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Bihar is a state in East India.It is the 13th largest state of India, with an area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi). The third largest state of India by population, it is also contiguous with Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to the east, with Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges which flows from west to east.On November 15, 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand.Close to 85% of the population lives in villages. Additionally, almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25,giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people compared to any other state in India. The official languages of the state are Hindi and Urdu.[2][3] Other languages commonly used within the state include Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magahi, Bajjika, and Angika (Maithili being the only one of these to be publicly accepted by the government).

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The history of Bihar is one of the most varied in India. Ancient Bihar, known as Magadha, was the centre of power, learning, and culture in India for 1000 years. India’s “first empire”, the Maurya empire as well as one of the world’s greatest pacifist religion, Buddhism arose from the region that now makes modern Bihar.Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule.Its capital Patna, earlier known as Pataliputra, was an important political, military, and economic centre of Indian civilisation during the ancient and classical periods of history. Many of the ancient Indian text, written outside of the religious epics, were written in ancient Bihar. Abhijñānaśākuntala was the most prominent.The present day region of Bihar consisted of several ancient kingdoms and republics which are, the Magadha province, the Anga province and the Vajji confederation. One of the first known republics in the world, Licchavi, existed in the region since before the birth of Mahavira (c. 599 BCE).The classical Gupta dynasty of Bihar, was known to have been a period of great culture and learning inside India. The Gupta period is known today as the Golden Age of India.The Pala Empire also made their capital at Pataliputra. After, Bihar played a very small role in Indian affairs, until the emergence of the Suri dynasty during the Medieval period in the 1540s. After the fall of the Suri dynasty in 1556, Bihar again became a marginal player in India and was the staging post for the Bengal Presidency from the 1750s and up to the war of 1857–58. On 22 March 1912, Bihar was carved out as a separate province in the British Indian Empire. Since 1947, Bihar has been a state in the Indian Union.

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Gaur

The gaur, also called Indian bison, is the largest extant bovine, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the population decline in parts of the species’ range is likely to be well over 70% during the last three generations. Population trends are stable in well-protected areas, and are rebuilding in a few areas which had been neglected.

Indian roller

The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), is a member of the roller family of birds. They are found widely across tropical Asia stretching from Iraq eastward across the Indian Subcontinent to Indochina and are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. They are very commonly seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats. It is not migratory, but undertakes some seasonal movements. The largest populations of the species are within India, and Several states in India have chosen it as their state bird.

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Ficus religiosa

Ficus religiosa or sacred fig is a species of fig native to Indian subcontinent, south-west China and Indochina. It belongs to the Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the bodhi tree, pippala tree, peepal tree or ashwattha tree (in India and Nepal).

Phanera variegata

Phanera variegata is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia, from southern China, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Common names include orchid tree, camel’s foot tree, kachnar and mountain-ebony.

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Bihar has three operational airports at Patna, Gaya Airport, and Purnea Airport. The Patna airport is categorised as a restricted international airport, with customs facilities to receive international chartered flights.The Ganges – navigable throughout the year – was the principal river highway across the vast north Indo-Gangetic Plain. Vessels capable of accommodating five hundred merchants were known to ply this river in the ancient period; it served as a conduit for overseas trade, as goods were carried from Pataliputra (later Patna) and Champa (later Bhagalpur) out to the seas and to ports in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. The role of the Ganges as a channel for trade was enhanced by its natural links – it embraces all the major rivers and streams in both north and south Bihar.

Bihar State Road Transport Corporation or BSRTC is a state-owned road transportation company in Bihar.BSRTC was set up in 1959 under the provisions of Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950. It is wholly owned by the Government of Bihar.Prior to May 1959, road transport servics in Bihar were managed by Rajya Transport, which was set up in the year 1953 with the nationalisation of some routes in the state. Rajya Transport and Communication, Government of Bihar and was departmentally administered till it was transferred in May 1959 to Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC), a statutory corporation created under the provisions of the State Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950.Total capital invested in BSRTC till March 1983 was  53.9 crores out of which 24.77 crores was the share capital of the state government and 465 crores loans from the same source, while 24.48 crores was contributed from other sources in the shape of shares and loans. Investment in BSRTC was second largest investment made by the Bihar Government, after Bihar State Electricity Board.

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Cuisine

The Bihari staple food is a dish composed of roti, dal, chawal, sabzi, and achar. It is prepared from lentils, wheat flour, rice, vegetables, and pickle. The traditional cooking medium is mustard oil. Customarily, Biharis eat a boiled rice-based lunch and roti-based dinner and breakfast. Khichdi, a broth of rice and lentils seasoned with spices and served with several accompanying items, constitutes the mid-day meal for most Hindu Biharis on Saturdays. The favourite dish among Biharis is litti-chokha. Litti is made up of sattu, while chokha is made of smashed potatoes, tomatoes and brinjals.

Cuisine

In Bihar, every aspect of life is suffused with religious significance and its manifestations abound in every corner of the state. Shrines are numerous, and religious symbols or images of deities abound. Many Biharis keep religious symbols, statues, and the like in their homes, vehicles, and offices. A typical Bihari household begins each day with religious devotion.Most religious festivals in the region stem from Hinduism, given that it is the state’s predominant religion. There are many variations on the festival theme. While some are celebrated all over the state, others are observed only in certain areas. In one region or another, festivals take place round the year. Many festival days are officially proclaimed as government holidays.

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Literature

Bihar has produced a number of Hindi writers, including Raja Radhika Raman Singh, Shiva Pujan Sahay, Divakar Prasad Vidyarthy, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’, Ram Briksh Benipuri, Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’, Gopal Singh “Nepali”, Shankar Dayal Singh and Baba Nagarjun. Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, the well-known writer and Buddhist scholar, was born in Uttar Pradesh, but spent his life in “the land of Lord Buddha” – Bihar. Usha Kiran Khan, Mithileshwar, Madhukar Singh and Hrishikesh Sulabh are prominent short story writers from Bihar. Arun Kamal and Aalok Dhanwa are well-known poets.A number of Urdu scholars, writers and poets also hail from Bihar. These include Shaad Azimabadi, Jamil Mazhari, Bismil Azimabadi (poet who authored the famous patriotic ghazal ‘Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai’), Maulana Shabnam Kamali (scholar, teacher, writer, and poet), and Kaif Azimabadi.

Music

Bihar has contributed to Indian (Hindustani) classical music. The region has produced such musicians as Ustad Bismillah Khan and various dhrupad singers, like the Malliks (Darbhanga Gharana) and the Mishras (Bettiah Gharana).Bihar has an old tradition of folk songs, sung during important family occasions such as marriages, birth ceremonies, and festivals. They are sung mainly in group settings without the help of many musical instruments, although the dholak, Bansuri, and occasionally the tabla and harmonium are used. Bihar also has a tradition of lively Holi songs known as ‘Phagua’, characterised by their lively rhythms.During the 19th century, when the standard of living in Bihar worsened under British rule[citation needed], many Biharis had to migrate as indentured laborers to the West Indian islands, Fiji, or Mauritius. During this time, many sad plays and songs called “bihara” became very popular in the Bhojpur area. Dramas on that theme continue to be popular in the theaters of Patna.

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Drama and theatre

Some traditional Bihari forms of theatre include the Bidesia, Reshma-Chuharmal, Bihula-Bisahari, Bahura-Gorin, Raja Salhesh, Sama Chakeva, and Dom Kach. These theatre forms originate in the Anga region of Bihar.The modern Hindi Theatre movement reached Bihar in 1960. Satish Anand, an actor and director, helped develop Modern Hindi theatre in Bihar. He established the theatre group Kala Sangam at Patna in 1962.The 1973 production of a play named Adhe-Adhure was considered a major event in the history of Bihari culture. The play was called a “Renaissance of theatre” in Bihar.From the 1970s to the 1990s, Patna became the one of the most active theatre centers in India, owing to high-quality play productions directed by Kala Sangam and designed by Satish Anand. After watching some of Kala Sangam’s plays, eminent theatre critic Dhyneshwar Nadkarni wrote a 1979 article in Economic Times titled “Small Town Stalwarts.”Satish Anand also introduced street theatre in Bihar during the JP Movement in 1975.

Painting

Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women. Painting was usually done on walls during festivals, religious events, and other milestones of the life cycle, like birth, Upanayanam (the sacred thread ceremony), and marriage.There are several traditional styles of painting practiced in Bihar. One is Mithila painting, a style of Indian painting used in the Mithila region of Bihar. Tradition states that this style of painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at the time his daughter Sita’s marriage to Lord Ram. Mithila painting was traditionally done on huts’ freshly plastered mud walls, but today it is also done on cloth, handmade paper, and canvas.

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Sculpture

The first sculptures in Bihar date back to the Mauryan Empire. The Pillars of Ashoka and Didarganj Yakshi are estimated to be at least 2000 years old, and were carved out of a single piece of stone.Ancient statues are found throughout Bihar. Some of these sculptures were made from bronze, an advanced technique at that time. For example, the Sultanganj Buddha statue, estimated to be 1500 years old, is about seven feet tall and made of 500 kg of bronze, making it the largest statue of that period. Many statues, ranging from Hellenistic gods to various Gandharan lay devotees, are combined with what are thought to be early representations of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas.Today, it is still unclear exactly when the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara emerged. However, evidence from Sirkap indicates that this style of art was already highly developed before the advent of the Kushans. Mandar Hill features the unique image of Lord Vishnu, from the Gupta period, in his man-lion incarnation. The image is 34 inches high and made of black stone.

Craft

The artisans of Bihar have proven adept at creating articles using local materials. Baskets, cups, and saucers, made from bamboo strips or cane reed and painted in vivid colors, are commonly found in Bihari homes. A special container called a “pauti,” woven out of sikki grass in the north, is a sentimental gift that accompanies a bride when she leaves her home after her wedding. The weavers of Bihar have been practicing their trade for centuries. Among their products in common use are cotton dhurries and curtains. They are produced by artisans in central Bihar, particularly in the Patna and Biharsharif areas. These colorful sheets often feature motifs of Buddhist artifacts, and pictures of birds, animals, and/or flowers.

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