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Bihar Sharif

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Title: Bihar Sharif  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Bihar, Rajgir, Patna, L. S. N. Prasad, Chandi, Bihar
Collection: Cities and Towns in Nalanda District, History of Bihar
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Bihar Sharif

Bihar Sharif
बिहार शरीफ़
بہار شریف
Bihar Sharif is located in Bihar
Bihar Sharif
Location in Bihar, India
Country  India
State Bihar
Division Patna
District Nalanda district
Elevation 60 m (200 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 331,972
 • Spoken Magadhi, Hindi, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 8031 XX
Telephone code +91-6112
Vehicle registration BR 21

Bihar Sharif is the seventh largest town in the Indian state of Bihar and the district headquarters of Nalanda district. Bihar Sharif is a hub of education and trade in south Bihar.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Transport 5
  • References 6


Bihar Sharif is located on the banks of the Panchanan River and at the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill). The city owes its name to Budhhist origin (Vihar meaning Buddhist Monastery), But the city pre-dates Buddha. Bihar became the capital of the Magadha kingdom during rule of the Pala Dynasty and then until the 14th century CE. Later on the headquarters was moved to Patliputra (current Patna) by Sher Shah Suri and the whole Magadha region was called Bihar.

Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana at Pawa in Bihar in 527 BCE. The ancient Odantapuri University was established in the 8th century by the Pala Dynasty king Gopala I. It is considered the second oldest of India's Mahaviharas and was situated in Magadha. According to Tibetan records, there were about 12,000 students at Odantapuri, which was located in the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill), and was an important centre for the learning of Buddhism. Acharya Sri Ganga of Vikramashila was a student there. Odantpuri located in the foot of Bari Pahari (Big Hill) was an important centre for the learning of Buddhism. The town is rich in artefacts and relics of old Buddhist heritage. Broken idols of Buddha and Mahavira can be found in the Nalanda Museum and in many temples. Nalanda College in Bihar Sharif and Garhpar Locality are the areas where monastery was located.

In 1193 when Ikhtiyar ad-Din Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji was on conquest of Bihar, he came to destroy Nalanda University. En-route to Nalanda, he destroyed Buddhist monasteries of a place now called Bakhtiyarpur. After Bakhtiarpur he came to Vihar. He completely destroyed Odantpuri University and Buddhist Viharas before leaving for Nalanda.

Later, local Bundela Rajputs regained control of city from Muslims few years after Khilji left. Bundela Rajputs ruled area until Delhi Sultan Mohhamed Bin Tuglaq sent Syed Ibrahim Mallik with an army of Afghans. At the time of Sultan Tughlaq (1290 AD-1351 AD), even though the State of Bihar was under the control of Delhi, for all practical purposes, Bundela Rajput rulers of Bihar under Raja Biththal were autonomous. Sultan sent Syed Ibrahim Mallick to conquer Magadh area. After a fierce battle, outnumbered Raja army lost, Raja was killed and his army was defeated. The conquest of Bihar was a remarkable achievement, and on this occasion, the Sultan conferred upon Syed Ibrahim Mallick the title of “Madarul Mulk” means Mallick. Since then, he was called “Mallick Baya”. The Sultan appointed Syed Ibrahim Mallick as the governor of Bihar. He ruled over the region until his assassination on 1353 AD. His mausoleum is at Bari Pahari. Mausoleum is visible by ten kilometers away from town. Descendants of Bundela Rajputs are settled in Tungi village and Garhpar in Bihar Sharif.

Bihar Sharif is also famous for Sufi saint Sheikh Sharfuddin Yahya Maneri. Who are credited to have converted many Hindus in districts of Patna, Bihar Sharif, Gaya, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Jamui and Sheikhpura. Muslims celebrate Urs every year at his shrine in Badi Dargah located nearby the ruins of Odantapuri.

Bihar Sharif is also famous for Langot Fair at Baba Maniram Akhara. Sant Maniram was patronized by Raja Biththal and local Rajputs. He started akhara for training youth to fight. Akhara of Sant Maniram was patronized by Raja Biththal and local Rajputs.

City has changed from a trade based economy to education hub. Various schools and coaching centres are new symbol of awareness for education among rural people surrounding Bihar Sharif. Some of the latest car and bike showrooms in the city show the effect of modernization.


It is located 75 km from Patna, the capital of Bihar state. It is 13 km from the ruins at Nalanda. It is situated at foot of Badi Pahri (Big Hill) and bank of River Panchanan. The land of Bihar Sharif is very fertile. Alluvial soil is mostly deposited by several rivers of this area. There are many local rivers such as Dhoba, Panchanan, Goithva, Zerain, etc.


Agriculture is the prime activity although tourism in nearby places like Nalanda, Rajgir and Pawapuri boosts economy of this town very much. This town supplies agricultural products like cauliflower, potato, mustard seed and other vegetables to neighbouring states. Although the economy is mainly based on agriculture products, footwear and garments are also manufactured at household industries. City has been considered for one of three cities to be developed under smart city plan by govt of India.


As of 2011 India census,[1] Bihar sharif had a population of 296,889. The sex ratio(per 1000 males) is 916. The overall literacy rate is 74.80% with male literacy rate being 83.42% and female literacy rate being 65.39%. Hindu form 63% population of city. Muslims are 37%. Among cast groups Kurmi, Koyri, Yadav, Baniya and Muslim groups have significant population. Koyri and Baniyas are old settlers while others have moved from villages around city.


The town is well connected by road to major cities like Patna, Rajgir, Nalanda, Harnaut, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Dhanbad, koderma, Kolkata, Gaya, Hazaribag, Jahanabad, Bakhtiyarpur, Barh, Ramgarh. Being the district headquarters, there is a regular bus service to all major hubs in the region.

Bihar sharif junction is located on the broad gauge branch line connecting Bakhtiyarpur and Tilaiya via Rajgir. The town is served by a direct daily superfast train to New Delhi (Shramjeevi Express). Besides there are numerous passenger connections to the state capital Patna and Rajgir from where rest of India is well connected.
Very recently the Fatuha-Islampur branch line has been connected with this route. Extension of passenger services to inter-link Bihar Sharif with Hilsa, Sheikhpura and Gaya is partially started in 2013.

The nearest airport is Patna Airport. Domestic flights to major Indian cities are available from there.


  1. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
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