Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8, p. 171.


Graphics file for this page
t3IHAR
barren land. On the north it is crossed by the Panda; and two small
streams, the Puraha and Ahneya, unite and then join the Arind, which
also flows across it. This is the most fertile tahsil in the District. In
1903-4 the area under cultivation was 204 square miles, of which 116
were irrigated. A distributary of the Cawnpore branch of the Lower
Ganges Canal supplies the north of the tahsil, and the Etawah branch
of the same canal the southern portion. Canals serve nearly half the
irrigated area, and wells most of the remainder.
BihAr.-Historic name of one of the four sub-provinces which make
up the Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal, the remaining three being
Bengal proper, Orissa, and Chota Nagpur. It lies between 23' 48' and
27' 31' N. and 83 2o' and 88' 32' h;., and includes the Divisions of
PATNA and BHAGALPUR. The area is 44,259 square miles and the
population (1901) 24,241,305. Bihar occupies the north-west corner of
Bengal, and is bounded on the north by Nepal, on the west by the
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, on the south by the Chota Nagpur
plateau and the Burdwan Division, and on the east by the Rajshahi
Division. It is divided into North and South Bihar by the broad stream
of the Ganges, and consists for the most part of an alluvial plain, though
in the south detached outliers of the Chota Nagpur plateau encroach
upon the level, extending at Monghyr as far north as the, Ganges itself.
The south-Ganges Districts of Patna, Gaya, and Shahabad comprised
the ancient kingdom Of MAGADfIA, the capital of which was first at
Rajgir, 30 miles north-east of Gaya, and subsequently at Pataliputra
(Patna), and which is best known in connexion with the great Maurya
kings Chandragupta and Asoka. North of the Ganges was MITHILn,
which was a great seat of Sanskrit learning as early as 1000 II.c., and
included the modern Districts of Darbhanga, Champaran, and North
Muzaffarpur ; the south of the latter District comprised the small king-
dom Of VAISALI. Saran District formed at this time part of the great
kingdom of the Kosalas of Oudh, while the eastern Districts of Monghyr,
Bhagalpur, and Purnea as far as the Mahananda river belonged to the
kingdom of Anga. It was in Magadha that Buddha developed his
religion, and the sub-province derives its name from the town of Bihar,
which means a Buddhist monastery (vihiira). It was here also that
Mahavira founded the cognate creed of the Jains. The early history of
Bihar is detailed in the article on BENGAL. The sub-province did not
become a separate unit of administration until early in the thirteenth
century, when it came into the hands of the Muhammadans, and was
by them formed into a Subah. In Todar Mal's settlement Of 1582
it was divided into eight sarkars, corresponding with the modern Patna
Division and the Districts of Monghyr and Bhagalpur; the remainder
of the Bhagalpur Division was included in the Subah of Bengal.
Bihar differs from Bengal proper in almost every respect. The
Previous Page To Table of Contents Next Page

Back to Imperial Gazetteer of India | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 22:20 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/text.html