most prominent Afghan ruler Shershah suri who captured the Throne of Delhi,defeating Mughal Empire,Humayun.

The early madieval period of Bihar is full of struggle of supremacy between Delhi and Bengal to have control over Bihar.The region always served as the stepping -stone to the sovereignty of Bengal from the time of Bakhtiyar Khilji to Alivardi khan.However,the triumph of Sher Shah Suri may be regarded as the triumph of Bihar.

Even after the foundation of Mughal Empire the political scenario of Bihar was very Complex.In 1526,after Babur won the Battle of Panipat,the Pathans made eastern U.P and Bihar as their activity centre .Babur occupied Bihar after defeating Nusrat Shah in the Battle if Ghaghra.Bihar reamined independent during the rule of Sher Shah and he shifted the capital of Bihar from Bihar Sharif to Patna in 1541 AD.Eventually Bihar was annexed to the Mughals,but many years elapsed before Akbar's rule was finally established.

Modern Bihar

A chaotic situation in the country was created after the death of the last mighty emperor of Mughal ,Aurangzeb.Such chaos was created due to war of succession.As a result Bihar was also affected.The clutch of Mughals gradually weakened and Bihar,lost its independent identity as a subah of Mughal Empire.Bihar became once again the part of Bengal.

The most dreadful battle of Plassey and Buxar,implnts the British Consolidation in India.Due to the policies of the Company soon , discontent arose.Due to the scarcity of foodgrains,seizure of land of farmers,forceful collection of different taxes led to various Civil rebellion and Tribal uprisings in Bihar.

The imperialist power of British controlled India completely and they tortured the civilians in most possible ways.The most prominent anti-British outbreak took place in the form of Revolt of 1857.The story of Veer Kunwar Singh from Ara district of Bihar is on the tongue of everyone.He was a ferocious fighter and given a tough fight to the British Empire.

The role of Bihar in freedom struggle of India is very significant.The people actively participated in the national movement.The father of the nation"Mahatma Gandhi" initiated his first struggle from Champaran in Bihar.Women from Bihar too actively participated.

Creation of Modern Bihar

A separate Bihar province Movement was started by Dr.Sachchidanand Sinha and Mahesh Narain.Mahesh Narain gave solid base to the movement of constitution of separate Bihar.He was the editor of 'Kayastha Gazette'.He changed the name of his paper and renamed it as 'The Bihar Times'

A memorandum of making Bihar ,a state separate from Bengal was given to Lieutenant Governor Sir Charles Illiot in 1894,but the memorandum was rejected.In 1904,S.sinha printed an article named "The partition of the Lower provinces:An Alternative Proposal" in 'Hindustan review'.

Bihar provincial conference was organized in 1908 on 12th and 13th April in Patna.Md.Fakhruddin placed the Proposal of Separation of Bihar from Bengal in the conference.

In 1910,S.Sinha was elected as a member of the Central Legislative Council and he now started pressurising for the separation.

In 1911,on 12th December,Royal Durbar was held after the visit of Emperor of England,George V to India.The Emperor declared separation of Bihar and Orissa from Bengal.It was on 22 March,when the British carved out the state from Bengal in 1912.

This province came into existence lawfully on 1st April,1912.

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