History of Bihar Sharif

History of Bihar Sharif is not only immensely old, but also makes up for fascinating account. This city has witnessed rise and fall of many great empires all throughout its history. Besides, two great religions of India – Buddhism and Jainism – have shaped their identity in and around this city itself. And Islamic rule that dominated the medieval era makes history of Bihar Sharif even more engrossing. Below is more detailed information about all these fascinating historical accounts, whose impact has shaped the very cultural identity of Bihar Sharif.

Ancient History of Bihar Sharif

The recorded ancient history of Bihar Sharif dates back to Pala Empire, one of the greatest empires of ancient India. During its four century of rule (8th to 12th century B.C) it ruled most part of the present day Bihar and Bengal region. The most distinctive thing about Pala Empire was the unprecedented patronage given to Buddhism religion. In fact Pala Empire is often referred as Buddhist Empire. And no other city but Bihar Sharif is ultimate testimony to this historical fact. This is because two of the greatest Buddhist learning centers – Nalanda University and Odantapuri University – constructed during Pala Empire was constructed in and around Bihar Sharif city itself. The ruins of these two great universities are still very much present in the city and have in fact become famous tourist attractions, especially Nalanda University.


History of Bihar Sharif

Jainism was another religion that was shaping its identity in Bihar Sharif during Pala Empire reign, though it did not receive great state patronage as Buddhism did. Bihar Sharif’s deep association with Jainism is testified by immensely sacred Jain Temple located in Pawari village, located some 15 kms away from the heart of present day Bihar Sharif city. Although exact history of this sacred temple is still largely unknown, but it is widely believed that it was constructed during Pala Empire’s region.

Medieval History of Bihar Sharif

Bihar Sharif historyBy the turn of medieval era Pala dynasty and few other powerful ancient empires had completely withered away. Their decline was caused because of meteoric rise of Delhi Sultanate, a prominent Muslim dynasty that ruled major part of Northern India before the rise of Mughal Empire. Bihar Sharif too had come under the rule of Delhi Sultanate kingdom. Delhi Sultanate in fact had more influence over Bihar Sharif than Mughals. This was all thanks to Syed Ibrahim Mallick, who was actually one of the many army generals of Delhi Sultanate Empire. Syed Ibrahim Mallick’s association with Bihar Sharif began with military expediation, as he was assigned the task of defeating one of the rival kings of Delhi Sultanate. Syed Ibrahim Mallick succeeded in this military task quite easily. As reward for his achievement he was made Governor General of many cities of Bihar State. But amongst these many cities only Bihar Sharif city shared deep bond with him. This deep bond is clearly vindicated by the fact that after Syed Ibrahim Mallick was assassinated in 1353 AD, his body was creamted in Bihar Sharif. And to tell you more, his tomb is today one of the famous landmark places of Bihar Sharif and it is daily visited by hordes of locals, who pay their homage to this great general for bringing development and peace to Bihar city region.

Centuries of Muslim rule in medieval era also introduced Bihar Sharif to Islamic culture. Islamic art, Islamic archietcure, and Urdu language not only thrived but became integral part of city’s local culture. In fact the word ‘Sharif’ in Biharsharif is actually Urdu word, which was obviously coined and made officially part of the city’s name during Muslim rule. This fact alone is sufficient enough to vindicate vital contribution made by Islamic culture in shaping the identity of this city.

Modern History of Bihar Sharif

Modern history of Bihar Sharif can be said to have begin in year 1976. It was the year when Nalanda district was established and Bihar Sharif was subsequently made headquarter of the district. Bihar Sharif was obviously given this privilege owing to its immensely rich history and cultural heritage. However, during last few decades Bihar Sharif has been striving to come out of the shadow of its enormous history. This is because the modern day Bihar Sharif is only focus towards the future. Although it obviously doesn’t want to give up on its cultural heritage and history, but at the same time it doesn’t want to compromise on its dream of becoming a modern urban city.

All in all, from above information it can be summed up that history of Bihar Sharif is indeed rich and engrossing. So rich that it has withstood the test of time for thousands of years and will continue to withstand even for next thousand years or for that matter probably forever. It is in fact by sheer virtue of its strength that Bihar Sharif’s history shaped the cultural identity of its people.


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