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The ancient name of Bihar was "Vihara" which means monastery. It is located in the eastern part of India. Area wise Bihar is the twelfth largest state and the third most populated state in India. The flora and fauna of this state is enriched by the river Ganges that flows through Bihar before getting distributed in Bengal's deltoid zone. Bihar also has a vast forest land that covers an area of 6,764 km2. This state is linguistically potent too as several languages are spoken here, like the Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magahi, Bajjika and Angika. The capital city of Bihar is Patna which was earlier called Pataliputra. Bihar became the epicenter of power, culture and learning under the rule of some of the greatest emperors of India, namely Samudragupta, Chandragupta Maurya, Vikramaditya and Asoka. It was also home to the two great centers of learning at that time, Vikramshila and Nalanda University. Even today one can find several ancient monuments all over Bihar which are a living proof of the state's 3,000 years old history; these monuments are visited by millions and millions of tourists all over the world. The Mahabodhi Temple located in this state has been declared as a heritage site by the UNESCO.
|Facts on Bihar|
|Date of Formation||1912 as Bihar, (Orissa Province - Bihar ), Jan 26, 1950|
|Area||94,163 km sq|
|Males Population (2011)||54,278,157|
|Females Population (2011)||49,821,295|
|No. of District||38|
|Rivers||Kosi,Ganga, Gandak, Kamla, Panar and Pun-pun|
|Forests & National Park||Valmiki NP, Rajgir WS, Bhimbandh Ws, Gautam Buddha WS, Udaypur WS|
|Languages||Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Angika, Magadhi|
|Neighbours State||Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal|
|Net State Domestic Product (2011)||20708|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||63.82%|
|Females per 1000 males||916|
For 1000 years, ancient Bihar known as Magadha played a pivotal role in the field of power, education and culture. The first Indian empire called the Mauryan Empire originated in Magadha in 325 B.C. and its capital city was Pataliputra (now Patna). The Gupta Empire came into existence in 240 A.D. in Magadha. Under the leadership of the Guptas, India gained dominance in the world economy. The great Pashtun leader Sher Shar Suri of Sasaram Bihar took over the reins of North India in 1540. Bihar flowered under his rule as he was one of the most progressive rulers of the Mughal Era. With the fall of the Mughals, Bihar came under the control of the Nawabs of Bengal. More...
The exact position of Bihar is between 24°-20' and 27°-31' north latitude, and 82°-19' and 88°-17' east longitude. Thus, Bihar is located in the north eastern part of India. Bihar is a land locked state, which means it is surrounded by West Bengal in the east, Uttar Pradesh in the west, Nepal in the north and the state of Jharkhand in the south. The naturally fertile soil of Bihar gets its characteristics from the Gangetic alluvium of the Indo-Gangetic plain, Piedmont swamp soil of the western Champaran district and the Terai soil found in northern Bihar. The river Ganges and its tributaries flows through Bihar from west to east. In the north of Bihar lies the Himalayan Mountains, which actually begins in Nepal, and in the south lies the Kaimur plateau and Chotanagpur plateau. More...
Bihar's socio-economic status has seen downward trend post independence and the state is counted among backward states of the country. The two main political parties in Bihar are the NDA which comprises Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal and the Rashtriya Janata Dal led coalition. To enhance the state's administration, Bihar has been distributed into 9 divisions and 38 districts. Post independence during the time of emergency, Bihar made it known to the rest of the country that it chooses democracy over dictatorship by holding elections under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan. In Bihar, the Janata Dal came to power in 1990 and Lalu Prasad Yadav became the chief minister of the state. However, he too failed in bringing development back to Bihar and when corruption charges became rampant he quit the post of Chief Minister and appointed his wife Rabri Devi as the Chief Minister of Bihar. It was at this stage that Bihar experienced a drastic deterioration in all aspects of the society.
Development requires educated minds, and therefore, education reflects the present scenario of a country or a state. Bihar has been improving in this field; but it is more like starting from the scratch. Modern day Bihar lacks in educational infrastructure, thus creating a huge gap between the demand and supply. Bihar has 37.8 percent teacher absence rate and it also records the highest student-teacher ratio and student-classroom ratio. Approximately 10 percent of primary schools in Bihar do not have access to clean drinking water.
The "out of school rate" in Bihar is not very impressive too. However, things are slowly improving for the better. The out-of-school rate for students which was 12.8 percent in 2006 came down to 6.3 percent in 2007. Bihar has several Central Schools (Kendriya Vidyalayas) and Jawahar Navodaya Schools, besides private missionary schools run by Christian Missionaries and Madrasas run by Muslim clerics. Majority of the state schools follow the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB). The private schools in Bihar, including the Central schools are affiliated to the ICSE and CBSE boards. More...
Post independence the economy of Bihar was never as good as it is today. The Nitish Kumar government made "development with justice" as their main motto which led to widespread improvement in the economy of Bihar, thus prompting NDTV to dub this as the "Quiet Transformation". The per capita income of Bihar was Rs. 11,615 (i.e. 32.4 percent of all India average) in 2007-08. However, during 2011-12 this ratio has improved to 42.07 percent. Thus, a consistent growth rate has to be maintained to close the gap between the per capita income of Bihar and that of India. The problem of low per capita income in Bihar is alleviated by considerable disparity across districts in terms of their per capita income. More...
Bihar is the birth place of Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavira. Therefore, Bihar's culture today is the legacy of its great historical past. Apart from Diwali, there are some festivals that are solely celebrated in Bihar. One such festival is the Chhath Puja. Here the sun god is worshipped with great reverence. Sama Chakeva is celebrated with great fervour during the winter months in Mithila when birds migrate from the Himalayan Mountains to this region. Makar Sankrati is another very popular festival in Bihar. The state has several folk songs and dance that are sung or performed on special occasions. "Sohar" is sung during the birth of a child, "Sumangali" is sung during wedding, "Katnigeet" is sung when the very first paddy is sowed and "Ropnigeet" is sung during the harvest season. Some of the famous folk dance styles of Bihar are gond naach, dhobi naach, jhumar naach, jitiyanaach, etc.
The term Bihari is synonymous with the different languages that are spoken in Bihar and its neighbouring states. Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili are the prevalent languages in Bihar. Barring Maithili, none of these languages have been given constitutional recognition despite the fact that they are widely spoken in Bihar. Hindi is the predominant language in Bihar; educational and official matters are all dealt in Hindi and Urdu. Magahi language derives its name from Magadhi Prakrit which was once the official language of the Mauryan Empire and was also the language spoken by Lord Buddha. Magahi follows the Devanagari script. It is widely spoken in eight districts of Bihar and three districts of Jharkhand. Bhojpuri is a highly popular language of Bihar and is the third most widely spoken language in India.
The transport network of Bihar is vast enough to keep it connected to the rest of India. There are a total of 29 national highways and several state highways in Bihar and they are 2,910 kilometers and 3,766 kilometers long, respectively. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation facilitates several deluxe and luxury buses that transports people to all the major cities of Bihar. Recently, car rental services have also started in different parts of Bihar like the EazeeCab. The railway system in Bihar links the state to major cities of the country like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Some of the best connected railway stations in Bihar are Patna, Muzaffarpur, Darbangha, Gaya, Katihar, Barauni, Chhapra and Bhagalpur.