Bihar, the land where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment (or Nirvana) and Mahavir was born, represents one of the most fascinating histories in the world. The state of Bihar has seen the rise and fall of many kingdoms, and hence there were many names associated with this region. The most prominent and widely used old name of Bihar was Magadha, which was the seat of the powerful Nandas, Mauryas and later kingdoms. The boundaries of the ancient kingdoms had not been same and kept changing according to the victories and losses in war or otherwise.
Information about Old Name of Bihar
The earliest known historical references to this region are found in Atharva Veda (10th-8th Century BC) and the Pancavamsa Brahmana (8th-6th Century BC). These texts have called this region as Magadha inhibited by a people called Vratyas. The region Anga is also mentioned in the Atharva Veda. Buddhist and Jain literary sources have also mentioned this region as Magadha. However, it was the kingdom of Videha, the northern part of Bihar, which first became the cradle of Vedic culture in this region. As per ancient Buddhist literature, the present day Bihar had 3 of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. These were Magadha, Anga and Vajji (with capital at Vaishali and the oldest Republic in the world)
The term Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit word Vihara meaning “the abode”. This term was used for Buddhist and Jain monasteries.
How & When Bihar state was formed
Initially, Bihar and Orissa were separated from the presidency of Bengal on 22 March 1912. The Government of India Act 1935 further separated the province of Orissa from Bihar on 1st April 1936. The states reorganization on the linguistic basis in 1956, gave the birth of present-day Bihar in its modern sense.
Districts & Divisions of Bihar
Bihar, the third most populous state in India, is divided into 9 divisions, 38 districts and 101 sub-divisions. There are 534 blocks, 12 municipal corporations, 49 Nagar Parishads and 80 Nagar Panchayats in Bihar. It also has 43 Police Districts. Among all the districts, Patna has the maximum population whereas Rohtas district with a literacy rate of 73.37% is most literate in Bihar.
Major Tourist Attractions in Bihar
• Gaya-Mahabodhi Temple, Vishnupad Temple, Barabar Caves, Mangla Gauri Shrine etc.
• Nalanda & Vikramshila Ruins
• Munger-the seat of Bihar School of Yoga
• Sher Shah Suri Tomb, Sasaram
• Janaki Temple, Mundeshwari Temple, Chandeshwari Temple
• Vishwa Shanti Stupa Rajgir
• Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary
• Buxar Fort, Rohtas Fort
• Golghar, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park and Bihar Museum etc.
Madhubani Art: Iconic Art Tradition of Bihar
This is also known as Mithila Painting as it is practiced in that region. The main theme of these paintings is rituals and it is characterized by complex geometrical patterns. These paintings are generally made with fingers and twigs. Sometimes matchsticks or pen nibs are also used. The history of Madhubani paintings dates back to Ramayana when king Janaka asked an artist to capture the wedding of Sita. These paintings are usually made by women on walls and floors during festivals.