Random image from our India photo collection



The early history of Bihar is not available as the major events and happenings were not documented. But with the coming of the Jain and Buddhists, documentation of events began. And from these texts we get to know about the sixteen Mahajanapadas that flourished during the 6th century BC. Vaishali, Anga, Rajgriha, Pataliputra, Nalanda, and Mithila are just a few of the places in Bihar that form history of ancient India.

Vaishali in northern Bihar, the center of the Lichchavi kingdom is rated as the most ancient and credited as the world’s first republic. It got its holiness with the birth of Lord Mahavira here. This was also the favorite resting place of Lord Buddha and he preached his last sermon here.

By the fifth century BC, the focus of history shifted to Magadh. During the last days of the Buddha, the political masters thought of shifting their capital from Rajgriha to Pataliputra, which gradually became the pride of Asia and subsequently the capital to the great empires of Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas and Guptas. It was here that Megasthenes spent most of his time as an Ambassador of his Syrian king Seleukos Nikator.

During the medieval period, the province of Bihar rarely enjoyed the status of an independent state. It swayed with the fortunes of Delhi, Jaunpur and Bengal. Various sultans of Delhi and later the Mughals, as well as emperors and princes, criss-crossed Bihar in order to crush the rebellions in distant Bengal.

Much later, Babur, in pursuit of the Lodhis, came as far as Bihar. Babur’s death brought Humayun to the throne of Delhi. He had a hard time fighting his Afghan enemy from Bihar, Sher Shah. Most of Humayun’s and Sher Shah’s battles were fought in Bihar. Sher Shah defeated Humayun and he gradually made his way to the throne of Delhi. Sher Shah proved to be one of the greatest rulers of medieval India, during his reign of 5 years.

After the coming of the British to India, Bihar again played an important role in deciding the future course of the country and Buxar became the place where the final battle for supremacy in north India was fought between the East India Company and the combined forces of the Mughals, Nawabs and Awadh in 1764.

Bihar was made an independent province in 1936.

It is also believed that the Goddess Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, was born in Mithila to King Janak, the ruler of the region.

Go back

Please enable Javascript to view this site properly.