Bihar has a rich and very ancient history and it goes back to the beginning of the human civilizations. Bihar throughout the ages and civilizations has remained a region that gave birth to many great people , who had spread the messages of love, peace, brotherhood and humanity .
Bihar’s earliest history can be traced in Ramayana. Mithila was the birth place of Sita, wife of Lord Ram. As far as ancient history is concerned Bihar’s journey started from the post Vedic age when there were number of Mahajanapadas or republics flourished in Bihar like Vaisali, Magadha and Videha. Bimbisara and his son Ajatshatru establisehd the first kingdom in Bihar.
During this period , Gautama Buddha and Jaina Mahavir took birth and preached two great religions of Buddhism and Jainaism respectively. Gautama Buddha was enlightened at present Bodh Gaya and Jaina Mahavira attainted his salvation in present Pawapuri both of them are in Bihar. Bihar saw one the greatest empire in India. The Mauryan empire under some of the greatest rulers of the world like Chandragupta Maurya and Ashok flourished with the name of Magadha kingdom with Pataliputra as its capital.
Kautilya, the author of Arthashastra, the first treatise of the modern science of Economics, lived here and was the advisor to Mauryan king Chandragupta.
Nalanda and Vikramasila, established as international universities during this period , providing education to Indian and foreign students. Travelers like Meghasthenes came to India during this time. Great empires of Gupta’s and Harshavardhana also consists part of Bihar . Bihar was at its peak during the mediaeval times under the rule of Sher Shah Suri who started his journey to Delhi from Sasaram, Bihar.
During 1857 sepoy mutiny under Kunwar Singh, Bihar provided strong resistance to strong British forces. From Bihar Gandhiji started his political career with his involvement in Champaran Satyagraha of 1917.
Great revolutionaries of Indian Freedom Struggle like Khudiram Bose, Prafulla Chaki and Chandrasekhar Azad have strong association with Bihar. Bihar had some of the great nationalists like Dr. Rajendra Prasad and socialist leaders like Jai Prakash Narain. Bihar has contributed a lot to social, cultural, religious, political and economic life not only of India but also across the world. The evolution and spread of Buddhism and Jainism are most significant.
Chanakya and Meghasthenes had shaped the political, administrative and economic life . Culturally art, architecture, sculpture of Mauryan and Gupta’s have great influences on many other styles that were developed later on.
Bihar’s contribution in the field of education and knowledge is noteworthy because of its ancient universities like Nalanda and Vikramasila. The inscriptions of Ashok, his Dhamma, and other features like Ashokan pillar have shaped the Indian e life. The music, paintings, dance and songs of Bihar has always been a driving force of the Indian way.