Bihar has a very rich history. It was called Magadha in ancient days. Its capital Patna, known as Pataliputra during the old days, was the center of the Mauryan empire, which ruled the Indian subcontinent between 325 BC-185 BC. Emperor Ashoka was the most famous ruler of this dynasty. Bihar remained an important place of power, culture and education during the next one thousand years. Nalanda and Vikramshila Universities were the world class learning centres.
Bihar is also the birthplace of many religions, including Buddhism and Jainism. The word "Bihar" has its origin in the Sanskrit word "Vihara", meaning Buddhist Monasteries. Buddha attained the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, a town located in the modern day district of Gaya. Buddha started spreading his teaching after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was born in Vaishali, When we speak of Bihar we are remembered of ancient India when Buddhism was evolving into what now is an universal religion.The Word "Bihar" has been coined from "Vihara" meaning Buddhist monastries. At one time in the epoch of history these "viharas" were all strewn over the landscape of Bihar, around villages and cities alike. Patna its capital city today, Patliputra in those times was home to one of the greatest monarchs in the history of the world who ruled over much of the Indian - Subcontinent and extended as far as Iran and Afghanistan to the West.
With the advent of the foreign aggression and eventual foreign subjugation of India, the position of Bihar was also adversely affected. Muhammad Bin Bakhtiar Khilji, a General of Muhammad Ghori captured Bihar in 12th century. In between, Bihar saw a brief period of glory for six years during the rule of Sher Shah Suri, who was from Sasaram and built the longest road of the Indian subcontinent, the Grand Trunk Road, which starts from Calcutta and ends at Peshawar, Pakistan. During 1557-1576, Akbar, the Mughal emperor, annexed Bihar and Bengal to his empire and made Bihar a part of Bengal. With the decline of Mughals, Bihar passed under the control of Nawabs of Bengal. one of the important state in india.
After the Battle of Buxar (1765), the British East India Company got the diwani rights (rights to administer and collect revenue, or tax administration / collection) for Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. From this point onwards, Bihar remained a part the Bengal Presidency of the British Raj until 1912, when Bihar was carved out as a separate province. In 1935, certain portions of Bihar were reorganised into the separate state of Orissa. Again, in 2000, 18 administrative districts of Bihar were separated to form the state of Jharkhand.
Babu Kunwar Singh of Sasaram and his army, as well as countless other persons from Bihar, contributed to the India's First War of Independence (1857), also called Sepoy Mutiny by some historians.
After his return from the South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi started the freedom movement in India by his satyagraha in the Champaran district of Bihar against the British , who were forcing the local farmers to plant indigo which was very harmful to the local soil. This movement by Mahatma Gandhi received the spontaneous support from a cross section of people, including Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who ultimately became the first President of India.
560-480 BCE: Buddha
Before 325 BCE: Nanda clan in Magadha, Licchavis in Vaishali
325-185 BCE: Maurya Dynasty
250 BCE: 3rd Buddhist Council
185 BCE-80 CE: Sunga Dynasty
80 - 240: Regional kings
240 - 600: Gupta Dynasty
600 - 650: Harsha Vardhana
750 - 1200: Pala Dynasty
1200: Muhammad of Ghori's army, destroys the universities at Nalanda and Vikramshila
1200-1250: Decline of Buddhism
1250-1526: Ruled by Delhi Sultanate (Muslim Turks - Tughluqs, Sayyids, Lodis)
1526-1540: Babur defeats last Delhi sultan, establishes Mughal Empire
1540-1555: Suri dynasty captures empire from Mughals (including Shershah Suri who built the Grand Trunk Road)
1526-1757: Mughal dynasty resumes
1757-1857: British East India Company rule
1857: Revolt of 1857
1857-1947: British Raj rule
1912: Province of Bihar & Orissa separated from Bengal
1935: Bihar and Orissa become separate provinces
1947: Indian Independence; Bihar becomes a state
2000: Bihar divided into two states - north part remains "Bihar", southern becomes Jharkhand