History of Bihar
The state of Bihar has quite a varied history and it has three distinct regions- Magadh, Mithila, and Bhojpur. Mithila first became popular during the establishment of the Videha kingdom. The Videha kingdom kings were called Janaka's. Sita, Lord Rama’s wife was the daughter of one of these Janaks. Later, the Videha kingdom got incorporated into the Vajji confederacy and the capital city of Vajji was Vaishali which is also called Mithila. Magadha is another region of Bihar and it was the centre of Indian power, culture, and learning for almost a thousand years. Maurya Empire was one of the greatest empires that rose from this region of Bihar. Even the major pacifist religions- Buddhism and Jainism rose from Magadha. Their capital was Pataliputra which was just beside the present-day Patna and was an important military, political, and economic centre of the Indian civilization.
Bihar played a very small role in Indian history until the emergence of the Suri dynasty during the medieval period in the 1540s. After the fall of the Suri dynasty, Bihar again played a very marginal role in India. In the year 1912, Bihar was carved out as a separate province by the British Indian Empire. Since its independence in 1947, Bihar has been an original state of the Indian union.
The cultural heritage of Bihar
Bihar has a rich cultural heritage. It is called the “land of Lord Buddha” as Lord Buddha got enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The state of Bihar has a culturally mixed population. There are Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Christians living here.
The main festival of the Bihar people is Chhath puja where the sun God is worshipped. Other festivals of Bihar include Sama Chakeva, Makar Sankranti, Bihula, Teej, Madhushravani, Sonepur Mela, Shravani Mela, and pitrapaksha mela.
The main language that is spoken in Bihar is Hindi as it is the official language of the state. Other languages spoken here are Bhojpuri, Maithali, Magahi, and Angika.
The cuisine of Bihar is both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian. Roti, dal, and sabji are the most important food of the Biharis. The people of Bihar are fond of Litti chokha, Bihari Chicken Masala, sattu paratha, chokha, fish curry, etc.
Dhoti kurta is the traditional dress of the people of Bihar and saree for women. Salwar kameez is worn by the women in urban Bihar. Tussar silk sarees are mainly worn by Bihari women.
Bihar has a huge contribution to Indian classical music. Chhau dance is popular among the tribal people. Bidesia is a very popular folk dance in Bihar.
Mithali paintings and Madhubani art are very popular paintings of Bihar. These paintings were done on mud walls earlier.
People in Bihar make some fantastic handicrafts. These include leather works, statues made of white metal, bamboo articles, cane baskets, and wooden toys. Bihar is known for sujini embroidery, wood inlay, stone work, pottery words, printed textiles, etc.