Bihar (East India State)
Bihar is predominantly an agriculture-based state in India and is historically and archaeologically important. The capital city is Patna and the main language spoken here is Hindi. Though presently, it is not industrially developed city in India but 2500 years ago, Patna (earlier known as Pataliputra) was the capital of the great Mauryan Empire when Emperor Ashoka ruled this kingdom. Bihar is bordered by Nepal in the north, Jharkhand in the East, Uttar Pradesh in the West and Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Orissa in the south.
At the time of the invasion of Alexander, an Indian kingdom had started to develop in the northern part. It gradually expanded into the vacuum created by the departure of Alexander when Chandra Gupta Maurya's empire came into power in 321BC. From its capital city at the present-day Patna, the Mauryan Empire eventually spread across northern India. The empire reached its zenith of glory during Emperor Ashoka's regime. Emperor Ashoka later embraced Buddhism after massive bloodshed during Kalinga war. Ashokan edicts and edifices can be seen in Delhi, Gujarat, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh (Sarnath) and Madhya Pradesh (Sanchi), even to this day. However, after the demise of Emperor Ashoka in 232 BC, the Mauryan Empire slipped into disintegration and finally collapsed in 184 BC.
Bihar has been a pleasant cauldron of most of the Indian religious sects of India like Jains, Hindus and Buddhists. Bihar, an eastern Indian state, has been birth place of Buddhism and Jainism. It was at Bodhgaya in Bihar that Lord Buddha sat under the tree and realised enlightenment. Nalanda was a world renowned university for the study of Buddhism in the fifth century AD. Vaishali, the first republic in the world, is also in Bihar. Bihar has an array of tourist destinations which have not been explored to their rightful potential yet. It is a destination in Buddhist Circuit Tours. Bihar was known as Magadha in ancient days. During the British rule, Bihar was part of the Bengal Presidency. In 1936, Bihar and Orissa were separated from Bengal and made different states.
The main crops of Bihar are paddy, wheat, maize, ragi and potato. Bihar is one of the richest states in its mineral wealth which comprises copper, coal, graphite, lead and silver.