Gujarat is a state on the western coast of India with a coastline of 1,600 km – most of which lies on the Kathiawar peninsula – and a population in excess of 60 million. It is the ninth largest state by population. Gujarat is bordered by Rajasthan to the northeast and Diu to the south and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra to the southeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east, the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west, its capital city is Gandhinagar. The Gujarati-speaking people of India are indigenous to the state; the economy of Gujarat is the fifth-largest state economy in India with ₹14.96 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹157,000. The state encompasses some sites of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, such as Lothal and Gola Dhoro. Lothal is believed to be one of the world's first seaports. Gujarat's coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch and Khambhat, served as ports and trading centers in the Maurya and Gupta empires, during the succession of royal Saka dynasties from the Western Satraps era.
Along with Bihar and Nagaland, Gujarat is one of the three Indian states to prohibit the sale of alcohol. Present-day Gujarat is derived from Sanskrit term Gurjaradesa, meaning the land of the Gurjaras who ruled Gujarat in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Parts of modern Rajasthan and Gujarat have been known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi for centuries before the Mughal period. Gujarat was one of the main central areas of the Indus Valley Civilisation, it contains ancient metropolitan cities from the Indus Valley such as Lothal and Gola Dhoro. The ancient city of Lothal was; the ancient city of Dholavira is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation. The most recent discovery was Gola Dhoro. Altogether, about 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins have been discovered in Gujarat; the ancient history of Gujarat was enriched by the commercial activities of its inhabitants. There is clear historical evidence of trade and commerce ties with Egypt and Sumer in the Persian Gulf during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC.
There was a succession of Hindu and Buddhist states such as the Mauryan Dynasty, Western Satraps, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Chalukya dynasty, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire and Gurjara-Pratihara Empire, as well as local dynasties such as the Maitrakas and the Chaulukyas. The early history of Gujarat reflects the imperial grandeur of Chandragupta Maurya who conquered a number of earlier states in what is now Gujarat. Pushyagupta, a Vaishya, was appointed the governor of Saurashtra by the Mauryan regime, he built a dam on the Sudarshan lake. Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, not only ordered engraving of his edicts on the rock at Junagadh but asked Governor Tusherpha to cut canals from the lake where an earlier Mauryan governor had built a dam. Between the decline of Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of the Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was an Indo-Greek defeat in Gujarat of Demetrius. In 16th century manuscripts, there is an apocryphal story of a merchant of King Gondaphares landing in Gujarat with Apostle Thomas.
The incident of the cup-bearer torn apart by a lion might indicate that the port city described is in Gujarat. For nearly 300 years from the start of the 1st century AD, Saka rulers played a prominent part in Gujarat's history; the weather-beaten rock at Junagadh gives a glimpse of the ruler Rudradaman I of the Saka satraps known as Western Satraps, or Kshatraps. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty which ruled from Anupa on the banks of the Narmada up to the Aparanta region which bordered Punjab. In Gujarat, several battles were fought between the south Indian Satavahana dynasty and the Western Satraps; the greatest and the mightiest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni who defeated the Western Satraps and conquered some parts of Gujarat in the 2nd century AD. The Kshatrapa dynasty was replaced by the Gupta Empire with the conquest of Gujarat by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya's successor Skandagupta left an inscription on a rock at Junagadh which gives details of the governor's repairs to the embankment surrounding Sudarshan lake after it was damaged by floods.
The Anarta and Saurashtra regions were both parts of the Gupta empire. Towards the middle of the 5th century, the Gupta empire went into decline. Senapati Bhatarka, the Maitraka general of the Guptas, took advantage of the situation and in 470 he set up what came to be known as the Maitraka state, he shifted his capital from Giringer near Bhavnagar, on Saurashtra's east coast. The Maitrakas of Vallabhi became powerful with their rule prevailing over large parts of Gujarat and adjoining Malwa. A university was set up by the Maitrakas, which came to be known far and wide for its scholastic pursuits and was compared with the noted Nalanda University, it was during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that Chinese philosopher-traveler Xuanzang/ I Tsing visited in 640 along the Silk Road. Gujarat was known to the ancient Greeks and was familiar with other Western centers of civilization through the end of the European Middle Ages; the oldest written record of Gujarat's 2,000-year maritime history is documented in a Greek book titled The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century.
In the early 8th century, the Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate established an empire in the name of the rising religion of Islam, which stretched
The Saindhavas known as Jayadrathas, ruled western Saurashtra from c. 735 CE to c. 920 CE in alliance with Maitrakas in early years. Their capital was at Bhutamabilika (now Ghumli; the known historical events during their rule are the attacks of Arabs repulsed by Agguka I. The earliest reference of Saindhava was found in Navsari copperplate of Chalukya governor of Lata region Avanijanashraya Pulakeshin dated 738-39 CE which enlisted the dynasties defeated by Arabs and repelled by him; the eighth verse in Gwalior prashasti of Bhojadeva describes the Saindhava ruler defeated by Pratihara king Nagabhatta. The nine copper plate grants issued by Saindhavas help to establish their genealogy as well as provides useful information about the dynasty. Six grants inscribed in 12 copper plates were discovered while digging on roadside in Ghumli in 1936. One more copper plate issued by Jaika was recovered from Morbi. A clay seal referring to Pushyena was recovered from Valabhi. Another copperplate grant is found from Ambalas.
One more from Dhinki issued by Jaikadeva was found as a forgery later. Saindhavas were originated from Sindh who moved southward and established themselves in Apara-Surashtra; the Ghumli grant issued by Jaika II describes their family as Jayadratha-vamsa. It is because he wanted to associate his family with Jayadratha of Sindhu Kingdom in epic Mahabharata, it was a common practice to associate royal family with Puranic heroes in 9th-10th century. Other plates describes themselves as Saindhavas, their capital was at Bhumlika in Barda hills. Their emblem was the sign of Varuna and suitable for their naval supremacy; the early kings ruled in an allegiance with the Maitrakas of Vallabhi. They ruled Sorath regions constituting western part of Saurashta peninsula. Pushyadeva is the earliest known king mentioned in the grants found from Ghumli. A clay seal referring to Pushyena, son of Ahivarma was recovered from Vallabhi, it was believed that this Pushyena and Pushyadeva were one person but a copperplate found from Ambalas mentions Ahivarma as a son of Pushyena.
So Pushyadeva might be a son of another Ahivarma. It seems that Ahivarma I was ruling in Sindh and his son Pushyena had to move Saurashtra due to invasion by Arabs Arabs fighting for the Umayyad Caliphate, his clay seal was found in Valabhi which implies that he was a Mahasenapati under Maitrakas. He might have gained power later. Pushyena was succeeded by his son Ahivarma II, he had given a grant to Bhikkhuni-Vihara from Kuberanagara. The date of grant is not clear but may belong to Valabhi Era 404. Pushyadeva, son of Ahivarma II, is mentioned in the last grant found from Ghumli and he ruled from c. 735 to 750, based on dates of his descendants. His capital was at Ghumli and was a contemporary of Maitraka ruler Shiladitya VI, he is mentioned as Jayadratha-vamsha-shekhara. He was succeeded by his son Krishnaraja I who reigned c. 750 CE to 770 CE. He had five titles including Mahasamanta. Agguka I, son of Krishnaraja I, succeeded him and reigned c. 770 CE to 790 CE. He is praised in two early grants found from Ghumli.
During his rule, the Arabs tried to establish themselves in the Saurashtra. In 759 CE, Hasham was appointed as the governor of Sindh who sent an Arab naval fleet under Amarubin Jamal to attack to the coast of Barda region, it was defeated by the Saindhava naval fleet, leading naval power of western India. Twenty years another Arab naval fleet was sent, which succeeded in capturing a town near Barda; the campaign was withdrawn according to Arab historians. They state that the Caliph decided to never enter India from there again, but Agguka I's inscriptions state that he had defeated the Arabs in 776 CE and they had to withdraw. He took the title Apara Samudradhipati, "Master of the Sea". During his reign, Valabhi fell due to Arab invasion. Agguka's son and successor Ranaka I reigned from c. 790 CE to 810 CE. He is mentioned in Ghumli grant, it mentions his wife Kshemeshwari. He had two sons, Krishnaraja II and Jaika I. Ranaka I was succeeded by his son Krishnaraja II, he was succeeded by his infant son Agguka II.
The Ghumli grant dated Gupta Era 513 is issued by his uncle Jaika I, step-brother of Krishnaraja II, so it seems that Agguka II ruled for short period and he was disposed by his uncle few years before 832 CE c. 830 CE. This grant mentions the donation of a Dhak village in Pachchatri Vishaya to a Brahmin from Someshwara. Another undated grant mentions the donation of a village to a Brahmin of Bhillamala in the same district, he reigned c. 825 CE to 845 CE. His sons were Chamudaraja. Jaika I was succeeded by Agguka III who reigned c. 845 CE to 870 CE. None of grants is found but he is praised in grant by his son and successor Ranaka II, he reigned c. 870 CE to 880 CE. His grant dated Gupta Era 555 mentions the donation of villages in Swarnamanjari district to some temples and a monastery, it mentions his son Jaika but he did not succeeded him because he died early or his granduncle Chamundaraja usurped the throne. He reigned from c. 880 CE to 885 CE. Chamu
Govinda III was a famous Rashtrakuta ruler who succeeded his illustrious father Dhruva Dharavarsha. He was militarily the most successful emperor of the dynasty with successful conquests-from Cape Comorin in the south to Kannauj in the north, from Banaras in the east to Broach in the west, he held such titles as Prabhutavarsha, Anupama, Prithvivallabha, Vimaladitya and Tribhuvanadhavala. From the Someshvara inscription of 804 it is known. Though Govinda III became the emperor it was not before having to face some internal family feuds, his elder brother Kambarasa who coveted the throne went to war having formed an alliance of twelve chiefs as written in the Navasari record. Other records like the Sisvayi and Sanjan records mention support to Govinda III from brother Indra and victory against the combined forces of Kambarasa. Shivamara II of Ganga Dynasty of Talakad had joined Kambarasa but after the defeat was imprisoned for a second time while Kambarasa was pardoned and allowed to govern from Gangavadi.
From his capital in Mayurkhandi in Bidar district, Govinda III conducted his northern campaign in 800 C. E.. He obtained the submission of Gurjara-Pratihara Nagabhata II, Dharmapala of Pala Empire and the incumbent puppet ruler of Kannauj, Chakrayudha, it is said. The Sanjan plates of Govinda III mentions that the horse of Govinda III drank the icy liquid bubbling in the Himalayan stream and his war elephants tasted the holy waters of the Ganges; the rulers of Magadha and Bengal submitted to him. An inscription of 813 states the Govinda III conquered Lata and made his brother Indra the ruler of the territory; this in effect became a branch of the Rashtrakuta Empire. However, another opinion is Govinda III had control over the regions between Vindhyas and Malwa in the north to Kanchi in the south, while the heart of his empire extended from the Narmada to Tungabhadra rivers. After the conquest of Malwa Govinda III ensured the Paramara dynasty would rule vassals of the Rashtrakuta dynasty in 800 CE.
The Eastern Chalukyas who had taken an antagonistic stand against the Rashtrakutas again had to face the wrath of Govinda III, who defeated Chalukya Vijayaditya II and installed Bhima Salki as its ruler. He further defeated the king of Kaushal and occupied parts of Andhra and defeated Pallava Dantivarman in 803 at Kanchi, he obtained the submission of the King of Ceylon without going to battle. The King of Ceylon is said to have sent him two statues, one of himself and another of his minister as an act of submission; the Nasari record states that now all the kingdoms of Tamil country, the Cholas and the Keralas paid their tribute to Govinda III. Never had the Rashtrakuta Empire reach such levels of military zenith of glory. Govinda III died in 814, his brother Indra during this time founded the Gujarat branch. He was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsha I. Sastri, Nilakanta K. A.. A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-560686-8. Kamath, Suryanath U.. A concise history of Karnataka: from pre-historic times to the present. Bangalore: Jupiter books. LCCN 80905179. OCLC 7796041. Reu, Pandit Bisheshwar Nath. History of The Rashtrakutas. Jaipur: Publication scheme. ISBN 81-86782-12-5. History of Karnataka, Mr. Arthikaje
Mihira Bhoja or Bhoja I was a ruler of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of India. He succeeded his father Ramabhadra. Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of Adivaraha, inscribed on some of his coins. One of the outstanding political figures of India in ninth century, he ranks with Dhruva Dharavarsha and Dharmapala as a great general and empire builder. At its height, Bhoja's empire extended to Narmada River in the South, Sutlej River in the northwest, up to Bengal in the east, it extended over a large area from the foot of the Himalayas up to the river Narmada and included the present district of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh. During his reign, the capital was during his period Kannauj was referred as Panchala, he was a bitter enemy of the Arab invaders who, according to an Arab chronicler, maintained a large army and had a fine cavalry. The territories under his rule were safe from robbers, his state was rich in natural resources gold and silver mines. Many temples made by him still survive.
Teli Mandir, near Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, marks the presence of Vishnu on earth. The temple's architecture and layout features an outstanding fusion of architectural styles: the roof resembles a Dravidian style while the decoration highlights the art of North India, he was succeeded by his son Mahendrapala I. When Mihira Bhoja started his career reverses and defeats suffered by his father Ramabhadra had lowered the prestige of the Royal Gurjara Pratihara family, he was defeated by Devapala. He launched a campaign to conquer the territories to the south of his empire and was successful. After Devapala's death, Bhoja defeated the Pala King Narayanapala and the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna II, he rebuilt the empire by conquest of territories in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Chandelas of Bundelkhand acknowledged his suzerainty. Besides being a conqueror, Bhoja was a great diplomat. According to the sources Mihira Bhoja defeated Dharmapala the ruler of Pala Empire, but defeated by his son Devapala. There are other sources which claims that Mihira Bhoja defeated some of the Arab rulers of the northwest.
Mihira Bhoja's epithet was Srimad-Adivaraha and therefore there is a broad agreement amongst the scholars on the attribution of adivaraha dramma billon coins to him. These coins have a depiction of Adivaraha on the obverse. Deyell, John S. Living without Silver, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-564983-4
Muslims are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad; the majority of Muslims follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter". The largest denomination of Islam are Sunni Muslims who constitute 85-90% of the total Muslim population, followed by the Shia who make up most of the remainder of Muslims; the beliefs of Muslims include: that God is eternal and one. The religious practices of Muslims are enumerated in the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. To become a Muslim and to convert to Islam, it is essential to utter the Shahada, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a declaration of faith and trust that professes that there is only one God and that Muhammad is God's messenger.
It is a set statement recited in Arabic: lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of God."In Sunni Islam, the shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first shahada and the second shahada. The first statement of the shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God; the word muslim is the active participle of the same verb of which islām is a verbal noun, based on the triliteral S-L-M "to be whole, intact". A female adherent is a muslima; the plural form in Arabic is muslimūn or muslimīn, its feminine equivalent is muslimāt. The ordinary word in English is "Muslim", it is sometimes transliterated as "Moslem", an older spelling. The word Mosalman is a common equivalent for Muslim used in South Asia.
Until at least the mid-1960s, many English-language writers used the term Mahometans. Although such terms were not intended to be pejorative, Muslims argue that the terms are offensive because they imply that Muslims worship Muhammad rather than God. Other obsolete terms include Muslimist. Musulmán/Mosalmán is modified from Arabic, it is the origin of the Spanish word musulmán, the German Muselmann, the French word musulman, the Polish words muzułmanin and muzułmański, the Portuguese word muçulmano, the Italian word mussulmano or musulmano, the Romanian word musulman and the Greek word μουσουλμάνος. In English it has become archaic in usage. Apart from Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Greek, the term could be found, with obvious local differences, in Armenian, Pashto, Hindi, Marathi, Turkish, Uzbek, Azeri, Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Sanskrit; the Muslim philosopher Ibn Arabi said: A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship to God... Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.
The Qur'an describes many prophets and messengers within Judaism and Christianity, their respective followers, as Muslim: Adam, Abraham, Jacob and Jesus and his apostles are all considered to be Muslims in the Qur'an. The Qur'an states that these men were Muslims because they submitted to God, preached His message and upheld His values, which included praying, charity and pilgrimage. Thus, in Surah 3:52 of the Qur'an, Jesus' disciples tell him, "We believe in God. In Muslim belief, before the Qur'an, God had given the Tawrat to Moses, the Zabur to David and the Injil to Jesus, who are all considered important Muslim prophets; the most populous Muslim-majority country is Indonesia, home to 12.7% of the world's Muslims, followed by Pakistan and Egypt. About 20 % of the world's Muslims lives in the Middle North Africa. Sizable minorities are found in India, Russia, the Americas and parts of Europe; the country with the highest proportion of self-described Muslims as a proportion of its total population is Morocco.
Converts and immigrant communities are found in every part of the world. Over 75–90% of Muslims are Sunni; the second and third largest sects and Ahmadiyya, make up 10–20%, 1% respectively. With about 1.8 billion followers a quarter of earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and the fastest-growing religion in the world. Due to the young age and high fertilit
Malwa is a historical region of west-central India occupying a plateau of volcanic origin. Geologically, the Malwa Plateau refers to the volcanic upland north of the Vindhya Range. Politically and administratively, the historical Malwa region includes districts of western Madhya Pradesh and parts of south-eastern Rajasthan; the definition of Malwa is sometimes extended to include the Nimar region south of the Vindhyas. The Malwa region had been a separate political unit from the time of the ancient Malava Kingdom, it has been ruled by several kingdoms and dynasties, including the Avanti Kingdom, the Mauryans, the Malavas, the Guptas, the Paramaras, the Malwa sultans, the Mughals and the Marathas. Malwa continued to be an administrative division until 1947, when the Malwa Agency of British India was merged into Madhya Bharat state of independent India. Although its political borders have fluctuated throughout history, the region has developed its own distinct culture, influenced by the Rajasthani and Gujarati cultures.
Several prominent people in the history of India have lived in Malwa, including the poet and dramatist Kalidasa, the author Bhartrihari, the mathematicians and astronomers Varahamihira and Brahmagupta, the polymath king Bhoja. Ujjain had been the political and cultural capital of the region in ancient times, Indore is now the largest city and commercial centre. Overall, agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Malwa; the region has been one of the important producers of opium in the world. Wheat and soybeans are other important cash crops, textiles are a major industry. Several early stone age or Lower Paleolithic habitations have been excavated in eastern Malwa; the name Malwa is derived from the name of the ancient Indian tribe of Malavas. The name Malava is said to be derived from the Sanskrit term Malav, which means “part of the abode of Lakshmi”; the location of the Malwa or Moholo, mentioned by the 7th-century Chinese traveller Xuanzang, is plausibly identified with present-day Gujarat.
The region is cited as Malibah such as Kamilu-t Tawarikh by Ibn Asir. The Malwa Culture was a Chalcolithic archaeological culture which existed in the Malwa region, as well as nearby parts of Maharashtra to the south, during the 2nd millennium BCE. Ujjain known as Ujjaiyini and Avanti, emerged as the first major centre in the Malwa region during India's second wave of urbanisation in the 7th century BC. Around 600 BC an earthen rampart was built around Ujjain. Ujjain was the capital city of the Avanti kingdom, one of the prominent mahajanapadas of ancient India. In the post-Mahabharata period—around 500 BC—Avanti was an important kingdom in western India; the region was conquered by the Nanda Empire in the mid-4th century BC, subsequently became part of the Maurya Empire. Ashoka, a Mauryan emperor, was governor of Ujjain in his youth. After the death of Ashoka in 232 BC, the Maurya Empire began to collapse. Although evidence is sparse, Malwa was ruled by the Kushanas, the Shakas and the Satavahana dynasty during the 1st and 2nd century CE.
Ownership of the region was the subject of dispute between the Western Kshatrapas and the Satavahanas during the first three centuries AD. Ujjain emerged a major trading centre during the 1st century AD. Malwa became part of the Gupta Empire during the reign of Chandragupta II known as Vikramaditya, who conquered the region, driving out the Western Kshatrapas; the Gupta period is regarded as a golden age in the history of Malwa, when Ujjain served as the empire's western capital. Kalidasa and Varahamihira were all based in Ujjain, which emerged as a major centre of learning in astronomy and mathematics. Around 500, Malwa re-emerged from the dissolving Gupta Empire as a separate kingdom. During the seventh century, the region became part of Harsha's empire, who disputed the region with the Chalukya king Pulakesin II of Badami in the Deccan. In 756 AD Gurjara-Pratiharas advanced into Malwa. In 786 the region was captured by the Rashtrakuta kings of the Deccan, was disputed between the Rashtrakutas and the Gurjara Pratihara kings of Kannauj until the early part of the tenth century.
The Emperors of the Rashtrakuta dynasty appointed the Paramara rulers as governors of Malwa. From the mid-tenth century, Malwa was ruled by the Paramaras. King Bhoj, who ruled from about 1010 to 1060, was known as the great polymath philosopher-king of medieval India. Under his rule Malwa became an intellectual centre of India, his successors ruled until about 1305. Malwa was several times invaded by the south Indian Western Chalukya Empire. Dilawar Khan Malwa's governor under the rule of the Delhi sultanate, declared himself sultan of Malwa in 1401 after the Mughal conqueror Timur attacked Delhi, causing the break-up of the sultanate into smaller states. Khan started the Malwa Sultanate and established a capital at Mandu, high in the Vindhya Range overlooking the Narmada River valley, his son and successor, Hoshang Shah, developed Mandu as an important city. Hoshang Shah's son, Ghazni Khan, ruled for only a year and was succeeded by Mahmud Khalji, the first of the Khalji sultans of Malwa, who expanded the state to include parts of
Bihar is state in eastern India. It is the thirteenth-largest Indian state, with an area of 94,163 km2; the third-largest state by population, it is 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. Three main regions converge in the state: Magadh and Bhojpur. On 15 November 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand. Only 11.3% of the population of Bihar lives in urban areas, the lowest in India after Himachal Pradesh. Additionally 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people of any Indian state. In ancient and classical India, the area, now Bihar was considered a centre of power and culture. From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world's most adhered-to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule.
Another region of Bihar is Mithila, an early centre of learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom. Since the late 1970s, Bihar has lagged far behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic development. Many economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the policies of the central government, such as the Freight equalisation policy, its apathy towards Bihar, lack of Bihari sub-nationalism, the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company; the state government has, made significant strides in developing the state. Improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities, greater emphasis on education, a reduction in crime and corruption; the name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word vihāra, meaning "abode". The region encompassing the present state was dotted with Buddhist vihara, the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval periods.
Medieval writer Minhaj al-Siraj Juzjani records in the Tabaqat-i Nasiri that in 1198 Bakhtiyar Khalji committed a massacre in a town identified with the word known as Bihar Sharif, about 70 km away from Bodh Gaya. Chirand, on the northern bank of the Ganga River, in Saran district, has an archaeological record from the Neolithic age. Regions of Bihar—such as Magadha and Anga—are mentioned in religious texts and epics of ancient India. Mithila gained prominence after establishment of the Videha Kingdom in Āryāvarta. During the late Vedic period, Videha became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla; the kings of the Videha Kingdom were called Janakas. Sita, a daughter of one of the Janaks of Mithila is mentioned as the consort of Lord Rama, in the Hindu epic, written by Valmiki; the Videha Kingdom became incorporated into the Vajji confederacy which had its capital in the city of Vaishali, in Mithila. Vajji had a republican form of government. Based on the information found in texts pertaining to Jainism and Buddhism, Vajji was established as a republic by the 6th century BCE, before the birth of Gautama Buddha in 563 BCE, making it the first known republic in India.
The region of modern-day southwestern Bihar called Magadha remained the centre of power and culture in India for 1000 years. The Haryanka dynasty, founded in 684 BC, ruled Magadha from the city of Rajgriha; the two well-known kings from this dynasty were Bimbisara and his son Ajatashatru, who imprisoned his father to ascend the throne. Ajatashatru founded the city of Pataliputra which became the capital of Magadha, he conquered the Vajji. The Haryanka dynasty was followed by the Shishunaga dynasty; the Nanda Dynasty ruled a vast tract stretching from Bengal to Punjab. The Nanda dynasty was replaced by India's first empire; the Maurya Empire and the religion of Buddhism arose in the region. The Mauryan Empire, which originated from Magadha in 325 BC, was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, born in Magadha, it had its capital at Pataliputra. The Mauryan emperor, born in Pataliputra is believed to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of the world; the Gupta Empire, which originated in Magadha in 240 AD, is referred as the Golden Age of India in science, astronomy, commerce and Indian philosophy.
Bihar and Bengal was invaded by Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century. Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, during which many of the viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila were destroyed, it was claimed. D. N. Jha suggests, that these incidents were the result of Buddhist-Brahmin skirmishes in a fight for supremacy. After fall of Pala Empire, Chero dynasty ruled some parts of Bihar from 12th century to 16th century till Mughal rule. In 1540, the great Pathan chieftain, Sher Shah Suri, from Sasaram, took northern India from the Mughals, defeating the Mughal army of Emperor Humayun. Sher Shah declared Delhi his capital. From the 11th century to the 20th century, Mithila was ruled by various indigenous dynasties; the first of these were the Karnatas, followed by the Oinwar dynasty and Raj Darbhanga. It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shi